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The Acer Extensa laptop is the very first laptop i have purchased at a moderate amount of £330 which i think is quite cheap for laptop nowadays. Unfortunantly my experience with this laptop has not been a good one as it constantly freezes at the first opportunity and takes at least 5 minutes for it to respond again which gets annoying especially if you are in the middle of writing a review, like this one, or purchasing a product online. In addition to this, the Acer Extensa 5220 takes forever to load up which sometimes puts me off using it as i can access the internet a lot faster on either my pocket PC or desktop computer. The battery life however is reasonably good for a laptop at around 1 hour 45 minutes before you have to plug in the AC adapter to charge it back up. The laptop also comes with Windows Vista pre-installed which is a plus but even with all the features that are listed at the top of the page, i would not recommend this laptop to anyone just for it not being reliable enough and not being able to store as much as some of the other laptops and computers that are around today. If you do buy this laptop do not expect it to do anything special as i believe it is one of Acer's poorest laptops to date.
I last reviewed a budget laptop at the tail end of 2000. It had cost me £1,000 and I didn't like it much.
Now I'm typing this review on an exponentially faster laptop with more than 40 times the hard disk space, and it was a quarter of the price. Truly, we are living in the future.
I still don't like it much.
I bought this machine so I could work on novels and short stories without leaving my bed. I really am that lazy and I make no apology for it.
To look at, it's a totally standard laptop, the screen folds down over the keyboard with a single catch at the front. There's one of those trackpad things which people seem to hate so much, but I've never had a problem with them at all. There are a few variations of this model, and some have a built-in webcam. Mine is probably the last laptop ever built that doesn't have a built-in webcam, but I've seen it on other people's, and the picture quality is good. Mine does have a built-in microphone, however, which picks up speech for Skype and things with remarkable clarity.
Pressing all the right buttons?
Down the left-hand side of the keyboard are a column of those 'feature' keys that offer shortcuts to email and internet browsers and things. Not only have I never used them on this machine, but I don't know anyone who has ever used these on any computer, ever. They're called 'productivity keys' on this model, apparently. Because having some buttons that you have to manually configure is so much more productive than clicking on desktop tray icons?
Finally, there are various stickers branding the machine as having Windows Vista (Basic) and Intel Celereon Inside. Quite why the obsessive attempts to build brands around things you get in your computer pretty much as a default, I've no idea.
My God, it's full of holes ...
The sides of the device are peppered with holes for devices of various kinds, some of which I have absolutely no idea about, if I'm being honest. For the casual user, be assured that there's four USB sockets, which seems more than enough for a portable device (I've never used more than two at any one time), as well as a mouse socket and jacks for headphones, microphones and speakers.
The screen is 15.4", which is slightly larger than any laptop screen I've used before. I've used it for well over a year now, it gives a steady display and I've not suffered any eyestrain to speak of.
Intel Inside, with some other stuff, hopefully ...
On switching the laptop on, it chunters away for far too many minutes booting up Vista and then loading a whole bunch of trial software that they think you're then going to be stupid enough to pay for. Probably this aspect will vary according to the exact package you buy, but in terms of software I found I didn't even have a free word processor package, just Microsoft Office waiting for a registration key I didn't have. Now pretty much everyone is online and can register for software, I've noticed the number of pre-installed packages has plummeted. On my last desktop PC (purchased in 2003), Office was an extra £150, but the basic machine came with Microsoft Works at least.
By the time everything's finished loading and installing, you'll probably find you've run out of memory and need to quit most of the programs. The computer comes with 1GB of RAM as standard, which should still be more than enough in this day and age, but it is dragged down by the memory-crunching beast that is Windows Vista. I truly loathe Windows Vista. It takes up stupid amounts of memory on computers that aren't really up to running it, and what do you get? A sidebar with a clock on it and a picture of a waterfall?
Vista's limitations don't reflect on the laptop itself, but as it's very hard to get the machine without the operating system, it has to be a consideration. The sad fact is that the Extensa 5220 isn't really capable of running with all the stuff that comes pre-installed, and you'll need to spend a few hours deleting stuff in order to get it running above a snail's pace.
Hard Times ...
