CNET First Look
Acer packs an ultrabook-level wallop for a fraction of the priceThe $550 Acer Aspire V5-171-6867 is a budget-shopper's dream, provided you can live with a compromised battery life.
And Scott Stein and and we're gonna take a look at a laptop here that fits into a size that you mean that normally be considering and that's the ultra portable. Is an eleven inch laptop. Much smaller than -- thirteen inch ultra book like a MacBook Air one of the new ultra books that are coming out this fall its offer comment that you see a laptop this size. -- -- shop -- -- this thing down an account looks again netbook. And I tell you that this costs about 550 dollars maybe 500 dollars. -- your interest it may -- -- -- that this is a core I five processor. Six gigs of ram a poverty gig hard drive. -- if you're the type of person that cares about performance suspects you're gonna be very excited. Then there are other people that are looking -- -- ultra portable the could be an iPad tablet something else that's a little more versatile. To them that they don't care so much about these performance specs really depends on who you are. But for 500 dollars you really can't get anything that has -- that much juice under the hood. That gives you that performance and in netbook size. But not books that's a couple years old already and -- netbooks are dead. So why do you care about that you care about it because it's kind of like an eleven inch MacBook Air but costs half the price. Now this is admittedly far more plastic -- things -- This thing feels like a couple year old laptop no offense to Acer but it does the price is the play here. And the keyboard is good the track -- is can it be crossing any more cramped experience because. Look at this that keyboard. Right -- right in the middle of a laptop. It cramps the palm -- space here and it makes it in less comfortable experience plus the battery life is not great it's under four hours on our tests so. That's not spectacular at this point people once on the at six or seven hours eight hours. And to get that little battery life out of this device cramps or abusive and mean if you have a bus ride if it's -- three hours. You mean -- have a lot of plane flights that fit in there. -- have to carry some -- -- battery pack. I this is a limited use device in that regard but if you want something at 500 dollars it's going to give you everything that a full fledged laptop could give you. Pretty fast performance a lot of storage space. Good ram and -- to plug this into a Bluetooth keyboard -- -- monitor and turn this into a more personal home machine. The Acer aspire 517. U 16867. Could be for you. The reason I give all those extra numbers is because Acer has other aspire eighty fives that are fourteen inch laptops fifteen inch laptops. He once -- wine is the only eleven inch laptop. That's pretty confusing but it's an evolution of laptop you may have heard from a couple years ago called the Acer aspire. Timeline X 1830 T now that one was also a mouthful. But we loved at the time is what 99 but it had more battery life performance on our test. And that's a killer if you drop an hour off the battery life even if you get this half the price. If it had better battery life I'd be saying this is a no brainer. So there you -- out the Acer aspire 517 you want an interesting alternative to the ultra -- landscape. Although it's not quite as useful.