Pros: This computer is pretty fast! I replaced the hard drive with an SSD and did a clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro when I received this. So my perspective may be colored by those facts. Prior to installing the SSD, it still seemed pretty speedy. Between pressing the power button and getting to the login screen is probably 5 seconds. Going from login to the desktop finishing loading is probably about 10-15.
Doesn't get hot. I had a laptop cooler for a budget HP laptop that would've made Lucifer squirm. But I can put this laptop directly on my lap and not worry about my tadpole count. More importantly, I don't have to worry about it cooking itself to death the way 4 HPs in my family have.
I don't generally run intensive applications, but I bought this to replace my ancient gaming computer that could only run Eve on the lowest settings (yeah, it was that old). While I could run Eve on high settings with this, some of the in game graphics settings needed to be tweaked for everything to be ideal (that is to say, battles posed a problem, as they are prone to do with any computer in that game). Be that as it may, I was quite impressed with its performance.
Battery life is also pretty good. I'd say I average about ~4 hours on battery. Not too shabby.
No disc drive. Reduces cost, weight, and energy use.
Cons: My biggest gripe with this computer is the fact that there are no LEDs on the keyboard whatsoever. That means, no caps lock led and no num lock LED. This doesn't sound significant... It drives me feckin crazy. I ssh into a few different linux machines all the time, so if I accidentally hit num lock and turn it off, then go to use the keypad, you never know what will happen! Similarly, I use caps lock a fair amount. As you can imagine, it wreaks havoc in vi if you enter command mode with it on.
Overall Review: I've had this for 3 or 4 months. So the question of reliability is still an open one. So far so good though.
Pros: As a passive gamer I wanted a laptop that could play MMORPGs decently (even if it had to be on low video settings) and this machine has been very good for the price. I can run Rift with medium video settings and it runs smoothly without becoming too hot or unstable. Planetside 2 runs well also. The machine is quick; starts up in <30 seconds and is ready to go.
For the limited gaming I do, the 6GB of ram is plenty and the sound is AMAZING. In 15 years of computer ownership, this is the first computer setup, let alone LAPTOP with ON-BOARD SPEAKERS, that has demonstrated the lousy quality of MP3s!
Overall, I'm pleased with the machine. The battery life is great so far, and the hard drive is plenty for my needs at 500GB.
Cons: If you're a purveyor of "vintage" software - i.e. anything that comes on CD or DVD, prepare to be disappointed. There is an empty bay for an optical drive (I assume it is, with a SATA connection and easy-to-remove plastic piece shaped like an optical drive!) but when I ordered an internal slim optical drive from another source, it didn't fit. Judging by the shape of the plastic piece as well, nor will any of the other slim optical drives out there! I am still searching for a resolution to this problem that doesn't involve buying an external optical drive.
The construction leaves a little to be desired. The machine is nice and light, but the plastic is light and the aluminum skin on the back of the screen is thin as well. This would not be a good choice if you're rough on your computer.
Keyboard lighting is another place that Acer cut corners with this machine. While it's not critical, it is nice sometimes to have a back-lit keyboard or a lamp at the top of the screen.
Lastly, while I know this is the way it goes now-days, the computer does not come with any recovery media. It does thankfully give you the option to create a backup 'disc' on a removable flash drive (16GB free space required).
Overall Review: Overall I'm happy with this machine and I'd recommend it to others - IF they were prepared to do without an optical drive or buy an external one. In my opinion a laptop meant for entertainment ought to have a blu-ray drive. It's good enough for light gaming and will keep you entertained without breaking the bank.
4th Generation Core i5
Uses almost no power, thus won't get hot
Although clocked at 1.6 GHZ, it is comparable to the older generation of 2.6ghz Core i5's (I did the research so you don't have to)
It will run games well. I look to be playing Planetside 2 and League of Legends on this machine. PS2 runs exceptional on any intel Core i5.
Latest generation AMD R7
Comparable to an AMD HD Radeon 8750M, but better.
A dedicated 2GB current generation GPU that will rock on almost any game thrown at it.
Under 600$. Dedicated, current generation GPU. Current generation Core i5 that is ultra-low-watt and doesn't create much heat. Incredible speakers.
This machine simply defies the general rule that you cannot find a gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU under 600$. If you're looking for that specific deal on new egg where you can game comfortably
Cons: For the price you cannot claim there exists a con.
I'll say that the HD is only 500 GB which means I'll be swapping it out immediately and replacing it with a 1 TB drive.
Overall Review: Recommended for gamers on a budget. Will play Planetside 2, Diablo 3, Hearthstone, League of Legends all fine.
Pros: Good performance for a 1366 x 768 laptop. I wanted something quick and for traveling, watching streaming movies, doing searches, and playing games well (in low to med settings with AA turned on) like BF4 or Dota2 when I get bored. This worked well. I had an old 128GB SSD drive and put that thing in and this makes things even better. Since then I upgraded to Corsair 8GB to take advantage of real dual channel since the memory cards are a 4GB and 2GB , and got a Samsung EVO 840 250GB drive which features a boost feature within Samsung App that makes this thing fly even faster. The screen is "meh" but at least its matte and for under $550 it’s a steal. The graphics and cpu stayed relatively cool at 60c - 65c in Hawaii.