The machine comes with an 80GB hard drive... sort of. They've taken the bizarre step of partitioning the hard drive into a C: and D: drive. And Vista and things take up the lion's share of the C: drive (which is also the default drive every time you want to save something). So basically half your hard drive is a nightmare to get to, and the other half's already full. Smooth work, lads.
Other stuff ...
There's a DVD rewriter drive, but for some reason it wouldn't let me watch a DVD without installing hundreds of DIVx things.
The only ventilation panels are on the bottom, so it overheats if you use it in bed. Which is the only reason to have a laptop at home anyway.
The wi-fi basically works well, but if you travel with it, it picks up every single network it detects and saves it to its list, and I can't work out how to delete them again. There's close to a thousand now, after I used the machine on a bus from Wimbledon to Richmond one day.
The battery lasts around an hour and a half. Longer if you turn off the screen's backlighting and stuff like that, but it's still at least half an hour longer than any other laptop battery I've used in the past.
Having said all that...
This laptop has worked reliably enough for me for about 18 months now, and had proved itself to be robust and durable. It's a cheap model, costing around £350 in shops, and I got it for £250 because I bought it on a business account through a company I worked for. It's totally adequate for word processing, surfing the web and managing photos and music. It's not so hot for video, but a RAM upgrade should more or less sort that out. It handles World of Warcraft cheerfully enough, but I still tend to use my desktop for most other games.
I'm scoring it low because it should never have been put on sale with Vista installed, and all those other niggling problems with software. These are all things that you can work around if you know what you're doing, and I have, but computers are mostly sold to people who don't know what they're doing these days, and who might actually be stupid enough to pay to register their pre-installed Microsoft Office, instead of downloading Open Office absolutely free and legally.
So, yes, it's a decent enough machine that's been packaged poorly. Approach with caution.
I purchased my laptop at Christmas via the Park catalogue, it arrived in November 2008. Since then I have used this for my work, entertainment and job seeking.
It's a pretty basic laptop if you ask me, well I may be a tad bit off of hand here as this is indeed my first laptop, therefore I have no other experiences on how other laptops work- but I'm gunna give a review a try all the same which may be a bit tricky, so iff this isn't to your liking- I did warn you.
I feel that the storage is very poor, with only 80 GB which is divided into two sections, one of which is almost impossible to get to the other contains everything that keeps the laptop working. I feel that this is not enough. It's not good for those that use the laptop for entertainment purposes. For example, I used to have loads of memory left however, after I installed Sims 3, this was not the case. Meaning that I now have to buy an external hard drive because of the lack of memory. I know many of you will say this is your own fault for installing the game on, however, I feel that a laptop is made for all purposes, meaning that it should have a good amount of memory on.
I feel that the battery life is pretty good with an average of 2 hours once fully charged, however it never lasts 2 hours. The good thing about it is you can charge it while you are using it- I understand that with some other laptops this can be a bit of a problem, however with this one it is perfectly fine. One thing I have found is that the battery life never really sticks to the predicted time it has left, this will only be accurate if you leave it in a room and just don't touch it. However, if you are using it all the time for internet purposes and work, this tends to take the battery life out pretty quickly.
Another thing that I have noticed about this laptop is the fact that It has a tendency to crash, and not recover itself. Which means the only way that you are then able to recover it is by taking the battery out and restarting it, which I feel is not the best solution for a laptop. However, if you do wish to use the internet after this has happened it's best to use it on the safe mode with networking Admittedly everything turns out a bit bigger but you connect to the internet quicker- manually. And it works much faster.
Internet connection- it's relatively good for finding an internet connection, I don't know whether this is due to the LAN detector being strong or my internet being good, I just couldn't say. However, it finds the internet and connects, the annoying thing about it is that you can stay in the same place, not have the phone go off and you still lose the internet connection, once again I don't know whether this is the laptop itself or the internet. I have a pretty good feeling that it is the laptop though.
Down the left hand side of the keyboard area are 7 shortcut buttons all of which perform different tasks- as I'm not a man I'm going to admit that I haven't used all of them as I'm scared of what they will do. However, I know how annoying it is when you go to press tab but you press the 'lock' button instead so that the computer goes to sleep for a bit until you can log yourself back on. Good thing that it resumes everything including that 10 page essay you were just typing up and forgot to save.
