August 30, 2012
- Solid design
- Nice-looking display
- Comfortable keyboard
- Solid performance
- No keyboard backlighting
- Touchpad issues
- Poor battery life
With ultraportable laptops being all the rage recently, it's no surprise that Acer is trying to beat the rest of the crowd by releasing the Aspire V5-171-6605, a cheaply-priced competitor. Despite having a lower price than most, it doesn't sacrifice on performance or even display quality. It does, however, have extremely short battery life and a glitchy touchpad.
The design of the Acer Aspire V5-171-6605 is fairly standard with a silver plastic lid with a brushed-metal design. While we would have rather had actual metal, we can understand why Acer choose to forgo it. The interior design of the deck is gray, which goes well with the rest of the laptop. Even though it was made with plastic, the body of the V5-171 felt very sturdy and well-built. In total, it measures 11.2 x 8.0 x 1.1-inches (wdh) and weighs 3.0-pounds. Because of its size and weight, it's definitely considered an ultraportable by all standards.
The keyboard that Acer choose was an island-style keyboard that takes up the complete width of the deck. This extra width allows for a more spacious feel to the keyboard. The only two things we would have wanted to change about the keyboard were the extremely undersized arrow keys and lack of backlighting.
Acer designed the touchpad to be quite large in size, which is definitely a good thing. However, we experienced some major sensitivity problems when using the touchpad. The two actions that caused us the most trouble included both scrolling and selecting text. We weren't sure why this was and a driver update didn't help.
The Acer Aspire V5-171-6605 has a 11.6-inch display that actually looked very good for the low cost of the computer itself. We found it to be very bright and having wide viewing angles. The panel is glossy, so there is some visible reflections from light on it but it wasn't too bad. Watching HD video on the screen turned out to be a very pleasant experience as colors were vibrant and bright.
For ports, the Acer V5 has one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, VGA-out, Ethernet, a headphone jack and a 2-in-1 memory card reader. In addition to that, there is 802.11n wireless connectivity and a DVD+/-RW disc drive. For the price, it definitely has every port that most users of this computer would need to have.
Our review model had the configuration that included a third-generation Intel Core i3-2367M (1.4GHz) CPU, 6GBof RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive and integrated Intel 4000 HD graphics. On the synthetic PCMark 7 benchmark, it scored 2,201, which is decent for this type of computer. Real-world use yielded solid all-around performance.
Battery life is where this computer lacks. In our testing, we found the included 4-cell battery to last only 3:50 at maximum, which is a little more than a hour less than the category average. For an ultraportable, we definitely expect more.
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