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IFA 2023 — Acer introduces a number of new devices running Windows 10, including the Switch 7, a two-in-one tablet with fanless design with an Intel Core i7 chip and discrete graphics. If you’re about pure-gaming and price isn’t an issue, Acer is also introducing the new Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktop with an Intel Core i9 18-core processor with up to 128GB of memory and up to four graphics cards.
In addition, Acer unveiled the Predator X35 monitor, the Swift 5 laptop, Spin 5 convertible, and the Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop computer.Acer Switch 7 Black Edition
The Switch 7 looks very similar to the Microsoft’s Surface Pro with a fanless design and powerful Intel Core i7 processor, but you also get an Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete graphics processor, and of course, a kickstand that can deploy automatically and auto retract.
Although it comes with dedicated graphics, it’s not a device for gaming. Instead, it’s a 2-in-1 designed for productivity.
In the Switch 7 Black Edition 13.5-inch (2256×1504 pixels) 2-in-1 you’ll find an Intel eighth-generation Core i7 processor with discrete Nvidia GeFroce MX150 graphics and Acer’s Dual Liquid Loop cooling technology, which is what allows a fanless design.
Unlike the Surface Pro, the Switch 7 comes with a battery-free Wacom stylus that has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support, and you can even store the pen inside the device.
As most computers today, Acer’s newest 2-in-1 comes with a fingerprint sensor in the keyboard with support for Windows Hello.
Pricing starts at $1699 in the United States, and it’s expected to be available in December.Acer Predator Orion 9000
If you’re a serious gamer, the Acer Predator Orion 9000 gaming desktop is perhaps a good option for you. This new computer features up to Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor with up to 128GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory and up to four-way AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics or two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080Ti graphics in SLI.
As for connectivity, this gaming rig includes two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (one Type-C and one Type-A), eight USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one Type-C and seven Type-A), and two USB 2.0 ports (Type-A). And it also supports three M.2 slots and four PCIe x16 slots provide ample expansion for video cards.
Pricing starts at $1999 for the base model, and the Acer Predator Orion 9000 gaming desktops is expected to be available in North America in December.
Alongside the new Predator gaming rig, Acer is also making available the Predator X35 curved monitor featuring a 35-inch display with 21:9 aspect ratio and (3440×1440 pixels) WQHD resolution. The monitor also comes with Nvidia G-SYNC, Acer HDR Ultra and quantum dot technologies, it provides great contrast quality with high dynamic range.
Acer isn’t sharing pricing details, but it’s expected to be available in early 2023.Acer Swift 5
The Acer Swift 5 is getting a refresh with Intel eighth-generation Core processors, and the top and bottom covers, and the palm rest area, now features magnesium-lithium, and it only weighs 2.2 pounds.
Pricing starts at $999, and it’s expected to be available in the United States in December.Acer Spin 5
The Acer Spin 5 is also getting a refresh this year. The 13-inch convertible now comes with Intel eighth-generation Core processors and options up to 16GB of memory. It’s also light and thin device weighing 3.3 pounds and measuring 15.9mm thick. Then there is also its 15-inch sibling weighing 4.4 pounds and measuring 17.9mm.
Acer claims 13-hours of battery life, and the 15-inch model also comes with an option for discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics.
Both devices feature 360-degree hinges that allow them to fold over for a tablet-like experience, or to prop up tent-style to easily watch videos.Acer Aspire S24
Acer also unveiled its Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop with a very slim profile.
The desktop sports Intel eighth-generation Core processors with up to 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD of storage space, Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) technology, Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony technology, and -5 to 30 degree tiltable display.
Pricing starts at $999, and the Acer Aspire S24 is expected to be available in the United States in January 2023.
You can find out more information about the announced products at chúng tôi and you can also check out the latest deals at the Acer Store.
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When you pull the Needletail SX out of the box for the first time, you’re likely to be taken aback by how awesome everything looks. All of your hardware is enclosed in an excellent NZXT Switch 810 full case, which has a window on the right side so you can look inside and view your motherboard. The case itself is sleek, with more than enough room on the inside to add additional hardware should you ever want to. The case also comes equipped with a number of dust filters to make fan maintenance less of a chore. The case is glossy in most places, which means that it will attract fingerprints easily, but a little upkeep is a small price to pay to keep your Switch 810 looking great.
