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Pros: The laptop itself seemed quite fine. It's perhaps a little large/heavy to be considered an ultrabook, but that's not something that bothers me. It's speedy and feels pretty durable.
Also, unlike other units in its class, it seems quite easily upgradeable, with modular hard drive and optical drive locations.
Cons: I don't like the keyboard much, and the clicky touchpad less, but I'm reasonably confident these are things I'd get used to quickly.
The main reason I'm writing this review is to report the unit I received had multiple hardware problems. First, a couple hours after I received the laptop in the mail and was finishing updating/setting it up, the hard drive began making clicking noises and then failed.
OK, so the hard drive died, it happens (though never within a few hours of getting it, in my experience). I tried a few things and booted the computer off a different drive, and thought I could just replace the hard drive and things would be fine, but I discovered another hardware problem: something with the battery was faulty. As soon as the computer was unplugged, it would shut off, even when Windows showed the battery as being connected.
As I attempted to fix this problem, I found that the acer support for this laptop is quite poor. There is very little to no documentation online, no working BIOS updates (the model-specific website has a supposed BIOS update but it fails to run), and the website had minor problems in general (items not showing up until after multiple refreshes, etc).
While I don't normally like dealing with the hassles of returns, especially if I can fix them myself, I decided these hardware problems warranted a replacement. I assumed it'd be an easy process - quick return-and-replace - especially considering the unit I received was faulty and really stopped working within just a couple hours of my receiving it.
I contacted newegg, and they would not replace it. I had to run it by acer. Fine, so I contacted acer. They also would not replace it. I had to send my unit back to them, and they would repair it, then send it back to me. The cost to ship the unit to them was on me, and I had to wait the ~2 weeks it'd take for the shipping + repair to complete.
So I am out the cost of shipping (~$40 for laptop-safe packaging), the opportunity cost of 2 weeks of laptop use productivity I should have had (if I'd received a working unit), and the 5-6 hours I spent trying to figure out what was wrong and then trying to fix the faulty laptop I received.
I am waiting on the laptop to be returned to me and I'll update my review once I get it. I guess I anticipate no further problems, though I'm already disappointed that I ordered a brand new working laptop and will instead be receiving, in essence, a refurbished laptop. I was shopping for the best value and thought I'd found one, but as usual I suppose you get what you paid for, as these are not problems I've had with other brands.
Pros: This is a Great buy if your a gamer , and looking for something
to be used ontogo. *can run just about anything in highend settings
can even overclock/vot the core and vid card (do not do this without case fan). For this price and for a ultra book, to have a geforce mid range gcard 1 gb is so worth it! i will just sum it up by listing some of the pros.
-key broad is very nice
-compact and great size
-nice battery life (6+ hours easy without core intensive tasks)
-Runs games on highend settings if desired
-such as sc2 ultra mode d3 high witcher2 ectect
Cons: -20 GB SSD is not accessible, but u do notice the start up difference!
-Hard drive is 5400 rpm : / could have been better
-2 GB Ram is built in ( 1 slot for ram ! )
(its not much of a flaw but i popped in a 8gb ram into that 2gb slot and now have 10 gb total) the con is you can't put more in there : (
-Keypad is too spaced out, but won't notice anything once your used to this keypad! (took me only about 2 day to do this as if i been using it forever)
-there was 1 keypad button which was not cut all the way, so i had to press it really hard to break the uncut part and worked fine after that. lol...
-TONS OF FREAKING bloatware! be prepared to use a bloatware cleaner or just totally reinstall and get all the driver update from their site after~ (great time to upgrade to windows 8 coming out soon!)
-I did some self install upgrade on hardware, and IT WAS NOT EASY
specially the unscrewing part~ but it all worked out fine~
Overall Review: If your not looking to play high end games on a laptop then
i would suggest you go head to the microsoft shop and check out
the lower version of this which is cheaper and works the same for
typical users~ and you get a free xbox 360 (college student only : P)
but overall this is imo the correct pc to pick out of all thats out there~
Pros: -Nice screen looking dead on
-Very powerful GPU, great for CAD projects for school (Catia) and the little gaming I do
-EXTREMELY LIGHT, amazes me how they crammed all this in the form factor
-Relatively good looking
-Resolution doesn't bother me
-Webcam even though I don't use it, friends haven't complained about the mic
-Got a great price and shipped quickly, UPS was great as well!
