When my old computer started being really slow I decided it was time for a new one. I wanted a good specification at a good price and found this. The only thing that really lets this computer down is the fact it is running with Windows Vista. The spec of the computer is enough to run Vista well, but it's the software itself that has caused my computer on occasion to crash.
However, I have managed to store a lot of media files on here and run Photoshop, 3D Studio Max and After Effects which are all massive programs.I bought the unit which came with a keyboard and mouse, but (unlike the images on here) I did not buy a monitor with it. I did have the option to buy it with a monitor, but it would have cost quite a bit more and it was cheaper to buy one separately.
* Processor: AMD Athlon (tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5000+ 2.60GHz
* RAM (Memory): 2GB
* Hard Drive: 320GB
* Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
* System Type: 32-bit Operating System
* Programs: Trial of Microsoft Word 2007 and trial anti-virus
* Ports: USB - 6. 3 in the front, 3 in the back
* Memory card: 4 slots. The following cards are compatible: CompactFlash Card type I, CompactFlash Card type II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card, SmartMedia Card, xD-Picture Card
* Disk Drive: DVD-RW
* Devices: Comes with keyboard and mouse. Monitor usually optional.
* Other: Manual
Setting it up:
The manual has everything in it that you need to know, but for anyone who has set up a computer before you'll know exactly what to do. It didn't take long to set up. It is obvious which cables plug in where and things like the keyboard and mice connections are also colour coded. Once everything was connected I plugged it in and turned the power on.
It quickly loaded up. As Vista was already installed it loaded straight up and then I could start using it straight away and change any settings I wanted (e.g. like the screensaver and the way the desktop was set out).
The first thing I noticed about this computer was how it looked. It looks quite smart as it is silver at the bottom and round the edge at the top on the front and the rest is black. The silver bit is solid and just has the name Acer on it and the power button at the top of it.Above that it is black and this is where all the ports and drives are. On the front it has 3 USB ports, mic and speaker ports, 4 memory card slots and, at the top, the DVD-RW drive.
There is actually rather a lot on the front, but it doesn't look squashed or like there's too much on there. It's all been set out so you can easily use each port at the same time.
There are actually USB slots in the back too, although I don't tend to use these. It also has the mic and speakers ports at the back too.
No matter where you have the computer and whether it's easier to get to the back or front you will always have all the ports you need. I can't get to the back of my computer unit very well, but it has never mattered.
How well it works:
This computer generally runs really well and even with a full hard drive it won't slow it down, although obviously it is best not to let it get to that point.One thing I have noticed is that if you leave any external hard drives or memory sticks/flash drives plugged in and turn it on it will run CHKDisk which is annoying. It only takes a few minutes, but that's a few minutes I'd rather not waste. I've never had this happen with any other computer. From what I remember even my haunted and somewhat suicidal laptop (see my Advent 7086 review) which had many problems never did that.
This computer can run even the biggest of programs with no problem (e.g. Photoshop and 3D Studio Max) and even two at one time, depending on what you are doing of course.
With a 2.60 GHz processor you shouldn't have trouble running any normal program (e.g. Microsoft Office or an Internet Browser) or bigger programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or After Effects. Even with a number of programs running my computer stills processes everything quickly.
The RAM is 2GB, which is good to run Vista and pretty much any program. You can upgrade the RAM if you want to.
It comes with a 320GB hard drive. For general documents like Word files and some music and image files 320GB should be enough. For anyone who downloads many videos or has a lot of media files 320GB probably won't last as long. From doing a media course and having many Photoshop files and similar things as well as all my other files it took me about two years to fill it. However, there are many files and some programs I could delete. Even with a full hard drive the computer doesn't run any slower and I haven't had any problems.
This computer has Windows Vista home premium on it, although it is possible to downgrade (to XP) or upgrade (to Windows 7) the Operating System. If I'd had the choice I'd rather have had XP. With the specification of my computer Vista does run fine, although I'm sure it would be much faster with XP. However, I decided to stick with Vista as it did seem ok. There have been a number of times though when my computer has crashed because of Vista and many things that run which slow down the computer, half of which I have no idea what they even do (if anything at all). There are certain things which I have read you can stop running in the background, but due to it being the Operating System (so rather important) I figured it was best to just let it all run rather than risk stopping the wrong thing.For those who haven't used Vista you can find out more below. Anyone that has read my Windows Vista review may recognise parts of this.
