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Author Topic: replacement for Acer?  (Read 11463 times)
forwhatitsworth
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« on: May 03, 2012, 11:39:14 AM »

Wise Forumites,

I have happily toted an Acer notebook around the world to do archival research in places where crime is often a problem, so I needed something small, inconspicuous, and inexpensive. I only need to do the most basic word processing on it, plus have wireless access. I also need something with a relatively long battery life. It bit the dust after only two years. I'm wondering if there is any reason to upgrade to one of the tablets with touchpad, or simply get another Acer. What are others' experiences and recommendations? Many thanks.
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aristotelian
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 2:09:55 PM »

I have an Asus EEE netbook and use it for the purposes you describe. My sense is that Asus and Acer are basically interchangeable. I get about 10 hrs battery life.

I have not made the move to a tablet mostly because I think they are overpriced for a device that is basically a large smartphone without the phone.
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forwhatitsworth
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 4:09:36 PM »

Thanks for your reply. I'm not convinced by the tablets, either, but they seem to be edging out the notebooks. It turns out that none of the big box electronics stores in my area even carry the inexpensive notebooks any more. How long have you had your Asus? Is the ten hour battery standard? My Acer had an eight hour battery, but the ones I'm finding online at an affordable price only have a four hour battery.
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 4:21:46 PM »

Have you considered an ultraportable?  I have a Lenovo x120e that I purchased used for about $300, and I love it.  I just checked eBay for the x120e, and there are many currently listed.

I get about 6 hours from the 6-cell battery, and that's running several programs at one time.
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_touchedbyanoodle_
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 4:29:21 PM »

I used an Acer during grad school, so I can understand that it suited your needs very well, but didn't hold up. Mine crapped out because the connecting port for the charger basically crumbled apart and there wasn't any way to replace it that was worth the expense. I got less than year from it, IIRC.

Is there any particular reason you would benefit from a tablet--writing longhand or something?--or are you just looking for possible reasons you would want a tablet? Soon, Ipads2 will be quite cheap, and they hold up very well. Depending on the work you do, the cameras might be a nice perk. You can type directly on the screen or with a pretty inexpensive accessory keyboard, many of which are sold as case/keyboard combinations. With the right case, an Ipad is hard to distinguish from a day planner.
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forwhatitsworth
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 5:30:35 PM »

Many thanks for the replies. The Lenovo ultraportable looks to be the size of a regular laptop, if thinner and less weight. If that's correct, then that won't work on some of the urban public transportation I need to navigate. I need something I can slip discretely into a large purse. Notebook size was pushing it, but nice to have the screen and keyboard size. I don't particularly want a tablet; what I want is something like the Acer in terms of price and size and features, but I'd prefer something that was a bit more durable. I can't spend more than $300 and I need it for this summer (so can't wait for iPad prices to go down). I'm also a bit leery about buying such things second hand. Or is that silly?
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eigen
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 5:35:29 PM »

When it's in stock, an iPad 1 refurbished from Apple is $299, in your price range. A bit over, but 16gb iPad 2 is #349 refurbished from Apple.

You say you don't particularly want a tablet, but could you elaborate a little on what specifically you want that a tablet doesn't offer?
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 8:16:58 PM »

Many thanks for the replies. The Lenovo ultraportable looks to be the size of a regular laptop, if thinner and less weight. If that's correct, then that won't work on some of the urban public transportation I need to navigate. I need something I can slip discretely into a large purse. Notebook size was pushing it, but nice to have the screen and keyboard size. I don't particularly want a tablet; what I want is something like the Acer in terms of price and size and features, but I'd prefer something that was a bit more durable. I can't spend more than $300 and I need it for this summer (so can't wait for iPad prices to go down). I'm also a bit leery about buying such things second hand. Or is that silly?

Just FYI, the X120e is 11x8 inches, and weighs 3.3 pounds WITH the six-cell battery.  It is durable as all hell.  You can practically throw a Lenovo and it will still be fine.

Just don't get another Acer.  We had one and it died rather quickly, too.

Personally, I buy used all the time.  Electronics prices drop precipitously when a newer model comes out, and I can never justify paying full price for the latest-greatest when last-year's-finest is still superb and fits my needs.

Here's a thread you might find interesting:
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,85939.0.html
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 8:19:17 PM by systeme_d_ » Logged

anon99
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 8:24:26 PM »

I have an Asus EEE netbook and use it for the purposes you describe. My sense is that Asus and Acer are basically interchangeable. I get about 10 hrs battery life.

I have not made the move to a tablet mostly because I think they are overpriced for a device that is basically a large smartphone without the phone.

