I purchased an Acer Aspire 5542 series laptop about two months ago. I really like the laptop itself, but it also has some disadvantages which would make me hesitant to recommend it to others. Acer makes a pretty decent product at a good price. It has a Vision AMD dual processor which is good for a laptop in this price range. It has a memory of 3 GB and a 320 GB hard drive which is quite good. That is the huge advantage with Acer products. They are cheap. A comparable product from one of the bigger name brands could cost about 100-200 dollars more. Though I would not put them in the same category as a Dell for durability, technical support, or warranty, for many people this would be a wise choice. Many people upgrade to a newer laptops every few years, so going the cheaper route can be very practical. It depends on what you want from your laptop, of course.
The Acer Aspire 5542-1615 has a 15.6 inch screen which I think is the perfect size. It is large enough to make for comfortable viewing and compact enough for portability. It is also fairly lightweight. I like the sleek design of the laptop as well.
The product comes with a 1-year limited warranty. You have the option to purchase an extra year for about 100 dollars. It is in this area where I find Acer products very disappointing. If anything does happen to your laptop, many people will tell you that they have had horrible experiences trying to get them to fix it for them. Their technical support and customer service is horrible. Though it's true that some people have told me they have had no problems with Acer's warranty, I myself have experienced some problems with them, and have read many others.
About a month after purchasing the product I started to experience problems with my "N" key. As it turns out this was my fault. I removed the key myself and found that there was something sticky underneath it. After this I could not put the key back on, and I wrote to Acer to tell them about the problem. I was a bit dishonest and just told them the key came off. They wrote me back saying though it is still under warranty, I would have to pay 200 dollars to have the key repaired and that I would have to pay to ship the laptop to them as well. I thought this was quite a ridiculous price to replace a laptop key, especially while the product was under warranty. So I decided to call the Acer Technical Support call center to discuss it, which is when I found out that they charge you $1.50 a minute just to talk to a representative. No one has this problem with a Dell, that is for sure. Eventually, my brother was able to get the key back in place free of charge.
So while, I like the laptop, and think it was a great buy, I hesitate to give it a good review. In many ways you get what you pay for with Acer. If you want a decent laptop for a good price, Acer is worth considering, but you also run a risk of getting bad service if you should need it.