That sexy-looking case is filled with some of the best hardware around. Bringing everything together is an ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard. This particular motherboard features an Intel x79 chipset, and enough PCI express 3.0 slots to support 4-way SLI or Crossfire. Even though the Needletail SX already comes with more than enough graphics power, it’s nice to know that you can continue to upgrade should you need any more power in the future. On the back of the unit, we’ve got 4 USB 3.0 ports, 8 USB 2.0 ports (one of which is reserved for ROG Connect), and two eSATA 3.0 ports. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme is an excellent motherboard, but then again it would need to be with all of this high-end hardware attached to it.
Next up let’s talk about RAM. Surrounding the CPU in a rather nice looking display are 8 G.Skill Ripjaws Z 4GB DD3 cards at 2133 MHz. That means you have a whopping 32GB of RAM at your disposal – likely more than you’ll ever need, but there to ensure that everything runs extremely smooth. Indeed, that RAM helps make this computer incredibly fast, regardless of what you’re doing. You can play a game with all the settings maxed (more on that later) and never have to worry about stuttering, thanks partially to the amount of RAM you’ve got under the hood.
[sgbenchmark id=173 show=system]
The dual SLI EVGA NVIDIA GTX680 graphics cards help with that too, naturally. With 2GB of video RAM each, this SLI setup can handle anything you can throw at it, as far as gaming goes. The GTX680 is one of NVIDIA’s enthusiast-level cards, meant only for those who take PC gaming incredibly seriously, and this computer uses two of them. Of course, installing two of the best GPUs around makes for a pretty significant price hike, but with these two working together, you won’t have to worry about updating your graphics hardware anytime soon.
The CPU is cooled by a Corsair Hydro Serious H100 cooler, and what’s interesting about this particular water cooler is that comes with adjustable fan settings. There are three settings in total – low, medium, and high – and the computer comes set to medium out of the box. You’ll be able to use the medium settings for most anything you’ll be doing with the Needletail SX, as it isn’t too loud (though it isn’t exactly silent either), and provides more than enough air to keep the computer cool while playing even the most graphics-intensive game. AFS recommends that you install a CPU thermometer widget to ensure that your CPU never runs above 82 degrees Celsius for too long, but in all of my tests, I never managed to get the CPU to heat up hotter than the mid-50s range. In other words, this cooling system does its job wonderfully, even when you’re intentionally trying to push it to its limits.
You’ve heard enough about how great the hardware in this PC is, but the benchmarks prove that it isn’t just talk. With Geekbench 2.0, the Needletail SX managed to post a score dangerously close to 25,000. The processor was the star of the test, pulling in ridiculously high numbers, especially with the processor floating point test. Running Cinebench 11.5, we get impressive results once again. Cinebench is a benchmark tool that tests both the CPU and the graphics power, and both came back with excellent scores. The CPU test showed a score of 12.71, while the OpenGL test ran at a smooth 60.34 fps. It isn’t that often you get a computer that can put out scores like that – be it in Cinebench or Geekbench – which just goes to show that AFS was serious about building an enthusiast-level gaming PC when they put the Needletail SX together.
[sgbenchmark id=173 show=score]
Asus has today launched a whole new line-up of laptops under its ZenBook brand. These new laptops come with the newly launched 11th-gen Tiger Lake Intel processors featuring all the improvements those chips bring. Moreover, Asus is also launching a few laptops verified under Intel’s Evo platform.Asus ZenBook Flip S
The ZenBook Flip S (UX371) is the first laptop from Asus to be verified by Intel under the new Evo platform. The Flip S measures just 13.9mm in thickness and is lightweight at 1.2kg. You get a 4K OLED display with a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. Moreover, it’s a touch screen panel and you can use it wiht the new Asus Pen active stylus.
Under the hood is an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with the new Intel Iris Xe graphics. This is paired with up to 16GB RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. You also get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen-1 Type-A port, and an HDMI port. Intel’s Evo platform also requires laptops to run at least 9 hours on a charge, and the ZenBook Flip boasts of a 15 hour battery life.Asus ZenBook Flip 13
The ZenBook Flip 13 is similar in a lot of ways to the ZenBook Flip S. For one, you get an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics. This is paired with 16GB RAM, and 1TB PCIe SSD.
