The Acer Aspire V5 touch is another addition to the newly created league of slim laptops. At the advent of windows 8, a need has arisen for a new type of laptops that support the touch interface of Windows 8. Acer Aspire v5 touch aims at targeting this segment of laptops. Windows 8 has a beautiful interface, but with a regular laptop you always seem to lack the full experience of it. The touchscreen provided in the Aspire V5 touch lets you have the complete immersive touch experience that windows 8 aims at delivering. Priced at approximate Rs. 42,000 the Aspire V5 touch targets the higher mid range segment. Such touchscreen laptops, though not new to the Indian market, have never been able to deliver the complete touch user experience due to the lack of a supporting OS. The launch of Windows 8 gives the Aspire V5 an edge over the older touch supported laptops.
Let’s move our focus on taking a first look at Aspire V5 touch. The review piece I received was an Acer Aspire V5 471p. Out of the box the laptop was packaged with the standard charger, a user manual, and a few other pamphlets. So there is nothing extra ordinary about the packaging. Let’s take a look at the technical specifications:
- Intel Second generation core i3 1.4 GHz Processor(64 bit)
- 4 GB DDR3 RAM
- Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Windows 8 Single Language
- 14″ HD display with a 1366 x 768 resolution with Acer crystal Display LED backlight screen and a 10 finger touch support.
- Intel Graphic 4000 with dedicated system memory of 128 MB
- 500 GB HDD
- 2 in 1 card reader for SD card and MMC
- 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB 3,0 port
- HDMI port
- LAN/VGA combo port
- 8X DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive
- Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam with 1280 x 720 resolution and 720p HD audio/video recording
- 2.2 kg weight with the standard 4 cell battery pack
- 2500 mAh 4-cell Li-ion battery pack
- 1 Year International Travelers Warranty(ITW)
Take a look at the picture gallery of Acer Aspire V5 touch:
Now let’s take a category wise in-depth look at the laptop:
Design and Styling
At first look, it looks very appealing to your eye. With the brushed metallic finish and sleek body, it gives it a very modern and aesthetic look. Once you open the laptop you can see an elegant Acer FineTip keyboard. The keyboard is backlit which adds to the aesthetics of the laptop. The metallic look shows an uncanny resemblance to the Mac Book Pro. The styling of this laptop is very top notch. The sleek, sharp edges and smooth elegant curves make it a treat for the eyes. However the number 4 key on the review piece had an extra bright key compared to the other keys which seemed like a manufacturing defect, but that can be overlooked over the overall great looks of the laptop. Even with a 14″ display the Laptop doesn’t seem bulky. The 2.2kg weight of the laptop is evenly distributed, making very convenient to carry.
The built quality of the laptop seems sturdy. It feels like solid product when held in your hands. Even when you shake the laptop you can feel no moving parts or any rattling sound coming from the laptop. The exhaust fan is super silent and you cannot hear it even in a completely silent room. The Display panel is very sturdy and does not move even when unnecessarily. With no apparent openings in to the internals of the laptop the possibility of dust being settled inside is very less. The company provides you with one year International Travelers Warranty(ITW), which speaks for itself of the company’s confidence in the sturdy build quality of the product.
The 14″ Acer CineCrystal LED Backlit LCD Display is a treat for the eyes to watch. The screen supports 10 touch input thus complying with the Windows 8 standard. Though Acer sticks with the standard 1366×768 resolution. I would had liked a higher resolution on this display, but probably the company stuck to this resolution to make the touch interface usable. Because with a higher resolution each button would become so small that it would become really difficult to touch them. The Viewing angle of the display is however moderate. The display has a moderate horizontal viewing angles up to 120 degrees. Though the display is great to watch, the whites seem a bit dull. However, the blacks are really deep and rich. The contrast is dull but over all the display quality is great. The touch sensitivity of the screen does seem a bit unresponsive sometimes, especially at the edges.
