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  • weiran - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Terrible display ruins a laptop.

    You should refuse to review 15" laptops with a resolution more suited for an 11".
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    If we refused to review any laptop with a marginal display, we'd be stuck with about 10 to 15 laptop reviews per year -- and that's assuming we could even get all the good display laptops in for review. We would also forego reviews of any laptop that doesn't cost at least $1000. Needless to say, the volume of laptops sold for under $800 is probably an order of magnitude more than the volume of over $1000 laptops sold, so it's an important market to at least look at. Reply
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    no one in this budget needs that quad core horse power. Acer would be better of spending the wasted money on build quality or better screen. Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    On the other hand GT 640M wouldn't drive a high-res screen at native resolution. In games that is. But I'm quiet appalled that we can have chassis like this in the Ultrabook and starting configurations for business notebooks price range. Even if you don't have the best displays, or the budget to do all like a super nice case you should at least have a good touchpad and keyboard. Something like a Acer TimelineU M5 wouldn't be more expensive either. So I'm note sure what they are thinking it looks to be a much better notebook, you don't need quadcore notebooks for gaming, the trackpad looks to be better (if they don't fail at it, looks to be a cheap variant on the V3 though) at the M5 and it also comes in a 14" variant.

    A 2kg dualcore notebook for 800 with GT 640M should be well enough here, and does look better then this. But you loose 1GB of VRAM as well as that quadcore. Yet this doesn't look like a 800 dollar notebook from today and I think it's time to leave the plastic gamer ~800-1000 dollar notebooks behind and let compal and Clevo come up with better computers to fill that need for the OEM's or for them to take the market more seriously and design something decent themselves. Mobile gpus for mid-end performance for gaming obviously exist for half decent power and price range. I thought Acer was trying to clean up their act and please kill all the packard and gateway branding too. Those might have filled up a space in the early 90's, but it's not something you like to remember. Lots of similar stuff isn't the right thing here, if you still like to have budget lineups they will need to be more differentiated from high end models. They should still be decent enough for those that don't like to spend 800-1000 or more too.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Statements like this are so arrogant. "No one in this budget needs that quad core CPU." Really? Who made you the determiner of what every person needs? I know a lot of poor college and high school students that would like to be able to have access to more than just basic dual-core processors. Following your logic, we end up back with the old "640K should be enough for anything" mentality of the DOS era. While most people don't need and won't use the processing power of a quad-core CPU, to say that no one needs it is very narrow minded. Reply
  • bupkus - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I know a lot of poor college and high school students that would like to be able to have access to more than just basic dual-core processors.

    Good, but the question is, "can they afford it"?

    We have promised to buy a nephew a notebook and had anticipated to pay no more than $500. Now I'm wondering what we can get that will allow this high school grad to do school work and just not even try to provide him gaming or media capabilities.

    For that purpose a good monitor seems more significant than an i7 processor. We hope we can find just such a notebook with perhaps a dual core Sandy Bridge processor and even a decent keyboard. Intel HD 3000 display will do just fine. Only the resolution needs a little upgrade.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Obviously there's no single answer to what's most important, but For many of the components, whatever you buy with your laptop is going to be what you're stuck with until you buy a new laptop. If you buy a laptop that doesn't have a discrete GPU, it will generally be inadequate for gaming. You have a better chance of upgrading the display (see the LCD testing section where I discuss what's required) than you have of adding a discrete GPU to a laptop that doesn't come with one. Even swapping out CPUs can be a bit tricky, as you have the potential for locked down BIOS firmware that refuses to support anything besides a couple specific CPUs.

    Anyway, while I understand that many parents might find the lack of graphics hardware a benefit, if your son/daughter/nephew/niece/etc. ends up not liking the laptop and taking out a student loan to go buy a laptop that they do want, you've wasted money. This definitely happens, as I knew quite a few people back when I was in school that spent $1500+ from their student loans on a new PC that they "needed" for their studies. Of course, I was a CS major so they really did need a computer of some form, but I'm not so sure the 3dfx Voodoo cards were required hardware....
  • jabber - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    True, however, if you keep reviewing these inferior screens then they will still keep coming.

    If you said to the manufacturers "No sorry but we consider that spec to be obsolete/inferior to what our users want to buy!" then the message may get across that things have to change.

    If you only review 15 laptops a year so what? They are more likely to be ones your readers want to buy after all.

    Plenty of other stuff to review than crappy screened laptops after all.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    "True, however, if you keep reviewing these inferior screens then they will still keep coming. If you said to the manufacturers "No sorry but we consider that spec to be obsolete/inferior to what our users want to buy!" then the message may get across that things have to change"

    I agree in theory, but the root cause is the issue. Having a site or two or several say that wont change anything. Manufacturers will keep making it as long as people keep buying it.

