Acer is one of the largest manufacturers of laptop computer in present day’s market. It manufactures various types of desktops, laptops and many other computer peripherals for both home users and also business users. Headquarter of this company is in Taiwan though it has many regional offices all over the world for sales and customer support.
Aspire is one of the famous series introduced by Acer in 1999. There are both desktop and laptop computers in this series. This series gained tremendous popularity amongst consumers for its high specification, cheaper price and excellent after sales support.
INTRODUCTION TO ACER ASPIRE 7730
I used my Dell Inspiron laptop for almost two and half years and I am really satisfied with its performance. Last year, when I needed to do some front-end programming for my MSc course, my dell laptop was not strong enough to give me support and run those programs properly. So I needed a laptop with high specification. After browsing through couple of websites, I decided to buy Aspire7730 from Dixons. As you probably know that, Dixons does not have any high street shops and you have to buy stuff online from their website.
I really like this laptop because of its high specification and gigantic 17’’ screen. It comes with core 2 duo processor and a huge 4 GB ram. All I needed for my programming is higher ram to help me running all those high end programs and also multi-tusking. It was really cheap on that time. Ok, it was a reconditioned laptop, means previously it was on display or customers returned it. But, they always check and test all these reconditioned laptops thoroughly before selling and these laptops come with one year warranty. So it was perfect for me and it was only £330 on website but I got it for £313 using a discount voucher code (5% discount on all computer products). I also used topcashback website to buy this laptop, but my transaction was not tracked by them (unfortunately, otherwise I could have saved around £15).
RETAIL BOX CONTAINS
When I buy my first laptop from Dell, they gave me lots of additional wires, backup CD and software. But, this time, I only got a laptop, a charger and a standard manual. The reason may be because it was a reconditioned laptop. Though everything about this laptop is self-explanatory, still I think they should provide a back-up operating system CD like Dell.
FEATURES & MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
•OUTLOOK AND APPEARANCE :
It is a black, glossy and stylish looking laptop. There is an illuminating ACER logo on the top, every time you turn on the laptop, it will start glowing. It looks bigger than other laptops, which is normal because it has 17 inch display. It weighs around four kilogram. Yes you heard it right. It is awkwardly heavy and really difficult to curry for longer period. I have to walk around half an hour to go to my university, and just after 10 minutes, I always get tired and want to throw away my laptop. Only joking, but this laptop is really heavy and truly disappoints me. When you open the laptop, you will see all black look inside. If it is connected to power supply, there will be a small yellow light illuminating on the front. The on/off button is on the top of the keyboard. There is a blue ring around the button, and as long as the laptop is on and working it will be on. If you turn of the laptop then the light will go off. If you select the sleep mode or you close the laptop without turning off, then there will be an orange colour ring around the on/off button.
~Plus Points~: black glossy look, very spacious.
~Minus Points~: awkwardly heavy.
Ok, I am really impressed with the specification of this laptop. It has a very powerful processor Intel core 2 Duo 5800 with two MB cache memory. I am really satisfied with the huge and spacious cache memory as it will allow the user to multi-task in the computer easily. It also comes with gigantic 4GB DDR2 ram. Now it really sounds like a proper gaming laptop does not it? It helps the user to experience high quality and smooth display, faster response and extensive programming and also gaming.It comes with 160 GB hard-disk drive and a DVD writer as optical drive. I am not really happy with the HDD space, as now days it usually comes with 250GB. Optical drive works really well and it has 8x DVD writing speed.
powerful processor, 4GB ram.~Minus Points~:
Not enough HDD space.
•KEYBOARD AND MOUSE-PAD :
All the buttons are black and really flexible to use. They are not stiff and responses quickly. The keyboard is bit different than other laptop keyboards. There is an additional numeric key-pad on the right side of the laptop just like normal desktop. I find it really helpful and easier to type. There are five additional buttons on the left hand side of the keyboard such as Acer Deluxe, wireless enable button, Internet Explorer button, outlook express button and Bluetooth button. I found these buttons bit confusing and unnecessary. Sometimes, it’s really difficult to close the arcade deluxe option. Acer Arcade deluxe is an additional feature provided by Acer for enhanced multi-media experience for users. While it is really colourful and glossy software with lots of features, but it does take up a lot of speed of the laptop and bit difficult to close. These five buttons are also in such awkward place that, often I find myself pressing the wrong button in wrong time.The touch-pad works fine. There is a scroll up/down option in the left side in the touch-pad. The touch pad is quick in response and very easier to use.
•DISPLAY & SOUND :
~Plus Points~: Wide and roomy key-board, quick to respond touch-pad.
~Minus Points~: Five additional buttons on the left side are really awkward and confusing.
