* Prices may differ from that shown
I researched a lot before buying this laptop and in the end this was the best within my budget. One of the best features of this laptop is the screen. It plays videos in crisp, clear quality and it is very easy on the eyes. The 3GB Memory is another plus point it can easily run several programmes at the same time without delay. A problem that i find with this laptop though is that it is very easy to overheat. I have to clean the fan every 2 or 3 months due to this problem. I'm not sure whether this is a problem with all products but it is with mine which can be a bit annoying. The battery doesn't last long but that's the same with all laptops. Other than the overheating this is a very good laptop and is good for internet use and media. I wouldn't recommend it for gaming though. I sometimes play on the sims 2 and 3 on it and find that within an hour it overheats and shuts down no matter how much i try and keep it cool. If your looking for a family laptop or one for school or college then this is a good buy and i recommend it
We bought this lap top in July 2009 to be able to create a playlist for our wedding reception. It fulfilled its role perfectly on the big day and has been a great computer ever since. We only use it for day-to-day internet use and for the odd work thing. It is very easy to navigate, the screen is good quality and a nice size for watching tv on-demand. The keyboard is very comfortable to use and we have had no stuck keys. The mouse pad is easier to use than some other lap tops I have used. We mainly use this at home but it is light enough to be comfortable to carry and the battery lasts about 3/4 hours so it is portable. It shows no signs of wear and tear after just under 2 years of daily use. We have tons of photos stored on it, as well as lots of music and it isn't slow at all. The only issue we have had with it is that for some reason it has stopped playing sound on dvds - although it is still fine over the internet. We don't use it to play music, other than via spotify so that hasn't been a problem for us (though I'm sure it would be easy to fix if we did decide to). As a light-use family lap top it does the job well.
After ALOT of umming and arring about which laptop to buy I finally settled with this one. It has not let me down. As a previous reviewer has said the specs to vary from laptop to laptop. The one I purchased came with pretty much everything except a bluetooth connection. After the initial disappointment I soon realised that this doesn't matter too much as there are plenty of other ways I can transfer data to my phone (which is the only thing I would have used bluetooth connection for anyway.). When I first set the laptop up I spent sone time deleting features that I did not feel I needed such as "Acer Gamezone". Initially the battery life did not seem very good, however with time I would say that it has improved.
I use my laptop mainly for writing college work and storing photos. In the past I have found that some laptops seem to slow down over time as I store more and more things on them. I haven't had this problem so far and have owned the laptop for over a year now.
The only downside I would say the laptop has for me is the noise that the mouse keys make when pressed. They make a very loud "click" however this does not affect the performance of the laptop and is just a little thing I have discovered annoys me slightly.
Overall I would say it is a great laptop with fantastic features. The webcam works well and is of a good quality. For my needs (writing word documents, storing and editing photos and internet use, mainly social networking.) it is perfect.
The Aspire 5735Z does vary in spec a little, my 5735Z has everything the other review states apart from it does not have a webcam built in and it has 4GB ram and not 3, plus I have a 160GB hard drive. Comes with Vista Basic
At a glance the laptop looks very nice and shiny but upon handling it you quickly see that it feels very "plasticy" and if it was dropped on a hard surface I think you'll end up having to have it replaced because I cannot help feeling that something on it will break quite easily.
On the flip side the plastic feel can be quickly overlooked as it is very slim and light to carry. The screen size which is 15.6" (HD) makes it very pleasant for viewing movies and websites, even though 15" isn't that big you do get the feel that it is bigger.
The one thing I have missed on my last laptop is a number pad, and this laptop has one. The whole space where the keyboard sits seems nice and big and it is very comfortable to type with as the keys are quite flat, I have fairly large hands and fat fingers but typing is no problem at all, it feels quite natural in fact. There is also plenty of room for your wrists to sit when typing so you shouldn't get achey wrists as often.
Above your keyboard you have a long strip going across it which is the inbuilt mic, the quality isn't fantastic but it works and is very handy for software such as Skype.
Just above the mic you have the power button, wireless button, volume controls (-/+) and a bluetooth button, though bluetooth isn't built in, which is a shame.
On the left hand side you have three USB ports, a modem port, external monitor input, mic/headphone in and a 5-in-1 card reader.
