What I Bought: Acer Aspire M

laptop1What 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.

laptop2I 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.

laptop4It 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.

laptop3

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.

laptop5Seriously, I really, really want to love it.

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