    At least today there are alot more 1600x900 and 1920x1080 options in 13,14 and 15 inch laptops than there has been for the past 3 years. It's starting to shift to higher res.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Exactly. I love how I'm supposed to refuse to review laptops that 90% of people I know outside of AnandTech will buy, and in turn only review hardware that 10% or less of people I know will use. And AnandTech should apparently also only cater to the enthusiasts, rather than trying to build our audience.

    Articles like this can get noticed by the semi-technical readers that are researching a laptop, and they might end up saying, "Wow, there's a ton of information in that review that I can't find elsewhere. If they think this laptop is fast but cheap -- in price as well as quality -- what do they recommend as an alternative? Maybe I should read more...." We have the potential to increase knowledge as well as readership with mainstream articles like this.

    It's always important to see what's going on in the budget oriented market segment when evaluating higher end offerings. I should have a few higher quality (and higher price) laptops in for review shortly, some with good/great screens and some with more of this 1366x768 nonsense.
  • rwei - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    I'm in favor of the "repeatedly beat the manufacturers with a stick for using crappy screens" approach. Better to complain loudly than to suffer in silence.

    Though, I've noticed that these days most of the Anandtech reviews spend less time lamenting the screens - more like a line or two saying "meh, ANOTHER crappy screen", rather than the old reviews where it was not uncommon to see a 500+ word diatribe on how bad screens were the root of all sin.

    When I switch from my Envy 4t (14", 1366x768, sigh) to my Envy 17 (1080p upgraded LCD), it always startles me. That the 17's screen is so much bigger and yet STILL has a denser screen never fails to impress on me how bad the 4t's screen is. And that's not even discussing the colors and contrast...

    Such a shame, because the 4t and so many other laptops would be fantastic machines they didn't have such awful screens.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    90% of people I know would be fine with a Core i3 laptop, priced around $400. I just bought an HP laptop (for someone else) at Microcenter at that price, and it's not bad for the price.

    I feel this Acer laptop is in a funny place - it has the screen of a $400 laptop, and the processor of a more expensive one. It is too expensive for me to want to buy for personal use, and yet too cheap for a business - my laptop budget for my job is around $1200.
  • jmunjr - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Keep reviewing as many laptops as you can, but make it clear to readers how poor the screen is, make it very clear. Reply
  • cknobman - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I may not be in the majority (of the masses at least) but I refuse to buy a laptop with a screen resolution below 1600x900.

    Heck last laptop I purchased was in 2010 and even then I refused to go lower than 1600x900.
  • CSMR - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Could be good for someone wanting a laptop to connect to different external displays (e.g. work, home office setups), who would just use the internal screen on occasion. Reply
  • benoitlevesque - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    720P IS GREAT for cheap gaming laptop. At this resolution its fairly easy to get decent FPS even with high details. If the resolution was 1080p the GPU would struggle way too much and you would be stuck with mediocre FPS even at low details. If the only thing you want is web browsing and office work, this is not a good laptop for you IMO. Reply
  • whatthehey - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Try telling this to older people that can't read text on 720p displays. Or try explaining to someone why they need to spend an extra $200+ for a laptop with a better display when "It looks fine to me. What did you say was wrong with it?"

    You techno snobs (aka "enthusiasts") are delusional when it comes to what makes for a good laptop or desktop in most people's eyes. They want it to be fast enough, but more importantly they want it to be affordable.

    If you want a high quality laptop with an excellent display, go buy a MacBook Pro Retina for $2100+. Meanwhile, the average consumer will buy this $800 laptop that apparently doesn't deserve a review, and in a couple years they'll be another $800 laptop to replace it, and they'll be perfectly content not knowing how awful their system is.

    You probably also tell everyone you know that they shouldn't but Dell or HP desktops and should just build their own. Then they can get a GTX 680/HD 7970 graphics card instead of the horrible GT 630/HD 7570 most prebuilt systems ship with (or God forbid, the integrated HD 2500/4000 graphics). Except, for the hundreds of millions of adults that never play games, having that extra graphics horsepower means diddly.
  • CSMR - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Ridiculous, the better the quality of screen (higher resolution, better contrast, better viewing angles etc.) the easier it is to read text. You can measure this by speed of reading, and fatigue. Ordinary consumers buy poor quality displays because mainly they are not informed. I am not saying everyone should buy a high end display, but producing a reasonable quality display in 2012 is not expensive. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    I'd disagree with this, at least for older users. I have encountered so many >40 people that can't handle even using native resolution on a 24+ 1080p display. I helped set up a dental office for example where all of the secretaries and receptionists (40-60 years old) complained like crazy until I dropped the display settings down to 1366x768 -- yup, even on a 24" display, and even with them wearing their glasses.

