4.5 stars out of 5.This computer packs a lot of guts for the price.Looks very nice, has an aluminum (looking) shell, black keys on silver face.It does what I need it to do and nothing else has the 5th generation i7 processor at this pricepoint PLUS HD screen PLUS backlit keypad.This is my 3rd Acer in 10 years.My first Acer laptop is still running, somewhere around 9 or 10 years old.Say what you want, but I think they are solid machines for their price.
This model comes with:
-HD 1080p resolution
-backlit keypad (which toggles on or off)
-5th generation Intel i7 5500U processor
-8 GB RAM(capacity of 16 GB)
-1 TB 5400rpm HDD
-Dedicated graphics via NVIDIA GeForce 840M 2GB, PLUS Intel HD (each has its own settings)
-6 cell, 7hr Li-ion battery
-Removable, replaceable battery
-Windows 8.1 (free upgrade to Windows 10 if you choose)
-Dolby Home Theater sound
-Two down-firing speakers located on the front-bottom, sound is less than ideal because of this orientation, but plenty loud
-One 3.0 USB port and two 2.0 USB ports
-Charger adapter cord
-Charger jack on right side near hinge (aren’t they normally on the left?)
-Multi-gesture mouse/trackpad, with pinch ‘n zoom and built in no-line R and L click buttons
-Built-in 720p webcam
-Some bloatware programs, mostly Acer branded stuff
-Up/down left/right arrows on keypad also adjust your volume and screen brightness, respectively, with use of the Function ("Fn") key.This location is unique to Acer’s keyboard design and I love having those controls right where I know they are instead of having to scan up at the many F keys.
-MIMO wireless antenna(s), whatever that is.Supposed to increase signal and speed.In my upstairs where I used to get 2-3 bars of wireless signal on my old laptop, I now get a full 4 bars on this one.
This computer does NOT come with:
-DVD/CD optical drive
-Any backup or install discs
-No scrolling via mouse trackpad like some models had/have
-No easy access panel to HDD and RAM on the bottom panel
-Obviously no current updates, Windows Update has millions (it seems) of updates to download and hours and hours of installing and restarting.This is true of any new computer though.
I am happy with this purchase, I am not at all inclined to return the computer.The matte screen took a little getting used to, it puts a slightly softer hue on the colors, but they are still rich and it gets plenty bright, and it does limit much of the glare that glossy screens reflect.The sound isn’t as crisp as it could be due to the down-firing speakers located on the bottom of the computer.I find this very odd, since in my experience they’ve always been on top, up-firing.When I tip the computer back, the speakers sound much better when they fire straight at you.Oh well, you can’t have everything perfect or you’d pay nearly double.I read other users saying the keyboard has a hump in it, I do not notice this at all.If it actually does, it’s so minor I can’t see it.Perhaps certain ones had this and not others?I also read another reviewer saying the keys were weak, and that if you press one key down a couple other keys beside it would depress a little- again, this is not my experience.The keys are responsive, crisp and quiet.You could type in a library without bothering people.One thing I do notice is that the number lock seems to default to "off" every time I restart the computer, which is annoying.IMO number lock should always default to "on".The trackpad doesn’t have the ‘scroll’ feature on the R-side.On my previous Acer the tight R side had a swiper built in that allowed you to scroll up & down on pages like the wheel of a mouse, except with your finger obviously.This was addicting for many years and I really miss it.
I hope to have this computer a good 8-10 years as I’ve come to expect from Acer.