Overall Grade: A-
Firstly, the specs of this laptop are as follows:
Model #: MS2319
Model: Aspire 5560g (5560-7851)
GPU: AMD Radeon HD6520G 512MB Graphics ram
RAM: 6GB DDR3
HDD: 320gb 5400RPM
Drive: D/L DVD-RW
Screen: 15.6″ LED
Wireless: Nplify b/g/n
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
I have had this Acer laptop for the last two weeks and have been using it extensively, noting all aspects. Starting with the processor, this laptop has the AMD A6-3400M CPU which is a quad core processor. The CPU handles all sorts of applications with ease, primarily 720/1080p video playback (on laptop screen) as well as computer game playing. The laptop masterfully executes programs such as Photoshop, Excel, Windows Movie Maker, and other Office applications.
Focusing on the GPU, I have thus far tested games such as Command and Conquer 3 on full settings for near every setting, Counter Strike: Source on high all settings, and less intensive games like internet games, monopoly, etc… As stated, this computer has 512mb of dedicated video ram (taken from the 6 GB total). I have tried to up this number in the bios with no success, fortunately, 512mb of video ram appears to be more than adequate to run the games I threw at it. I feel I should also mention that 6 GB of ram for the laptop is more than ample and the resulting 5.5 GB after the GPU takes 1/2 GB is still more than necessary. Like most laptops now-a-days the Acer Aspire 5560g runs hot while playing games, I have had this problem with both intel and AMD, over HP, Dell, and now Acer, cooling appears not to matter.
I started to talk about the ram in the GPU portion but in more depth, the laptop’s 6 GB of ram is more than enough to run pretty much anything on windows 7. I tend to use laptops like desktops (power-houses) and or the most part, the Aspire 5560g can keep up with my desktop in daily use (many many internet tabs and office programs open) which has 16gb of ram.
The Hard Drive of the Acer Aspire 5560g is pretty standard, a 320 GB 5400 rpm laptop HDD that runs as fast as you’d expect, and like all non-SSD hard drives, it only gets a 5.9 WEI. The 320 GB HDD only has 282gb when formatted and although I bought the laptop pre-configured, I do wish that it had the increased 500gb HDD, since space gets used quickly in the world of HD video.
I haven’t used the DVD-RW drive for anything other than installing programs so far, but I can say that it works and it reads program install disks quickly.
When I pulled this laptop out of the box, I was surprised at how large it was. Because this laptop is a 15.6″ screen and not a 15.4″ screen it’s apparently a different aspect ratio (?). When compared to my 17 inch HP DV9000z the Aspire 5560g is almost as big (width wise) although it is much less deep than the DV9000z. As for the screen quality, wow… this laptop screen is so sharp and bright, it’s fantastic. The resolution seems to be the same as others (1366 x 768) which is more than 720P. The big plus with the screen is that it is an LED screen, which means it is extremely bright and doesn’t use much battery.
I’ve seen other reviews complain about the laptop’s battery-life, I’m not sure if they had a worse battery than the 6-Cell battery this laptop came with but with that in mind… I get 3+ hours of battery life under standard use with this laptop. That includes video watching, internet browsing, Microsoft office, etc… 3+ hours is about on par with my Dell Intel system, which was much slower and worse, and is far better than my HP DV9000z laptop’s battery life. The Aspire won’t compare to a my netbook’s 10 hour battery life, but a comparison to that is foolish because you can do so much more with the Aspire than you can with a netbook. I don’t know where the complaint about battery life comes from, I am confident I could pull 5 hours from the laptop on Power-Saver mode, while using just office applications. Which to the best of my knowledge, is just as good as any full-size laptop on the market, and of course, you can change the battery yourself (unlike some other… more expensive “options”). I paid a very minimal $329 for this Aspire, for that tiny price tag I could buy 10 spare batteries and a netbook for the price of a mac, or a Sony = much better theoretical battery life.
The keyboard on this Acer 5560 laptop is fantastic, it’s hard to explain, but the buttons act separately and its very low profile and comfortable, this laptop has a full number pad as well.
I am not an Acer “fan-boy”, in fact, this is my first Acer owned. I’m coming off a Dell laptop that’s only 9 months old, and I will say I had a terrible experience with the Dell product and service; I won’t be buying a dell again.
My biggest complaint with this laptop is the positioning of the power button; it lays at the very edge of the laptop near the screen hinge. This poses a problem for me, because I hold laptops near the screen hinge, I can’t even count how many times I’ve sent my computer to sleep mid operation because my finger just barely touched this button.
On a final note, I have noticed some reviews of Acers saying the touchpad doesn’t work, I can understand where this complaint may have stemmed from, although my laptop’s touchpad works, I have noticed that it appears to go into a low-power state that requires you to “wake” it by touching it before it recognizes movement.
EDIT: To solve the touchpad issues, what I did was disable tap-to-click support, this makes the touchpad ultra responsive and work all the time, I just can’t double tap on the touchpad to do what left click normally does.
I am very experienced in the world of technology, and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Hope this review helps!