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  • Dainas - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Granted you admit its opinion based, but i find these Acer keyboards far nicer than chiclets.

    Those goddamn Apple keyboards and the legion of laptops trying to emulate them bare no tactile feedback. Their stiff ungiving action is actually very damaging to the fingers, as an author it is extremely important to me to be able to write dozens of pages in a sitting.

    Let alone to not get premature Osteoarthritis; as the harsh hard action these apple and wannabe Keyboards will surely cause after a decade of typing on what has all the give of steel slats.
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I'm surprised you hate the apple keyboards. I tried the MacBook air 13" for a couple weeks and found it pretty ok for typing lengthy missives on anandtech :) action was fairly forgiving and I hardly missed any letters while touch typIng

    No, the real enemy is the asus ux31. I'm goin to go out on a limb and say justin never tried that particular heap of shit. Action: INCREDIBLY stiff and short, and several of the larger keys didn't register when hit in particular places--including the enter key

    Horrible, just horrible. I suppose I could just be finding the apple keyboard better *relative* to that monster, but I tested out the MBA for quite a while and didn't find the issues you listed, personally

    Though I did end up returning it. Just slightly too expensive for me. I just slapped a ssd in my old laptop and am gtg for 2012 :)
  • Lifted - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I was also thrown by the "keyboard snob" attitude followed by how much he likes the Apple chicklet keyboards. WTF?

    You'll pry my Thinkpad keyboard from my cold dead hands!
  • Bluestealth - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Seconded!, I did try out my friends Mac Book Pro 13.3"... I was about to go insane. On the other hand my Lenovo X220 is just about perfect. Reply
  • ThomasA - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I 'm a new X220 owner and agree the great keyboard being a strong asset. The whole unit is a pleasure to use/carry, and especially the IPS screen. Reply
  • drwho9437 - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I currently have a X200 and yes I am a keyboard snob all my desktops have MX blue mechanical boards... While I find my X200 keyboard okay, I must say I got a T60 used off ebay. Keyboard is if anything even better. May well be an NMP or whatever. The feel is just that much more deep and thumpy than my X200 even. Regular laptop keyboards make me cry. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I have a Travelmate 8172T with the same style keyboard and like it very much as well. Acer Travelmates are pretty decent in my opinion. Only drawback here for me would be the sub-par resolution. If I go to 13/14" I want at least 900 vertical pixel. Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I think its amazing that even in 2011, most manufactures can't get a simple keyboard right. What the hell is up with that?

    I couldn't agree more. Thinkpads, Latitudes and Macbooks have the best keyboards hands-down. Some HP laptops, like the DM1, DM4 and various Chicklet-packing Elitebook and Probook models have decent keyboards, but basically the two most important things about laptops are the keyboard and the screen, because if either (or both) have a single flaw, there isn't anything you can do about it because they are obviously integral components that can not be replaced.

    Manufactures: stop focusing on battery life, performance, duability, and price, and get the keyboard and screen sorted first!
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    A while ago I wandered through a popular electronics market and tried out ALL their laptop keyboards. They were so horrible and sluggish. The only ones "OK" were actually the Macs.
    However, still worlds between them and my trusty old Thinkpad T61!

  • Stuka87 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I actually find the Apple keyboards to have pretty good feedback. They have a nice solid feel when they are down, and I never hit two keys at the same time.

    Although my current favorite keyboard is on my Precision M4600. I can type faster on that keyboard than most of my desktop keyboards even. But I dont find myself being annoyed or complaining when typing on my MacBook.
  • ilyon - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I don't agree.

    I HATE, really, these new appe-like chiclet keyboards. With my 3820 TimelineX, I prefer largely this chocolate type. Hopefully, Alienware still gives us some true keyboards, but with a price.
  • Chapbass - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I totally agree with you. It looks like this laptop has a similar keyboard to the Sony SZ650? If so, then I love that style of keyboard. The Chiclet style I really can't stand, I cant exactly put my finger on it, but typing on them just feels....forced... to me I guess.

    I guess its all opinion, but option is a good thing to have.
  • KingstonU - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I also love the keyboard on my 5820 TimelineX. I did not like the keyboard on the Apple notebooks that I tried. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I am gonna jump on your guys bandwagon. I hate chiclet keyboards myself. I find that often the backspace key is too far out (esp. on the Mac laptops), which makes it less comfortable to use. Also, the keys just aren't as springy and don't deliver that nice feedback that conventional/traditional laptop keyboard has.

    While I much prefer the construction quality and form factor and 2.8-2.9 lbs of Ultrabooks over this laptop in the review, and I'd much rather have a glossy screen over matter for better color/contrast ratio, I'd take this old school style keyboard.
  • RussianSensation - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    But ya, to add, thsi laptop should be $799-899, tops. For $1,300, Acer is otu to lunch on this one. You can get the Asus X31 or the MBA which weigh more than 1lbs less, have superior screens, and construction/design too, plus faster SSDs to boot. Reply
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Just to reiterate: the Asus UX31's keyboard is an utter failure. I've tried both the UX31 and the MBA 13. The MBA was fine overall--no significant issues besides the price. The UX31 had *horrible* trackpad issues and an utterly useless keyboard (see my other comments).

