on 11 September 2013
--- Update 16/11/2013 ---
Since it's been about 3 months since I purchased this, I figured it would be a good idea to update this review.
I have found that overtime, the laptop plastic creaks a lot (mainly when resting my wrists/hands on the laptop). The battery lasts for about 4 hours, but when I reduce the brightness of the screen to 0, the battery tends to last for about 6 hours, which is really useful in lectures. I've also found that when the brightness is low, you tend to notice the screen is reflective a lot more, even when indoors. I personally don't notice the reflectiveness that much, but that might just be me.
The laptop is still pretty quick. The only problem (but I don't know if it's to do with this model, or if its common throughout other computers and laptops) is Microsoft Office 2013. I personally bought this thinking that there wouldn't be a problem with Office with the high spec of this laptop, but Office 2013 just keeps crashing, and is so sluggish at times, and I have no idea if this is an isolated issue or not. iTunes also seems to take a bit longer than other applications to load up, but again, I don't know if this is normal or not. Other than that, other applications work perfectly. I haven't encountered any more problems with Wi-Fi either.
The sound quality is ok, definitely not the best though... It's ok for watching videos, but it may be a good idea to use headphones or external speakers if you want to listen to music.
With the recent release of Windows 8.1 as well, you can now update the OS through the Windows Store. You don't need to do this, and if I'm honest, unless you use apps, or would prefer to see the Start button back, there really isn't any real reason to update.
Even with the little annoyances that I've come across, I still agree with what I have previously mentioned before. This laptop is still great when considering everything, and I would be more than happy to recommend this to anyone looking for a general laptop for everyday work/use.
--- Original ---
I purchased this product from another retailer instead of amazon around about 2 weeks ago, but the model is exactly the same (with exception to the HDD size). I kind of wish I bought it off amazon now though. It's cheaper, and has a bigger HDD...
Acer aren't exactly brilliant for their build quality, but this laptop doesn't seem to have any problems structure wise. Admittedly, the laptop plastic does look cheap, but it does feel pretty sturdy. And as simple as the laptop looks, it still looks pretty nice.
The laptop is really quick with opening or switching between apps, and I have yet to see the system crash or run slow. The system fully boots up in less than 10 seconds. Shockingly, the laptop comes with an Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor. You'd usually have to spend at least £600 just to get a laptop with any Core i7 processor in it. The 6GB RAM is also a generous amount considering the price. And the HDD is big enough to store work or some media (mine is smaller than the one advertised on amazon, so you'd be able to fit even more!). I've used Xbox Smartglass, GIMP, iTunes, Media Go and Spotify on mine, and they all run like normal.
The keyboard is also nice to type with. There isn't anything special about it, no raised keys. The keys are pretty close together, but are reasonably big, and once you get used to it, it's really nice and comfortable to use. There's also a full numerical keypad. The directional buttons are really small though, so you may end up hitting the wrong button if you want to scroll up a page.
The display is nice and bright. The resolution isn't fantastic compared to higher end laptops, and the graphics card is Intel HD 4000 (or something like that), but it's more than good enough for video streaming or work. While basic web gaming like Facebook will run like a dream on here, more power hungry games (e.g. Tomb Raider, Skyrim, FFXIV) may not look or run so great on here compared to higher end laptops.
The laptop also has the standard features, including Wi-Fi, 5-in-1 card reader, USB (2.0, not 3.0), HDMI output, CD/DVD drive and Webcam.
There are some issues however, which aren't are complete dealbreaker, but can still be a little irritating. For example, the CD/DVD drive isn't sturdy, and moves around a lot when it's out. It doesn't feel that solid or sturdy in comparison to other laptops. I've also encountered an occasional issue with Wi-Fi. For a few hours, the laptop was struggling to connect to the internet, and took a good few minutes to load a webpage up, but it looks like it was a one off issue. And lets not forget Windows 8... No matter what laptop you get, there's no escaping this, but I must say, after using this laptop for a while and using the touch gestures, it's actually a neat OS. It just requires some practise to get used to it.
I would highly recommend this laptop (especially for students), if it is being used as a work, home or possibly even a basic multimedia system, but if you want something for powerful gaming, then you may be better off investing in a more powerful or expensive machine.