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I got this laptop in September for university and so far it is exactly what I need.
It's design is pretty sleek for a laptop and easy to use , it comes with a large widescreen making it great for watching movies as well as day-to-day computing. The touchpad, which is slightly to the left so there is a palm-rest for right-handers, is responsive although it feels wierd to the touch The keyboard is good for touch-typing but sometimes particiles of dust among other things can get stuck inbetween the cracks. What I liked were the buttoms to the side of the keyboard that toggle the bluetooth and wireless on/off- very convinient if you're restarting either. There are also shortcuts to put laptop on sleep mode, turn it off, increase/decrease volume and more. Unfortunately the laptop lid's finish is shiny and so attracts fingerprints like a magnet, so it will get smudged easily.
The specifications are decent considering the laptop's age. Personally I've upgraded from a very old laptop so to me it feels amazingly fast and very responsive. I will say that occasionally there are crashes but that could be because of the software I have. It's also great for multitasking and the graphics card means it can play some of the recent PC games (not the really recent or the most demanding however, but then you should be looking at a desktop for those kind of games), so useful for all-round entertainment. It comes with some very useful Acer software including a backup manager and webcam software. Office isn't installed but there is a demo available.
The battery life is perhaps the least impressive feature; when I first recieved this (used) it almost lasted two hours and now it's slightly less than 1.5 hrs, but you have to bear in mind the laptop's screen size and that it's not the best to carry around day to day.
Now, I'm a bit of a techno-geek. I've got a number of the mod cons and hi-tech gear. I'm lacking an iPad but I feel that'll be rectified soon. And when it comes to a laptop, my old Dell Inspiron finally died a death around Xmas last year after 5 years service, so Father Christmas brought along the Acer Aspire 7535...and here it is for you to read about...
Despite being a person who loves his gadgets, I rarely know the ins and outs of how it all works and what it all means, so excuse me later on while I simply list the bits and pieces that make this laptop tick... You techies out there can salivate over it in peace. In the meantime, let me explain the laptop to you in Lehman's terms and with regards to everyday use.
The first thing that struck me about this laptop is the sheer size of it. A screen of just over 17 inches is probably bigger than my TV!
It comes in a dark blue gloss finish, with the Acer logo embossed on the front of it. It uses small dead weights in the top of the screen to close it and keep it shut rather than a latch, which is used readily in older laptops as a means of closing it.
Opening the laptop up, and the QWERTY keyboard is flat, unlikely many laptop keyboards, which are ever so slightly raised with concaved keys to make it feel more like typing on a desktop computer. On that basis, this keyboard can take a few days to get used to, especially if you're not a fast typist and your constantly searching the keyboard to make sure you've got the right keys as you can't do it on feel so much as you can with a raised keyboard.
The keyboard also provides a number pad, which is a great convenience as this is often missing from laptops. This is accommodated due to the size on the laptop, and sizes you messing around with the top line of numbers above the letters.
One sticking point for me, as with any laptop I've ever used, is the mouse-pad on the laptop, which uses your finger as the mouse. This one is sensitive enough - some times it is over sensitive and reacts as if you've double-clicked things when you actually haven't. This sort of problem never happens with a mouse and using a mouse is less strain on your wrist, so my simply answer is use a mouse - that's what I do, and you don't have to worry about dragging your finger around the pad precisely in order to do tasks such as copying a small bit of text or dragging stuff around the screen.
There are buttons to the side of the keyboard, which turn off and on the bluebooth, wireless signal and the Acer Backup Manager. These shortcut keys are there simply for convenience - I'm not quite sure why you'd want to disable the wireless connective, but each to their own!
The Fn key (also known as the 'Function' key for the technophobes out there!) allows you to use the keys in different modes. For example, a number of the F2, F3, F4 etc. etc. keys can be used as buttons such as mute, sleep and bluetooth by holding down the Fn key and pressing the corresponding button. The details of what each button does is explained in simply forms in blue print on each key, and more details are available in the manual, but a lot of them are straight-forward and say what you see mode.
I'm currently running it on Vista, but do have a Windows 7 upgrade disc at my disposal, but I've just never got round to uploading it...I've heard mixed reviews so will stick to the older version until the flaws are ironed out.
The operating system is as fast as you'd expect. Being a fairly hefty sized laptop, the system must be fairly quick due to the sheer size, and the battery life when unplugged is impressive - you can select a mode which you wish to operate in - either Balanced, Power Saver, or High Performance - High Performance for example will operate exactly as it would when plugged in, but the battery life will drain very quickly. Having it in Power Saver mode will slow things down somewhat, but will ensure it lasts a couple of hours, even when you're doing a couple of things at once.
One element on unreliability is the battery however - on occasions when your battery gets low, and you plug in the power pack, the screen will ust go to black, and freeze there. The computer is clearly still operating as normal behind the black screen but it seems the only way to resolve it is by restarting the laptop. So be wary of that.