    I'm not saying there's no point in good displays, but I would definitely agree that there's a large number of users that apparently can't tell a good LCD if it walks up an bites them in the rear. I'd wager the number of computer users that actually know (and recognize) a display with good contrast without having it explained over a five minute period (with a demonstration) is a lot smaller than most of our readers think.

    Bottom line is that we'll still continue to call out bad displays in our reviews, but clearly there are a ton of people buying laptops with bad displays and they apparently don't notice and/or don't care. I call it the "Best Buy Phenomenon".
  • aliasfox - Monday, July 09, 2012 - link

    I can never forget when an ex once pointed to the screen on her budget, bottom-of-barrel HP laptop and told me 'this is how pictures are supposed to look' and prefered the washed out low-contrast light bleeding screen to the IPS on my iPad.

    It's gotten to the point where some people simply can't even tell when they're experiencing quality:
    - Prefering low light P&S pictures to an SLR
    - MP3s from a blackberry speaker to a CD from my (very nice) sound system, just to name a few more examples

    I'm all for trying to show people the difference, I just get the feeling I'll be branded elitist if I try.
  • MobiusStrip - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    You should severely downgrade any computer with a shitty glossy screen. It's time to call manufacturers out on this massive regression and fraud.

    Are these the "deep blacks" we're supposed to be getting from a glossy screen?

    Even Acer's own "glamour shot" shows the color being washed out by this asinine surface:
  • Darkstone - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    The spec table reads 3.21 lbs (1.46kg). Are you sure that is correct? Reply
  • jurgenvwyk - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    According to it's 2.6kg( 5.73lbs) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Sorry -- I used the last Ultrabook review as the base table and forgot to update the size/weight sections. It's fixed now. :-) Reply
  • Fx1 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Who really comes to anandtech to read about budget laptops? Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Nobody. We all come here to read about laptops so expensive that we won't buy them anyway. Oh, but we will have the picture in our bedroom. Reply
  • Fx1 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I buy them.

    Sux to be you
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I've always considered Acer the bottom of the pile. I'd personally not buy an Acer desktop or laptop for myself, or recommend one.

    I haven't really seen anything to change that yet..
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Surprisingly, I have an Acer desktop that is going on 6 years old, and it has been more reliable than any other off the shelf system I have had. The only thing that went wrong in this entire time was that the hard drive went out. Otherwise, no problems at all. Maybe I just got lucky though. Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    My $500 Gateway i3 2.13ghz laptop from January 2010 is still going strong. It gets used heavily too. Reply
  • StormyParis - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    It's an article of faith among tech reviewers that SSDs are where it's at nowadays. I have doubts:
    1- Size: especially on a laptop, I'd rather have a large HD on which I can stick a few games, 10+ hours of films for me and the kids. AN SSDs pretty much means you *have* to carry an external HD. Or read getting bored.
    2- Reliability: the only reliability survey I ever saw says SSDs fail on average almost twice as much as HDDs.
    3- limited use case: very few apps do a lot of disk I/O once launched, and 4GB systems mostly don't swap, so SSDs are mostly useful during boot and app launch. Also, many users now do sleep/hibernation with apps open, instead of a full reboot + apps relaunch. That makes for a scarce few seconds when the SSD will be felt.

    I'm fairly sure reviewers aren't needing hours of videos during their reviews (they're at work, not snowed in with the kids ^^), do full startups (and few of those), and are given somewhat pre-tested units. Isn't there a big disconnected between reviews and users ?
  • Omoronovo - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    1. For a laptop, you're unlikely to have many games installed that are dedicated, hardcore games that take up 25GB of space each. Diablo 3 et al are all relatively large games, certainly, but you will know which ones will be playable on a machine like this and you will be clever enough to plan accordingly. As for movies, having anything higher than 720p on a machine with this resolution is pointless; and even at maximum quality (again, ruined on a panel of this quality, but for arguments sake), you're talking about 40GB of movies for 10 hours of potential playback. A 128GB ssd would be enough to cater to both of these with space to spare.

    2. Unless you can cite your source for this survey, we can't really comment on its validity. Solid state drives have come a long way; I have no doubt that drives like my first generation Indilinx-based SSD have higher failure rates, but that's the price for early adoption. They are far, far more reliable now, with Sandforce being able to de-dupe and compress data so that only a fraction of nand is physically written to (whereas early Indilinx based drives had insane write amplification, wearing nand far faster than necessary for the sake of performance).

