>*clears throat* amendments….3:06 AM
Move over, Dell. Helloooo, Acer!
I cannot seem to rant and rave enough when it comes to my new Aspire. I honestly was not expecting it to even come close to to touching the hem of the Dell, and it freaking blew it out of the water.
More features, to begin with - TV out, RF reciever, webcam, high quality surround sound, the ability to be locked, firewire. Smaller and lighter. Much more attractive and user friendly design. Performance - this guy actually has a better motherboard, better graphics, and a bigger hard drive than its Dell twin. Now this isn't the sucker punch... I noticed all of this while I was shopping around online for a new laptop, as I was specifically looking for something that would be a jack of all trades with desktop performance in a small and portable package, and this rang the bell. I was still skeptical though in regards to the quality and how well all of this would fit together.
The quality is so far at least on par with the Dell. The reason I say "so far at least" is because, well, time is the biggest teller of all. As for how everything fits together... holding this is like holding a Macbook more than anything else. Yes, seriously. It is that comfortable. And here's a shocker (considering the OEM is Acer)... the body was designed by BMW. (BTW, what is up with the new trend of having car manufacturers design laptop bodies?)
Now, for one of the biggest surprises of all... the OEM install of Vista.
You know how I feel about Vista already. Did it suddenly get better? No, lol. But Acer did do something that up until now I have only dreamed of an OEM doing.
First of all, a minimal installation of bundled software. There is Norton (initializes on system start up), there is Orion, there is Acer Empowerment (their collection of system config, backup, and restore tools which are all nicely bundled in to a lightweight toolbar that sits on your desktop and initializes on system start up), Acer Arcade (which from what I can tell is kind of like Media Center), a handful of games, a CD/DVD burning application, and of course the registration utility that starts up when you first turn the laptop on. Minus Norton and the games, all the bundled software is actually *useful*, even their Empowerment toolbar, which has marked the first time in my life I've ever found myself using the OEM's system configuration utilities as opposed to what Windows comes with. Also note the LACK of bundled software. I have not found myself spending hours uninstalling useless crap and
There is also one more detail, that while small, makes a huge difference. They actually let you make a cd of just the drivers and bundled application software. While I can't say I've never seen this come out of an OEM before, I can say that it is bloody rare. It means no having to download the drivers/software from the OEM's website or "restore" the entire OS just because you need a driver or want to reinstall a piece of software.
Now for support. I generally always find something to call support about, if anything just to check out what I can expect from tech support should anything go wrong. They have got the kind of tech support that won't win any awards for customer service or salesmanship but does diagnose the issue correctly, resolve it correctly, and get you off the phone quickly - my favorite kind. :) Although, I must say here that this is the point where I would *not* suggest Acer to a new computer user. Unlike most other OEMs, Acer doesn't go out of its way to pop support numbers and emails and chat in your face, nor does their tech support seem very willing to "babysit" or overly eager to win the adoration of the people that call in. If you don't have an "average" knowledge of computers and/or expect your OEM to really go out of its way to make sure you get tons of "friendly" and "courteous" support, I have a funny feeling you will hate Acer. The guy I talked to sounded and acted quite a bit like a techie and *not* a customer service representative, i.e., he could care less what my impression was of him (he was cordial and that was it), he just wanted to get the issue fixed. I have one request to Acer - please, for the love of God and all that is sane, DO NOT CHANGE YOUR TECH SUPPORT! That includes but is not limited to: moving your call centers overseas, pushing empathy/sympathy/etc. more than average call handling time and first time issue resolution, introducing lengthy call scripts of any sort, pushing your tech support to upsell (or any kind of sell really), and expecting ANY kind of "professional" "business like" "corporate" behavior. This crap does not work, and only serves to piss off both your reps and your customers (that is, the ones that are not... well, we won't go there). Trust me, things are fine as they are, at least from my experience.
Well, that's all I can think of to say for now. I'm happy with my laptop and would recommend it to others. :) Laters!