Overall Review: Keep in mind some laptops now do come with a CDROM like this one. Also it did not come with a Install disk. You have to make a bootable disc or thumb drive from the factory drive. If you get a thumb drive get the biggest one you can afford. 128GB's can be had for $30 or so dollars. That way you have extra space if the supplied HD hasn't enough room. Also you can buy a HD cradle (its the 9.5mm cradle I believe) for a second HD for the CDROM port. But understand you cannot boot off that drive, but i think you get the same speed at least better than a thumb drive.
Pros: Perfect set of components for the price. Decent processor, decent graphics card, and decent RAM all make this computer shine right out of the box. the design of the laptop itself visually is "ok." You cannot get a more powerful laptop for this price point. Period. The battery is "user serviceable." Technically they all are if you have the know-how but this one just slides right out.
Cons: The speakers are a bit tinny. It is loud enough for sure, but there's a hollowness to the sound I'm not particularly fond of. The trackpad is improved over the last acer model I purchased though still not amazing. The keyboard has a cheap feeling along with the trackpad. The actual rigidity of the unit also leaves a little to be desired.
Overall Review: So why does this still get 5 stars if it has Cons?
Because it's an amazing piece of equipment for nearly everyone on a budget. If you're a parent and looking to get your kid a nice laptop that will take them all the way through college without slowing down, this is the one.
It should be mentioned however that since the rigidity of the laptop is not so fantastic, This is a unit that will require a lack of carelessness. E.g. Don't drop it, step on it, put any unnecessary pressure on it, as you will most likely crack the screen.
All the important things are here though . Good heat dissipation also being present this laptop is perfect for a gamer on a budget as well. For example GTA 4 runs on max settings with no hiccups.
It should be noted that this Laptop does not have a DVD drive... for those of you that still use one, get an external for $15. Internal ones weigh down the system and consume battery life whether in use or not. hence this not being on my cons list.
I cannot review acer support because I have never had to use it.
Pros: - it costs <$700
- It has a 2GB graphics card
- It has a decent battery, I can take notes in a 4 hour class without having to worry about finding a plug
- Runs quiet, I never hear the fan even after hours of gaming
- Runs Cool, on top of my aluminium cooling pad it never gets alarmingly hot
-Two Graphics Cards, the IntelHD for battery consumption and the 2GB ATI for Games. This is great for battery life but you'll need to add any game to the High Performance card in the switchable graphics settings of the Catalyst control panel.
-Windows 8.1, yes it's a Pro
It boots fast and with an opensource program or two you can easlily beat the Metro out of Win 8. I NEVER see a windows 8 tile or have to launch anything from the apps.
Cons: None that I care about but:
- No Optical drive. I persoanlly didn't even notice until owning it for 2 months and then only after reading a review.
- No Backlit keyboard. I wouldn't expect that at this price point and I use an external keyboard that's backlit any way
Pros: Light simple design, boot time is fast, runs cool, and is whisper quiet.
Cons: Surprisingly, it's a bit of a fingerprint magnet for this color and style. Also, someone else commented that the the aluminum skin on the back of the screen is thin and I concur. Here's hoping a carbon laptop skin will provide some protection from unexpected mishaps ; )
It has some bloatware, but nothing that can't be removed w/o consequence.
Heat from the video card blasts out the upper left corner of the laptop. One night, it melted all the ice in my Rum & Coke in under 30 minutes while playing Batman: Arkham City. A few adjustments (including moving my beverage a little further away) and purchasing a Targus USB cooling pad took care of that issue.
It's weird, but there's a sort of pixelation on the LCD screen I can only describe as an ultra fine mesh overlay. It's especially noticeable when reading certain text sized, viewing certain pics, and animated game graphics. Not a biggy, but you're definitely aware of it once it catches your eye.
I didn't want to jump on the 'I hate the Windows 8.1 OS' bandwagon (I gave it a chance, honestly!) but yes, the Windows 8 OS cost the laptop one egg. Installing 'Classic Shell' made the OS more tolerable as I didn't want to invest time in a full OS uninstall/reinstall and/or vendor driver compatibility hunt.
Finding out exactly what slimline bluray drive to purchase that'd actually fit in the empty bay is a bit of a pain. If someone could actually provide a make / model # in the Q&A section of this product page it'd be greatly appreciated.
Not sure what the max amount of memory this unit can take (I'm guessing 12GB's?) as there are multiple sources giving different values. Again, if someone could provide an answer in the Q&A section, thanks.
Overall Review: It's a decent budget mid-level laptop and would recommend it to others.
Pros: - Price.
- Very Quite.
- Intel Core i5-4200U
- 2GB AMD Radeon R7 M256
- Built-in speakers produce fantastic sound.
- Decent battery life.
Cons: Not too many cons in my opinion. You can't go wrong with an Intel i5 processor and a discrete AMD card for this price. However,
- The design is bland.
- The lack of a back-lit keyboard isn't necessarily a con, but it would've been a nice feature.
- Windows 8, in my opinion, is useless.
- A gaping hole for the SD Card slot, smack dab on the front end of the laptop, just looks terrible.
Overall Review: There's an empty bay and a removable cover where the optical drive goes. I believe a different model has an optical drive in it.
This laptop really lacks in design, but makes up for with performance. For the price, it's a great laptop.