The laptop has a 67Wh battery and Asus claims that it can deliver up to 14 hours of use on a single charge.Asus ZenBook S
The ZenBook S (UX393) is another thin and light laptop. At just 15.7mm and 1.35kg in thickness and weight, the laptop is a great portable device. It has an all metal unibody design, and a 3.3K display. That’s a resolution of 3300×2200 pixels.
Under the hood, there’s an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with up to 16GB RAM. You also get a 1TB PCIe SSD for storage. There’s no dedicated GPU, obviously, but you’ll get Intel Iris Xe graphics on board.Asus ZenBook 14 Ultralight
As the name suggests, the ZenBook 14 Ultralight is an extremely light laptop. In fact, Asus claims that it weighs in at just 980g. You still get powerful hardware under the hood though. There’s an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with either Intel Iris Xe graphics, or, if you need dedicated graphics, an MX450 GPU.Asus ZenBook 14
The ZenBook 14 comes in at just under 1.19kg, which means it’s perfectly portable. Still you get up to the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor here with Intel Iris Xe graphics. You can also configure the ZenBook 14 with an MX450 GPU if you need discrete graphics for your tasks. For I/O, there are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen-1 Type-A port, HDMI 2.0, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack.
The ZenBook 14 also comes with Asus’s ScreenPad technology that puts a tiny display on the touchpad, allowing for more productivity with quick access to tools and apps at your fingertips.Asus ZenBook Flip 15
The ZenBook Flip 15 comes with a 15-inch 4K HD OLED display with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The laptop features Asus’s ErgoLift hinge design which lifts up the body of the laptop slightly when the lid is raised for a more comfortable typing experience, while also helping with system thermals.
Under the hood, you get an 11th-gen Intel Core processor paired with up to GTX 1650Ti graphics. The laptop also includes a host of I/O options including two Thunderbolt 4 ports.VivoBook Flip 14
Under the hood, you get up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics. This is paired with up to 16GB RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. You also get a bunch of I/O options including Thunderbolt 4 ports.VivoBook S13, S14, and S15
The new VivoBook S series has also been announced. The S13, S14, and S15 are laptops with 13-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch displays. The laptops feature diamond-cut edges, metallic texture finishes, and multiple colour options. For performance, the laptops come with up to the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics. You also get 16GB RAM, and a high capacity SSD. Plus, there’s Intel Optane memory as well for superfast storage.
Asus hasn’t announced the pricing or availability for these laptops yet.
Unlike earlier, arguably premature efforts to transform tablet computing into a mass-market reality, today’s models are here to stay. The new wave of slates is rolling in fast and furious, offering a tsunami of diverse options for every user.Break From the Past
The concept of a tablet PC isn’t new, but its definition has radically changed. What we used to call a tablet was just a laptop with a screen that swiveled around and folded back, yielding a bulky machine that was uncomfortable to carry as a slate and awkward to use as a laptop. That unsatisfactory hybrid was simply where the state of technology took us in previous efforts to create “tablet” or “slate” computers.
Today’s tablet is exactly what the name implies: a thin slab, dominated by its screen. These slender systems generally max out at 1.5 pounds, and few of them take up more space in your bag than an old-fashioned composition book would. The software for tablets has changed, as well. Instead of struggling to run a full-fledged version of Windows, which requires a significant amount of processing power and isn’t optimized for use with a touchscreen, most new tablet models released nowadays run a relatively lightweight, touchscreen-focused mobile operating system such as Apple iOS or Google Android.
In the coming year, we are bound to see an astounding array of new tablets, including offerings from every major computer and phone maker, in many different sizes.Form: A Clean Slate
As yet, few rules constrain this burgeoning category, so you should expect to encounter a multitude of assorted designs, ranging from tiny slates that are barely distinguishable from iPods to devices that rival a netbook in size and power.
The most popular slate so far is the Apple iPad. The iPad measures 9.5 inches tall by 7.5 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick and carries a 9.7-inch screen. Because the iPad is about the size of a typical spiral-bound paper notebook, it looks and feels familiar to most users on an unconscious level.
But a number of new devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, are challenging the notion that so large a tablet is ideal for mobile use. The 7-inch screens that these machines carry make them more portable than the iPad, and major wireless carriers are lining up to offer them with 3G service.
