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I've had this laptop for almost, if not 3 years and may I say, that it is by far not the prettiest laptop in the world nor the most feature packed, but it is by far the most reliable and resilient laptop I have ever had the pleasure of using. Unlike a good majority of people using laptops, I am very technology driven and use and abuse my laptop to its full potential by not just browsing the internet, writing word documents and sending email, I milk it for all its worth with video editing, picture editing, Motion Graphics and 3D graphics development and as you can imagine those are demanding tasks to say the least, so therefore a laptop to survive that long under such pressures and still be as functional and powerful as it was when I first got it (even better) is outstanding by all standards.
When buying a computer it is important to know what all the numbers and figures mean, especially when it's a laptop since you want the best bang for buck with these machines and manufactures try to dumb down the hardware to keep the price low, so if you want power you can't pick up any machine and expect it to blow your mind.
Brand and Make -
The Acer Aspire 5630 was one of the few last Aspire model groups which were developed before the Aspire become the Acer Netbook class, although the Aspire's aren't powerhouses they are famous for being very reliable and also quite small for laptop standards, so it is worth hunting around to pick up one of these machines (few left).
Processor (CPU) - Core 2 Duo Centrino 1.66GHz
One of the most important parts of any computer is the processor because this is the component which does all the hard work and data processing to make sense of all your clicking and typing. The Acer Aspire 5633 comes with a Core 2 Duo Centrino 1.66GHz processor, this is now and outdated processor replaced by the Centrino 2, but was the milestone for computer introducing a quality Dual Core processor. Essentially this is a fantastic processor as it has 2 cores (hence the name), unlike a Pentium processor, the Centrino can do 2 tasks intense tasks at the same time, and this doesn't mean listening to music and browsing the web, but more on the lines of Rendering a Video and Watching a Movie without a performance plummet. In theory giving you 3.2 GHz of power (1.66 GHz x 2).
RAM - 2 GB
RAM (Random Access Memory) is regarded as the second most important part; this model of the Aspire 5633 has 2 GB of memory. The RAM amount basically means how much your computer can do, because the whole computers real time experience is based of RAM, and your operating system uses it to run the computer. The laptop came with Windows Vista which is a RAM hog and the more the better with Vista as it alone uses almost 512mb of RAM!
Hard Drive - 120 GB
RAM and Hard Drive are often confused. The Hard Drive is where all the information like your videos, movies, pictures, documents and other files are sorted. So essentially the bigger the better when it comes to Hard Drives is all I can say and the Aspire comes with a 120 GB hard drive, now to today's standard that's quite small, but 3 years ago it was average. However if you really want you can upgrade.
Graphics Chip - Intel GMA 950
The laptop has the low end Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 chip, which provided 128mb of graphics processing power and that is shared with the RAM, so it's poor for gaming and can manage a small majority of games (I found it can pull off Sims 3 and Spore at best). It isn't the perfect machine for Motion graphics either as rendering takes a good few minutes to hours (and will occasionally crash).
Screen - 15.4 Inchs
The screen in a 15.4 inch screen and works at a 1280 x 800 resolution which is pretty average for laptop screens.
The laptop comes with a small selection of ports having 4 USBs, Ethernet, VGA and a PCI ExpressCard Slot as well as 5 in 1 Memory Card reader; basically a good selection of ports on this style of laptop and nothing more is necessary for the average user.
Design, Look and Feel
Right of the bat, I've got to say that it's not the prettiest laptop I've ever seen, having a soft of dull grey and black look about it and nothing really eye catching or impressive. Even the box was very dull and unattractive. The laptops colour scheme is mainly black for the keyboard and screen trim as well as the touch pad (mouse pad) and basically everything else being a dull silver.
The back of the screen contains a small Acer badge/logo which sticks out and the rest of the lid is once again dull grey made of the same material as the base, although it is quite boring, it's the perfect surface for placing stickers and vinyl's, which I ended up doing since I got bored of the bland look of the machine.