    3. SSD's make a tangible "snappiness" improvement to your machine. This is especially noticeable with Windows due to the way it prioritizes data in ram. Take a theoretical example: Opening control panel. On a standard disk based system, each and every file called needs to be accessed from disk; excluding those files already loaded (like the ui elements as those are shared with all standard explorer windows). If there are 30 files to access, with a standard disk you will have as much as 450ms latency to get all of those files loaded into ram and the panel opened, not to mention any processing time (ordering of icons and such). This is only half a second, that is true. Scale this up with all file and folder access on the machine (from all programs, devices, and services, bearing in mind that when multiple programs try to access the disk (HDD) at once, the latency is exacerbated), and you quickly realize why using an SSD makes such a huge improvement to the day to day usability of a machine.

    In my case, personally, I noticed far more of an upgrade in my day to day use of my machine when I upgraded to a SSD, than I did upgrading to a core i7-920 from a Core 2 duo E7200.

    One final point I'd like to make: Although this laptop doesn't, there is nothing preventing a manufacturer dropping optical storage and using the space for a hybrid disk drive and SSD setup. When Windows 8 ships and OEM's start tearing into the Storage Spaces feature, "normal" people won't even have to go out of their way to move bulk data onto the disk drive, as windows will do it automatically and merge the SSD and HDD space into one contiguous area. Just something to think about.
  • Rollo_Thomasi - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Even if the OEM:s usualy favors an ODD over a SSD HDD combo you can simply replace the ODD yourself.

    Here is an article on that:
  • Christopher29 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    1. Agreed, size still is not enough ...
    2. Completely untrue - see forum xtremesystems thread: SSD-Write-Endurance-25nm-Vs-34nm/page195 - where users intentionally try to wear out SSDs, most of them hold from 600TB - 800TB, and 256GB Samsung 830 holds 2,500TB Host writes. Everyone died after stating correct S.M.A.R.T warnings.
    For your perspective, I have written 3,8TB of data on my SSD since 2009 and this is 1/200 (0,5%) of possible writes that this SSD will handle - in other words - this SSD will outlive two to three laptops in which it will be used.
    3. You tottaly don't know (and probably used) anything what You've just written in this point.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    What are you even talking about? You can get 256GB SSDs for a very reasonable price these days, job done.

    Less power use, less likely to die in the manner that is MOST caused by use in laptops - knocking the heads around...

    I would say maybe you can't afford an SSD, but really, very recently the prices have come right down to the point where there's no reason not to have one..
  • jabber - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Yes I picked up a SATA2 120GB SSD for $100 a few weeks ago.

    Why SATA2 well as my laptop only runs SATA2 I felt it pointless to get a 500MBps capable SSD when it will only run at half that speed.

    Oh and its cheaper. Anyway instead of the WD Black 320GB drive giving me 85MBps I now have an SSD giving me around 275MBps. Big improvement especially in access times.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    $780 is a high end laptop. Most people by laptops cheaper than that. This review sounds like the review of a BMW by a Ferrari owner, saying that the BMW is OK if don't care about cheap build quality and bad performance. Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    The average selling price of a windows laptop was $513 in the US in February 2012. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Where exactly does that stat come from, and what happens if you remove netbook class hardware from the list? Netbooks (and ultraportables like the 11.6" stuff with Brazos) are very inexpensive, but if people want to complain about this Acer's quality they should be even more harsh on such laptops. Regardless, $780 is hardly high-end for a laptop; it's at most lower-midrange pricing. Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    netbooks or not, $780 is still much more than the average price for a laptop.

    And this is only in the US, a rich country. The average of the world is probably much lower.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    "The average cost of all notebooks, which includes MacBooks, was $672 in February, lower than January’s mark of $724 but much higher than December’s $631 mark...."

    So actually, they're restricting some higher cost offerings (Apple products at the very least, possibly others?) in order to drive the average cost down, but they're not restricting the inclusion of netbooks. It looks like a purposefully lopsided statistic.

    Regardless, what you get for $500 is less than half the CPU potential (lower clocked dual-core instead of quad-core), and about 1/3 the gaming potential. For the casual gamers and/or video types, the extra $250 to upgrade to something with specs like the Acer would improve the experience dramatically.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    That's why I said windows laptop. Macs are obviously much more expensive. Apple had something like 90% of the $1000+ PC market 3 years ago. It must be even worse today as the average price of windows laptop fell.

    "For the casual gamers and/or video types, the extra $250 to upgrade to something with specs like the Acer would improve the experience dramatically."