Meanwhile, at the larger end of the spectrum, a company called Kno is producing a line of Linux-based slates aimed at the textbook market. Inspired by bulky college texts, the Kno tablets measure 14 inches diagonally; a planned future release promises a foldable double-slate format that will enable students to view two full-size pages at once.
If you want a tablet with a roomy screen but 14 inches is too big for your taste, you can look forward to another contender from an established laptop manufacturer: Asus has announced that it has plans to begin producing a Windows 7-based slate equipped with a 12-inch screen.
Simultaneously, e-book readers such as the Barnes and Noble Nookcolor are seeking to compete with the tablet category. The Nookcolor runs Android 2.1 but is optimized for reading and for apps that B&N chooses to offer (it lacks Google’s Android Market); nonetheless, with its 7-inch color display and support for apps, it blurs the definition of a tablet.
It’s too early to tell whether users and the industry will ultimately favor a particular size and format for tablets, though the diversity of early slate offerings suggests that if a standard does eventually emerge, it won’t happen for quite some time.
PC gaming is stronger than it has been in years, but the classic age of PC gaming has to be the mid- to late 1990s. The PC was a strong source of innovation in gaming, spawning new genres as well as the birth of real-time, online multiplayer games. That era also saw the transition from games running on DOS—with all its arcane memory-management horrors and divergent graphics APIs—to the modern era of Windows gaming.
Although most of the classic titles haven’t aged well, it’s still fun to go back for nostalgia’s sake and check out the games of yore. But is it even possible on a modern Windows 8 PC? That’s what I intended to find out.
Running older games can be an exercise in frustration. DOS games are particularly problematic because many of them use 16-bit memory addressing and simply won’t run on modern 64-bit operating systems. But this problem isn’t limited to DOS-based games, since it affects some early Windows 95 titles as well.
Even somewhat newer Windows titles that ran well in the Windows 95/98 era may have problems on a modern PC. For example, some may run well once installed, but the installer itself might be 16-bit, and therefore won’t run. Note that these issues aren’t exclusive to Windows 8; they cropped up with Windows 7, as well. The solution, most of the time, is to grab a neat open-source emulator called DOSBox. If you want to learn the intricacies of using DOSBox to run golden-age games you may already own, check out Alex Wawro’s in-depth tutorial about running old games on Windows 7.
For this article, I decided to avoid worrying about making DOSBox work, and cheat a little. Many classic games are available from Good Old Games or Valve’s Steam online gaming service. Typically they cost only a few dollars—sometimes only a couple of bucks. What’s cool is that the games available on these services already embed DOSBox, with optimal settings, so you don’t have to install and manage an emulator.
Another hurdle: Older Windows games that might have run in the Windows 95/98/XP era may not always run cleanly on a newer machine. In addition to suffering from the previously mentioned 16-bit installer issue, some of these games may use DirectX in some arcane way that’s no longer supported, or they might use hardware features that have been abstracted out in current versions of DirectX. Sometimes, if you have a problem, you can still get the games to run by using Windows’ Program Compatibility Troubleshooter.
The Windows Compatibility Troubleshooter can be a big help in getting old games to run.
The tool, which also ran on Windows 7, allows you to set up the game executable so that it thinks it’s running on an older version of Windows. You can let the tool apply a fix, or you can manually walk through it and apply different settings to see whether one specific combination of settings works. You need to do this only once, and Windows will remember the settings for that game.
Even given DOSBox and the Compatibility Troubleshooter, sometimes games simply don’t run. Or maybe they do run, but exhibit performance problems. I looked at a number of golden-age titles to see what works, what doesn’t, and what almost works in Windows 8. So follow along, and get ready for some tips on how I got stubborn titles to work after some finagling.
First, I ran a number of classic DOS games.
Back in the day, DOS games were the gold standard for testing IBM PC compatibility. There was a time when a slew of PCs existed, not all of which were 100 percent compatible with the IBM PC, but ran MS-DOS.
A few common tips will promote better compatibility and performance for DOSBox-embedded titles. First, disable multimonitor support if you’re running more than one display. Next, minimize background tasks, particularly tasks that may pop up new windows; good examples are Gmail (if someone connects to you via Google chat, a small window pops up) and Tweetdeck (which pops up a status window). Also, disable apps that generate a notification sound, such as Tweetdeck or Skype. Generally, shut down any application that might interfere with graphics or sound generation.
