Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why Acer?!

Many know Acer could never come into my choice (due to bad experience) when I am on gadget shopping. So why this Acer 1810TZ ended up in my hands? Before I throw out all the excuses (yes, I had hard time justify to myself too), may be it's good to walk through my requirements for a new lappy as Wind's replacement:
  • portable and mobile
  • standard resolution of minimum 1024x768
  • not more than 12" screen
  • capable of playing back full HD media files such as H264, mkv, m2ts / AVCHD etc files.
  • from above, hence HDMI output must follow
  • Windows 7, minimum Home Premium and 64 bit. No Starter no Basic please!!
  • upgradeable RAM
  • minimum battery life of 4 hours
  • integrated 3G WWAN
  • HDD password

Let's go through one by one.

The Wind is still serving me well after 2 years. It is my companion even on day to day at work. So first criteria for the replacement is definitely as portable as Wind is. With previous post on physical comparison, this criteria has been passed without further question.

One weakness I have with Wind is its 3 cell battery with only less than 2 hours of juice. See the battery life of Acer 1810TZ...


I can easily achieve 6 to 7 hours of unplugged usage on 1810TZ, another passed.

On the other hand, the odd resolution of 1024x600 on any netbook is quite a pain when browsing, especially I read a lot of e-books for my new job these days. I blogged about it 2 years ago, let's see how the Outlook contact display in the new 1810TZ...


Unlike in Wind and most netbook with similar resolution, the contact form is properly displayed with 1366x768 resolution on 1810TZ. Another pass.

Another weakness of Wind is it is incapable to play high definition media files such as Bluray files I have, so I can't enjoy movies when travel. But 1810TZ with Intel GMA 4500MHD is capable of doing so without hiccup...


A Bluray m2ts / AVCHD file playing from the hard disk. There are tonnes of similar videos to show 1810TZ's capability in youtube, you can search for more.

Hard disk password is not a must but I would like to have it supported so I have the option to enable it if I feel the need...


Well, it's not a high secure feature but it may prevent me become another Edison, it's better than nothing and at least give some tough time to the stealing bugger to hack it.

With above, I shortlist few candidates...


You may already get some hint why Acer. If not, clearer answer...


Cost!

If you go through row by row to compare the spec, Acer offers the best price with best spec. For instance, HP dm1 has the same spec with only W7 Home Basic and priced at RM2199 or 2599 if I factor in an upgrade to W7 Professional 64bit. Same story to Dell and others if I were to factor in upgrade cost to bring them up to Acer's spec. If it were a hundred or two difference in the price, Acer could never land into me. But a huge difference of half a grand, could you resist the deal?

After the technical and cost comparison, I wasn't 100% convinced (by myself!) to get the Acer. My targeted time to shop for an upgrade was on 2Q10 around April, the time for 2010 PC Fair. It's also a good time which is a month after the Cebit 2010, so all new products could have landed here for PC Fair launching.

However, following through the tech news (here, here and here) gave me an impression that there is not much progress on notebook (or netbook) below 12 inch, seems that the PC makers focus more on the 13 incher and above for the new processors i3, i5 and i7. What's more if I found "sponsor" to donate a portion of the cost if I buy it during CNY? And "poisons" from the gang...



Total of 3, 2 blackies and 1 Olympic Edition. ;) (See our spending power!) 1 more is arriving at our shore soon ;) giving us total of 4 1810TZ!!

That's how I now pair with an Acer. Fortunately I start loving this new toy, hopefully it will never fail me throughout its tenure. If you have the same criteria like me, probably you would like 1810TZ too.