    Of course. That's why gamers and those doing video editing buy high end laptops.
  • Randomblame - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    it's an acer - if you type too fast that piss poor screen will fall right off it's hinges from the vibration. Build quality in acers is so awful you'd might as well buy something better that will actually last longer than a year - there is no value in something that simply does not last. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    While it's true that the build quality isn't exceptional, you're taking things too far. All the budget laptops from Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, Toshiba, Clevo, etc. all feel about the same to me. I have friends that purchased budget Acer laptops (and Dell, HP, etc.) that have worked fine for several years. I've had other friends with Acer/Dell laptops have an HDD failure after 18 months. Unless you're the type to routinely drop your laptop, though, I don't think Acer is going to fail within a year. My biggest concern is the long-term reliability of the motherboard, which unfortunately is impossible to gauge, but I suspect Acer's boards don't last nearly as long as higher quality laptops (e.g. ThinkPads). Reply
  • warisz00r - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    With that said, I have to point out that the general design (ports / vents layout etc.) of mid-range Windows laptops are quite similar across the brands, especially in OEMs from Taiwan. I suspect they outsource the design of these low-margin devices to the same ODM... Reply
  • jabber - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    As in how long it took from very first switch on out of the box till you were able to properly use it?

    I've had some laptops in for customers that have been nearly two hours before they are usable.

    First setup, install this crap and that crap, uninstall McAfee, install MSE, updates, burn the recovery DVDs etc. etc.

    Also would be good to know how much crapware is installed and how long it took to remove it all etc.
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    ...i7 and Kepler. Sorry no sale. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link


    i7 is far superior to AMD on the CPU side, and the new die shrunk nvidia cards seem fine to me.
  • warisz00r - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Are you from the future? Reply
  • winterlude - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Thanks for this review. I hate the compromises Acer makes, but I love the prices. Since I'm a value buyer, I find I get more use out of buying cheaper laptops more often than buying expensive laptops infrequently. I picked up two i3 Acer laptops in early 2011 for the equivalent price of a better made i5. Having 2 laptops gives me more resources. I basically buy acer for the specs--usually I cannot find a better performance/cost ratio. I try to focus on Acer's strengths and mitigate their weaknesses (i.e. screen quality and keyboard) by using external monitors/TV, keyboards, speakers etc. I use one laptop as an HTPC media center. I leave them on 24/7 and they tend to run hot; so laptop coolers are a must.
    I would seriously consider the V3. Creating and rendering 1080p home movies in Windows Movie Maker would get a huge boost with this laptop, and I'd love to play Skyrim at higher res with smooth framerates. I'd likely upgrade to a 256GB SSD right away.
    I am disappointed in how few Ivy Bridge non-Ultrabook laptops announced so far are sporting SSDs. I think every new laptop over $500 should at least incorporate an SSD cache. I think this might happen next year, and I'm curious to see what Haswell can do, and I expect SSDs to only get better and cheaper, so perhaps I will wait and see.
  • bji - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    What is the difference? I thought they were the same thing? Reply
  • earthrace57 - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    They aren't, chicklet is far nicer to type on, it is where the keyboard is more of ingrained into the body of the laptop. Floating island keyboards are floating over the body of the keyboard, one little part sticking down to support the entire key, its really bad for typing, especially if you type with the weight of a feather and don't always hit the center of the keys (I hope this is easy enough to read). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Some places have referred to some chiclet styles as "floating island". We have used the term to refer to the old-style Acer keyboards. There's some overlap, of course, but here's a couple closeups of what the old and new Acer keys look like:

    New Acer V3:

    Old Acer:

