Acer AS5742Z-4685 15.6-Inch Laptop (Mesh Black)
|Average Customer Review: ( 26 customer reviews )
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95 of 96 found the following review helpful:
Very impressive laptop for the price! Oct 30, 2010
"Maine Fiction Fan"
I'm a somewhat advanced computer user and had been looking at laptops for a while before buying the Acer AS5742Z-4685. I dug into all of the specs of about 6 different models and zeroed in on this one as the best value. The price point was above the $300 I spent on our 'family' laptop a year ago, but I'm glad I spent the extra $100 (check out some of the private sellers' prices).
Pros: Crystal-clear LED screen, fast computing, great multi-tasking, not too much crap-ware pre-installed, lightweight, and easy-to-use keyboard
Cons: Battery life is good, but not great; price point is a bit high if you're willing to wait for Black Friday or Gold Box deals... which I obviously wasn't)
Overall, this laptop is a good buy in the $500 range, a great value at the $400 level, and--if it ever goes on sale in the $300 to 350 range--don't miss your chance to buy it!
56 of 57 found the following review helpful:
Excellent Laptop, great price Dec 10, 2010
Bought this laptop for about $450, free expedited shipping from Warehouse Sur+ (Amazon seller). Arrived late due to FedEx, not the fault of Amazon, Warehouse Sur+ or Acer, of course. It was double boxed for shipping, arrived in excellent condition.
Excellent finish which makes smudges hard to see. Screen is nice and big, crystal clear. We have 4 Acer monitors and all work very well. Not a single issue with them and two are several years old, so we were pretty sure Acer would make a good laptop as well.
The laptop comes with Windows 7 Home Premium but no DVD for it so you can't reinstall easily. The key code for it is on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop, so if you get an OEM Windows 7 DVD that key should work to reinstall Windows 7. It also comes with some craplets, but you might be interested in McAfee's antivirus (we weren't, we use Microsofts Security Essentials, free download from MS with an authenticated Windows system).
We reformatted the hard drive into multiple partitions and installed Windows 7 64bit Ultimate (we use BitLocker drive data encryption for data on the laptop and on the USB drives). The reformat and reinstall worked just fine (and no craplets!). Since there is no disk with the system, there were a lot of missing drivers (for the network card, wireless device, several Intel drivers, the camera, etc). All were easy to find at the Acer web site (get them beforehand, unless you have another computer to download with).
Once we added the network driver, we could instantly see the local network computers and printers, and internet. Once that was found, we went to Microsoft Updates and that seemed to find most the other drivers for updating, including the video card drivers. The Acer website for the AS5742Z lists drivers for both AMD video cards and nVidia, although you probably don't want or need both, and they are large files. The Microsoft Update website detected and installed the appropriate video driver, which makes life a lot easier.
If you decide you want to install Windows XP (we tried just to check if it works) it does run fine, although we did have to go into the BIOS at bootup and change the SATA setting to IDE. The default value crashes XP during installation. That's a minor issue, since Windows 7 is so much better anyway. If you use the normal 32 bit XP, you won't use all of the 4GB of ram; you need the 64 bit operating systems to do that, which is why Acer provides the Windows 7 64 bit version.
The laptop has 3 USB ports, two on the right side, one on the left. We put USB thumbnail drives into them all to test them and had no issues. We tried the wireless network, it was fine. We also connected to our 10/100/1000 wired network, and the laptop transferred a large file at the full 1Gbps speed. We then tried a wireless modem from Verizon, and it also worked as expected.
The keyboard is very nice for a laptop. The mouse pad on the laptop is ok, but we prefer a normal mouse. We put in a USB mouse made by Roswell (a cheapo one for $4) and it worked right away. The 4GB of RAM were fully accessible, thanks to the 64 bit operating system (both on the OEM version it came with and our own Win7 64 Ultimate).
The only thing we will get for it is a car charger. We have a standard laptop briefcase, it fits into that fine.
Overall, we are delighted with this laptop and expect to buy another one in a few months.
48 of 49 found the following review helpful:
Fast CPU + Beautiful Display + Low Price Nov 22, 2010
By COMPUTER GEEK
This is an amazing laptop. Screen is crystal clear and very bright. The top cover and spots where your wrist sit have a nice texture to them making fingerprints and smudges hard to see. The p6100 is a great budget processor. This beats down the similar price athlon II mobile processors and seems to be ahead of the old core 2's in benchmarks. The Battery life seems to be about 3.2hours while browsing the net and working with outlook and word. Keys have a great feel and the way it is designed, you really cant get food or other small objects caught under them. This laptop does have 3 usb, 1 on the left and 2 on the right.
21 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Returned item, do not recommend Jan 18, 2011
Two things annoyed me about this laptop once I bought it (new) and started using it. One was that the CD/DVD drive was extremely flimsy, and the other was that the fan for the motherboard was constantly turning on and off, on and off for no reason, and was very loud. The former problem I decided I could live with, the latter I decided I could not. I did some research and found that many others had had the same problem with this laptop and had written that the problem could be solved by flashing the BIOS. Well, of course, I thought a laptop was supposed to work right if it's brand new, but anyway I contacted tech support and they told me which BIOS file to download, which I did, and I flashed the BIOS. It seemed to make the fan better. However, a few days later, I was watching a video on YouTube, and BAM, the computer froze and the motherboard started making a loud, repetitive clicking sound. I restarted it and tried to watch the video again and it did the same thing. I have never seen that happen to any computer, new or old. I cannot recommend buying this laptop. Go for another brand.
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Love it! Dec 14, 2010
By Helen S. Lam
I bought the HP G62-340US last week but returned it when I saw this Acer Aspire with 1 more GB of RAM for only $20 more at an office superstore. I am a typical home user who uses the laptop primarily for photos, web browsing, some word processing and filing taxes. Wow, I am impressed by this laptop. I especially love the number key pad on the right hand side. That's a luxury that I never had with any of my previous laptops. The keyboard is also very nice with full-size keys that did not require too much force to register. Unlike other reviewers, I did not have any ergonomic issues with the off-center touchpad. Installed Internet Explorer worked seamlessly. I was also able to download Google Chrome as an alternative web browser. So far, no complaints with this value-priced Acer Aspire.
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