The design of the machine is quite compact as the nature of the model; the keyboard is not the full sized version and doesn't contain the number pad, which is substituted for with the 'Fn' key and the number pad indicated by purple numbers on certain letters. An additional 9 buttons are situated on the right side of the keyboard which is basically media macro buttons allowing you to control the Volume, Play/Pause, Stop, Fast Forward and Rewind, the additional 4 are for the Internet. I found these buttons pretty much useless as they tend to be slow to react (lag) and became useless after an operating system reinstall (lost the drivers for the buttons). The keyboard itself is a 1 piece component with the buttons mounted upon a board which connects to the laptops motherboard, essentially this means that the buttons are close together and have gaps in between, which has become a massive nuisance as dirty gets underneath and as well as food crumbs among anything else, also keys after frequent use then to 'adjust' to your typing and bend out of place slightly which increase the risk of those keys breaking off.
Basically the keyboard isn't the best laptop keyboard around and not as well built as other laptop keyboards, but after 3 years of constant typing and all dirty the keyboard is still functional. The main advantage of a keyboard of this type is that it doesn't touch the motherboard and therefore the dirt doesn't get to the important components hence I've gotten away with spilling drink and dropping Pizza on it (on one rare occasion) and it is still functional where as other laptops may have failed.
Touch Pad/Mouse Pad
The mouse pad is quite disappointing on this laptop and began to break after the first year, basically the right button started to cave in slightly and eventually came loose and this lead to the breakdown of the rest of the plastic. Eventually the mouse pad stopped functioning at all and now I have to use an external mouse.
Also the mouse pad isn't built in as part of the casing so there is a gap around the edge where I find crumbs and dirty can get into and even worst a liquid.
The screen is a reasonable 15.4 inch display which can display up to 1280 x 800. The screen itself is pretty average and I find it a little dark sometimes which means I have to put the brightness up on it occasionally especially in dark locations. It is also highly reflective which can be very distracting when watching a movie as you can see yourself in the screen.
However after 3 years of constant use, it hasn't developed any dead pixels or faults in performance.
This laptop may not be a looker but I didn't buy it to win any pageants but to perform to the standard I want it. I must stress that I am not an average PC user, I do look after the hardware by running maintenance programs as well as making sure its performing at its best, but like I've mentioned before I do use the laptop for very demanding tasks.
One of the key aspects of any computer is speed, and this computer provides it. With a Core 2 Duo processor the speed is flawless on this machine booting up programs and running numerous applications at the same time especially with 2 GB of RAM for the system to use. Although the Windows Vista operating system which this machine comes with is a massive resource hog, Windows 7 really takes advantage of the hardware, and it offers outstanding boot up times and shutdown times. I don't see the RAM usage go above 60% on standard!
I'm highly impressed with the hardware in this machine, not only are the parts fast, but also reliable. An average hard drive usually fails within its first 3 years, and coming onto the 4th anniversary the Hard Drive is performing as well as it was brand new.
The DVD Drive is used for writing a lot of media onto DVD's, and often for weeks at a time I will be constantly burning media, and the drive is doing this to the highest standard every time.
Basically the hardware within this computer couldn't be praised enough by me and even now I would buy this laptop because I'll know I will get quality service out it for years to come and not just for the first year when it's still within warranty.
Even though I love this laptop, I can't help but notice that it has some issues and faults with it, when in all fairness have generated over the 3 years of continuous use.
Mouse Pad - The poorly built mouse pad began physically breaking within the year and you're forced to use an external mouse which is fine for home use, but if you're taking your laptop out, you have to carry a mouse.
Wi-Fi Drops - I occasionally find that the Wi-Fi will drop for a few minutes until it resets itself, which is not a big deal, but again you have to stop and wait for it to come back, and even more annoying if your online gaming.
Poor Graphics - Although this is a laptop and an old one at that, the graphics capabilities are very poor for gaming or video editing as it is shared graphics (with RAM) and very slow and weak processing. Barely any modern games can run on this machine and if they can you'd have to run on the lowest possible settings.