    Both keys "float" in one sense (the small connector in the middle), but the spacing between the keys is the real issue with the old style -- without looking, it's easy to lose track of where your fingers are on the keyboard. The feel is just... [shudder].
  • 3dgeneralist - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I love acer laptops. Bang for the buck! Owned several laptops. Last one I switched from an Asus core2duo laptop to an Acer i7 laptop. My Asus would reboot after 3 years of heavy use in 3d rendering so I sold it. Had a choice to buy a macpro or acer i7. Needless to say I bought the acer instead. The price for the macbook pro was double with only an old nvidia 9600 card and dualcore only. Ridiculous!
    Now my acer i7 is on its third year and no problems yet. Heavy use in 3d rendering and video editing on the go.
    I actually bought a netbook n2600 from gateway knowing its a sister company from acer. Again its a good buy compared to other brands like toshiba, samsung with the same features. I'm not surprised this price point has the most sales for laptops. Only hardcore gamers really buy 1000USD plus laptops.
  • san1s - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Some commenters here are ridiculously arrogant. I am part of the population that buys these laptops (I bought a similar one last year, $750 with i7 quad core and GT 540m). I am a college student, and can't afford Macbook Pros that cost twice as much (or more) while only offering the same amount of performance. This doesn't mean that I shouldn't be allowed to use my computer for purposes that usually requires lots of computing power. I use it as my desktop and connect it to an external monitor, and I can take it with me when I need to take notes. I would love a higher resolution matte IPS screen and a larger battery, but I understand that these are compromises required for the price. Reply
  • karasaj - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    I like the mid range priced laptops! Did you mention that you will be reviewing the TimelineU M5 as well soon? And hopefully other laptops in that area/range? I like reading about the 800-1k range, since that seems to be what I'll be spending next :P Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    We should have a Timeline M5 as well as the Aspire S5 (I think those are the right model names) in for review soon. I also have a Samsung Series 7 coming, should be some ASUS Ultrabooks, and Dell's new XPS 15 among others. For the gamers out there, we're also hoping to have GTX 680M vs. HD 7970M notebooks ready for testing in the near future. :-) Reply
  • karasaj - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Awesome! I imagine it's too greedy of me to ask when these reviews will be up? :) I'm strongly considering the TimelineU m5 and I'm trying to decide if the cheaper cost is worth it over something like the Vizio notebook. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    They're supposed to be on their way right now, so hopefully we'll get them in the next few days. Once we have them, 1-2 weeks at most before the reviews are up. Reply
  • karasaj - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Awesome! Reply
  • 3dgeneralist - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Regarding the resolution. Its also dumb to think everyone uses higher than 1440x900 res on a 15inch laptop. Can barely read the text and icons higher than that on a small screen. Even on my 23inch monitor I am using 1440x900 because I'm on it for more than 10 hours a day working on graphic software. Eye fatigue is worse when reading small fonts and images. Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    This has always puzzled me. Does it really help your eyes to be looking at large, fuzzy text all day (LCD non native resolution) versus looking at smaller but perfectly sharp and clear text?

    This is of course assuming you are unable to increase DPI due to application incompatibilities, otherwise you're just being silly.
  • 3dgeneralist - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    Its not really fuzzy looking at 1440x900 with text 110% dpi and adjusting cleartype settings on my 23inch monitor. The comfort gained is huge compared to setting it to 1920x1080 which in 8 hours looking at the monitor seems like my eyes would just drop and my head hurts.
    Remember the less effort you put into something that should be automatic, the less strain you experience.
  • antef - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Jarred, I will be in the market for an even cheaper laptop soon (~$600), and I'm not sure I like Dell's offerings. I hope you are able to review some even cheaper Acer machines in the near future (with Core i3/i5 CPUs, possibly no discrete graphics, etc.). Reply
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Much like the 5935G then, the cable connector looks like it could just support enough extra lines for a second LVDS channel but its not like the old connector where you could slot extra wires into place, it's an extremely fiddley connector and would require VERY VERY fine soldering skills. I killed a mobo trying.

    Thats assuming the extra spaces are for an LVDS channel and the chip on the motherboard supports two.
  • Kill16by9TN - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    "The only complaint I have is a minor one: the “merged” Enter and Backslash keys. We’ve seen this on a few Acer laptops in the past year, and I don’t know what purpose the non-gap layout serves,"

    The answer is probably rather simple: globalisation.
    There are some keyboard layouts I know of, German for example, where 'Enter' occupies the additional space of the US KB's 'backslash', while the left-hand 'Shift' key in turn is shortened on its right side to make room for the now relocated key.
    Acer's design choice therefore accommodates for US-style and European-style keyboard layouts.

    BTW, I couldn't agree more with your criticism of those insane highly glossy 'piano' finish surfaces, no matter if with laptops/notebooks or monitors/TVs. It just majorly sucks. When will this nonsense finally face extinction?
  • Burticus - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    My A8-3500 Gateway 17" was $550 with blu-ray 7 months ago. Spent $20 to get it up to 8gb 1333. Nothing in that price range can touch it. On the other hand, while it doesn't weigh a ton it is pretty big. Trinity is faster and the same price or cheaper. I think the display on it is pretty decent for 1600x900 but it does have some contrast issues. Those only come into play when watching dark movies though: which my wife does constantly and complains constantly. I told her to buy her own laptop if she didn't like mine :-)

    This is interesting for budget power with that i7 and the Kepler video, but it seems an odd compromise... you would think someone would go down $200 to get Trinity, or go up $200 to get something a little better build quality and better display. I don't think you can score an ultrabook for a grand though (and those don't have optical drives which slays me).
  • karasaj - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    Assuming there aren't any major major compromises, you can get an Acer TimelineU M5 for a pretty nice 800$.

    Piss poor screen though, which might be the biggest compromise that is probably a dealbreaker for some. I would consider it though since it's so much less expensive than other ultrabooks (or thin form factor specs) like the Vaio S and Vizio. Or SS7. And build quality is hopefully more ultrabookish and less Aspire V3ish.
  • Ipatinga - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    When you thought manufacturers couldn´t screw you more... you face a "chiclet" keyboard everywhere.

