Amazon Review by
1178 people found the following review helpful
Hot Smoking Machine for the Buck$
If you're reading this review it's because you're in the marketplace to buy a new puter running the latest i5 CPU or killing time. Well, read on. Here's my thoughts after tweaking this machine to my liking.
CPU - 5 *****
For the $$ it is fast.
2.5 GHZ turbos to 3.1 GHZ
PassMark has the i5-7200 rated at 4753. The i5-6200 is rated at 3923. The higher rating means better performance.
This i5 rocks over an i3.
Memory DDR4 - 4 *****
Kingston PC-2400R, one 8 GB stick.
SSD - None
SK Hynix M.2 SATA III 256 GB - 5 *****
Surprised to discover my rig is running with an M.2 SATA III stick instead of an SSD. The SSD hole is empty in case one wishes to add one. It’s not PCI-e so you won’t notice the difference in speed between this M.2 and an SSD. In a year or two I expect to see laptops with PCI-e capable M.2 sticks which will be capable of up to 32 GB speeds vs the 6GB SATA III speed.
GPU Nvidea GeForce 940MX
This GPU is sick! Please note an unknown Intel GPU also comes with the unit. The GPU is where you set brightness AND contrast. You do this by right clicking an empty spot on your desktop, the drop down menu will list Intel Graphics Setting and Nvidea Control Panel. Set every control to the Nvidea card; 3D and PhysX, brightness, contrast, hue and saturation. The system is set to auto select between the two but appears to always choose the crappy fuzzy Intel GPU. I imagine the Intel GPU is what drives i3 machines. I can’t tell you enough how horrible the Intel GPU makes the display look. Once set for Nvidea the display comes to life, letters are crisp and sharp, and colors vibrant. Display speed and screen refresh is speedy too.
Display - 5 *****
Glossy screens are very reflective. Looks cool but who wants glare, who wants a screen that resembles a mirror? Not me. This matte screen is very anti-reflective yet at the same time very sharp/detailed, as long as you set GPU control to Nvidea (see GPU comments above). This display has zero glare, zero reflection even with a reading lamp above and behind my shoulder pointing directly at the screen or sitting in front of a bay window with mid-day sun. And, no, I haven’t taken the laptop outside. I will update later when It stops raining.
Keyboard and Touchpad - 4.5 *****
Keyboard key strokes are very good, not the best. Still very good for the buck$. Love that it comes with a numeric keypad. And that it has a backlight!
Touchpad works great with no L/R buttons. Just press anywhere on the left or right side for it to function. It’s quite obvious the 1 * reviewer is a NOOB or an agent of another mfg.
Hardware - 5 *****
Love that Acer didn’t cheapen the machine by leaving out hardware. It’s nice to have DVD R/W, Ethernet rj-45 port, HDMI and VGA outputs, an SD card slot, headphone jack, and 3 USB ports two of which are 3.0. There’s an odd hole on the left side near the screen. Since the machine did not come with a owner/user manual who knows what this hole is for. Perhaps for a cable lock for business security?
Cosmetics - 5 *****
I love the brushed black look.
Very minimal bloatware. Used Revo Uninstaller to remove trial crap.
Surface smudges are minimal and wipes off easily.
Power cord has right angle swivel plug. And cord from adapter to laptop is 6’ long.
Battery does last 11+ hours. And, laptop comes with battery life indicator icon located in the taskbar.
Weight is heavy attributed to the long battery life. I’ll sacrifice weight when I get hot performance.
Is the battery user removable? Unknown for now as the back cover has to be removed. And my searches have not turned any replacement batteries for sale. In a few years I anticipate the market will be flooded with replacement batteries. I can uninstall/install any battery so no sweat of my brow when it comes time to do so.
I have noticed two buggy quirks; one irritating, the other nonsense
Touchpad scrolling direction cannot be changed. Settings>Devices> Mouse & touchpad> Reverse scrolling direction set On or Off doesn’t work. To see the lower portion of a page you slide your fingers towards the keyboard, away from the keyboard to see upper portion of a page. This is set and cannot be changed.
Font size changes unexpectedly, usually smaller, lighter with squigly lettering. This makes them barely legible. Happens with Firefox, IE & Chrome. Close & reopen the browser and/or App resolves the problem. Arrrgh!
*** UPDATE *** 01.07.2017
Wierd mechanical break-in period
The font size changing on its own has stopped. Dunno why but it did and I’m happy.
The touchpad lef/right action will only work on the bottom corners… There’s a setting for this which I unticked. At first it allowed me to use the left/right edges of the touchpad, now only the bottom corners.
Battery is user replaceable. Remove the 15 case screws and a couple under the case and you’ll find the battery near the screen.Be sure to pull out the DVD drive prior to case removing. Pull gently on the small plug and, wala, the battery comes out. Piece of cake.