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This has been a reliable laptop for the past 5 or 6 years, the workhorse of all my work and leisure hobbies. Bought in a major department store with no knowledge of the brand I relied totally on the sales person. I needed it for website work (I was a beginner) and for general image transcriptions (genealogy). The machine has not once let me down in performance. The battery however didn't last nearly as long and I used it plugged in mostly, but as I don't travel with this machine that didn't bother; for me it's a little too large for carrying around anyway. When I went to purchase a replacement battery I found it easy to get a response from Acer. Originally the battery was out of stock for my particular machine and they said they would email when they were available again - which they did.
I have on this Aspire 5551 - two differing photo/imaging software, one well known branded virus/security software, one website software and a game. Apart from that I download 100's of images/records that I transcribe from. There isn't any hiccup in performance although I do keep my screen brilliance lower than manufacturers default, that is my preference. I listen to my music on the laptop when working, volume and quality are absolutely fine. I haven't used the webcam as I have no need to. I use a mouse practically all the time but that's also my preference. I do agree though with another review about the touch pad and find the 'Synaptics Pointing Device' a little unruly.
My particular laptop has a good processor AMD Athlon II X2; 4 GB DDR3 memory; ATI HD4350; 15.6 HD LED LCD and the battery is a 6-cell Li-ion.
If Acer in general are as reliable as this laptop has been then I cannot hesitate to recommend it as a product worth looking at when choosing a laptop.
Acer Aspire 5551
I've been using this laptop for three years now and its served me very well for day-to-day use. I browse the web, use Office applications, watch DVDs and edit photos. It looks sleek with rounded edges and smooth lines. The textured mesh silver cover helps prevent scratches and fingerprints.
The 15.6" HD LED LCD screen is big and bright. This is great for me because I run Capture NX, Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. These programs are quite heavyweight applications and the laptop deals OK with running these. It's probably not built for intensive image-editing, but it performs well enough for me. I've backed-up my library of photos because the hard drive is only 250gb. I don't like to fill the hard drive up to much in an attempt to keep the machine running quickly.
From new the battery lasts about 2/3 hours if you're not asking too much of the processor (like browsing the web), but do anything more processor-hungry (such as playing a game, photo-editing, watching a DVD) and you're best plugging it in. Three years down the line and I tend to just keep it plugged in all time. Luckily, I use it 99% of the time at home, but if I was more mobile I'd probably need to invest in a new battery.
In the last week, one of the screws that holds the battery in place has fallen out, but that's no big deal.
The keys and Multi-Gesture touchpad still all work fine, and I've never had an issue with them.
Overall, I would recommend this laptop for day-to-day use only. It hasn't let me down, but I know its limitations, and I don't push it too much.
AMD Athlon II X2 processor (2.1GHz)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Graphics
15.6" HD LED LCD
3GB DDR3 Memory
DVD-Super Multi DL drive
6-cell Li-ion battery
I have had this laptop since January, and in that time it has broke 3 times. Each time the hardrive has failed, and Acer have replaced it for me. They were very quick and professional, fair play to them, and each time was in the first 3 months or so of having it. I haven't had any problems since. In terms of performance, its fantastic. Extremely quick which is handy for when browsing multiple websites or opening up many documents etc. The sound is fantastic, which was one of the main things i was looking for in a laptop, as i am a student so use it for my music and films. Speakers are brilliant, much better than all my other friends laptops, and at half the price than most of them paid! It's easy to use, although the keyboard takes a little getting used to, but after a day or so it becomes natural. Not really sure about the battery life, as i usually use it plugged in, but others have said its fine. All in all a cracking laptop, especially for you students out there! Whilst it did have issues at first, Acer have dealt with them and the laptop has been fantastic ever since. Highly recommended :)
Got this laptop for my mother (66 years old) who is a complete novice, she needed a nice big screen as she has bad eyes. This laptop was perfect for her.
Setting up this machine was one of the easiest things you could ever do, as I say my mother has only just started using computers could do it herself
After set up, you need to remove a load of junk on there but when you do, this is a lovely speedy machine.
To top it all off, it has a hdmi port to connect to your tv to show photo's, video's etc. Nice little touch.
For someone like my mother, a 320gb hard drive is more than enough, but might be a bit small for someone who wants to use it to download movies, store photo's etc.
The nice thing is that this laptop is a nice silvery colour rather than the boring black ones, makes it look a bit more stylish.
I bought this laptop last christmas, so I've had this product for nearly 8 months now and I still struggle to find why it was so cheap to buy!
It came with a 320GB Hard drive so there was plenty of space for music, documents, pictures and videos!
It starts up and is ready within 1 minute so is great if you're in a hurry.
It connects quite quickly to the internet, and have never had any problems with it losing connection like my old laptop did.
The keyboard did get some getting used to with the number pad on the right taking up the space where my right hand is usually scrolling the page with the arrows. Although I slowly got used to this after a month or two!
The software I use load and run smoothly aswell! I have the Adobe CS5 Master collection so that takes up a lot of disk space and can be a nightmare running on older computers! but this laptop works well with the package, premiere and after effects are slightly slower opening on here but once opened they don't freeze or crash, so all is good!
I got this Laptop at christmas so just over 5 months ago. It is good for going on the internet and using microsoft word and basic applications like paint and notepad. The only problem is I have filled the hard drive 75% with music and video files etc. and the Laptop runs really slow now when opening say for instance photoshop.
I have a game installed which I'm considering uninstalling as it runs so slow, and I've recently noticed that the DVD writer doesnt write correctly it seems to be missing information on the disks (I used to work in an office producing DVDs and can tell by looking at the disk.)
On the positive side the one feature I do love about the Laptop is the way you can link it upto your TV and watch say for instance youtube or explore google maps on the big screen TV. And the battery can last for about 2 hours when you put it in Power Saver mode.
All in all I would rate this Laptop a 6/10 and believe it would be good for people just wishing to use basic applications, or the internet. I do not believe it would be suitable for doing more advanced functions such as video editing which I intended to do but it is too slow.
Initially Powering on and setting up windows 7 is a breeze (but hey, I was an early beta tester, I had the operating system months before it was released to the GP so maybe that's just me. 2 months on so far so good: its seen a slowdown as all laptops do after the initial few weeks but only a tiny one in contrast to my old HP G60 100EM. It has a good balance of performance design and price. It is very light and thin compared to my old laptop with a brushed steel look and a pattern in the tracker pad area so fingerprints aren't visible, which is a godsend.
It plays crisis which is the benchmark for all PC games, I have also tested COD4 and it plays it also without a flaw. Battery life is adequate with about 3 hours on a single charge and the webcam is of poorish quality, but what do you really expect from a built in laptop webcam? Anyway, I'm typing on it now and that's saying something with my standards- Its a great machine and certainly better than my old HP.