    Damn... do engineers really use what they make? (Yeah, dumb question...) :P
  • PubFiction - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    There seems to be some sort of stupid idea that chiclet keys are better.

    The form a key has nothing to do with its quality, in fact chiclet keys are most known for being implemented in cheap shit. The physical properties are what make a keyboard good or bad regardless of weather it is chiclet, island or anything.
    Most chiclet keys are not as good as the keyboards they replaced, they are mushy, unresponsive and are flat lacking qualities designed for accuracy.

    It is fine if you prefer chiclet, go ahead and state that but done gloss over all the other properties. The pictures clearly show that these keyboard is flat, lacking the concave nature or a real good keyboard.

    You can also see that this keyboard exposes the underside of the keys slightly meaning things can easily get in there such as crumbs dust and such, wholely defeating one of the biggest advantages of chiclet. The spacing appears to be close which means that you are likely to trigge another key if you miss.

    Finally there is not mention of the quality of key rollover.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    It's not an "assumption" that chiclet is better, but I can't think of one thing about the old style "floating island" keyboard that is better to this new "floating chiclet". That's not to say that this keyboard is perfect, but as I note in the review, I did a fair amount of typing on the V3 and the keyboard is certainly usable without severe complaints by me -- someone that writes 5000 word articles for a living. Is it equal to some of the older ThinkPad keyboards? Not really, but I'm not sure ThinkPad has ever done a perfect keyboard layout with a 10-key either, outside of the W700 line. For a 15.6" keyboard with a 10-key, the layout is just about perfect, even if the key action could be improved. Reply
  • pullmyfoot - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    You guys should do a review of the Samsung Chronos 7 700Z5C. I just got one and its the perfect laptop IMO without breaking the bank.

    70% aluminum construction
    A above average screen at 1600x900
    1TB 7200RPM with 8GB SSD express cache
    Rest of the specs are the same if not slightly better than this Acer.
  • apmon2 - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    Given that so many Laptops still seem to be sold with crappy screens and that good replacement screens can be got for less than $100, it would be great if AnandTech could write more about this.

    If you could write a separate article on how to switch laptop screens and what you need to consider, as well as review the different available after market LCD screens, perhaps more people would choose to switch their screens and not suffer from their crappy display.

    This could even benefit those buying high-end laptops, if it becomes common to order the laptop with the cheapest display and then replace it with a high quality on later on, just as it is common to order the cheapest HDD and then replace it with an SSD.

    E.g. Lenovo charge $250 for the full HD screen upgrade on the Thinkpad T530, whereas the screen costs less than $100 if bought separably. One also then has a better choice, be it matt vs glossy, IPS vs TN, high colour gamut or not, rather than the one choice offered by the manufacturer.
  • jabber - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    I'd like to see an article on what the costs are to the manufacturer for screens.

    Basically what does a standard 15" TN glossy 1366x768 screen cost compared to -

    15" TN 1600x900 (glossy/non glossy)
    15" TN 1920x1080 (glossy/non glossy)
    15" IPS 1600x900
    15" IPS 1920x1080

    I havent included 16:10 as I don't wish to hope for too much.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    The manufacturers don't disclose their costs for individual components, so it's impossible to say what they pay. I've had one manufacturer insist that what we pay for an LCD on, e.g., is less than they would pay. That seems unlikely to me (if you're ordering 10,000 LCDs, you're not going to pay more than if you're ordering 1 screen, are you?) but they do note that there's also difficulty at times in procuring the required number of displays. My hunch is that LaptopScreens probably marks up the LCDs they sell by 10% over what they pay, and large manufacturers pay a bit less than them. But I could be wrong. Reply
  • chromatix - Saturday, July 07, 2012 - link

    I have a 14" display from *1994* that can manage 115 dpi without much trouble. Bear in mind that 14" is the tube diagonal, not the display area, and that this is a fairly bog-standard "fishbowl" monitor. Driving it at 1152x870 results in the aforementioned 115dpi.

    Coincidentally, this is also approximately the density of both of my much newer flatscreen monitors, which are of course meant for viewing at a greater distance than a laptop. It is also the density of the roughly 2000-vintage ThinkPad that I rescued from the office scrap pile recently - with 1400x1050, the screen is excellently configured for coding, even if the viewing angles and colour reproduction are awful by modern standards. (It's very useful to have lots of *lines* of code on screen at once.)

    My 2006 17" MBP pushes the density up to 130 dpi with 1920x1200. I have to go back to my 2000-vintage PowerBook G3 to get down to 100 dpi.