Cons: -Sluggish, I just can't understand why either because the hardware is pretty good.
-Trackpad is absolute rubbish, I can't stand it and whenever I let someone use my computer, they mention it
-Gets worriedly warm, I keep it on a stand with fans
even when I'm just browsing because I'm worried it will overheat
-Randomly freezes up
-At times it refuses to shutdown, hibernate, sleep
-Dents really easily, nothing like seeing a nice big dent every morning when I open up my laptop
-Viewing angles are really bad from the sides as well as the glare, I try to use my laptop between classes and I'm blinded by the screen or I just can't see it because they opted for glass
-Not really a con, but in an attempt to fix some of the issues/avoid sending it back to Newegg for an inferior product, I put in more RAM (didn't help much) and I cut my finger pretty bad on the casing. Minor and known because it's metal, but just be careful when taking it apart.
All in all, this was the first product I've purchased from Acer and it's probably the last.
Overall Review: I won't order from this company again. I contacted them because I was concerned that there was an issue with the laptop because it was so unbelievably slow, randomly froze, wouldn't shut down at times, got extremely warm, etc, and I requested a refund so I could buy a more reliable product (I was thinking Thinkpad). First they flat out said no, then I pleaded with them and told them that I'm a full time student and really need something reliable (and quickly, I have a lot of weekly assignments that take hours that are done online) and they said they'd offer me store credit. Sure that is nice of them, but I'd prefer a refund, as I feel a.) most of their inventory has become overpriced or the selection is poor and b.) I'd rather order from another big online retailer that's named after a river, as they HAVE a good return policy and a better selection.
Lesson learned, I won't order from them again, and any friends or family that asks where to get hardware, I tell them to avoid Newegg. I'd understand if I frequently returned items, but I've made one return in the 4 or so years, and spent THOUSANDS of dollars of my money, I order hardware/etc for my mother's business here, and friends have been sent here. They've given myself and family trouble in the past about returns and I'm tired of it. I sell electronics on the Bay of e and I've taken hefty losses myself, but it's business and you have to accept it. Shame on them.
Pros: >battery life
>well build chaise
Cons: >port location
>number of ports
>dvd drive - I'll never use this thing. and it's probably the reason for most of the other problems this ultrabook has.
Overall Review: m5-481TG could have been my love child. As it stands it's just awesome. theres some slight flex in the island keyboard but nothing too terrible. for a mid-range ultrabook this is the best deal I've found. most had a trampoline for a keyboard and don't have such great battery life. I can get around 5-7 hrs. on a charge (need to install all drivers) doing light computing. The wireless network adapter isn't that great either. but the driver can be found on acers web-site if you re-install; it works so it's not a con for me. really disappointed at what could have been. it's like mid-design the engineers experimented with bath salts or something. but if your looking for a decent ultrabook thats not anorexic I would highly suggest this one. display is middle of the road but you won't find better for the price. also there are two graphics drivers: intel and nvidia. intel's driver has to be installed before nvidia's and you don't use the 640M LE unless you need to. first time I ever saw such a configuration so I thought I'd mention it.
Pros: I was looking for a laptop that was portable and still had an nvidia graphics card so that I could game on the go. I was initially intending to spend about $1,000 in order to buy this laptop. But then I saw the awesome reviews from various websites and I was hooked. This laptop was exactly what I needed. Its thin, portable and can run various games at a very high rate(Starcraft II, Diablo III). Most of all, I didn't have to spend as much as I thought I would. This machine is really a great buy.
Cons: As most people have already stated, the screen resolution is going to be the biggest problem for me. I could have spent an extra $300 to buy a laptop with 1080p resolution but figured it wasn't worth it. Along with that, I think the design of this laptop is a little plain. There are better laptops to look at, but again they are more expensive. For the money, this laptop cannot be beat.
Overall Review: I'm really impressed and satisfied with my purchase. I have bought Acer items before and they always have lasted. I knew exactly what I wanted in a laptop and this one delievered.