The laptop comes preloaded with Windows 8. So you can expect a sleek interface. The touch screen of the laptop makes the Windows 8 Experience a very immersive experience. The touchpad also supports 2 touch input thus making pinch zoom possible. Additionally, the Touchpad also supports all the standard Windows 8 gestures like slide from the left edge for switching applications, etc. Being a touch screen display all Windows 8 touch gestures are fully supported on the laptop. The laptop comes pre installed with CyberLink MediaEspresso which is a software that helps you manage your media devices like smartphones, mp3 players, etc. The touch support for Windows 8 makes using the laptop a breeze. Many simple tasks like browsing the Internet, viewing photos, etc., a very easy task. To be honest before using the laptop I was unconvinced by the idea of a laptop that supports touch input. But after using it for a week, I must admit the touch input does make it very convenient to use the laptop. The new Metro app of Internet Explorer makes web browsing effortless. Simple gestures like the slide from left to right takes you one step backwards. The gestures support are a real winner among all features in the UI.
The Intel core i3 @ 1.4 GHz processor is a decent processor. The 4 GB DDR3 RAM also adds a punch to the performance. The device’s graphics are handled by Intel HD Graphics 3000. That being said, the laptop lacks a good decent GPU. The laptop boots within 8 seconds thus verifying Windows 8’s claim. The lack of a GPU does work against the laptop. Having a video card in today’s times where memory hungry games eat up your RAM and require powerful dedicated GPUs makes playing HD games difficult on the system. The over all performance of the System is decent. The Device received a 4.6 Windows Experience Index. When we used PC Mark 7 for benchmarking the device it recieved a score of 1851. You can view the result at http://www.3dmark.com/pcm7/549599. The device seems extremely smooth and lag free. The hardware of the laptop makes it a power packed package at this cost.
Though the company claims to have a 5 hour battery life at full charge. When I used the device at average load with simple tasks like web browsing, social networking, photo viewing and listening to some music; I got a mere 2 hours 45 mins of battery. This is sub par performance considering only a core i3 processor. The 2400 mAh battery is not sufficient to power the device long enough. But considering the weight and design of the laptop the size of battery chosen seems logical. So if you are travelling always carry your charger as you will require to charge it time and again.
The company boasts about Dolby Advanced audio ver.2 audio enhancement. It has two stereo speakers and a built-in mic too. The speakers are placed below the laptop to try and take advantage of it’s bottom throw of sound to make sound appear louder, which is a good idea. However, contrary to the big claims by the company the sound quality of this laptop has been more than disappointing. The sound seems very hollow lacking in bass with only the Highs and Mids audible. The lows are completely lost in the noise. When you crank up the volume, the sound becomes screechy and a lot of audible distortion is introduced. Though not amusing the speakers do a minimum job of producing sound and do cross an acceptable criteria as it is not a music oriented laptop and moreover you cannot expect mind blowing sound quality in a laptop. It would be advisable to use an external speaker for listening to music or watching movies.
- The HD webcam fares well and matches up to your expectations. When used on Skype, it gave crystal clear picture on the other end.
- The ergonomics for using the keyboard are really good due to the huge free space besides the touchpad to rest your palms.
- It comes with a year of free McAfee Internet Security.
Now let’s sum up the review by weighting the good against the bad:-
- Awesome Display
- Touchsupport integrated UI
- Backlit keyboard
- Decent processing speed
- Great webcam quality
- 1 Year International Travelers Warranty(ITW)
- Sleek and compact design
- Good Design and styling of exterior body with metallic finish
- USB 3.0 port
- Poor battery life
- Lacking a good GPU
- Average viewing angles
- The three USB ports are placed too close to each other which makes using them simultaneously difficult.
The laptop is one of the fore runners in the touch enabled laptops in Indian market. Priced at a decent Rs. 42000, the laptop is worth investing it. The only thing that works against it is the sound quality, but it can be overcome by using an external speaker. I would recommend you to buy this laptop if you want to reap the full feature list of Windows 8. From what Microsoft has announced, the Windows OS will move along the lines of Windows 8 in the near future. So it would be wise in investing in a touch enabled laptop and Aspire V5 is one good piece of hardware that is worthy of it’s price.
I would give it a 3.5 / 5 rating!