The main design is still very similar to previous Operating Systems. You have the task bar at the bottom which includes the clock and other icons on the right. The Start button is slightly different, showing the Windows logo rather than saying Start. The menu is also different. I have gotten used to the menu, although I found it much easier to find what I wanted on XP and before. With Vista the main options such as My Computer and Control Panel are at the right side and all recently used programs are on the left. At the bottom you can select All Programs to see everything. As everything is just in one list it can take me a while to find what I want, especially as I have quite a few programs.
The Control Panel windows are a bit different to Windows XP as some icons are labelled differently, but you can always put it in Classic View which is useful.
Unlike XP and before, Vista organises folders better. There is Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders under each user. I always used to make folders with these names anyway so I haven't noticed much difference as far as files being more organised goes. Under each I still have many other folders so things can still get confusing and become hard to find.
There's nothing really new about Vista in the sense of features. You still have Paint, notepad, Windows Movie Maker and the option to change your desktop, screensaver and so on. You get a better selection of desktop and screensaver images and some do look like they have more depth to them, although they're not 3D.
One new thing, which can be seen as good or bad, is the preview you get when you hover over the windows in the task bar. As you hover over them it will bring up a small preview above the bar which shows you what that window is.
The sidebar is a nice extra to Vista, although having said it can make the computer slower if you are running a few other things. The sidebar allows you to put different features at the side such as a clock, the weather or notes. You can get loads of these features and all for free. Some are pointless, but nice to look at while others are designed to help you.
The keyboard is nice to use. It is a solid black colour with white lettering/numbering on the keys. The keys are all smooth and press easily. I've never had any problems with it. It's a simple keyboard and doesn't have any extra features, but it's good to use and is nice and light.
The mouse is plain silver, has two buttons and the scroll button in the middle. The mouse isn't so good. It is a ball mouse rather than optical mouse meaning it doesn't always move so well. I did use the mouse for a little while, but once I'd found an optical mouse I could use I switched it. I do use the computer a lot though so I need a mouse that works really well all the time and feels comfy to use. It's not that this mouse is uncomfy, it's just the mouse I use is comfier as it is slightly smaller and slimmer so fits my hand better. For someone who doesn't use the computer much the mouse will probably be fine.
I can't remember what I paid as it was a few years ago, but I'd guess it was between £300-£350. The specification does vary for this computer and you can get lower specifications which will be cheaper. For this specification you are probably looking at £250+ now and it could possibly have Windows 7 instead.
This is a great computer which is quite powerful so whether you want it for surfing the Internet, typing in Word or using Photoshop this computer is the one to get. Its only real problem is the fact it is Vista, but you can always change that. Overall I would recommend this computer.
I work as a freelance web and graphics designer, and needed a cheap and well-performing desktop to use when in interviews with clients.
When I bought this Tower, I got alot more than I had bargained for.
Firstly, the value for money on this tower is second to none. I have had run-ins with acer products before and they are great value.
The machine easily handles running several high-resource programmes at once such as : Adobe Photoshop (Around 50,000k), Macromedia Dreamweaver (~30,000k) and Mozilla Firefox (~25,000k).
The 1gb of ram ensures that the machine runs very fast, and the processor is equally as fast. The extra large hard drive (160gb) will proove more than enough for anyone who uses this computer for recreational and home-based use. As with all Acers it is portioned into 2 drives, C: and D:. I have only managed to fill 2gb of the C:, with all my programmes installed, and every file I have backed-up in place.
I cant really fault this PC at all. I have just had it networked and it was a synch, very simple, and is highly robust.
ACER support is phenominal (not that'll you'll really need it) and the computers run quitely and smoothly.
Theres only 1 minor flaw.
The Acer Aspire T180 Series provides savvy consumers with a complete desktop solution, packed with performance, expandability and functionality. All in all, it represents an excellent value.