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Pros: I forgot to put this in my full review, but the Dolby Quad speakers on this laptop are the best I've ever heard on a laptop! Why I forgot this feature I'm not sure, but seriously...they are amazing.
Cons: see my other review
Other Thoughts: see my other reviewREAD FULL REVIEW
Pros: NOTE: Please read my other thoughts section before Pros and Cons
-Very Sleek design! The brushed black metallic appearance is very appealing
-LIGHT! (4.4 lbs) and POWERFUL
-Extremely thin (about .75 inches, thinner than a Macbook Pro but thicker than the Air)
-Fast CPU with turbo boost (I now see regular speeds of 2.5Ghz w/AC power)
-Decent quality monitor (see cons below)
-1x USB 3.0, 2xUSB 2.0, SD Card Reader
-Windows 8.1 is nice, don't believe all the negativity
-Stays very cool all the time
-6GB of RAM - 2GB chip included on top of the 4GB which is integrated to Mobo; 2GB chip can be swapped out for 8GB (which is what I did)
-Well-designed power supply connector: does not wiggle in socket
-Long battery life, I've actually gotten 5 hours.
-VERY capable GPU once I correctly configured Windows power settings (READ BELOW): Skyrim ULTRA at 1366x768 = 30-35 fps. LoL max settings 50+ fps, Diablo 3 60 fps all settings maxed, Mass Effect 2 maxed 60fps, Borderlands 2 maxed 60 fps
-Decent amount of storage...could have used more
Cons: NOTE: I have quite a few cons which I feel are serious flaws with this PC, but I fully feel that the price to performance ratio of this machine decimate any chance the cons had of detracting an egg.
-The touchpad...the biggest flaw about this machine. It is not horrible, but it's not a macbook pro's or a newer dell lattitude's touchpad. Linearity becomes choppy around the lower edges. A slightly moist finger will skid across the surface because it is not completely smooth, but rather ridged. Clicking can be a hassle because of this. Also, I wish there were left and right mouse buttons instead of the entire thing being clickable (though I understand this is a trend)
-the keyboard: it looks nice, as does the touchpad, but the keys stick occassionally because they are soooo thin and low profile, which results in either missed strokes or keys being repeated. Obviously I was able to type this review successfully, but I had more mistakes than I would on a mechanical or larger-profile keyboard. The keys simply do not depress far enough to feel as though you are making correct motion, which can sometimes lead to second-guessing of whether the key was pressed or not. This may be something i'll get used to...but the point is that I've seen better laptop keyboards.
-Hard Drive is only 5400rpms. I can't really complain about this because it's a $530 ultrabook without the ultra part (the SSD, which would have made this +$1000). Maximum transfer bandwidth is 37.5 MBps...a bit slow in my opinion especially considering USB 3.0 averages about 60 MBps. Again, I can't complain because the laptop was so cheap. Also, once I correctly configured power settings I noticed the CPU was making better use of read/write times and not timing out randomly.
-Since the monitor is held to the board by only the 2 facets, it can bow slightly when pressure is placed in the middle. Just something to be aware of.
-Finally, the monitor: It's only 1366x768, something I obviously decided was okay going in but now wish I had looked at other, higher-resolution monitors. It is perfectly fine for what I need, and games run great at the resolution, but I came from a higher res Macbook Pro, so this was the only step down.
-Also about the monitor, the color purity isn't spot on...Everything has a colder blue appearance than I'd like which I'm sure I'll tweak in graphics settings. The reflective display is actually not as annoying as I thought it would be. The glare is only bad when facing away from a window with a lot of light sources.
-I wish the screen's bezel would fasten to the face-down keyboard side when it closes. It has a tendency to spring open if carried awkwardly.
Other Thoughts: To start, I bought this laptop on sale for $530. I wanted a budget laptop to replace a 5 year old Macbook pro that would play most games decently at its native resolution. I wanted a fast i5 processor, a sleak, light machine, upgradeable RAM, a numpad and long battery life. I will tell you now after using this for 2-3 weeks that it is worth every penny. However, a week ago I would not have said this (and was almost considering requesting a refund) and here is why:
The Geforce GT 720M that comes with the PC is a solid GPU for this laptop running at 1366x768. HOWEVER, getting it to perform how it should was a trickier process than I've ever encountered. When I first tried to run some games (Diablo 3, League of Legends, Borderlands 2) at native res, I noticed I was getting choppy framerates at even mid/low settings. I had done my research...the 720M is a capable GPU, so I was very frustrated that this was occuring. I made sure that NVIDIA's control panel was set to use the GPU as the default processor for 3D applications, and I let the application decide in every situation. I still had the same results...poor framerates on games I knew I could perform as well as or better on older PCs.
After so much frustration and almost sending it back, I happened to mess with the Windows power settings and customized them to allow for maximum performance. It was either after doing this or running some Windows updates that I noticed HUGE improvements on everything about the computer...Application load time, screen switching performance, and ALL my games started performing optimally. I can run skyrim on ULTRA at 1366x768 (Didn't expect that! Benchmarks show it can't even perform at ultra) and every other game with most things maxed except Anti Aliasing.
I can't explain how much of a relief discovering this fix was. I find it very frustrating that by default Windows choosing to gimp on performance when AC power is available. I even noticed that before doing this, the CPU never clocked above 1.6 Ghz in Task Manager. After the power settings change, I noticed speeds of 2.5Ghz. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
In conclusion, this laptop was a STEAL! I was worried at first I wouldn't get the performance I wanted, but do what I said above and this laptop is worth every single penny. 5-stars and no less! Acer has really stepped up their game with this line of V5 laptops. They aren't perfect but they are a force to be reckoned with in the competitive and dwindling traditional laptop market.
This review is from: LEPA N Series N500-SA 500W ATX12V Power Supply
Pros: -Looks excellent in any red-themed case/setup
-500W for $40.00 -- Unbeatable!
-Solid build quality (nothing cheap-looking about it)
-Plenty of connectors
-Quiet PSU fan (almost no spin-up noise on power-on)
Cons: None yet. Hoping this will last and not die on me. I'm always worried about buying cheaper PSUs but this shows no warnings and appears to be very high build quality.
Other Thoughts: Definitely recommend for budget PCs with needs for dedicated graphics.READ FULL REVIEW
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