On the right you have the CD tray, Ethernet port, charger port, and a little space to add your laptop lock.
There is nothing on the back apart from a vent.
Performance wise it is very good and I can accomplish my tasks without any fuss using software like Photoshop, FL Studio, etc. which are all quite resource hungry applications. I would not recommend this laptop for gaming only because it has an Intel Mobile graphics card which are not gaming cards, however you may be able to run some newish games but at low resolution, I am currently playing World in Conflict with very little performance issues (some graphics lag after long periods of play - also playing with low res settings).
Before I start the review, please don't expect a hugely technical review here, I'm only slightly knowledgable when it comes to computers/laptops however this review will be aimed at standard computer users and I will attempt to try and explain about the more technical stuff, that is if I know it.
Getting my Acer
Even though I spent the better part of 2 years on a computing course, my knowledge of computers is still quite limited, I would never be able to get a job fixing computers, but know a little bit more now than the average computer user. Before I brought my Acer, we had a Advent Laptop which is pretty much on it's last legs, it's actually now gone in for repair as it keeps overheating for no reason what so ever. I needed a laptop for when I go to University and had seen a great deal on an advert. A pretty good sounding laptop for only £349. Brilliant.
Our nearest PC World is quite a trek away, but when it comes to computers, we prefer to get them from PC World rather than Curry's, but I went not expecting to find anything or to find that this deal had a catch attached to it.
When looking at it, we had this young girl selling it to us, I know they have to treat everyone like an average computer user, but she was pretty patronising from the get go, and had to be a little bit more careful when I told her I did actually understand what she was saying.
There was no catch, the laptop usually retails about £500, so you are really paying for a £500 worthy laptop not a £350 one. It really was a good laptop, the thing that stood out for me, was the 160GB hard drive, I think my old laptop only had a 60GB harddrive and I was having to use my external hardrive for my music which does take up quite a lot of space.
So Meet Bertie...
I know most of you will skim over this bit, but it is quite an important bit to reviewing a laptop, so it's probably best that I talk about it a little.
OS- Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit
Processor- Intel Premium Dual Core T3200 Processor- 2.0GHz
Graphics- Integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD
Bertie could have been the most ugliest of laptops and I would have still brought it, I think when it comes to things like laptops you don't really care about the look or design, it's more about whether it contains everything you need within a laptop. This laptop does have a plus though, it's really quite stylish, on the lid of the laptop, it's black with a silver ACER brand on it and the keyboard is a greyish colour and looks very good.
I have heard quite a few people moan about the keyboard, but for me it is a plus, it is a lot more like a normal keyboard than you usually get on a laptop keyboard as it has a numerical pad on the right. This does mean that things are a little bit more squished than on my other laptop or on a normal keyboard and I have found myself, being a touch typer, clicking on things where they usually are and finding a completley diffrent key altogether.
The build quality of the laptop is just brilliant, it really does feel quite solid and I think it'll take quite a bit to break it, the lid is quite stocky and is held to the keyboard by two hinges which seem quite solid and doesn't wobble at all when closing or opening the laptop.
I could go into the dimensions and the technological stuff that I've seen on websites when they talk about Bertie, but I'm afraid I'll be talking through my ass, as most of those numbers mean absoltuely nothing to me, and when it comes to buying the laptop, knowing what dimensions it is diagnoally is not something that comes into my mind.
The display is big, yes that is my way of saying is 15.6" with a 16:9 aspet ratio. I think big helps most of us quite a bit, the screen is rather large, I think my telivision in my bedroom is only 19" so it's not too small compared to that. It really did beat my expectations and in the shop I was amazed at the picture they used as it really stood out, however when I got it home I found the display not to be as good as I thought it was.
On my memory stick I have thousands of pictures that I use every now and then as background images, they fit perfectly on my Advent laptop and my computer, however the dimensions of this laptop are just a little bit too wide and with quite a few of the pictures that I use as backgrounds, it streches them a little too far, so you may have to centre the image rather than have it fit to screen.