Pros: -great price at $650
-the processor definitely seems quick; its speed of 1.7Ghz seems low, but can multitask very well, probably thanks to Turbo Boost
-ULV processor helps the battery last up to 6.5 hours, with some underclocking
-640M LE is powerful enough, plays BF2, LoL, Halo 2 perfectly so far
-backlit keyboard is amazingly useful
-the "hybrid drive" is actually an HDD and a seperate, occupied mSATA port, which allows for some great upradability
-Optical drive, which I've replaced with a harddrive caddy
-big touchpad with intuitive multi-touch controls
-the 14" size is perfect, in my opinion
Cons: -keyboard and touchpad feel kind of cheap, though not at all problematic yet
-included HDD is 7mm "thin" variety, meaning a replacement SSD has to be 7mm also
-bloatware, re-installed Win7 immediately
-the graphics card drains the battery very quickly, but Optimus means this is only a problem when gaming
-disassebly to replace RAM or HDD or mSATA is unneccesarily difficult
-one 2GB RAM module is permanently affixed to the motherboard, only one RAM slot is available for upgrade.
Overall Review: I was able to fit a standard 9.5mm high SSD into the 7mm HDD slot, but with a little flex in the chassis. The harddrive caddy I replaced the optical drive with doesn't fit flush with the case and doesn't look as good. Also, an HDD or SDD in the harddrive caddy cannot be booted from, unfortunately.
Pros: - Thin clean look with the brushed metal finish on the cover and keyboard case
- Impressively fast boot times with the SSD + HDD hyrbid when it works (see cons). I have another laptop with similar specs that has a SSD instead and this one is still very quick and responsive on start and hibernations.
- Pretty good battery life...I would say about 4-5 hours on normal use (internet, media, no serious games)
- Speakers are pretty loud and decently clear on audio
- Comes with strong GPU (haven't really tested it)
- Comes with an optical drive (see below for more comments)
Cons: - Lack of ports 2 USB, a HDMI, LAN, headphone, and MicroSD. These are mostly on the rear of the laptop. The fact it only has 2 USBs is really disappointing. You definitely need a hub if you want to use a mouse and charge an device or access an external drive or anything.
-Optical drive? this is a pro and con in a way. I am happy I have one because it lets me use recovery disks. But I suspect it is the cause of one of the big issues I am having. Also it is a huge waste of space which definitely could have been used for 2 possibly 3 more USB ports or some additional exhaust cooling (I hear complaints this laptop can run hot).
- The keyboard keys are very shallow and I am finding that the shift and space bar keys are harder to press down than others.
- Bloatware. This definitely had more than I have seen on a machine in a while. Lots of Acer software that is pretty useless. This was directly eating into how much memory the machine uses to run normally. I would definitely recommend a clean install of windows 7 with this machine.
- Come stock with only 4gb and apparently 2gb is soldered on. Now you can add ram easy enough but because of all the extra software on the machine this 4 gb gets spread really thin.
- I/O or Bios issues? This might just be my machine but every....6th or 7th restart / boot my machine shows me the "a disk read error occurred" or sometimes I get another message telling me that these is an I/O device error. Still can't figure out the root cause of why. This is something that I will definitely contact Acer though.
Overall Review: I am mostly happy with this machine given the price, mine might be a lemon which is disappointing. I am hoping to get my issue resolved. The machine starts it just takes two tries sometimes more.
Pros: Light, small, nice keyboard layout and yet surprisingly spacious if you open it up. I replaced the msata with a Crucial msata 128gb and the hard drive with a Samsung 840 250gb. Your ssd or hard drive has to be 7mm otherwise it will not fit. Pity I can't use my Vertex 4 due to height.
Did a fresh install of Windows 7 HP using the existing key. Samsung 840 is boot drive and msata is split 100GB for temp files and the rest partitioned for deep sleep/RST.
Upgraded bios but did not notice any new options.
Playing SC2 yeilds about 72C and once you quit the game it drops down quickly. Fan noise during gameplay can be loud.
Cons: I cannot find a way to keep my keyboard backlight turned off permanently. When it comes out of sleep or is powered on the light comes on. Yes I know Fn+F9 turns it off but there has to be a way to turn it off permanently.
Black border/empty space around the screen is distracting.
The trackpad/mouse takes getting use to.
Overall Review: I always liked all my ports on the back of my laptop for clean look and more desk space but I have to admit that the sides could have had one usb port. Right angle power connector is too close to the other ports on the back.