The cursor/mouse thing
Just the same as any other laptop however, it's not that little red ball thing in-between some buttons it actually is a pad before the keypad in which you roll your finger over and the curser follow you.
Value for money
For what I paid for this it isn't worth it, I paid over £400 for this laptop- however, since I had bought it my partner informed me that he had purchased the same laptop a few months to a year before me and it cost him much cheaper, one word: Ooops.
So going on the fact that I got ripped off and looking at what he paid for it, £200 or around that for this laptop is perfectly reasonable as it's cheap and cheerful and does the job.
When I first put a DVD into the DVD disk drive, nothing happened. I was a bit confused, until I decided to download VCL player, then it worked. I'm one of these people that likes everything to be on it when I but it, therefore I was a bit naffed off when I found out that it wouldn't play DVD's unless I downloaded something else to take up more memory.
CD's are able to be played and ripped on this system as well as burning them onto your hard drive, however- watch the memory disappear. The system has good speakers built in, somewhere. And you are able to mute them if the sound gets a tad bit annoying.
It has a nice shape, black- although pink would have been nice, not too bulky for a huge screen in which is PERFECT for watching dvds, although it blacks out a few times to same power.
The wi-fi thing gets a bit excited as it goes crazy when it sees a few internet connections that are avalaible, i suppose it's best to have it overactive than underactive...
It consists of 4 usb sockets which is very good if you are using it for work and which to backup as many things as possible, and using the webcam at the same time.
Almost forgot to mention it, it doensn't have a built in webcam! How annoying!
I am really getting stuck here, so I will update if I find something else to write about.
I purchased this laptop originally to get me through college, that did the trick and got me through my A-levels. Now I use it for entertainment and writing reviews.
I feel that I must say if you are purchasing this for school and college make sure that you don't use it for entertainment and that you have a family computer that you can do this with. However, if you are in uni- make sure that you get a cheap hard drive to accommodate this.
Good luck, and don't say you haven't been warned.
This laptop is the Acer Extensa 4220-101G08Mi. The extensa is a new model from acer and although they have been working on it for over a year now it wasn't until a few months ago that these laptops went on sale. I still don't think that it's a brand of acer laptops that most people will be familiar with yet however I think it will grow and they will get better and more and more people will buy them just like what happened with the travel mate and the aspires.
Its basically a follow up from the Acer aspire however the aspires were made mainly to keep at home and for a laptop to use around the house. These new extensa models though are not only made or that but also incorporate the design specification of the older travel mate models so that they are also quite portable so really it gives you the opportunity to use your laptop for whatever you want to use it for.
This one looks a bit different from previous acer laptops and also some other acer extensas, I think the reason for this is that it's a bit more portable than the other ones so perhaps that's why they have changed the design for it so you can tell it's a portable one.
It looks kind of rounded and the base going in at the sides makes it appear really thin and sleek.
It is just one colour though, black which makes it appear a bit dull but it doesn't look terrible and actually looks kind of modern.
It only has a basic 1gb of ram installed however it is just a basic laptop and with a cheap price so you cant really expect that much out of it. It can handle a maximum of 2gb though so you could easily buy another 1gb of ram for under £20 and just easily install it so that it would be a lot quicker and this is probably something I would do.
Also a basic feature is the installed hard drive which is only 80gb. Again this isn't a lot however it should be enough for most people and if not you could easily just buy a portable hard drive to store anything else you might need on.
In terms of extra features it does have a 5 in 1 card reader built into it which can read any of, SD Memory Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card.
It also has Acer 3DSonic stereo speakers which are great for playing music on asbwell as if your watching videos or anything else that might need sound. They are quite a good quality of speakers and do go very loud too.
This one is definitely the more portable version of the acer extensa. It only has a 14.1 inch screen which is just slightly smaller than the average 15.4 inch screens on most laptops. This sight compromise on the screen size makes the laptop smaller as well as making it lighter and even saves on battery life.
Its battery life can last about 3 hours which is really good for any laptop. Also making it portable is its quite light weight 2.4 kg which is a lot lighter than the average laptop.
This is a good laptop if you want something cheap to either take around with you or just to keep in the house. Its not the quickest of laptops however it does what you want it to do and its quite portable too.
However being able to get this laptop for just £300 its definitely worth a try if your not sure what laptop you want to buy.