Ok, so my boyfriend and friends will tell you that I am a complete technophobe. I don't pretend to understand how things work and I certainly can't sit and talk to you about the ins and outs of the workings of this laptop. Luckily for me, two of my best friends are computing students meaning that if anything goes wrong in computer land I can get help quick! This review will be based on my personal experience of using my laptop computer and probably won't contain much technical information as I don't fancy just copying and pasting things from the specifications.
I had never owned a laptop before deciding to come to University. I then decided that it would be much more useful for me to have a laptop than a desktop as I could take it to the library with me. Looking for a laptop was a nightmare for me as I had no idea what I needed or what was a good deal. My needs were very simple; I wanted access to the internet, use of Microsoft word and powerpoint and a good sized screen so I didn't get sore eyes looking at it for hours (I sound so sensible).
Baring in mind my simple requests, my Dad stepped in to suggest this Acer Aspire. It has a 15.6 inch screen which is quite large and I think is great as I hate the new tiny screens that are floating around. I reckon I would get a sore neck and eyes from staring at a small screen. The screen quality is really good, especially when playing films in full screen mode. I did find a slight issue with having the larger screen is that standard laptop bags tend to be too small for it to fit in. This just means you have to shop around a bit more accessory items.
The appearance of the laptop is quite attractive. The top of mine is coloured a dark blue which looks quite classy with the black of the keyboard and bottom half. It is also available in other colours. The corners are curved, giving it a classier look than laptops with sharper edges. The keypad is nicely spaced and is very easy to type on (unlike some ridiculously small ones). It has a number pad included on the right hand side which I have noticed is missing on some smaller laptops and I think I would miss if it was not there. The only button I have had problems with is space bar which seems quite sticky. This may be due to a previous wine spillage and I should probably take the time to clean it! Above the keyboard is the standby button which lights up green when the laptop is on, and flashes orange when it is on standby but not completely shut down. Then there is the button to turn the wireless on and off and the volume buttons. I like the volume buttons as it means I can change the volume of films without having to use the mouse (my boyfriend's laptop is lacking volume buttons which is a tad frustrating). There is a webcam built into the top of the screen which is useful for using with Skype or MSN messenger. The quality of the camera is much better than the old USB webcam I had for my desktop. The laptop is opened by sliding a bar along the front of the laptop underneath the touchpad. This seems to annoy some people who have laptops which don't have a catch to keep them shut. My laptop has almost been forced open by accident when someone didn't realise you had to slide the catch.
I find the touchpad really good and quite sensitive. It is a good size and there is a scroll bar at the side which also works well. The two buttons underneath are easy to press and never catch.
On the sides of the laptop are several important bits. On the left there is the cable hole for plugging in internet cable instead of using wireless (I told you I'm not very technical), and there are also 3 USB terminals. I usually only use the USB things for memory sticks and to plug in my printer so 3 is more than enough for me. There is also a card reader slot which I use for the SD card from my digital camera because to be honest I've lost the USB cable for it! On the right hand side there is the power cable hole and the disc drive. This is easy to open and close and has caused me no problems except when I got my Madagascar DVD stuck in it! I was more devastated about the thought of not being able to watch the film than the prospect of a broken drive!
This is my one attempt at technical stuff. Most people seem concerned over RAM and hard drive space so the laptop has 3GB RAM and 250GB hard drive. My basic understanding of RAM is that it is used as storage and memory for the applications which are working within the operating system of the laptop. Anyone who is technically minded feel free to correct me and I will edit this review if I'm very wrong! I am told that 3GB is quite standard for an everyday laptop nowadays and I havn't come across any issues running things. Apparently the hard drive is smaller than what you would normally get now but I guess the laptop is older and I don't really need a massive amount of storage.
The laptop came running Windows Vista Home Basic. I had never used Windows Vista but found it easy enough to navigate my way around. I don't know the details of this operating system but for me it was more than adequate for purpose! The laptop is now running Windows 7 after my lovely friend had to re format my laptop after it got a nasty virus. Again, I love my computing friends and have no idea how I would have fixed the laptop without them! The laptop runs very well with Windows 7 as well and seems to run much faster after the reformatting.
I have found the battery life of the laptop to be really good. When I first got it then I could use it running on battery for about 6 hours if I was careful. Nowadays It will run on battery for about an hour and half. I have looked into replacing the battery and it looks like it would cost me around £35. The shorter battery life isn't a major problem for me as I usually use it in the house or library where I have access to power. This brings me to one of the problems I have had with the laptop. The clips for releasing the battery on the bottom of the laptop broke last year. This meant that the battery fell out really easily which was annoying. I had to stick the battery into the laptop using some handy surgical tape that I had in the house for a broken toe. It seems to be doing the trick but it might be a bit messy when I try to replace the battery!
I got his laptop nearly 3 years ago and it is still going strong. It is great for the everyday things that I use it for and I hope that it will last another good few years until I graduate and can afford to replace it. It has survived quite a few falls from height and wine spillages over the years so I would say it is quite durable. It also gets carted around between home, University and the library in a rucksack and seems to have survived relatively scratch free. Currently you can buy this laptop for between £300 and £350. This is good value if you consider mine has been going for 3 years meaning it would cost you about £100 a year, bargain!
Have had this laptop for nearly 2 years. Features are good, it also has a wide screen which, although not as portable, better for watching i-player and reduced strain on eyes.
