The Acer Aspire V5-131-2629 11.6″ Laptop is an inexpensive, general purpose laptop ideally suited to everyday computing tasks. Although by no means a top of the range model, it offers an impressive range of features for the price, and should be easily capable of handling email, social media updates, web surfing, video chat, word processing and dozens of other routine operations that most people need a computer for.
It is powered by an Intel Celeron 1007U processor, clocked at 1.5Ghz. This a dual core, Ultra Low Voltage component, specifically designed for use in small, entry level laptops and subnotebooks. The Celeron 1007U is based on Intel’s 3rd generation Core architecture, known as Ivy Bridge, but, as you would expect from an entry level component, lacks some of the more sophisticated features found in more powerful (and expensive) models. Notable absentees include support for Turbo Boost, Hyperthreading and Wireless Display, but, although these features are undeniably useful in higher end machines, the V5-131-2629 (model number NX.M89AA.004) should be perfectly capable of carrying out the tasks it was designed for without them.
The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 memory. Again, while less than might be found in more powerful machines, 4GB of RAM should be more than enough for this machine to cope with the type of tasks that are expected of it.
Similar considerations apply to the Aspire’s 500GB hard disk drive. Although smaller than the those fitted in higher end models, it still provides a considerable amount of storage capacity for documents, pictures, music and movies. And, if more storage capacity is required, it is a simple matter to attach an additional external disk drive to one of the machine’s four USB ports.
Staying with storage options for a moment, it is worth noting that this machine does not feature a built-in CD / DVD drive. This represents a reasonable compromise in view of the machine’s small size and low cost, but if you think you might need one, you will need to purchase an external USB model.
- 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 1007U Processor
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- Large 500GB Hard Disk
- 11.6-Inch LCD display (1366 x 768)
- Webcam, Wi-Fi, 10/100 LAN, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB
- Card reader, 6.5-hour battery, 1-year limited warranty
- Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
- Underpowered for serious gaming
The machine’s 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display is driven by integrated Intel GMA HD Graphics. As is often the case with this generation of integrated graphics controllers, this machine’s integrated controller is entirely adequate for everyday tasks, including HD video and maybe even some casual gaming. It is, however, no match for the dedicated graphics hardware found in some more powerful laptops, and will struggle to cope with the demands of heavyweight video editing applications or modern games. That said, this is not – and doesn’t claim to be – a gaming laptop, and has little if any need of such powerful hardware.
There will, inevitably, be times when you want, or need, to use a display larger than the machine’s built in, 11.6 inch model – perhaps for watching movies in comfort or making a presentation. For those occasions, the machine provides both an HDMI port for connecting to HDTVs and modern monitors, and a VGA port for connecting to older monitors, projectors etc.
Other connectivity options include two standard USB 2.0 ports and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, enabling the machine to connect to a vast range of external devices, from mice and keyboards to external disk drives and memory sticks. As you might expect, all USB devices and ports are interchangeable, so a USB 2.0 device will work in a USB 3.0 port and vice versa. However, to take advantages of the latest high speed capabilities of USB 3.0, a USB 3.0 device must be connected to a USB 3.0 port. For wireless connectivity, the machine is Bluetooth capable, making it easy to connect to wireless keyboards, mice, headsets etc.
Network access is also available in wired and wireless flavors. For those who want, or need to connect to a conventional wired network, the machine provides a standard 10/100 Ethernet port, making network access a simple matter of plugging in the cable. Of course, that’s not always possible, particularly when using the laptop on the move, and for those times when wireless networking is necessary the machine offers built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi.
A card reader and webcam round off the list of built-in devices. The card reader makes it easy to transfer images from your camera of cellphone without having to physically connect it to you computer, while the webcam makes the machine video-chat capable right out of the box.
Measuring 11.20 x 8 x 1.10 inches (L x W x H) and weighing just 3.3 pounds, this machine is both small and lightweight enough to be easily portable. And, with a reported battery life of up to 6.5 hours, there should be no difficulty in taking it around with you, no matter how far you may stray from a power outlet.
It is worth noting that this machine ships with the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium, rather than the more modern Windows 8. Whether this has any impact upon your use of the laptop depends very much on your personal preferences and how you intend to use the machine. Although newer, Windows 8 is, in some respects, a radical departure from previous versions of Windows, and many users are actively seeking out machines that still offer the tried and trusted Windows 7, if only to save themselves the extra chore of learning a new system. Others prefer to be on the cutting edge, and would prefer the latest software.
Overall, the Acer Aspire V5-131-2629 11.6″ Laptop is a great choice for anyone who needs a budget friendly, easily portable laptop for everyday tasks. It isn’t a computing powerhouse, and will struggle with heavyweight games, for example, but should be more than capable of handling the routine tasks that most people need to carry out. The fact that it ships with Windows 7, rather than its often-unpopular successor, will be a major benefit to some people, and shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent even to fans of Windows 8 – Windows 7 is, after all, a perfectly good Operating System. If you’re in the market for an everyday workhorse machine at a friendly price – and particularly if you’re a fan of Windows 7 – this machine is well worth considering.