Speakers - Something I haven't mentioned yet are the integrated speakers, although they are reasonably good quality speakers, I found that if you turn up a song to full volume, the computer runs the high risk of crashing and with this producing a dreadful noise from the speakers until you manually shut down the machine.
Small Hard Drive - Although back in the day when this machine was new the 120gb hard drive was quite average, by today's standards its really making me work to keep all my files in there, and if you will be using this machine for video and music and you have a fair collection you will struggle to pack it all in.
Battery Life - When new this laptop could do around 2.5 hours of Balanced set performance, however after 3 years the battery has become pretty much useless and you'd be lucky to get 10 minutes out of it.
On the final note, although this laptop is very old and seems like a granddad to some of these new i3 machines being sold, but honestly I can't say I would trade it in for a new laptop of any other make and model because although its old and very tatty, I sense that I can get another year or more from this machine before I NEED to get a new one. So although this model isn't been made by Acer any more, it is being sold in come retail shops and if you are looking for a very reliable laptop, I couldn't recommend this one any more than I have already.
This review is on the acer aspire 5633WLMi. This is an all round good laptop and even though this has great specifications, you can get it for around £450-£500.
When I first came across this laptop I noticed how sleek it really looks, and the picture of it on ciao really doesn't do it any justice.
When companies make laptops with only one colour of plastic it somehow really annoys me, however acer have designed this to be black and silver, this just makes the laptop look so much better and so much more modern that those one tone old laptops.
The top part of the laptop around the screen is black and the bottom is silver, but with a black keyboard which makes it look great.
The shape is actually really thin, especially since a lot of acers older aspires and travel mates have been a little on then chunky side, ok then, a lot on the chunky size!
However when you pick this up you can really feel how thin it is, however this doesn't mean its flimsy, and its actually really good build quality.
Its weight is 2.8 kg, which isn't heavy but to say its quite a small laptop, this shows you how well built it is, and acer have put a lot of effort into it durability.
When I first got to use one of these, I noticed how quickly it started up, this is probably due to its great 2 gb of built in ram. This can even be upgraded to a massive 4 gb if needed.
This laptop also has a Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 which makes the laptop run really fast.
During start up of the laptop, there was quite a bit of fan noise whilst turning on, however you would expect that on a laptop. However whilst on the laptop and when windows is fully loaded, the fan noise cant be heard at all. Even when I loaded a game onto the laptop to test its capability coping with high ram pressure, there was still no fan noise.
This laptop features a 160 gb built in hard drive. This is quite a lot and although a lot of people wont ever use this much space its always good to know you have a lot of space spare to save what ever you need.
This laptop has a lot of great features, like its 6 in 1 built in card reader and its built in webcam at the top of the screen. This camera was actually a quite good one, its only 1.3 mega pixel, however when I used it, I found out it is actually pretty good, however my plug in one I own at home is a lot better quality than this, and it only cost me £20.
A good thing about this one though, that a lot of other laptop webcams don't have, is that this has 225 degree rotation, which means you don't have to move the laptop to the right angle to be in the picture, which is always frustrating.
On the box this says it runs for 2 hours, however when I used it, I somehow never managed to even get 1 and a half hours out of it. Now this might just be a fault in my battery pack, or it could be because I used the screen on full brightness level, and they have measures it for low brightness, however it is supposed to last 2 hours.
Altogether then, this is a pretty good laptop. It does look really good, and is really fast, so it would be an amazing gift for someone if you are quite rich.