It has a 17’’ wide-screen display with Acer crystalbrite feature. I am really impressed with the bright and glossy display options of this laptop and it also supported by wide-screen capability. It almost feels like watching movies in desktop. You can select the resolution and refresh rate from Graphics properties.There is a sub-woofer on the top of the keyboard for enhanced and better quality sound output. There is a sound control button just below the touch pad.To be honest, I am not impressed with the sound system of this laptop. It’s not that loud and clear. Despite of that large sub-woofer and added sound features, the sound quality is very poor and sub-standard. I think my old Dell has better sound quality.
Brilliant 17’’ display.~Minus Points~:
Poor sound quality.
This laptop has extensive connectivity options. To start with it has four USB 2.0 ports with v1.1 compatibility. Two of them are on the left hand side and two of them are on the right hand side. There is a HDMI socket, one external speaker port, one head-phone and one microphone port, and additional display monitor adding port on the left hand side. There is 5:1 card reader just next to sound control button. I am very much impressed with the extensive connectivity options in this laptop. I spent my last two weeks in a boat travelling the local sea and islands. All I have is my laptop, my mobile internet, one USB keyboard and mouse and a digital camera. So I have used all four USB ports in my laptop simultaneously without any problem. Even we watched movies at night in the big screen in our boat. I charged my Iphone3Gs and my Sony digital camera from this laptop. I am extremely happy with the connectivity options.
~Plus Points~: Very useful and handy connectivity options.
~Minus Points~: None.
There is a webcam on top of the screen and it is only 0.3 mega-pixels. I could say straight away it’s good for nothing. But amazingly it serves me right. I video chat with my friends and families and they did not complain about the quality. Well it’s not the best but good enough to go. It supports with Acer Bright-eye feature to get a sharp and clear picture.
A good and useful webcam.~Minus Points~:
Acer could have provided at least 1 MP camera for better quality.
•BATTERY LIFE :
There is a six cell lithium ion battery in this laptop. It supposed to back up the laptop around 2 hours without power supply. But in my experience, you can operate your laptop around four hours if you select the power-saver option from the Power Plan and not using the multimedia or high spec programs. Otherwise, if you select high-performance, it will back-up the laptop around one and half hour without power supply. Over-all I am really satisfied with the battery life.
•PROVIDED OPERATING SYSTEM :
~Plus Points~: Good back-up time.
~Minus Points~: None.
It came with windows vista basic as operating system. I was not happy with it and called the Dixons customer service. I mean who uses basic vista now days. I asked for the Vista home premium and they said I have to pay for it. So I am using the vista basic for now. But I am planning to upgrade my OS as soon as possible. There is nothing wrong with Vista basic, it’s just less colourful and have less options than Home premium OS.
A decent OS.~Minus Points~:
Less features and options compare to Vista home premium.
•PROVIDED ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE AND FEATURES :
Acer provided so many additional features and software with this laptop and all of them are pre-installed. I find some of them really irritating and not that useful. There are an installed trial version of Microsoft office 2007 version for 60 days and also a trial version of McAfee Internet Security suite in this laptop. After that you have to buy the original versions. There are some added games provided by Acer (around nine games) but all of them are trial version and you only can play around 60 minutes. After that you have to buy the pro version. Each game takes around 700-900 MB of hard-disk space and bit difficult to uninstall. I used ccleaner to uninstall all there rubbish games to get free space in my hard-disk. All these features and software are very flashy and eye-catching but after a while I realize that it actually slows the speed of my laptop. I just uninstalled them. It would be better, if Acer provided me an extra CD or DVD with all these features and software so I can install it later. Obviously for security reasons, they can lock these software and additional features for each laptop to stop illegal use in other laptops.
~Plus Points~: Some useful and interesting features.
~Minus Points~: Some of them are very irritating and difficult to uninstall.
SPEED , OVERALL PERFORMANCE & RECOMMENDATION :
Overall, I am really happy with my laptop. Although, it’s bit bulky and difficult to carry but it comes with supreme specification. I did my programming works and all other project works in this laptop without any problem. I able to run two three programs at the same time and I did not experience any problem in overall performance. It is also good for gaming as you can play any high spec games with this laptop as well. The super glorious 17’’ wide screen is just perfect for watching movies. Sound quality is not that great but I can’t really complain. All in all I am really happy with my laptop still I think it was a great buy. It is really impossible to get a core2duo laptop with 4 GB ram within £300 in my personal opinion. So it is highly recommended.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICE
Just couple of days ago, I saw this laptop in Dixons for £329(refurbished one with one year warranty.). Today I could not find it, probably they ran out of stocks. But if you check regularly, you can find them in Dixons, PCworld or Currys within £300 to £350 price range. Don’t forget to use discount voucher code before buying it also use a proper cash back website to save some extra money. Although, my cash back did not work out this time, but if it worked I could have saved £15. Anyway I am not that sad for that £15, because I got an awesome laptop in a very cheap price and I am in love with my laptop.
Thank you very much for reading my review.
*** This review also posted at DOOYOO and HELIUM under same username. ***