Let me preface my review by stating that I am a retired computer programmer, so I know a thing or two about computers.
I live full time in an RV, so my space is limited and owning a desktop computer is out of the question. I am a "power user", often working on the computer with several programs running simultaneously, upwards of 12 hours a day, so I was looking for a notebook computer that I would be using like most people use a desktop computer. After much research, I narrowed my choices down to this Acer model and a Dell model priced exactly the same -- $498. I went over all of the specs for both computers with a technician I know at a local computer repair shop. He and I matched up all the specs with my intended heavy use of a computer. At the end of our half hour-long discussion, the technician unequivocally recommended that I buy the Acer. So I did.
I am *thrilled* with this machine. It is fast, sturdy, and the keyboard is not mushy like the keyboard on my old Toshiba Satellite that I replaced. I love the extra 1.7 inches of big, bright, beautiful display that this Acer offers over the Dell. There is nothing about this machine that I don't like. For $498, you get a quad core processor, 4 GB of RAM, a nice, big 500-GB hard disk, and a larger display. My budget for a new computer was $500 or less, so this machine fit the bill perfectly.
For the computer technician I spoke with, the important advantages that this Acer offered over the Dell were:
* AMD quad core processor vs. Intel i3. For a heavy user such as I, the AMD runs a lot cooler than the Intel.
* The separate numeric keypad to the right of the standard keyboard.
* The 17.3-inch display vs. a 15.6-inch display.
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