Before I talk about games that worked, it’s worthwhile to explore a few games that gave me problems. Note that your experiences may differ from mine, given the variable nature of PC hardware. Of the DOS games I tried, I encountered only one abject failure, which I mention first. In the end, I had more success running DOS games on Windows 8 than I had with running Windows games. But this is probably more of a testament to the effectiveness of DOSBox as a PC emulator than anything else.
Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar, a role-playing game, is one of the earliest games to present significant moral choices to the player. It’s a pure DOS title, maxing out at a 320 by 200 resolution and 256 colors, and it’s available through Good Old Games. I could get the game to run by using the Compatibility Troubleshooter, but the keyboard controls were completely unresponsive, so the game was unplayable.
Star Wars—Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith is a first-person shooter from 1998. It’s a DOS title, but it incorporates early 3D acceleration supported by 3dfx-based cards, so you want to be sure to disable 3D acceleration in order to get the game to run. The controls are a little wonky, but the game is playable.
Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
Red Baron is a superb example of the combat flight simulators of the day. It offered a deep campaign and realistic flight models, but you could dial back features if you weren’t into flight realism.
There were actually two Red Baron games: The first was a plain-vanilla DOS title that used good old VGA graphics. The second, Red Baron 3D, made use of the primitive 3D accelerators of the time. In my tests, both games ran on Windows 8, but it’s best to play Red Baron 3D with the 3D acceleration turned off (unchecked); otherwise, it doesn’t run well.
Another classic DOS title is Syndicate. In this game, you are the leader of an organized-crime enterprise, attempting to seize control from competing groups. You manage a team of four operatives in tactical combat situations. In my tests, Syndicate ran on Windows 8 with no particular issues, although it was just as tough to play as I remembered.
In Syndicate, you don’t play the good guys.
The Star Control series (Star Control 1 and 2) are science fiction RPGs that involve galaxy exploration. Combat encounters, however, play out similarly to the old Asteroids arcade game. The games are a blast to play, but they’re also dated, as you might expect given their original heritage on Commodore computers. DOSBox ran the PC versions of both games with no issues.
Ah, yes, Star Control brings back memories.
Fallout is the precursor to the highly popular Fallout 3, but unlike the successor game, it’s not a 3D point-of-view RPG. Instead, it’s an isometric game that moves in real time until combat begins; at that point, you enter a turn-based tactical mode in which you spend action points to fight enemies. Once you’re out of action points, your opponents get their turn. The version from Good Old Games runs perfectly well, and I had to tear myself away so that I could check out other games. It’s one of the few classics that are as good now as I remember them being when they first launched.
Fallout was darkly funny and seriously engaging.
X-COM: UFO Defense scratched a gaming itch no one knew they had when it arrived in 1994. X-COM puts you in control of an organization trying to defeat unknown alien invaders. You build bases, staff research labs, and train troops who fight the aliens in tactical, turn-based combat. It’s tough and unforgiving, but also absorbing and addictive. (It’s only upon the recent release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown that a similar gaming itch has been finally scratched.) The Steam version of this title runs with the embedded DOSBox just fine.
The Acer Aspire V5 isn’t a bad-looking machine, considering its price point. It’s heavier than it looks, but that heaviness translates into denseness, which translates into the machine feeling sturdy and stable. It almost looks like an Ultrabook – it’s relatively slim, it has a simple, sleek overall design, and an edge-to-edge glass display. But does this laptop’s performance live up to its prettiness? Read on to find out.
Our review model, which costs $729.99 as configured, sports a third-generation Intel Core i5-3317U mobile processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. This V5 also has a 15-inch touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and a DVD-RW optical drive. The V5 runs Windows 8.Performance
In PCWorld’s WorldBench 8 benchmark tests, the Aspire V5 scores just 42 out of 100. This means that the V5 is 58 percent slower than our testing model, which sports a third-generation i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. This is quite a low score, and even similarly-equipped laptops, such as the HP Envy TouchSmart 4-1102xx (which has the same processor as the V5), perform better. The Envy TouchSmart scored 57 on our WB8 tests.
