What I bought: Acer Aspire M laptop
What I paid: $579 (original price: $629; however, it’s cheaper now 😦 at $549). I bought the laptop in late July.
The Dell laptop I had was great. When I started having issues with it, I decided it was time for a new one.
I had a really hard time selecting something. I asked my brother what the minimum components should be (Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, 500 GB hard drive). Maybe my problem was sticker shock: it seemed like in order to get the i5 processor, I was going to have to pay an arm and a leg. I originally thought I’d be able to find a decent machine for something in the 300s. No such luck.
What I wanted: 15.6-inch screen, the minimum components my brother suggested…and that was basically all I cared about.
I tried to do research, but heard different opinions (although stated as facts) with every person I talked to: “You don’t want Dell; they’ve gone way down hill;” “you should get a Dell — solid machine;” “Samsung is the only way to go;” “Samsung is just riding on their name right now; I’d buy a Samsung phone, but never a Samsung laptop.”
Because I’ve had several Dell laptops and have loved them every time, that’s what I was leaning toward, but I opted not to based on the majority of the feedback I heard.
When I read reviews of laptops online, it seemed like everything was getting 3.5 stars. There were just as many 5-star ratings as 1- and 2-star ratings. I hate that. Is the person giving it only 1 star because the laptop was legitimately awful or because that person was a moron? Did the 5-star review come from someone who was really impressed, or someone who works for that company?
I read professional reviews (from places like CNET), but since it was a not a mega premium laptop, their reviews were sort of neutral. The performance was impressive in some ways, not so impressive in others, “which is to be expected from a mid-range machine.”
In the end, I’m feeling “eh” about my purchase. Part of me wishes I would have gotten a Dell…just because I’m so familiar with them. The Acer isn’t bad, necessarily, I’m just trying to get used to it. I’ve had a few wonky things: I opened Firefox once and it said I needed to adjust my cookie settings, even though earlier in the day it was fine. After searching for how to change my cookie settings unsuccessfully for 20 minutes, I restarted my computer and everything was totally fine, no cookie issues.
I’m also not in love with the widescreen…which I think is what all laptops are moving toward. I’m using my laptop mostly for web browsing (read: looking at pretty pictures on blogs and Pinterest) and Microsoft Word. I would prefer to see a longer stretch DOWN the screen rather than across it.
Oh, and Windows 8? Way different. But I think I’ll get used to it.
Here’s the keypad.
I have the number pad on the side, which is helpful when I’m ordering things online and have to type in my credit card number 🙂 The entire keypad also has the capability to be backlit, in case you’re typing in the dark. I actually like the keypad — the keys have a quiet click to them and they feel sturdy. The mousepad is fine, but I bought an optical mouse from Logitech (it was on sale at Best Buy when I bought the laptop — I paid $10; original price was $29).
Here’s the back.
It has three USB ports and an HDMI output. (I just bought a second monitor to accompany my laptop [details to come] and knowing that it had the HDMI output was important — ha, thanks, brother, for helping me figure that out!) I ended up getting 6 GB memory (this is good — it means things will load faster) and 500 GB hard drive (this is my storage — I will probably never reach that full capacity).
I have noticed that almost everything loads super fast. Even the laptop itself turns on crazy quick — it reminds me of my iPad, just turn it on and it’s basically ready to go. Microsoft Word seems to take a little bit of time to open. I had a few issues with that in the first week or so, but no problems lately.
The laptop is 1 inch thick and weighs 5.3 pounds.
Overall, I don’t hate my new laptop, I’m just not in love with it yet. I’m praying that I’ll grow to love it.