I also have an Asus (going on 3 years) and the battery life is good.  I also have a playbook ($250-in Canada), but wouldn't use it for typing word documents.  The Asus eee pc on the other hand works great for typing.
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larryc
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 1:15:22 AM »

Get another netbook for sure. Two years is good for a cheap electronic item you use a lot and that gets quickly out of date anyway. Here is a Googple shopper search for netbooks under $300, it is dominated by Asus and Acer but has some others as well: https://www.google.com/search?q=best+cheap+netbook&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=shop&ei=JmWjT9_SAYijiAK12oTMAw&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=6&ved=0CHYQ_AUoBQ&biw=1920&bih=961&cad=cbv&sei=SGWjT5COAcaWiAKw47D-Aw#q=netbook&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&tbs=cat:328,pdtr0:704007%7C704010,price:1,ppr_max:300,pdtr1:703935%7C%2412.100000381469727&tbm=shop&source=lnt&sa=X&ei=YGWjT7jcHIbciQKA5dTbAw&ved=0CHYQpwU&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=88ee5c93dfdbc558&biw=1920&bih=961
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wegie
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 1:18:13 PM »

Acer in general get bad marks for build quality. Don't ask me why, but something coming out of the same factory in Shenzen for any of the other brands will usually outlast an equivalent Acer.

I've got an Asus ultra low voltage 13.3" that will do 9+ hours on one charge, and it's a lovely little beast. It replaced a Toshiba 15" that went around the world a couple of times, survived transatlantic in checked luggage, and did three years of commuting in a backpack with no protection. WH has a Toshiba netbook that's also been round the world a couple of times and is still going strong, and was the replacement for an ancient Thinkpad that was last sighted at the age of 7 being repurposed with an Ubuntu install by an ex-colleague.

Get an Asus or a Tosh that suits your budget. If your budget can stretch to a Lenovo, even better.
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octoprof
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 10:58:11 PM »

When it's in stock, an iPad 1 refurbished from Apple is $299, in your price range. A bit over, but 16gb iPad 2 is #349 refurbished from Apple.

You say you don't particularly want a tablet, but could you elaborate a little on what specifically you want that a tablet doesn't offer?

Do you mean an iPad or a tablet computer. I always get confused when people equate tablet with iPad...

If you need to do computing, get a netbook. If you don't need to do computing (Word, Excel, or anything more advanced than that) get an iPad.
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eigen
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 11:07:52 PM »

An iPad is a tablet. A tablet PC is a PC with tablet capabilities.

But yes, other than that, I agree. For large amounts of word processing or spreadsheet work, a laptop or netbook is definitely better.

But that's why I asked the OP what they didn't like about a tablet, as from their description, a tablet might suit them better for their needs.
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octoprof
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 11:16:18 PM »

An iPad is a tablet. A tablet PC is a PC with tablet capabilities.

But yes, other than that, I agree. For large amounts of word processing or spreadsheet work, a laptop or netbook is definitely better.

But that's why I asked the OP what they didn't like about a tablet, as from their description, a tablet might suit them better for their needs.

They'd have to have very very very basic word processing needs to do it all on an iPad. I haven't found anything so far that will do Word well enough for me (given what I do) much less Excel. But I can view all my documents, alright in DropBox or DocsToGo, which is good enough normally when I'm on a plane or something and don't feel like pulling out the laptop or tablet PC (or the seats are too close to open the computer screen).

If the OP can work on something the size of a netbook, that's a very valid option.

Tablet PCs have been around longer than iPads. I have both a tablet PC, a laptop PC, and two iPads (which I refer to as iPads and not tablets, esp. as writing on my tablet is so much better than writing on my iPad and my tablet PCs have been called tablets for years) - I'll ignore the non-portable computers here). The nomenclature needs work, clearly.

I like to travel with my Lenovo tablet PC (because it's lighter than my other non-tablet laptop PC but has all the computing functionality and the battery is longer lasting) but it's a very expensive option (and I usually have an iPad with me as well). I have the tablet PC for pedagogical reasons, really, because I use it to solve problems in class (projected) and in recording demonstration videos of problems. Ridiculously expensive though.

I don't have a netbook but like the idea of the lightness and portability (as well as affordability), for sure. It might be just the thing for the OP.
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eigen
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 11:35:13 PM »

I have both a netbook and an iPad as well.

I don't find writing on the iPad works well for anything requiring formatting, but with a good text editor (Nebulous Notes, Elements) its great for taking notes. If most of what the OP is doing is archival work, that might work out quite well for them.

IMO, tablets are a much larger class of devices now. Tablet PCs are those with dual functionalities, IMO. They were some of the original tablets, sure, but only really as a secondary functionality in my thinking.
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