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Are Acer Laptops Reliable?

danielablau

TRIBE Promoter
I purchased an Acer laptop only to hear from my brother and my friend that they are horribly unreliable. Anyone have experiences with Acer laptops?

Thanks in advance
 

atomic

TRIBE Member
I had one that was pretty good... but it had a few issues..

-hard drive failure that required replacement
-broken fan (after warranty)
-broken hinge (after warranty)

I owned it for about 3 years. after that I considered alternatives. now I'm typing away on a Toshiba notebook... 3 months so far so good.
 

keeper

TRIBE Member
my touchpad conked out just after warranty expired. i have heard this is a common problem with acers.

other than that mine has served me very well. although my next laptop would definitly be an ibm or a toshiba.
 
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Jeremy Jive

TRIBE Member
Acers are a price point product. They are built to be as cheap as possible at retail pricing. Even their Ferrari version is just a gimmicked model.

If you want something that is going to work and be reliable don't buy something that's made of thin ABS plastic and covered in pretty blinking lights.

Toshiba and Compaq are not much better.
 
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danielablau

TRIBE Promoter
Jeremy - so which ones would you recommend? IBM? HP? Dell?

I know IBM's are tanks but they are double the price of a comparable Acer, and if you figure the technology will be obsolete in 3 - 4 years would buying the IBM be worth it?
 

Jeremy Jive

TRIBE Member
danielablau said:
Jeremy - so which ones would you recommend? IBM? HP? Dell?

I know IBM's are tanks but they are double the price of a comparable Acer, and if you figure the technology will be obsolete in 3 - 4 years would buying the IBM be worth it?
I won't lie to you and I'll be honest before I answer. I work for Lenovo. IBM no longer makes PCs. That division was sold to the chinese company Lenovo two years ago. Lenovo is the equivalent to Dell in Asia.

I'll give you an honest breakdown of the majors OEMs and try to be as unbiased as I can. You are going to get what you pay for. Depending on what you are looking for and what you want there are things to seek out and things to pass on if you can. Mind you I deal mainly with enterprise or business designed machines so my experiences with retail boxes is limited. Hopefully someone else here can help fill in details I might miss or be off because I'm referring to business notebook details.

If you are going to be moving your notebook around, look for technologies that help protect your investment. ABS plastic although lighter is far weaker than other building materials. The nice shiney black and silver plastic shells you seen on Acers, compaqs and toshibas is thin ABS plastic. For example when you push your fingers on the top of the shell behind the monitor when it's on, you can clearly see distortion in the screen. How safe is it going to be when you pack it in a bag with other items or something might fall on it? It won't last. To make ABS strong they have to use a lot of it which makes it weigh more. Not sure what HP uses in replacement of ABS on some of their models but Lenovo uses a magnesium alloy compound with a soft rubberized coating on the outside to make it more durable to scratching.

Motherboards....
How many times do you walk around properly holding your notebook? do you walk around holding it by the corner like everyone else does? Do you carry it by the top of the screen? What doing this does is stresses the motherboard by putting all the weight into either the corner or onto the plastic hinges. Over time this will stress and crack your board leading to having to replace the costly board. After the LCD screen this is the most expensive part of your laptop. For example our notebooks use a titanium and magnesium rollcage that the boards and chips are mounted to and then the book is built around that. This distributes the stress throughout the frame and away from expensive parts. It also protects from crushing and impact. As far as I know Dell and HP use a plastic cage on a few models. Lenovo ThinkPads also use stainless steel hinges attached to the cage and not the motherboard (a unique feature) so they don't wear out like plastic hinges and don't pull on the board either.

Security....
Fingerprint readers are becoming more and more common. Almost all Lenovo notebooks and I know many HP and Sony's have them as well. This help protects your data from anyone stealing it. I do know that the password manager on our ThinkVantage system is much more stable and robust than the competition which sets us apart. I know ours also locks the data on the drive so that if the drive is stolen it can't be opened unless attached to the original reader and the correct fingerprint is used. So ripping out the hard drive doesn't allow anyone to load your data and also makes the notebook useless. Not sure if the others do this with theirs. But without it's still a good backup. The fingerprint readers don't actually use the fingerprint image. It's a combination of algorythms of heat, depth and yadda yadda yadda. If you passed a photocopy of your finger print over it, it won't work. I've tried. It reads the peaks and valleys of your finger not just the image.

Operating system.
In my opinion stay away from Vista for now. You can get a good deal on a more stable XP system which is easier to use and you'll get a Vista upgrade for $50 to use later.

Small little details.
Hinges. Try and find notebooks with more than one hinge. What this does is locks the screen down in two spots. This helps prevent things like paperclips or pens from jamming in there and wreaking havoc on your screen.
Venting. Try and find a notebook with vents that port out the back and not on the bottom. This allows for less fans (noise and power consumption) and won't heat up your legs if you use it on your lap.
Batteries. The more cells in the battery the better. Upsized batteries are usually 9 cells, standard being around 6. To keep your battery running as long as you can, set the power management tool to stop charging when the battery is full and auto switch to AC when it's plugged in. This stops the computer from continually trying to charge up a full battery which will lower it's life span.
Screens. The pretty shiney ones are just pretty shiney layers on top of the screen. If you want image quality concentrate on resolution, power consumption, contrast ratios and real specs. Not the 'pretty factor'.
Processors. Core 2 duo is the standard right now. Intel is launching something in a few months for Santa Rosa but that's a computer lifetime away and it will be a long time before anyone goes quad core so core 2 duo is going to suit you fine.




