Acer Aspire Review

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I purchased an Acer Aspire computer for my wife and kids a month ago. I have been impressed. The computer is a very nice entry system. It’s actually faster than my computer, which is a Pentium 3 system I built over five years ago. The Acer computer comes with the AMD Sempron 3200+ processor, 512M memory, 160G hard drive, Windows XP, DVD/CD-RW drive, RJ-45 networking port, a bunch of USB ports, audio, speakers, ps/2 mouse, ps/2 keyboard, 17″ CRT monitor, 56k modem, and IEEE 1394 ports. The computer also has a bunch of slots for various memory cards.

The Acer was purchased on sale at Circuit City for $290. I upgraded to a Samsung 19″ LCD monitor for $160 more. But I got a $15 gift card for opening up a rewards account and I also used a $15 coupon I received in the mail. The monitor also had a $100 rebate, so my final price was $320 for the computer and 19″ flat screen LCD monitor. I also earned enough reward points to quality for a free DVD.

Here are my thoughts on the computer:

What I Like

  • It’s inexpensive – $320 is a great price for a pc with a 19″ LCD monitor.

  • Quiet – the computer is so quiet I can’t tell it’s even on.

  • No mail-in rebate – there’s no rebate to mail-in if you stick with the basic system. The other $300 systems I looked it involved a mail-in rebate.

  • More memory – some of the other $300 systems only had 256M memory (Acer = 512M).

  • Bigger hard drive – some of the other $300 systems only had 80G or 120G hard drives (Acer = 160G).

  • Cables and jacks are color coded.

  • DVD drive – the pc comes with a DVD drive. You can also burn CD’s.

  • Built-in networking – I didn’t have to install a separate network card.

  • Computer case is easy to open in case you need to work on the inside of the pc.

  • Expandable – there’s plenty of expansion slots and bays for upgrades.

  • USB and memory slots on the front of the pc.

  • Bright monitor – the Samsung monitor is very bright. My other monitor runs dark and I didn’t even know about some web graphics problems on my site until I saw them on the Samsung monitor.

  • Saves desk space – the flat panel monitor enables me to write on my desk again.

What I Don’t Like

  • Slow setup – the first time I turned on the pc, I had to wait for it to finish installing/configuring Windows XP.

  • Make your own system disks – the pc does not come with any recovery or systems disks. The pc prompts you for CDs and you have wait for the computer to burn the recovery and systems disks.

  • Useless manual – I didn’t find the manual useful when I had a problem.

  • Problem with audio – there’s several audi-out jacks. You need to connect the black jack from the speaker to the green audio-out on the pc. In this case, the cables and jacks are not color coded and there’s no info in the manual or the support site about connecting it to the green audio-out jack. I connected the black jack from the speaker to the black audio-out jack, which of course produced no sound. I had to contact Circuit City to resolve the problem.

  • Only two user account types – this is actually a Windows XP issue and not an Acer problem. There’s only two types of user accounts – administrator or limited. I didn’t want to give my wife and kids administrator rights, but limited is too limited. On my Windows 2000 system, there’s also a power user account type that is not available in XP.

  • No bells and whistles – the system does not come with any cool applications.

Princess M uses the computer for playing online games and CD games like Dora, Putt Putt, and Freddie Fish. The pc works fine for those types of games. I’m not sure how it will handle processor heavy games that teenagers and adults like to play (we don’t have any of those types of games in our house). My wife uses the computer to surf the web. She is quite amazed at how fast every thing loads in the browser. She loves shopping online and now she can visit more sites in the same amount of time as her old pc. I’m not sure if this actually a good thing. The Acer will also work fine for basic blogging, but you will most likely need a more powerful system if you need to edit videos for video casting.

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2 thoughts on “Acer Aspire Review

  1. Thanks a lot! This review was very helpful and informative. I was having a hard time finding Acer reviews, but this one has answered just about all of my questions. One thing I really like is that this review shows a good application of the computer to family life — not just gaming and multimedia maniacs! Thanks for your helpfulness.

  2. Thanks for this review. I bought one of these today and had trouble figuring out where to plug in the speakers. I’m glad I found your review because I was going crazy. LOL :)

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