A couple of weeks ago, I started cleaning my closet and found, guess what? A laptop! While you might think that my closet is a magic one and things, especially electronics, just start popping out of thin air, let me assure you, it's not the case, no matter how much I wish it would be... :))
So cleaning my closet got me to this laptop I shoved in there about 7 months ago, when my ex girlfriend brought it over for me to take a look at. It was not working for her, it kept beeping and doing nothing else. Because beeping is usually caused by faulty memory or processor, I told her not to bother too much with it, since I did not have spare parts anyway, especially not on Christmas. Shoved deep into the closet, forgotten and alone the Acer Extensa 5220 waited patiently for me to find it again. Which I did, and I am mighty happy I did.
Seeing other reviews is what provoked me to write this one to be honest, because I believe there's just too many negative reviews about this laptop. True, this one was beeping like crazy as well, but that's no reason to chuck it out either. After further investigation, I decided, all it needed was a new hard drive, which I got for £30 brand new on Amazon, a Seagate. Let me tell you, since then this laptop works like a champ. Sure it's old, which is why I am only going to list the major features, and talk more about how this laptop is actually better than most. With 7 years under its belt, and only a hard-drive failure which in my opinion does not say much about the laptop itself, I believe this old fella' has a few more Christmases to see.
It was designed as a budget laptop, and Acer as a brand while huge does not necessarily inspire confidence, still managed to cram some interesting features into it. For instance, the audio-in port alongside the microphone and headphone port. To this day, most laptops do not feature an audio-in port. But that's not all. This all bells-and-whistles laptop has a 5 in 1 card reader (remember it was built in 2007), infra-red port, Bluetooth and WiFi, obviously. Then come the 4 Hi-speed USB ports... Four! Most laptops, even the very expensive ones only feature 3. This has 4. The comes the fire-wire, the S-video output next to the VGA port and even a 1000Base-T network card port. Now, that's what I call impressive and connectivity oriented on a budget laptop. Top that if you can.
Once you open the lid, you'll find even more welcome surprises. The keyboard is curved to accommodate your fingers better while typing. I used and fixed many laptops and never have I seen a budget one where they cared enough to be concerned about your health. On the side you will also find short-cut buttons for locking the machine, accessing email, browser, refresh, etc.
The structural quality of this laptop is another one of its strengths. Acers are not generally known as strong and well-built laptops, especially not the lower end models. This however went through hell and came back in one piece. When I say hell, I mean hell. There are serious and extensive burn-marks on it caused by fire (not from overheating, because it doesn't). Knowing my ex and her daughter's temper, it was also tossed around quite a lot, which is why I believe the hard-drive died in the first place. Build-wise this laptop takes all the stars available.
The Acer Extensa 5220 was designed for Windows Vista Basic. Now, because I am sick and tired of Vista, and have been for a long time now, I decided to test the laptop's limits with the new and legally downloadable from Microsoft, the Windows Blue (Windows 8.1). Ladies and gentlemen. It works, and it works well. With all the Vista and some generic Windows 8 drivers, this laptop performs very well for its age and tech specs, which I am going to mention now just to illustrate what resources this machine has available for the latest Windows out.
Intel Celeron M 530 / 1.73 GHz processor, with 553 MHz bus speed and 1 Mb L2 cache. To that comes added 1 gig of DDR2 memory, a Sata 250 GB Seagate Hard-drive and a DVD Writer. An 1280x800 glossy widescreen with built-in microphone, and 2 speakers which don't produce the best sound at full volume, at the bottom. That's pretty much it. Videos are driven by the Intel GMA X3100 with 64Mb of memory available. Still, able to play back up to 720p, though 480p seems a bit smoother.
I am in no way stating that this laptop outperforms today's budget Intel i3 or AMD A4, A6 CPU powered machines. That would be unrealistic of me. However let's cut this old chap some slack, because after 7 years to run the latest Windows with no hiccup, to go through hell and back and still come out intact, and be able to do everything it did 7 years ago, now that to me is a good laptop, one that deserves attention and appreciation for all the hard work it did and will keep on doing for the next couple of years.
P.S. Even the battery lasts for around 15 minutes!
P.S. 2: I am keeping this laptop! :))
This laptop was given to me as a work computer. I have had it for a while now and am not a fan. This is the first ACER I have used and would not purchase one out of choice based on this one.
This laptop is definitely on the larger size. It measures 36 cm x 26cm. It is also quite heavy which is not the best for a computer that I have to cart backwards and forwards from work. The screen is big which is good for watching films though. It is quite sleek and I hard waring (except for the cable which I will come to later).
What it comes with
It is not a computer that claims to be top of the range but does come with all the basics expected of a laptop like speakers, CD writer, microphone and wireless connection. The speakers aren't of the best quality but do a job. I watch films on the computer and as long as there is no background noise they are adequate enough.
The CD player runs smoothly but is quite noisy. This is not a continuous noise but does become quite tiresome. I cannot comment on the CD writer as I have not used this.
WARNING: If you are using this laptop for a prolonged period of time it does become very hot underneath and has left red marks on my legs. I now use the laptop with something underneath.
Right now for the bit I don't understand and I am quoting this:
"It has a Processor Intel Celeron M 530 / 1.73 GHz
Data Bus Speed 553 MHz
Chipset Type Mobile Intel GL960 Express
Type L2 Cache
Installed Size 1 MB
Installed Size 512 MB / 2 GB (max)
Hard Drive 80 GB - Serial ATA-150"
It has 2 USB ports which are towards the front of the computer. These are well placed as I do not find I knock them or that they get in the way like I have experienced with other computers.
The Keyboard is simple to use with large, easy touch buttons. This is the same with the touchpad. It is sensitive enough to register all movements but not ridiculously so that you catch it as you are typing like I have experienced with others.
I have found over time the computer has slowed quite considerably. This is definitely not a computer for gamers but more as a word processor and for basic internet browsing. I would definitely not recommend being away form a power source for long as the battery life isn't good. I have found the battery will last an hour and a half max. I also have the added problem that my adapter no longer fits snuggly into the computer so it stops charging regularly. I have purchased a new adapter which works better but still disconnects at times so it is the inside of the computer that has become damaged.
It really is a standard computer that will never win awards. I wouldn't advise people to buy this but then it's a cheap lap top so you get exactly what you paid for.
I have had this laptop for 18 months. It was bought as a secondary pc to go with our main desk top pc. It looks sleek and high quality, with a dark grey finish. This is hardwearing and after a fair amount of carrying around the house is not scratched.
It copes very well with basic office packages - word, excel explorer etc. However, the laptop struggles playing online games. The graphics package copes ok with WOW in everyday play, but cannot manage the high action dungeons - I regularly get screen crashes.
The other issue I have with this laptop is the power cable. The original one had a right angled plug into the pc, rather than a stright one. As a result, the internal wiring became damaged and I have had to buy a new power adapter. This was made worse by the poor battery time (approx 1.5 hours), so I had to put up with total lack of power for a number of days whilst waiting for a new cable.