So, I've bought this laptop a few days ago and after getting away with the preinstalled vista and the huge number of little software included in the package I have to say it is one of the best devices I've came across.
1: Core 2 Duo P8400, ranking a number 37 in notebookcheck's review ( which is pretty good, comparing with 5800 or the most common processor in this price range - the t4200).
2: Most of the models come with the HD 3470 which is a really good video card from ATI Radeon. I've installed a few games too, like F.E.A.R., Medal of Honor Airborne, Need for Speed Pro Street and they work really well on maximum details.
3: 320 gb from a western digital hard disk.
4: comfortable keyboard with a decent travel and sturdy build quality. I've came across lenovo's with really nasty keyboards that flexed in the middle. It's nice seeing that acer have made an effort with this issue.
5: Bright, crisp display.
6: Useful productivity keys
7: Built in camera works great and has a nice clear picture and near it there's a built in microphone which provides great sound quality.
8: HDMI port, eSata, 4 USBs, video out, an acer plug will give you decent connectivity without any hassle.
9: Fingerprint thingy is a nice gadget to show off to friends and an important security device for those who need one.
10: 4 GB of ram will provide sufficient coverage.
Now the not so pleasing bits:
1: It comes with a lot and I mean a lot of useless software provided by acer. One of them is the Mcafee antivirus which is a piece of **** . I highly recommend uninstalling immediately without even letting it update. I guarantee it will take ages and it won't be very pleasing. Mine kept getting a bluescreen while it installed the same software like twice a day and overloading the process tree. A great alternative is the AVG antivirus - it's free !
* off topic *: I had some difficulties uninstalling Mcafee.. while it was doing so, like half way through it stalled and sure enough, a bluescreen appeared. After a forced restart, it wouldn't uninstall anymore so I googled some troubleshooting with Mcafee and I found a small software provided by Mcafee called: Mcafee removal tool. Also to remove some of the useless startup software go to start -> control panel -> administrative settings -> system configuration and go on the start-up tab and uncheck what you think it is unnecessary ( if you're not using the finger print reader: acer bioprotection.. other software would be the launch manager, e-power, nti back-up and a few others ).
2: I had to deactivate most of the software included in the package, like Acer BioProtection, Launch manager, e-power, nti back-up since they were useless.
3: There's a strong driver conflict with the touchpad. Once deactivated, if you restart your computer you'll notice the keyboard won't work for like 5-10 minutes. Probably it's only me who's having this issue but anyway it is really annoying since i keep touching the pad with my hands while typing.
4: It gets quite hot, there are a few of usb powered fans for laptops so it's a good idea getting one of those. I've seen prices ranging from 10 to 30 $ so it's not so expensive.
5: A little on the heavy side. I've previously owned an HP 6720s and it was slimmer and a little bit lighter. It's not so bad thou.
All in all, I have to say it is a pretty good laptop, with all the right stuff to make it worth buying: really good built quality, 4 GB of Ram, 320 GB of storage, Core 2 Duo T8400, wireless lan with N-Draft and the very important HD 3470. There are some minor software related issues but if you follow my indications from this review you'll be pretty safe running anything you want on your good ol' TravelMate notebook.
Other alternatives would be: HP 6730s, Dell 1545, Asus-something, MSI Megabook, Toshiba A300 or L300.
If you have questions regarding this product, e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org .
I still can't believe that I am the first to write a review about this laptop, I have had mine for 4 weeks now and I must admit I love it.
First things first: Looks
Okay, nothing special with the lid closed, typical bulky laptop style. However, it does have a really nice locking system which you need to slide to the right to open the lid and reveal a very well thought through keyboard layout.
The keyboard is angled like a smiley face with plenty of space to rest the wrists below the keyboard. It's probably the most comfortable keyboard I have used and haven't oncee had any wrist strain. You might be thinking, yeah but you have only had it 4 weeks - this is constantly on and I'm glued to it working ridiculous hours!
Another well thought through aspect is the centralised placement of the mouse pad, I used to always catch the pad with my shirt sleeve or thumb as I type - not in this case, the curve of the keyboard manages to prevent this. The mouse pad while I'm on this subject is remarkabky sensitive, but when you glide your finger over it the mouse doesn't hit the side of the screen at 100mph - everything seems to work nicely.
The screen is a very nice size with a very clear display that isn't overly bright, its just right and I am using factory settings. Usually a new laptop glares at you and it isn't long before you have to alter the settings, but this is just right.
The hardware is fast enough to cope for the demands of general office applications, but then again who really needs Core 2 Duo P8400's. I'm not one for being blinded by speed, Intel advertising and PC World poor sales techniques don't fool me. I know I could probably do all the tasks I do on an old Pentium II - remember them! However, applications wouldn't run on the PII chip architecture so needs must... :o)
The built in wireless adaptor is very good, no issues with configuration, turn it on, find the network, enter your encrypted key (as always!) and away you go. Upstairs, downstairs, in the car (don't ask - but you have to try!) no connection problems. And it even has fingertip ID, if your into that sort of thing - I'm not so it has 1 redundant feature.
Battery life is also very good, I think I get about 3hrs which isn't that bad really, when are you ever 3hrs away from a plug socket?
All in all a really good laptop, definately recommend it - after all its Intel inside!