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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Acer Aspire V5-431-1007

At long last, I have a new laptop. And many thanks to those who got it for me! So far, apart from the fact that I'm still discovering how to use Windows 8, IT'S PERFECT!!!

This was how I found my laptop, after getting caught in the rain on the way home. I WAS (AM) SO HAPPY!!!
I found the desktop, but still not knowing how to get the apps to run without it going into what I call the Windows 8 mode - back to the app layout, where it just fills up the entire screen and the entire taskbar is gone, and I can't flip through apps without going back to the start page. At least, I haven't learned how to.

Say hello to my new baby! And my Japanese T-shirt. LOL
So, the Acer Aspire V5-431-1007. It isn't "the" model of laptops out there, nor is it like super powerful or anything, but it works good enough that it fits my requirements:
  • 500GB HDD
  • 4GB RAM
  • Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam
  • Intel Celeron 1.5GHz

And I shall officially name my new baby Aoko. In Japanese it's 青子, meaning "little blue" (although the kanji character means "green" in Chinese). Do I really have to explain why "little blue"? Anyways, this is my first "baby" which has a name. Well, my car and mobile device has their own names, and I can't imagine calling this baby V5. Nope, Aoko is cute. =D

Yes, I know, not the best model ever, but it costs originally only RM1,299, which is pretty much of a bargain for me given that I've reviewed so many other models from other brands that cost more than this baby, and the specs are pretty much the same (Lenovo was the most expensive).

As for the graphics... Well, I don't do much activity in regards to video and/or audio rendering. The most editing I'll do is photo editing for the blog, and that doesn't really need a super advanced video card. And I've given up on MapleStory.

Somewhat better than other Notebooks? Works well enough for me, anyway =D
At just 2.1kg, it's a pretty lightweight laptop, not to mention quite slim - 30% slimmer than conventional notebooks, but it still retains the quality of a good laptop (a bit knobbly on the actual keyboard, but sturdy all around). The perfect screen size? 14" - big enough that you can see most things without distortions, yet small enough to not be an obnoxious piece of machinery.

Did I mention that it comes in different colors? Mine is in BLUE. It's a freakin' beautiful metallic BLUE!!! In contrast with the black base, keyboard, and battery, it's beautiful...

I can't find any visible speakers on the device, but the sound seems to come from under the keyboard.
The plus is that the audio is awesome. Equipped with Dolby Advanced Audio Virtual SurroundSound, you can actually listen to music and feel like your listening to it via a surround sound system! The first track I played on this baby was Davide Sonar's Natural - it was BLISS!!! And you hear a lot more audio detail than with usual speakers!

1. the port where you stick in the dual-port cable (read below) for internet and projector connections
2. HDMI port
3. USB 3.0 port (much faster file transfers than the normal USB 2.0s)
4 & 5. 2x USB 2.0 ports
6. audio jack
The device comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports, and one USB 3.0 port, plus an HDMI port as well. The multicard reader is located at the front left of the device. While my old one used a push-spring method to take out the plastic piece designed to keep out the dust, you might need to tilt your device backwards to pull out the plastic thingiemajig with your finger.

The special 'cable' that allows your V5 to connect an ethernet cable, and also a projector cable.
And there is no RJ-45 jack, nor is there any jack to connect a projector - these two come in a separate cable. Which is a pain, somewhat, because you have to bring along a complete separate cable if you want to connect any of these two cables.

Insert a small pointed object, then pull following the arrow's direction to release the battery.
The battery made me do a double take, though. Putting it in was simple enough, but there was no typical "pull-me" lever visible on the underside of the laptop. At close inspection, there was this small crevice, with a small hole in it - this is the lever to release the battery. Simply pull, the battery will be released, and a gentle pull will release the battery completely.

At first glance, the laptop is a sleek piece of beauty - with a sleek design, coming in different colors, and with pretty good specs, but upon closer inspection, some parts of the device look a bit flimsy - unsanded plastic edges, and a somewhat (to me) off-set trackpad (loving the size of it, though).

But overall, it's pretty, it's useful, and above all, it serves it's purpose, even if it's not the creme de la creme of its range of laptops (I've seen a lecturer using a similar model, and also a classmate using a 15.6" model from the same series).

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