I had wanted a laptop for a long time but had never been able to justify the cost when I already had a desktop computer. With the prospect of planning my wedding and spending hours on the internet searching for suppliers etc, I wanted to be able to do that from the comfort of my settee, so I now found myself with a reason (clutching at straws here) to buy a laptop. I spent months looking for the right one to buy, I must have looked at every laptop available under £700. My initial budget went out the window (I stupidly thought I might be able to get a basic one for under £300) and my list of requirements increased from just basic word processing, spreadsheets and internet to being able to play my favourite game (Civilization 4). Having narrowed it down, the Acer Aspire 5633WLMi LX.AG50J.169 was the clear winner. I bought it for £562.83 plus £12.99 next day delivery from Technoworld.com.
I decided the best way to start my search was to buy What Laptop magazine as I didn't really know anything about computer specifications. Armed with my new found computer knowledge I was more realistic about what I could get for my ever expanding budget (now set at £500). In the process of my search I realised just how awful my desktop computer was and that whatever laptop I bought was going to be better than it. I had wanted a laptop that came with Microsoft Office but soon found out that none did (according to the man in PCWorld). I basically wanted the cheapest laptop I could find with a dedicated graphics card so I could play games on it as well. In the end the choice came down to a Lenovo 3000 N100 and the Acer Aspire 5633WLMi, both with the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7300 graphics card. The Lenovo was only £499 compared to £563 for the Acer but the Acer has a dual core processor (the best apparently), double the memory, and a bigger hard drive. I decided for the sake of £60 the Acer was the better choice and would last me longer. I had never heard of Acer before, so I was a bit dubious about buying one, especially as their laptops are so cheap for the specifications you get, but I have no regrets and I guess with the Sony's of the world you are just paying a premium for the name.
The specifications of the Acer were head and shoulders above anything else in the price range. It had the latest Intel processor, an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66 GHz. The processor (or CPU - Central Processing Unit) is the part that does all the calculations, it's the brains of the computer so to speak. The better the processor the faster the machine will be. It comes with 1GB of RAM (Random Access Memory). This is the computers short term memory for the processor. I have heard that 256 MB of RAM is needed just to run Windows, so the minimum RAM you should aim to have is 512MB, and the more you have the quicker your machine will be able to do stuff. For those of you who are interested, the RAM is DDR II SDRAM and the laptop has 2MB of L2 cache, but I must admit I do not have a clue what this means.
It has a 120 GB hard drive, and this is split into two drives of 60 GB each. The hard drive is where all your data is stored. This is rather a lot, and far more than I need. To put this in context I've had my desktop computer for at least 3 years, it has all my photos and music on it, and I haven't even filled half of its 80 GB hard drive yet. I don't think I will ever have the problem of not having enough space with this laptop.
My model (some versions of the Aspire 5633 don't have this graphics card) has an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7300 dedicated graphics card with a turbocache supporting up to 256MB. This was my main requirement for my laptop as if you wish to play more advanced games (e.g. other than solitaire) an integrated card is not good enough (have found this out through personal experience with my desktop computer). I have no desire to play the latest games so I did not need a top of the range graphics card, but this one handles my beloved Civilization 4 perfectly. In fact the graphics look amazing, and the last time I played Civ 4 I got rather fed up with my Fiancé commenting on how good the graphics were every time he walked past.
The laptop comes with Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 and Norton Antivirus preloaded along with Acer Launch Manager, NTI CD-Maker, Acer GridVista, Acer Arcade, Adobe Reader, and Acer Empowering Technology. It is Vista Premium compatible, and mine came with a free upgrade for this which I had to send off for. This has arrived but I have heard that Vista is a bit unstable at the moment so I am going to wait until they have fixed these teething problems before changing operating systems (another daunting task).
The laptop is silver in colour and very thin and light. The dimensions of the laptop are 35.8cm (W) x 26.5cm (D) x 3.6 cm (H) and it weighs 2.8 kg. To open it you slide the catches on the front and lift the screen at the same time which I find can be a bit tricky and some people might struggle (namely my fiancé and it causes arguments about whether he is being careful enough with my precious laptop, sad I know). I find it best to slide the catch and lift with one hand whilst holding the base of the machine with the other. The machine feels well built and sturdy which considering it is at the lower end of the market is surprising.