    Most reviewers of the UX31 mention how horrible the keyboard is, but they still tend to give the machine high marks. I'm utterly baffled by this: if the keyboard was not a vital part of the machine, I'd get a tablet. To "put aside" the horrible keyboard is insane.

    The UX31 is not a MBA competitor. It's not worth buying due to it's malfunctioning keyboard.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I mostly agree; however the acer spanks the MBA/X31 on battery life. The bigger battery shoudn't cost anywhere near as much more as it does though. Reply
  • ph0masta - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I am currently using an Acer Keyboard myself, and I don't see what is wrong with it. The keys are very sturdy and also very springy, which allows for fast typing. At least on this model there isn't any flex. The key themselves are made with glossy plastic though which appears a bit cheap. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I feel like I need to jump in here in defense of Acer. While this keyboard may be too cheap for a premium laptop, (and for the price this computer really needs a higher-resolution screen), it is not anywhere near as bad as this review makes it out to be, and that's coming from someone who works as a typist. I've been using the original ULV Core 2 Solo for school for well over two years, and I've typed a LOT on it. Is it a Lenovo keyboard? No. Have I lost any of the keys? Also no. Have I taken notes in dozens of classes, written programs and lab reports, and generally been fine with it? Yup. Reply
  • dcollins - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I have a Lenovo E420, which combines the tried and true action of the Thinkpad keyboards with "chiclet" style keys. I bought the laptop mostly for the keyboard, which is my favorite keyboard I have ever used, laptop or desktop. Reply
  • StormyParis - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    your rant just does not say why ? Layout ? feedback ? imprecise ? ... ? Reply
  • StormyParis - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    that's "you hate the".. sorry, too early. Reply
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Yeah I agree. I just re-read the review and there are absolutely no details. It's hard to tell if this is just personal preference or if there is something mechanically wrong with it

    For example, the asus ux31 has very very still action and short travel, so if you touch type and don't HAMMER the keys, you are going to miss letters. I averaged at least 2 per sentence hen I tested it out. These were besides the errors you normally make while typing, and it was fairly consistent and repeatable. In addition, several keys had spots on them where you could fully depress them and they wouldn't register. Worst was the bottom left of the enter key. That's right, the most frequently hit part if the enter key was unresponsive when fully clicked. This was demonstratible even when. It typing. I could click and hold it down on the bottom left all day with no I response

    Anyways, justin, can you follow up with a few specific issues you found with this keyboard in particular? If its simply this style of keyboard you hate... We should know that
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Gha, "stiff" not still action. Hate hate hate using my iPhone to type Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Added a bit of clarification on the keyboard. There's a lack of travel, the action is mushy, the flat texture is undesirable, and the keys themselves feel extremely cheap. Over the long haul, Acer keyboards don't hold up well is my experience, especially if you have any kids that might start picking at them. Hope that helps. Reply
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Thank Jarred. If you have a chance, let us know if you've tried the UX31. I'm just curious if you're critique of this style of keyboard withstands the assualt of the supposed "high-quality" keybaord the Asus stuck in there.

    If I have to come down one way or another, I think I'm starting to lean towards mushy vs stiff action. At least personally, I'm able to type fairly ok with a mushy keyboard, but the UX31? woof, that thing was impossible to type on.

    PS. I must apologise again for some of my error-laden previous posts. As I said, they were made on my iphone with auto-mangle on. Speaking of utterly useless... :)
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I know you hate the UX31 keyboard, but I wonder if you didn't just have a bad unit. I've had a laptop or two over the years where certain keys simply didn't register half the time (space bars often being the major one where I've had issues). The UX31 keys don't feel stiff to me, but they do have very little travel. One thing that the UX31 keyboard does have that's better IMO than the Acer "floating island" keys is that you're much less likely to have keys come off (get pulled off) or wear out. Reply
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    You may be right--it would be inexplicable to have reviewers experience what I experienced and continue to give it passing marks.

    I really wish I could find a local place that carries it so I can try another one. Everything else about it was pretty great. Oh wait, I think the trackpad was pretty bad too--can't really remember, but I think it was too sensitive? Guess it paled in comparison to the Keyboard issues I had.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Everything Jarred said below.

