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Acer Aspire 3003WLCi

  • Overview: Great notebook for the price
  • Pros: Price, display, wifi, thin, thoughtful features.
  • Cons: Battery life, usb port placement
  • Rating: 9 out of 10

I was able to pick this Acer Aspire 3003WLCi notebook up for $700 at a local retailer, and it came with a nice bundle of extras: Color printer, wireless router, virus protection, etc.

The display is amazing. Runs wide screen at 1200×800 pixels, and it is super bright and sharp. When you hook up an external monitor the key to change configuration brings up a list of options so you can choose. No more guessing.

The touch pad has a middle button which you can configure to scroll up and down and do a forward and back button in your browser. You can also disable the touch-pad with a keystroke when using an external mouse. Unfortunately the scroll doesn’t work in Firefox, my browser of choice. The back and forward buttons do though.

I like the feel of the keyboard except occasionally my fingers catch on the underside of the key. Seems like I have had that problem before on other laptops. Must be a function of the fact that the laptop keys are so shallow. The other anoying thing about the keyboard is there are (euro) and $ keys next too the up arrow. I keep hitting those by accident. I don’t really need a (euro) or a second $ (it is also on the 4 key). It would be nice if they were programmable like all the other special keys.

There are three USB ports, but 2 of them are on the right hand side (along with the one PCMCIA slot, modem and ethernet), with the other in the front (along with the headphones). The only jack on the back is the power and the external display. The USB should be on the back or left so it doesn’t interfear with the mouse. The only thing on the left is the DVD/CD Burner.

My particular laptop has 512 MB in a single bank, so I could add another stick if I wanted. It also has

The battery performance is really poor. On the plane I got about 1 hour watching a DVD with the screen brightness turned down. I imagine with WiFi turned off and not using the optical drive I might get an hour and a half. Not usually a big deal. Most my flights are about an hour anyway, and I am plugged in most often.

I gave the laptop at 9 out of 10, not because it is the best laptop out there, but for the price it is amazing. When I was shopping this laptop was nicer then the many of the more expensive ones.

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