The keyboard for me is not really a big thing, as I'll probably end up using a proper keyboard when I get to Uni anyway. However this is not the worst laptop keyboard I've ever used before, I have found though on countless occassions that I knock the touchpad a lot more than I usually do on my Advent laptop, it's a lot more touch sensative. The keys are not the most durable of keys, they could come off pretty easily, but you'd have to actually try and take them off. There are quite big spaces between the keys but nothing too big and it's not much of a problem.
The touchpad takes quite a bit of getting used to, I have just found out why my screen keeps zooming in and out, you are able to do this by using the touchpad, to zoom in, use two fingers, one on the top of the touch pad and one on the bottom and then bring them together in a pinching motion. To zoom out just do the opposite. I'm still trying to find a way to turn this off as I will never need to use this function. The buttons on the touch pad could be a little quiter though, it's one of the reasons why I choose to use a mouse instead, hopefuly these will quiten over time after a bit of use.
Like I said earlier, this laptop was brought for when I go to University, before I brought this laptop, I was fully prepared to take my CD player as well as my laptop as the speakers on my Advent were pretty poor, they provided quite a tinny sound to my music, however I haven't even had this laptop a week yet and I have found that I have used it more for music than I have done with my CD player.
The speakers are just fantastic, they are 3D Sonic Stereo Speakers, I'll attempt to include a picture at the end, but there is a small panel which runs across the width of the keyboard which is the speakers, and just above that you have the volume buttons. This is such a good little addition, both my computer and Advent laptop, you had to control the onboard speakers inside the computer by clicking things with your mouse, but now you get easy to reach controls on the keyboard.
One of the biggest problems that we had with my Advent laptop was the heat and the noise that it emitted. Not only could you almost scorch yourself on the base of the laptop, but the noise it emitted was way too loud, I found myself struggling to hear the telivision at some points over the sound that the laptop was making. At the end the laptop shut of everytime it made too much noise or emitted too much heat, so that is why it's at the menders.
Compared to my Advent, Bertie is quiet as a mouse, it barely emitts any noise or any at, you can barely feel the laptop if you have it on your lap, it's not too heavy and the heat it emitts is barely noticable.
The laptop has the usual three USB ports, however annoyingly they are on the left hand side of the laptop, I am right handed and prefer to use a mouse rather than the touchpad, which means when using the mouse I have to plug it in on the left of the laptop and then pull the wire across me to use the mouse with my right hand. It would have been nice to have a port on the right for this. On the right hand side it's taken up with the optical drive and the modem slot and of course the power port.
I was slightly bugged about the USB ports being on the left, however I am actually looking for problems, to make sure I give a balanced review.
Provided with this laptop is a 4 cell Li-ion battery, this provides about 3 hours of battery time when it's fully charged up. This lives up to his name, unlike my advent laptop which gives you about two minutes of battery time. This is fantastic, it might have been nice to have a 6/9/12 cell battery but I'm sure the price might have gone up if so.
Being on a computing course I have heard a lot about Operating Systems, my knowledge of them is not fantastic so I'm not going to go into technical speak hear hopefully, but one of the things I picked up from the guys on my course that Windows Vista in general was 'bad' according to them. I agreed at the time, as my laptop was pretty poor, and at times I blamed that on the operating system, however with this laptop, I can't see anything wrong with this particular operating system and I believe it's the same.
Vista generally does have quite poor reviews, I can't seem to make heads or tails of what the hell they are complaining about, however in my experience if you buy this laptop, this operating system is
The laptop weighs 5.9lbs, it's not the lightest laptop in the world, and it does have a good weight to it, however if you buy a laptop case with it then you will probably not even notice it. You have to remember that because it is so strong and durable, they have to put a little bit of extra weight on it to make it more solid and less breakable.
If you buy from PC World then you will probably be offered whatever happens support. They make it sound fantastic, but you have to remember that it is £7.99 a month, but our old laptop has just been fixed and it would have cost us £70 but because we had the support it cost us nothing.
I brought this laptop from PC world at the price of £349, which to me is just a bargain especially for a laptop with these specifications. As a mate told me, he could have built one for a much lower price and the makers of these laptops are really not loosing out on cash by selling it with such a low price, however it realy is worth it for what you actually get.