The screen is a 15.4 inch widescreen TFT and is very nice and bright, and I have not found any problems with glare. It has something called CrystalBrite, from what I can gather this means the screen has an anti-reflective coating which gives the screen brighter and crisper colours. The screen feels quite solid when open, you feel that it is going to stay up. At the top of the screen the laptop also has a 1.3 mega pixel camera which rotates through 225 degrees, but I have never used this.
The keyboard is well laid out and well proportioned. It takes some getting used to not having the numeric keypad, but that is common to most laptops. The keyboard takes up 2/3rds of the base and is the width of the laptop. The keys are large and don't look like they are going to break. There are four buttons at the top of the keyboard. One button gives you access to the Acer Empowering Technology System. This makes it easier for you to access frequently used functions and manage your Acer notebook. One of the buttons opens your internet browser and another button your email software. The forth button is user definable. To the right of the keyboard there are some media shortcut buttons, such as volume, that are rather handy. The mouse pad is located centrally in the bottom third of the base. The majority of it is a touch pad that is very sensitive. You also get a left mouse button and right mouse button and a silver 4 way scroll button which is very useful. Either side of the mouse pad there are two areas you can rest your wrists on. There is an internal microphone for sound recording located to the far right of the palm rest.
The battery is a 6 cell lithium ion battery with a stated run time of up to 2 hours. This is about right, and as the average battery on a laptop these days is about 3 hours, this laptop wouldn't be the best choice if you wanted to take it out and about, but for home use it is fine. The power cable, which is supplied, plugs into the back of the machine and is quite long so you don't have to sit near to a power point if you need to use it plugged in at home.
There are two speakers on the front of the machine. These are quite good but I have found that they are not loud enough if you want to watch TV or a film on the laptop. The slot for your headphone is on the front of the machine so it is easy to plug them in, also the line in and microphone jacks are located next to in on the front.
The laptop has 4 USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 ports, two located on the left side of the machine and the other two on the rear. USB ports are very useful as most peripherals (e.g. printers, broadband) will connect to your computer via USB these days, and with USB they are automatically recognised and installed. USB 2.0 is currently the fastest version of USB with transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps (megabits per second). If you get fed up with the laptops touchpad you can connect a mouse to the laptop via USB, and I have also seen a USB Numeric Keypad. This will most likely be how you will connect your phone, camera and flash memory stick to the laptop, so the more ports the better. I think 4 ports is plenty. There is also a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port on the right side, not entirely sure what this is for but I think this is for use with networks. The 5-in-1 card reader is on the right hand side too. This accepts Memory Stick (MS), Memory Stick Pro (MS PRO), Multimedia Card (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) and XD-Picture Card (xD). I find this very handy as my digital camera uses a SD card and I can just take the card out of my camera and slot it into the laptop without having to find the USB cable (which is never where I think it is). There is also a slot for a type II PC Card. Also located on the rear is the RJ-11 modem point, an S-Video/TV out port (to connect to a TV or display device) and a VGA port (to connect to an external monitor). It has a button on the front for Bluetooth but as far as I am aware my model does not have Bluetooth.
This laptop is Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity, also known as Wireless LAN) enabled. This lets you set up a home network wirelessly if you have a wireless router, and if you connect your broadband to your router (or get a router with a modem) you can access the internet wirelessly from anywhere in your house and share it with other laptops and computers. This laptop has IEEE 802.11 a/b/g. 802.11g is the most common form of Wi-Fi at the moment, and has data transfer speeds of up to 54 Mbps, which is fine for surfing the internet and file sharing. I currently access the internet via ADSL broadband connected to the laptop via USB. We only have 1Mbps broadband but I find the laptop is fast enough, I have watched videos on youtube.com with no problem or delay, whereas my desktop always struggled with this. Shortly after buying this laptop I purchased a wireless router, and after some teething problems (with the router), all works well.