    Also, it's Dustin, not Justin. That's a serious pet peeve of mine.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    It's okay, Rusty, we still love you! ;-) Reply
  • hp79 - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    All Acer laptops sucks because the keyboard. They flex a lot and feels so cheap, it should only be for those $200 netbooks. The keys feel like you can lift them off. It even feels like disposable one-time-use stuff. Reply
  • tzirf203 - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I disagree with this ideology that less expensive laptops, notebooks, net-books should get a cheap, flexible keyboard. You are talking about pennies to give the keyboard some structure & integrity so that it will last the lifespan of the unit. Producing cheap garbage like this, is the reason so many landfills are full of computers; among other electronics because a small inexpensive component on them stops working, which inherently prevents the unit from functioning so we just toss them in the trash and purchase a new one. Simply put its a waste of resources and precious metals, and the only thing it drives is the monetary system and financial goals of large corporations. Reply
  • Malih - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    it's hard to pull a good chiclet keyboard, I've compared MBP's keyboard compared to other chiclet, looks the same, but feels different, MBP is more comfortable especially for someone who types a lot. Reply
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    agreed. The MBA and UX31 keyboard look similar. But the Apple keyboard is at least functional, while the UX31 keyboard is simply... not. Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I agree. I own two Acer laptops and I am pretty sure I will never buy another one. I hate the keyboards. Normally I am a touch typist - except when I am using either laptop. I have to actually look at the keys. My fingers slide all over the flat keys. Reply
  • earthrace57 - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Hey, I have a small little Dell Insperon 1545, and the keyboard is great for me, there is flex, but I don't type hard, and the keys feel full, like they fill up each and every slot, personally, if I could, I'd lift up this keyboard and put it on any other laptop, but sadly I can't Reply
  • retrospooty - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    When will the madness end? Reply
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Yeah, bad enough on is a 13", now they shove them into larger formats? It amazing these companies think they can compete with apple when they simply refuse to match the most fundamental specs. Idiots. Reply
  • legoman666 - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I got tired of waiting for a 13-15" $400-600 laptop with decent resolution and bought a used 15.4" Thinkpad off eBay that has a 1920x1200 screen. I love it. Honestly, the only thing I care about in a laptop are the parts I interact with; the screen, keyboard, and touchpad. I don't care if it's super fast, I'm not going to play games on it, I don't really care a whole lot about battery life as long as it lasts 2+ hours, I don't care about hard drive space, external video outputs or any other shit. I just want to browse the internet and type, dammit. Reply
  • ScottHavens - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I stopped reading the article halfway down the first page, when I saw it was 14" and that screen resolution. That kills any interest I have. Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    +100! A laptop over $1000 and it has such crappy resolution. My 6 years old Dell that I bought for $650 has better resolution. Reply
  • vision33r - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I have owned about 3 Acer laptops in different years and they've retained the same econo and budget quality to garner their budget badge.

    The last one I've owned had a nice GPU but once I started typing on it I realized what the mushy floating on an island description meant.

    It was one of the worst keyboards for a full size 15" laptop.

    The display was nothing to write home about either, it was glossy and contrast is poor.

    If Acer is serious about competing with Apple and start charging Apple prices. Don't think consumers are dumb, there's a reason Apple Macbooks are selling double digits %.

    You can also run Windows on Macs these days so how can Acer screw up so badly and still want to charge Apple prices.
  • futurepastnow - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    You are a spammer. Stop spamming. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I think your comment got relocated, but I deleted the offending comment. Thanks! Reply
  • rdamiani - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    A 14" 768p screen is too low resolution to be useful with the enormous ribbon bars Microsoft has inflicted on the current versions of everything. It's like looking at your work through a keyhole. Reply
  • ymrtech - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    please please PLEASE try and get an ASUS u36SD in for review.
    it is basically the same as this but from ASUS!
    it has it's pros and cons aswell but it has the same price and ASUS quality!
    it even has a dedicated nvidia 520M.
    i get a good 8-10hours of usage (notes/homework)
    6-8 hours of firefox web browsing
    4-6 hours of youtube
    and about 4-5 hours of HD video playback!

    at 800-1200$ (depends on model) and considering it weights 3.74lbs with the battery
    this laptop needs some publicity!
  • DanNeely - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I took a look at the notebook on Asus's website and they prominantly had this text displayed: "ASUS U36 the first 19mm thin laptop with Intel standard voltage CPU in the world" and was briefly dumbfounded.

    While going with the cheapest CPU available makes sense at the $800 price point, for $1200 not offering a ULV version that either is cooler and longer running; or that shifted the TDP to the GPU. Looking at the numbes in the wikipedia you you could get as high as a GT555M with at most needing a very slight GPU underclock/undervolt. This'd get you to a mid level gaming laptop while still having ultra-portable weight and battery life values when on the go.
  • fic2 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    If you already have one and love it why do you need it reviewed? Needing validation of your opinions? Reply
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    "These notebooks just aren't adequate for mobile gaming beyond older games like Unreal Tournament 2004."

    Skyrim on an i5/HD3000, 1366x768 Low.

    Sure, it runs at "console quality" but it *runs.*
  • andrewrocks - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    The new Sony Z is $2k... But its 2.5 pounds, ssd, has great battery life and is very thin! 1080p is also an option on 13" screen!

    On paper these computers are stunning! Please review one AT, I'm curious if they can walk the walk.
  • andrewrocks - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Dear Anandtech,

    You should review the above computer
  • Tamale - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    It's not fair for your keyboard opinion to be so strong when it's such a subjective matter. I like the acer island keyboards much better than chiclet designs, especially on the Macs. Disclaimer - I own both an Acer with the same style keyboard and used a macbook pro 15" every day for over a year and a half at work. I always enjoyed when I got home and could switch to the Acer.. the fact that the keys actually TRAVELED made all the difference to me.. typing on the macbook was like hammering my fingers against a slab of aluminum. Reply

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