The quality of the laptop is the first thing that stood out for me, I don't think even I could break it, the build quality seems very strong and I think the only thing on the laptop that seems a little cheap and the thing that might not work as well as I would always like is the lever that lets you pull open the lid and some of the keys I think I may have problems with in the future.
The display is just amazing, when you find the right backhground image to use, then the pixels are just brilliant and help deliver an amazing bright picture. I think it's a shame that some of my favourite pictures wont fit to the screen but will use them on my computer instead of on here.
I think the battery life could have been a lot better but considering you are only paying £350 for the laptop you are really getting what you've paid for and I'm sure if you really needed a bigger cell li-ion battery then you could purchase one elsewhere, but for the normal user, the 4 cell will do you just fine.
The Operating System that comes with this laptop is Windows Vista, I myself have never been a fan of Vista before, I truly love XP and have always had worlds of problems with Vista however so far on this laptop I've not had any problems, touch wood, but I will still prefer XP to Vista. You are getting Home Premium Service Pack 1, so you are getting a good quality OS, you usually see quite cheap ones in cheaper laptops, so you really are getting a brilliant deal here.
I was a bit put off by the ports on the laptop, there could have been a little more, but there is actually no room on here for these extra ports so I can't really complain, I would have prefered for the USB ports to be on the right hand side of the laptop however. This is probably the weakest point of the laptop, it has caused me to moan quite a bit, I know I can plug in hub and get it on the other side of the laptop, but it's too much effort. It would have been nice if they had thought of that a little bit. If you are a left hand user however, then this laptop and the ports will be perfect for you.
One of the best bits about the laptop has to be the speakers, the quality is just amazing, I just keep the speaker on the computer on full and then use the volume controls on the keyboard to keep it how I want it. I've used it quite a lot when cooking recently, its always nice to have music in the background.
All in all if you are a normal computer user looking for a cheap laptop with all of the qualities of a cheaper laptop then this one is for you. Bertie will give you everything you need, you get a very powerful operating system, which is a worth way more than you are paying, the battery that you get with this laptop will give you three hours to play with without charging up, and it's just a great durable laptop with so far no problems.
The wireless is integrated and seems to be brilliant, it took me two minutes to log onto our wireless connection and it has stayed on from now on. The main thing about this laptop for me is the fact that it is so quiet and so cold compared to my other one, Bertie barely emitts any heat and it's quiet as a mouse, you can sometimes hear the fans but that's only when you are overheating the Cpu a little bit more.
There are a few negatives of course, I brought the laptop on Monday and by Monday night the lid was covered in finger prints. It attracts finger prints and a tissue doesn't seem to get them off, you're going to have to use a wipe or something. I just used the wipes we use for the screen and it seemed to do the job. There could have been a few more ports in the laptop especially on the right of the laptop.
For £350 you are really getting yourself a bargain here, you have a brilliant laptop and you don't have too big of a dent in your wallet.
There are of course the extra hidden prices like always when you buy electrical goods, they make their PC preformance sound amazing and it costs £7.99 a month which is a lot but it means if your laptop breaks at anytime they'll fix it for you. Then you have the extra software, they are selling a free Anti-Virus software if you buy Microsoft Office software, however this Anti Virus is of course my enemy, Norton. The girl was lovely and said just buy another antivirus and sell this one on and get your money back, LIAR. You can barely get anything on the net for Norton anti virus.
If you are wanting to buy any extra periphials like mouse/keyboard, please make sure that you don't rely on the staff and check the connections, we had to go back in a few days later, because she had sold me a keyboard with a PS/2 connection when my laptop doesn't have that port. I think she just wanted a quick sale and didn't even bother to check if she had everything right. Of course when we went back in she wasn't working, so I had to have a little moan at another member of staff.
I'm sorry that I couldn't talk about the Processor or the actual graphics card in separate sections like I have with the rest of the things on the laptop, I just don't think it would be fair for me to this as my knowledge is just not good enough and I really would be talking a load of bull half of the time.
Here is the link to the PC world page, I would really only buy it from PC World, you will be paying a lot more if you buy it from other stores, even online stores. Please tell me if you're reading this down the line and the link has broken, I will try and fix it.
(C) Kirsty 2009
I hope this helps. It's my first laptop review so if you have any feedback please give it, I would love to know what you think. Kirsty