The laptop has an integrated DVD DVD-RAM/DVDRW (+R double layer) drive, this is located on the right, and looks a bit flimsy when open. When you first put a disk into it is very noisy, but soon quietens down. This drive lets you burn stuff onto DVD's and CD's, and is very easy to use.
This laptop came with one years collect and return manufacturers warranty. It also has international travellers warranty. I have not needed to use this or the customer support. The instruction manual is very easy to understand, and as it also only has the English version of the manual in it, it isn't the size of a small novel.
I would like the think I have a fairly average knowledge of computers (I can install programs with no problem and can put the cables in the right hole if needed) but setting up a computer from scratch scared me. I needn't have worried as it was very easy. The instruction manual doesn't contain any setup information but you get a card with the laptop that shows you how to set it up. It comes with all cables you need but it is worth having some blank CD/DVDs handy when it comes to doing the recovery disk. To set the laptop up you turn it on and a wizard takes you through everything, and even prompts you to make a recovery installation CD/DVD for you. I must say I think even my Mum could have set it up (no offence mum) and she has been known to struggle to turn a computer on before. During the setup I must have selected the wrong keyboard option (I went for the defaults) as when I press the @ key I get a " and visa versa, so a tip when setting this laptop up - do not select the USA keyboard. This flummoxed me when I came to setup my broadband connection as I needed to enter my email address, and instead of the @ I was getting a ". I finally got my Dad to fix this and now all my buttons are in the right place and I have a £ sign again (for some reason the Americans do not feel the need to have a £ on their keyboards even though we have $ on ours).
The laptop comes with Norton Antivirus, which every time I switch the laptop on pops up to tell me that everything is fine or that something needs fixing. I don't particularly like Norton and wish it hadn't been preinstalled. I have had no problems installing and running software. The first thing I did once the laptop was all setup, and before I connected to the internet, was to make sure the Windows firewall was turned on, which it was. I then went to softpedia.com and downloaded free versions of some important software. First I installed AVG antivirus and did a scan. I then installed Zonealarm and Spybot and did a scan with these. After that I installed Civ 4 to ensure it would work (I had major problems when I installed it on my PC) and there were no issues. I have also since downloaded Firefox (internet browser, much better than explorer) and Open Office (free version of Microsoft Office, not as good but then it is free so can't complain) and have had no problems.
The machine is very quiet, and even when the cooling fans kick in it is still quite quiet. The laptop can get quite hot if it has been on for a while and you are using it on your lap as the cooling vent on the bottom is blocked by your left leg. I am going to get a pad to put the laptop on so that air can circulate underneath as I am rather paranoid about it overheating. The only time it has ever crashed it had been on for 7 hours when Civ 4 decided to freeze. Not sure if this was down to the laptop getting too hot or the game as it is not uncommon for the game to crash and I have not had problems with the laptop before.
My only gripe with the machine is that it takes forever to start up. I timed it. I haven't bothered with user accounts so when I turn the machine on it goes straight into Windows. It takes 2 minutes 40 until everything has loaded and you can actually use the machine, I don't know how this compares to other laptops but I find this slow and frustrating. Once started up speed is not an issue, it easily copes with all tasks. I normally like to have a dozen things open at once and it copes effortlessly. I find it best to turn it on then go make a cup of tea while I wait for it to start up.
Overall I am very happy with my laptop. The laptop is very good value for money, and it is solidly built. As the battery life is quite poor it is probably best for home users. I definitely would recommend it.
Thanks for reading. Also on ciao as rd52169.
