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GemmaC25

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Acer Aspire 5532: Easy to set up and easy to use.

Quote-end
14.09.2010

Advantages:
It looks rather nice and it runs fast and quite smoothly .

Disadvantages:
Occasional problems with the Wi - Fi, scroll pad often doesn't work, and there's NO Caps Lock light .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Speed

Look & Feel

Comfort & Portability

Robustness & Durability

Value For Money

Memory / capacityExcellent

Ease of useEasy

Range of Extra FeaturesSatisfactory

Instruction manualNeeds improvement

Manufacturer SupportNeeds improvement

40 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (13%):
  1. JAVER1967
  2. pennywa
  3. hogsflesh
and 3 other members
very helpful by (87%):
  1. MrBrightside1987
  2. KathEv
  3. Great_reviewer07
and 36 other members

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Acer Aspire 5532

I never thought I would end up owning a laptop. I've never really liked them, for one I can't stand that touch pad which you use in place of a mouse, and don't start me started on the keyboard! For various reasons though I have ended up with a laptop, and it's my very first laptop. I took my time in deciding, making sure I was getting good spec for my money, and I settled on this Acer Aspire 5532 as it seemed like good value for money. The Acer Aspire 5532 has a 15.6 HD inch screen and comes with pretty good spec for the price as it features an AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. It also comes with Windows 7, which I had never used before, and a webcam though there is no microphone. I wasn't going to use my laptop for gaming as I have my PC tuned for that so I wasn't too fussed on a decent graphics card; I mainly wanted to use it for Internet browsing.


The laptop is black, sleek and shiny, though I wouldn't say it was lightweight as it is a rather heavy (2.7kg according to the website) thing to carry around. I don't often take my laptop outside of the home, but I would probably look for something more lightweight if I was going to be carrying this around quite a lot. The keys on the keyboard aren't actually that bad, I usually have my reservations about them, and it even has a number pad on the right which some laptops don't have. It has the usual touch pad pointing device with a section on the right of the touch pad to use for scrolling. The laptop only has 2 USB ports and whilst this is sufficient for me, it may cause a problem to people who would require more than 1. They are also really close together so if you need to plug any USB in that is quite bulky, you may struggle to plug something else in the USB slot next to it. The Multi-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD) is situated just underneath the laptop at the front, directly underneath the touchpad part. There is also a DVD drive and security wise there is a slot for Kensington lock and of course you can set passwords on Windows 7.

The laptop was easy to set up originally, it doesn't come with any discs though you do need to make your own set of 3 recovery discs which I still haven't gotten around to doing, but really need to! I did though spend quite a while going through deleting pre-installed software I don't want or need, and it does come packaged with a lot of things such as Acer Game Zone and it took time to go through and get rid of these, to this day I still haven't gone through it all. It comes with a free trial of Microsoft Office, if you wish to have the full version you can simply buy a product registration key to type in and you're all set. I however intend to use OpenOffice once this free trial has ran out as I don't have a big need for the Office software. There is also a McAfee 60 day trial version which I haven't bothered with as I use AVG Free edition and SpyBot to keep my computer virus and spyware free.


Problems begin...

I've had this laptop a while now and for the most I have been happy enough with it. Windows 7 is brilliant and the laptop runs fast, even whilst I am using iTunes and editing photos, playing videos on sites such as YouTube also runs perfectly. I do however, have some problems with the laptop which I think other consumers should be aware of before purchasing.

1. The keyboard has no way of indicating whether the Caps Lock key is on or not. This can get very annoying if you are typing in a password on a website, for it to say it's wrong and you then have to click on a normal text screen and type a letter to see if the Caps Lock is on or not. I do mainly use the shift key when I am typing, I rarely have use for a Caps Lock key, but because I find laptop keyboards really fiddly I must keep knocking it on when I am typing. The frustrating thing is there are some small lights on the laptop near the screen indicating some various things I haven't worked out yet, so I can't see why they missed out a small light to show the Caps Lock!

2. One main reason I dislike laptops is the touchpad, and for this reason I do plan on buying a mouse to go with my laptop as I've had enough. Sometimes the cursor sticks, the scroll part of it often doesn't work, and I'm often clicking on things I didn't want to click on as I was simply moving my cursor across the screen but the slightest touch is taken as a 'click' of the mouse. If like me you hate these things, then I recommend buying a mouse straight away with this one.

3. I have an intermittent problem with the Wi-Fi connection. I first noticed it a couple of weeks after I started using this laptop. I have a Virgin Media cable internet connection at home, and have a speed of just under 10MB and it always works fine on my PC and my iPhone. Quite often however my laptop struggles and barely reaches 0.5MB when I run a speed test, yet it's not a problem with my internet. At other times it works fine and happily connects at just under 10MB, but I still can't figure out why it sometimes runs frustratingly slow. I thought it may be down to how much battery power is left, but when the speed has slowed right down I check and I sometimes have full power and it doesn't change when I plug the laptop into the mains charger. I've gone through all the settings on the laptop and ran the troubleshooting but it doesn't seem to pick up any problems, and I've now given up searching for an answer.


To buy or not to buy?

Those are the only 3 problems I've experienced with this laptop and apart from those it's a pretty good laptop. The speakers on it aren't so bad, though if I was going to be using it to listen to music or watch films I would want something better. The webcam is decent enough but I have no need for a webcam so after messing around with it for a while I've never bothered with it, but I should point out it doesn't have a microphone so you'd need to buy one if you wanted to make full use of the webcam. It starts up quickly, mainly because I haven't bogged it down with software, but it's a pleasure to use apart from when the Wi-Fi is acting up and I feel like I'm back in the days of dial up 56k internet waiting an age for web pages to load. The installation process was instant, you simply turned it in and after a few clicks here and there you could start using it although if you're anything like me and hate all the pointless software that comes pre-installed then you may spend some time uninstalling various things.

The battery actually lasts a couple of hours, which is much better than I expected. It hasn't started dying yet, I know many laptops won't run for longer than 5 minutes without being plugged in after many months of use, and it charges up rather quickly too.

On the whole I paid £349 which was considerably less than other laptops I was looking at before buying this one, it had a good amount of RAM and Windows 7 is much better than Windows Vista which I currently run on my PC. The design is quite nice, though I do find it rather heavy and bulky at times, but it doesn't get extremely hot when using this on my lap and it also doesn't make much noise at all. The Wi-Fi problems I sometimes have may just be my laptop as no one else seems to have this problem, and I hate laptop touchpad's so again, don't read too much into my problem with that as I'm more of a mouse fan! If you are looking for a decent laptop without a huge price tag then I would say this is an affordable piece of kit if you can get it for the price I did.
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Comments about this review »

MrBrightside1987 16.10.2010 05:11

Very well reviewed :)

davidbuttery 20.09.2010 20:16

No Caps Lock light, as I said on the other side, would do my head in. Argh.

kevin121 20.09.2010 20:13

I find touch pads soo irritating!

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Do more and enjoy life more with the Aspire 5532! Advanced AMD mobile processor technology drives this 15.6" notebo...

General

MPN LX.PGY02.048
Product Type Notebook
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium

Processor / chipset

CPU AMD Athlon X2 TK-42 / 1.6 GHz
Number of Cores Dual-Core
Cache L2 - 1 MB

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings »

This review of Acer Aspire 5532-6C3G32Mn has been rated:

"exceptional" by (13%):

  1. JAVER1967
  2. pennywa
  3. hogsflesh

and 3 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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