    Meanwhile, a 15.6" laptop display with less than 1400 pixels across is going to be 100 dpi maximum. At laptop viewing distances, that's like putting standard definition up on a 50" TV - you can see the pixels without even trying. Antialiasing is a wonderful thing, but it has limits to what it can hide. On an old PowerBook it was forgivable because it was the best thing available (and the panel was decent) - but today, and with contrast numbers that make flip-up sunglasses look good...

    Surely someone out there knows how to make a laptop with good build quality, good ergonomics, a big battery and a good screen, and doesn't mind reducing the performance a bit to suit the price? I don't even care if it's two inches thick, as long as the screen and the body aren't shiny - I would prefer to see my code and my game rather than my own ugly mug.

    That's another point - thinness is vastly overrated. Comparing my PowerBook G3 to my MBP, they are the same depth, the MBP is 21% wider (15.4" vs 12.7") and the G3 is 70% thicker (0.98" vs. 1.7"). They're not much different in weight - the G3 is 2.8kg, the MBP is 3.1kg. But it's the MBP that feels "bigger". It also feels considerably more fragile to pick up - I feel the need to grab it by both sides, rather than levering it up by one side, even though intellectually I realise it's probably strong enough to withstand such treatment, and my other hand might be otherwise occupied.

    Meanwhile, I still have a lot more difficulty putting both the MBP and my 15" AlBook - a total of 2.1" thickness - in the same bag, than I do just putting the G3 in. Part of that is, I think, because the G3 is more rounded at the edges, so it doesn't catch on things so easily. Little details like that - and thermal performance - matter a lot more than being thin. It's even worse when important functionality (such as recording dual-layer DVDs, or being able to replace the battery, RAM and hard disk without risking ruining the whole machine) are sacrificed in the name of the holy measurement.
  • Iketh - Sunday, July 08, 2012 - link

    YEA SILVA!!!!! Reply
  • QuantumPion - Monday, July 09, 2012 - link

    I got an Acer laptop last year with sandy bridge core i5 and nvidia GT 540M for $450 after instant rebate. The display sucks but $450 for a laptop fully capable of playing Skyrim and Battlefield 3 is hard to beat. Reply
  • DotNetGuru - Monday, July 09, 2012 - link

    Just wanted to drop a comment to show my appreciation for this great review.
    Very well done. Thanks!!
  • rudolphna - Monday, July 09, 2012 - link

    I actually just picked up the Trinity A8-4500M version of this laptop for $529 on newegg, and I have to say, though the screen isn't that great, overall it's a great deal for the price. I'm certainly not going to complain about the amount of horsepower I managed to get for $530. I also did order a Momentus XT 500GB, and 8GB of Corsair DDR3-1600 that should arrive tomorrow to hep up the performance a bit more. Once that's done, I doubt there are any other laptops on the market with this kind of value. Reply
  • Abirzenith - Thursday, July 12, 2012 - link

    Well Despite what many people are saying , this review will be very helpful to those who are researching for a new laptop. At the end of the day it all comes to the person who's going to buy the product , To some display matters the most, To some processing power and to some the graphics processing unit matters the most. It depends on individual taste, you need to decide what you want the most out of our Laptop Reply
  • pman6 - Thursday, July 12, 2012 - link

    we need more core i5's with dedicated graphics at budget prices.

    Give me 15.6" 3rd gen core i5 + gt650m + 1600x900 lcd for under $700 please.
  • karasaj - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    That's asking for way too much for way too little, haha. You can get that for ~900 I think, but 700$ is pretty expensive.

    I think there could be more i3 +dGPU options below 700$ to compete with AMD, but i5 + 650M + a good LCD is a lot to ask for under 700$ I think.
  • Jiah - Saturday, July 21, 2012 - link

    can you compare this 2?so that i could tell which one is better
    i'm about to buy one of them

    (sorry bout my english)
  • bloodlife - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    Is this model available in India..?
    It's isn't displayed in
  • anakr3 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Very useful review; thank you. Reached here looking for an in depth review of the Acer Aspire V3-571G-6407 (the Core i5 3210M 2.5 GHz model) which is about $550. I am planning to use this mainly as an htpc for streaming HD movies and music..I was initially thinking of a mac mini, but it looks like a laptop with this spec will be more flexible for my purposes. Two questions:
    1) I've read somewhere that some of the laptops don't output full HD via their HDMI ports. Is this the case with the Acer V3?
    2) Is it ok to run a laptop like this 24/7?
  • Vundolf - Saturday, May 04, 2013 - link

    Can you please make a video tut of how to open this laptop ? I'd like to clean it's fan cuz' it's overheating Reply
  • FiloSvR - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    where i can find a dual-channel LVDS cables for acer v3-571g ( 2012 - 2013 model ), i had bought a 1080p screen replacement, but i can't use it! Please help Reply

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