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Acer Aspire Laptop / Decent Budget Computer

Reviewing: Asus Aspire 5535 Series  |  Rating:
Tanya Pecora By Tanya Pecora on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:

We purchased this laptop in December as a family Christmas present. It is mainly for checking email, kids doing homework and going online. We knew we didn't need a powerhouse laptop, just something basic. For us, price was more important than preformance.

Here are the specs:

AMD Athalon 63X2 dual core processor

Windows 7

2GB Ram

ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics

DVD bruner

Multi Card Reader

Built in web cam

5.3lbs, 15"X10"X1.2"

Initial setup was super easy, Hubby had it up and running within minutes, Windows 7 has a great guide to walk you through the recovery disk creation process. Be warned though, it does take a few hours to complete and 3 DVDs. It comes with some trial software Norton online backup, macafee virus scanner, netflix and microsoft Office. All are free for 60 days, then you need a paid subscription to continue. We weren't interested in the free software, so we simply deleted it. (I dislike Norton and MacAfee, as they slow my computer down substantially.) Instead we opted for a combination af free programs : AVG free, Spybot search and Destroy and Malware bytes - all are fantastic programs!

All in all we have been relatively happy with this laptop. It is a bit slow, which we know going in. The kids don't seem to mind at all. The touchpad is a "multi-gesture" touchpad and is quite responsive. I like the scroll option on the right had side of the touchpad, it's very convenient.

Quality of the web cam is only so-so. It claims to be good, in low light, I think my definition of good is different than Acers LOL! Luckily, the webcam isn't important to us at all.

I am concerned about the DVD player, simply because it is already quite loud when reading DVDs and it doesn't feel sturdy when I pick the laptop up by the sides (yes the burner is closed, it just seems to wiggle in it's slot KWIM) I guess only time will tell. The laptop does have a 1 year limited warranty, hopefully we won't need to use it!

I am giving it a 3.2 simply because I am concerned about the lifespan of this laptop. Hubby had a Toshiba laptop for work and it felt WAY more solid. It got dragged around from plant to plant in very dusty, dirty environments. I don't think this laptop could take it. I would recommend it but it may be an idea to get the extended warranty, I guess I'll let you know in a year or so...

Update On Mar 01, 2010: We have been using this laptop for 2 months now and are quite happy with it. I still can't speak for durability, but the overall usability of it is great, if not a bit slow. The touchpad is almost too responsive, if I simply brush it with my hand it moves my cursor on me!