I have from about two months this absolutely fantastic notebook. My version has also the bluetooth incorporated and this gives back it very useful for the connections. We come to the pc. The line acer according to me is marvellous, an of the most attractive. Until a little while ago however I thought that they be attractive alone of aesthetics, they were too economical. Then they convinced to take me the one and with this model find me a lot well
The hard disk has 120 giga of space, and does not there be able certain to complain. The processor is very swift and the ram from 2 giga gives back the swift pc also in the intense activities more "weighing". To understood often of to ascend filmed and shorts and I ensure yourselves that to support certain programs of assembly a ram of the type serves many to portable difference of my precendete the battery is excellent, that of before lasted (also in the beginning) a mezzoretta this arrives also to a hour and half hour and after some week of utilization works to the better one. The screen is very spacious and with attractive colors suitable to see the film, seems me that this system you are called widescreen if I do not wander, however it is seen a lot well and does not tire the eyes. The keyboard is very comfortable and is pleasant to press over be the keys. The sound is very good and if looked at a film be able to do it without supplementary boxes (thing that first should do) besides the varied connections there is that wireless incorporated, that is to say means that we can sail in internet turning for case (having a modem wireless obviously) or if we travel we can join us in you, you accommodate, refreshing seen that these connections now I am wherever. A pc to my perfect warning, swift and precise, for now (moving iron and something else) never has blocked and never given problems. It is easily transportable because it is it read and practical but I advise always of
not to exaggerate with the transportation as it is always a technological device and therefore delicate. It is lacking obviously the entry for the floppy now surpassed from the cd and from the chiavette (there are 4 next usb). It has two masterizzatore dvd. The installation is simple and driven. Upwards to the monitor there it is the webcam incorporated that works to wonder and contributes to enrich this object!!! the advice to all! !!! The operating system with that I took it and windows xp (that advise to take yourselves)
A few weeks ago I decided to buy a new laptop that would aid me in my studies but not hurt my bank account, and after some careful observations i decided to opt for this particular model given its value for money yet surprisingly high specification.
What made this laptop so appealing to me was the chance of owning one of the fairly recently distributed Intel Core 2 Duo processors and Windows Vista operating system (now pre-installed on Acer Aspire models) at a fraction of the cost of rival competitors.
To start actually reviewing this product then!
Well I find the exterior sleek and professional, it seems slightly smaller than the average laptop which is obviously great for people who need to work in a variety of condtions like trains and use generally between journeys. I found the bigger laptops are just not practical for the functions that they are actually intended for.
Opening the laptop up and your greeted with a decent sized Qwerty keyboard and a selection of really useful shortcut keys. Along the side there are keys specifically for playback of video-handy if your watching a DVD and want to skip a scene or pause play suddenly. Other than the shortcut keys the design build is that of the typical laptop of today.
After turning on the power button Windows Vista instantly installed and I was up and running after about five minutes. Thats very quick from my past experiance with computers, however as this is my first laptop then it could be that laptops generally setup the system faster (feel free to leave a comment). I was instantly impressed with the screen quality, much better than my old 15' LCD which my last computer used, the colours are really defined and because the screen has some sort of anti-reflective shield on it the image on the screen never seems to get distorted.
Performance wise it is excellent, as I mentioned earlier in the review its processor is made for running programs simultanously without the risk of crashing or slowing down, coupled with Windows Vista the speed of start-up and activating programs proves really fast.
The first shortfall I can tell you that even though this laptop posseses a 224mb internal Intel Graphics chip running computer games on the system is almost impossible. It seems when this laptop was designed it was not for advanced computer graphics. This isn't a major critiscism as I will mostly be using this laptop for work and all the other functions of the laptop seem to run well.
For use in the home the provided wireless antenna connection to a home network is extremely useful- I can take my laptop into my garden and the built in wireless antenna seems to always hold a signal above 50%.
Battery life seems sufficient, a thirty to forty-five minute charge will usually last you about 2 to 2.5 hours, about enough time for use for a short journey or a DVD.
I am not going to go too much into the specification of this machine as the full list can be found above, but I would like to say that Windows Vista is a much more accessible version of Windows and seems really appropiate when you use it on a laptop.
After a few weeks of constant use with this machine I still feel as satified as the day i bought it, I could strongly recommend this unit to those who will want to run multiple applications side-by-side for work or media,
and for the price (well mine set me back £579 from PC World) its a good buy.