Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Acer laptop dissapointment

Well, it was finally that time - time to get a new laptop. I needed a thin and light unit with good battery life, and Acer Timeline series fit the bill. I could not decide between the 13.3-in unit without the optical drive, or a 14.1-in unit with the optical drive. Finally, when I saw a sale at Staples for the larger unit (Acer 4810T-8480) @$499, it was an easy decision.

What a mistake...At first the laptop seemed great. But after two days it started...First a got few BOSDs, then the CD/DVD drive would not open until I rebooted, then I find out that Acer has in its wisdom disabled the Intel Virtualization technology, which the system's CPU was fully capable off (this is required to run XP Mode in Windows 7).

I really wanted to like this unit, and I assured myself I could get passed the few design flaws (flat keys, lack of CAPS lock light, and the single trackpad button design). After all, screen is a beauty, battery lasts 8 hours, its plenty fast for basic tasks...what more can a geek ask for?

So, I search online for fixes...no luck. I turn to Acer support (email only, phone support costs $$$). I describe the issue about the CD drive not ejecting without a reboot, I get a nice email saying to reboot the system if the CD will not eject, or to use a paper clip to open the tray. BSOD issue not answered.... Case closed. At last case closed according to Acer.

Second trouble ticket, the one regarding the virtualization is sent. Acer replies that their tech support is not trained on the issue, but that the paid support might be. Case closed.

Lucky for me, I got the unit at Staples, and I am able to return it without any restocking fee. Just as a funny sidenote, as I was restoring the factory image to the unit, and thinking to myself how sad I will be to see it go, it crashed and got another BSOD 0x9087.

My family currently owns three Acer laptops (not counting the 4810T), but I suspect it will be very difficult to tempt me to purchase another Acer unit. Furthermore, I have recommended the Acer products to my customers, something I will no longer be able to do.

Now, I am on a quest to find a replacement...ASUS UL30A is looking pretty good right now....

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