Over the 2 years we have had it, we have had to replace the battery charger cable once (and it is nearly breaking a 2nd time), and are only able to use it for short periods of time (a few of hours at once, although variable) as it gets too hot). I would expect this to happen on an old laptop, but I don't consider 2years to be old, hence I am quite disappointed with this. We do use the laptop a reasonable amount- few hours each day.
It has a decent sized hard drive, and running speed is good for basic internet use, word processing and watching i-player. I have not tried gaming on it.
It comes installed with some acer software, which has some decent time-wasting type games on (e.g. pinball).
This is a good laptop for its price. It has a mid range dual core processor which is good for every day computer use and mid level games. It allows you to have several programs open without too much effect on the performance.
The 250GB hard drive is big enough for everyday use, however heavy media users like myself will find they need an external hard drive as well to fit everything on.
The 3 GB DDR2 Ram allows quick speeds for everyday use and is more than enough for most games. You will not need to upgrade the RAM as it is more than enough.
The Radeon HD 3200 graphics card is good and allows for watching videos and playing games in HD on the wide screen monitor.
It comes with many programs built in and it is a media centre PC.
I had one problem with this laptop. Every time i connected to the internet the laptop crashed. Searching the internet i found this to be a common problem. However this is easy to fix providing you have another computer with internet connection. To fix you have to download an updated BIOS.
Don't let this put you off buying the laptop as it is easy to fix.
I bought my Acer 5535 over a year ago and it has not let me down. I used it without protection for a couple of months and got a virus and found that this PC is so easy to reboot (you don't even need a disc). It has a very wide screen which is great for watching DVDs and it has this very clever feature in the control panel where you can change the audio setting to for not only loads of different genres of music but also for sound effects like concert, living room and even cave! Another feature I like is when you leave it on the screen saver goes on to web cam! It's very easy to get going as it doesn't come with a disc so you just switch it on and install your software. It is a fast lap top and the best I have bought yet, much better than the Toshiba I had before which cost a lot more money. The only problem I have had with mine is that the letter P has fallen off but this is probably due to the vast amount typing I do! Still this can be repaired at a very low cost.
I have owned this particular laptop for some time and so far it has served me well. It only seems to have had one fault which concerned the unit shutting down if an attempt was made to open the dvd drive. Needless to say Acer collected, repaired and returned the laptop to me in just over one week - which I was impressed with!!
The screen is large and the graphics are good. It comes pre-installed with lots of software which admittedly I have had no use for and have removed.
The only downside is that my partner has an Acer and he has a different processor which seems to make his laptop work much faster than the AMD Athlon one which in installed on this model.
Overall I am happy with my purchase and would definitely consider buying another Acer when the time comes to upgrade to a newer version.
This laptop has its good points and bad points. The one i have has 4gb ram instead of 3 and also has a bigger hard drive of 320gb.
I first bought this laptop as i wanted a cheap laptop which i could use to do my university work on and also to play games which had good graphics but not on the scale of games needing super graphics.
Well it has served its purpose and it still is. It runs at a good speed and the battery life isn't bad like some people say. You just have to tweak the settings and you can get a good 2-3hrs on full performance from this. Charging wise it is very good and only takes a few hours to fully charge which is a great benefit i feel.
However there are some problems with this. The main one is that the fans are located at the back meaning that when you have been on your laptop for a while it heats the hinges up on the screen and starts making them creak. This so far hasn't caused any problems apart from the creaking noise the hinges make and i've had it for 1 year now. People have said that this could cause the screen to crack but no sign of that so far.
Other than that i have only had one other problem which was the fan went and was grinding against my motherboard. I sent laptop of to acer and they had it back to me within the week which i was very impressed about.
Overall great laptop for the price but they really should have built the fan not so close to the hinges.
Nice basic laptop for a person who uses for an average amount of time each day. I would not recommend it for somebody who uses their computer a lot (eg for business)
Battery life can be quite poor although I seem to find this varies so it is possibly something to do with me!
The screen is large enough and with a good enough quality for pretty much anything you would want to use a laptop for (photos videos etc)
The keyboard is spaced out enough for somebody who's not experienced in using a laptop. (Other laptops I find condense their keyboards a bit much!)
I have also loaded a few programs onto it and found there is a lot of space on the harddrive still which I am very impressed with as my last laptop had to have an additional harddrive with all my files.
The laptop itself is a very classy, almost goodlooking laptop.
I bought this laptop at an auction at what I thought was a reasonable price, only to find it in the shops for about £20 cheaper (hands up, I should have done more research before buying but the room was going wild for it so i thought it was a bargain - i have now learnt my lesson :#).
anyway, here's what i think of it: the LCD screen is very clear and shows colours in their full glory, you could easily watch a dvd on this laptop and not need to worry about the graphics. alternatively you can watch movies or tv online (i am only promoting the legal websites!) and it tends to stream it perfectly whereas other laptops i have had kept on freezing and just couldn't cope with the content.
it has the usual features of wireless internet, and my particluar model has a 250gb hdd capacity which is very good for the price i paid. it comes with a basic vista package, with lots of trial software (microsoft) which you can purchase.
on the downside, i often like to buy movies online and connect my laptop to the tv, this laptop does not have VGA compatibility which is a pain and very strange since an older model i owned had that capacity.
all in all the laptop is stylish enough (externally it is finished in a glossy dark blue), and has a large clear screen. it boots up really quickly and has a good processor. i would recommend this laptop for those who need a bit more memory and like quick internet browsing/watching movies.