From what I gather, you are looking at getting a notebook without breaking the bank. Acer is at the bottom end of the scale. You will save money but you are sacrificing the quality of components used. For the small investment of maybe $100 more or so you can upgrade to a consumer HP, Sony or Lenovo 3000 line (our consumer line). We also make a few ThinkPads that are in the consumer price range (we call them TopSellers) but they are not widely available through retail so it might take some searching.

I tried to think of as much as I could without being overly biased. If you go with one of the bigger OEMs you will get better parts, warranty and service.

Best brands IMHO
Lenovo (ThinkPad)
HP
Toshiba/Dell/Lenovo 3000
Acer/Compaq
 
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danielablau

TRIBE Promoter
THanks for your input, its much appreciated, I have already ordered the Acer, I'll see how it is when it gets here and then see what the build quality is like and use iit for a week, if it sucks that badly I'm going to return it.

Again, thanks for the info.
 

Jeremy Jive

TRIBE Member
danielablau said:
THanks for your input, its much appreciated, I have already ordered the Acer, I'll see how it is when it gets here and then see what the build quality is like and use iit for a week, if it sucks that badly I'm going to return it.

Again, thanks for the info.
Send me a link to the one you bought. It's hard to judge something based just on brand without knowing the specs on it.

I'm sure it will do you fine. Just treat it properly and it should last you until you want to replace it.
 

deevah

TRIBE Member
i have a thinkpad, it's dog yrs old (win2k)
works like a gem, no issues

i want work to dish out for a X-series tablet but i think i'll be upgrading soon to a Z or T series for home use
 

Jeremy Jive

TRIBE Member
deevah said:
i have a thinkpad, it's dog yrs old (win2k)
works like a gem, no issues

i want work to dish out for a X-series tablet but i think i'll be upgrading soon to a Z or T series for home use
When you do, call me first and I'll hook you up. That's what the friends plan is for.

FYI, the Z series is more of a media based busines box and the T is a robust workhorse business box. The T series now comes in a wide screen version which only the Z did before.
 

zoo

TRIBE Member
Jeremy you've conveniently left out FUJITSU and ASUS notebooks from your list of "best brands."
 
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Jeremy Jive

TRIBE Member
zoo said:
Jeremy you've conveniently left out FUJITSU and ASUS notebooks from your list of "best brands."
Can't say I know much about either but I know that Fujitsu had a notebook with a decent review by an industry publication. Great battery performance for a single chip system. They didn't like the plasticy feel or the keyboard texture though.


Completely blind to the rest of their lines.
 
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zoo

TRIBE Member
I've found the ASUS notebooks I've purchased or recommended have been by far the best I've seen build-quality wise. They aren't cheap, but you get what you pay for. Regarding the other brand, I find my friend's 12" Fujitsu is a pleasure to use.

The best part about the ASUS notebook was ordering replacement parts. I spilled an entire root beer on my girlfriend's notebook (right in the keyboard, bad accident), and the notebook suffered no damage aside from a few sticky keys. I figured it would cost alot to replace the keyboard since it would have to be ordered for that particular model which was then 1.5 years old, but in reality all I had to do was visit their wholesale/support site and order a single keyboard for $15. And it arrived in 2 days, shipped free! Every part of the notebook was included on the site, and for sale at cost.

It pissed me off even more that I had bought a DELL years back, and was faced with a $600 motherboard purchase to fix what was a manufacturer's defect (I ended up junking the notebook, better to take the losses than sink another $600).
 

danielablau

TRIBE Promoter
Just an update:

I got an ACER 5570 for $650.00 brand new........it is working great, just put Vista on it........not sold on Vista yet......
Only gripe I have is that the screen leaks a lot of white light.......that being said, $650 for a core duo machine is unbeatable when I bought it, and appearantly the processor isnt soldered in, so i can pretty much drop in a core 2 duo chip and it is supposed to work.
 

zoo

TRIBE Member
^^ no pc processors are soldered into motherboards (unless i missed a big recent industry change)
 
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evil homer

TRIBE Member
i'm on my second acer and i've been pretty impressed.
performance wise, i run it through the ringer 4 or 5 times a year (constant rhino/3d max/Adobe CS2 for a week on end) and it stays fast.
I've found it pretty rugged too. I'm hard on things and I bike across downtown with the laptop on my back 6+days a week, rain and shine.

Just one subjective opinion, but next time around I would buy another acer.
 

oh toro

TRIBE Member
keeper said:
my touchpad conked out just after warranty expired. i have heard this is a common problem with acers.
do you really believe this is a common problem that happens shortly after warranty expires? or would you not think that it could be related to use and MTBF? there really isn't much variation on MTBF for trackpads from the sources out there.
 

zoo

TRIBE Member
i don't think you can draw any conclusions based on the failures of integrated parts that are generally given to the lowest bidder --- the supplier could create a bad batch, they could change components, they could change processes, or the manufacturer could change suppliers entirely

a computer built in 2005 by a manufacturer has no correlation to a computer built today, aside from perhaps the level of quality a manufacturer might strive for when selecting components (because the components will be entirely different and physically incomparable!) it's hard to say "ibm has a higher MTBF (or rather in this case, MTTF) than acer regarding touchpads," simply because for all you know, they could BOTH be using the exact same touchpad supplier.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
we had a really old one and it was a piece of crap. but i am a firm believer that all laptops are pieces of shit and are only as good as their warranties.
 
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