The V5 doesn’t do much better in individual performance tests. It’s not an Ultrabook, and it has no SSD boot drive, so it takes a good 21.3 seconds to start up. In the PCMark 7 office productivity test, the V5 scores 751 – only the half laptop, half tablet Samsung Xe500T1C-A01 performed worse on that test, with a score of 608.
The V5’s graphics performance is slightly better, although it’s still not great, since the laptop has no discrete graphics card. In our Dirt Showdown graphics test (maximum quality settings, 1366 by 768 pixel resolution), the V5 manages a respectable 28.9 frames per second. This is better than the aforementioned HP Envy TouchSmart, which managed just 17.4 frames per second on the same test.
The Aspire V5’s battery life is pretty terrible. In our tests, we managed to eke out a measly three hours and 24 minutes before we had to plug the system back in. This is below average for the category, and generally kind of bad – it’s not a powerful or particularly light system, so there’s really no reason for its battery life to be so poor.Design and Usability
The Aspire V5 is pretty sleek, considering its relatively low price point. The system measures 15 inches wide by 10 inches long, and is 1 inch thick at its thickest point. It weighs 5.3 pounds, and, thanks to the laptop’s relatively slim profile, looks a lot lighter than it is. Because of this, the system feels quite dense and sturdy when you pick it up.
The V5 we tested – officially the V5-571P-6499 – sports a soft, satiny-feeling silver cover with a metallic Acer logo in the middle. The laptop has a large black plastic hinge, which shows when the laptop is closed and looks a little out of place next to the very light silver lid. Inside, the V5 sports a full-size keyboard, a slightly off-set button-less touchpad, and an edge-to-edge glass display.
The V5’s full-size keyboard is backlit, with matte black island-style keys. The keys have a very soft feel – the tops are smooth and soft to the touch, and the keys are very quiet when you press them. The keyboard is fairly comfortable to type on, with decent tactile feedback. The keys are a little slippery, thanks to their soft-touch construction, and narrow, which makes typing quickly a little difficult. Next to the keyboard there’s a 10-key numberpad, which is always a nice feature on a 15-inch laptop.
Port-wise, the V5 is a little lacking. The right side of the system has no ports at all – just the tray-loading DVD-RW drive and a Kensington lock slot. The left side of the system has two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI out port, a combination microphone/headphone jack, and a slim port that connects to either VGA out or Gigabit Ethernet. There’s an SD card reader along the front of the laptop. The biggest issue I have with the V5’s port situation is its USB placement – all three USB ports are located right next to each other, which can be a problem if you want to plug in more than one large-ish USB peripheral.Screen and Speakers
The Aspire V5 sports a glossy 15.6-inch touchscreen with a disappointingly low native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. While this resolution is typical for 11-, 13-, and even some 14-inch laptops, it’s noticeably pixelated on a 15.6-inch screen. Images and text look a little fuzzy around the edges, thanks to the low resolution.
Resolution aside, the V5’s screen looks quite nice. Colors are bright and crisp, though they can look a little washed out at brighter settings. Off-axis viewing angles are okay – horizontal angles are fine, but vertical angles present a noticeable drop in contrast.
As a touchscreen, the V5’s display works well. The screen is accurate and responsive, and multi-touch gestures, such as pinch to zoom, are extremely smooth.
Video on the V5 looks and sounds quite good, considering the system has no discrete graphics card. Basic streaming HD video plays very smoothly, and in my tests I saw only a few instances of artifacting – and only in dark, high-motion scenes. The system’s speakers are located on the bottom of the laptop, near the front, and are quite loud. The speakers produce acceptable sound – it’s not tinny, even at the highest volume settings, but it’s also not deep. I wouldn’t want to listen to these speakers for several hours in a row, but for a quick Netflix fix they’re okay. The headphone jack is clean, and plays much better, fuller sound.Bottom Line
The Acer Aspire V5 is a pretty sleek laptop at first glance. But don’t be fooled by its silky-smooth silver exterior – there’s not a whole lot going on inside this laptop. Sure, it’s got its strengths: the touchscreen is responsive and smooth, and video looks and sounds pretty good. But it’s got a heck of a lot more weaknesses, such as poor overall performance, lower-than-average battery life, a strangely loud fan, and a noticeably low screen resolution.
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