I've only played DVDs on here a couple of times, despite the large screen size, but after inserting a disc into the drive it takes only a matter of seconds until it is ready to play. The speed of the computer is truly impressive, and having had it for nearly 8 months now, it has not yet begun to deteriorate, despite being used on a daily basis.
Obviously with all laptops/desktops nowadays, you are provided with a basic anti-virus software, often for a limited period of up to 6 months. I personally use Bullguard, which is for a different review all together, but always remember to protect your laptop, regardless of how much or how little you use the internet.
And finally, as promised, here are the specifications for the product (lifted straight from the Acer website, so thanks very much to them for being so detailed!):
· AMD Better By Design program, featuring: AMD TurionTM X2 dual-core mobile processor with 1 MB L2 Cache supporting AMD HyperTransportTM 3.0 technology
· DDR2 memory, upgradeable to 4 GB using dual soDIMM modules
· One S-ATA hard disc drive
· 4X Blu-ray DiscTM/DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive (on models with dedicated graphics only!)
· 17.3" HD+ 1600 x 900 pixel resolution, high-brightness (220-nit) Acer CineCrystalTM LED-backlit TFT LCD, supporting simultaneous multi-window viewing via Acer GridVistaTM
· 16.7 million colours
· 16:9 aspect ratio
· 8 ms high-def response time
· 60% color gamut
· ATI Mobility RadeonTM HD 4570 with up to 2304 MB of HyperMemoryTM (512 MB of dedicated DDR2 VRAM, up to 1792 MB of shared system memory*), supporting Unified Video Decoder (UVD), OpenEXR High Dynamic-Range (HDR) technology, Shader Model 4.1, Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 (* depending on size of system memory)
· Dual independent display support
· MPEG-2/DVD decoding
· WMV9 (VC-1) and H.264 (AVC) decoding
· Acer ArcadeTM Deluxe featuring Acer CinemaVisionTM and Acer ClearVisionTM technologies
· Dolby®-optimized surround sound system with two built-in stereo speakers and one subwoofer supporting low-frequency effects
· Optimized 2nd Generation Dolby Home Theater® audio enhancement, featuring Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Digital Live, Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx, Dolby® Headphone, Dolby® Natural Bass and Dolby® Sound Space Expander technologies· True5.1-channel surround sound output
· High-definition audio support
· S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) support for digital speakers
· MS-Sound compatible
· Acer PureZone technology with two built-in stereo microphones, featuring beam forming, echo cancellation, dynamic gain control (TBC), and noise suppression technologies
· Acer Video Conference featuring integrated Acer Crystal Eye webcam, supporting enhanced Acer PrimaLiteTM technology (manufacturing option)
· Acer InviLinkTM 802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED® network connection, supporting Acer SignalUpTM wireless technology
· 56K ITU V.92 modem with PTT approval; Wake-on-Ring ready
· Gigabit Ethernet; Wake-on-LAN ready
· Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)(manufacturing option)
· 4x USB 2.0 ports
· 1x HDMITM (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port with HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support
· 1x external display (VGA) port
· 1x Headphones/speaker/line-out jack with S/PDIF support
· 1x Microphone-in jack
· 1x Line-in jack
· 1x Modem (RJ-11) port
· 1x Ethernet (RJ-45) port
· 1x DC-in jack for AC adapter
· ACPI 3.0 CPU power management standard: supports Standby and Hibernation power-saving modes
· 71 W (8-cell) or 48.8 W (6-cell) Li-ion battery pack
· Up to 3.5 hour battery life (with 8 cell battery)
· Acer QuicChargeTM technology:* 80% charge in 1 hour* 2-hour rapid charge system-off* 3-hour charge-in-use
· 90 W AC adapter
· 105-/106-key keyboard with inverted "T" cursor layout, 2.5 mm (minimum) key travel
· Touchpad pointing device with Acer Bio-Protection fingerprint reader*, featuring Acer FingerNav 4-way control function (* manufacturing option)
· 10 function keys, four cursor keys, two Windows® keys, hotkey controls, independent standard numeric keypad, international language support
· Easy-launch buttons: WLAN, Internet, email, Bluetooth®*, Acer ArcadeTM(* manufacturing option)
· Acer MediaTouch keys: play/pause, stop, previous, next
· 410 (W) x 286 (D) x 35/41.5 (H) mm (16.14 x 11.25 x 1.37/1.63 inches)
· 3.25 kg (7.1 lbs.) with 6-cell battery pack
· Keyboard-switch life test
· Acer ArcadeTM Deluxe featuring Cinema, Album, Music, Acer HomeMedia
· Acer Crystal Eye
· Acer Backup Management
· McAfee Internet Security Suite 60-day trial version
· Adobe® Reader®
· NTI Media MakerTM
· Microsoft® Works 9 with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial (Service Pack 1)
· Microsoft® Windows LiveTM Essentials
· External USB floppy disk drive
· One-year International Travellers Warranty (ITW)