Reviews related to : Laptops

Laptops have evolved over the years from a poor cousin of their more powerful desktop brethren to today, where for many manufacturers, laptops outsell desktops.

The focus has moved to laptops with huge investment in improving performance and reducing power consumption. You will still however find even those that claim to be 'desktop replacements' to be slower than a desktop product, and this is likely to remain the case for some time.

If it's raw power you want stick to a desktop computer!

Having recently told you about a Samsung Chromebook that comes with the latest version of Wimdows here is their Chromebook offering that was released at the same time. So here you get a Chromebook that can also allow you to get mobile data to keep you in contact while out of the office and as it has its own SIM so no nicking mobile data from your phone.
The measures 32.5x22x1.5cm and it weighs 1431grams. The viewable screen is 17x31cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14 inches and the display is 1366x768. There is .5cm clear either side of the screen 1.5cm above it and 2cm below it. In the centre of the area above the screen is a 720p web cam. The 75 key keyboard has full size alpha and numeric keys. There is 2cm clear on the sides and 2.5cm clear behind it.
This is a powerful Notebook from Acer that is very fast and while not a featherweight at 1.41 kilos it is very solid so should stand the odd knock or three. It still has the ability to be used in an office environment as it has Ethernet and a full sized HDMI port. So what else does this latest offering have to temp the user to dig into their wallet.
The Acer TravelMate P4  measures 32.5x22.8x1.3cm and weighs 1.41kilos. The left side has DC input, Ethernet, HDMI, two USB3 ports and USB ‘C’ which can be used to charge to save carrying a power brick on your travels. The front is clear. The right side has on/off button, two LEDs, micro SD, 3.5mm audio out and a further USB ‘C’. The back is also clear as the screen goes back to 180 degrees. The base has a long 28x.
This is one of three different models of notebooks that have something that few notebooks have, a SIM slot so that when out and about you do not have to rely on your SmartPhone or dodgy open Wi-Fi to stay in touch. While I have seen this before it has only been on a very few Tablets and not on a full notebook like the Samsung Galaxy Book Go.
The  is the first notebook to come my way that has Windows 11 pre-installed. It is 32x22.2x1.2cm and weighs 1350 grams so will not weigh down your bag. So on initial startup after the normal 15 minutes of questions and choices you are ready to go. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of close to 14inches. The screen resolution defaults to 1920x1080 with 125% being the setup default if your eyesight is excellent then 100% may work for you.
This is a powerful Notebook which at the time of setup you can have as Windows 10 or Windows 11. I choose Windows 10 and after the normal 15 minutes’ worth of questions answered was able to use the machine, as usual there are a number of updates to do to bring it right up to date. So after a few days having done all the updates I expected to be offered the chance to upgrade and as I was not I restored it and this time I choose Windows 11.
The Acer Predator Notebook  measures 32x22.5x1.8cm and weighs 1722 grams. The screen is 31x17.5cm, 14inch. The viewable screen is 1920x1080 with the default display set to 150%. Bootup is 8 seconds while shutdown is 5 seconds. It has an 11 Generation Intel 17 processor running at 3.3GHz. It comes with 16GB RAM and has a 1TB SSD (952GB). Going around the outside on the left has a Kensington Lock port, Power input, USB3 port, USB ‘C’ which can also charge.
This Acer Aspire 1 is the first unit I have seen that offered me the chance to upgrade to Windows 11; you can read my thoughts in an item published last week. So now having done the upgrade I move on to the review of this rather nice if somewhat lower power and capacity unit. It is however all wrapped up nicely with a 14 inch full HD screen, and it’s very well priced.
This Acer Aspire 1 measures 32x23x1.5cm and weighs 1494 grams. The screen is 30.5x17.4cm and this gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 14 inches. It comes with 4GB of RAM that has 3.81GB usable and has a 64GB SSD which is 57.1GB actual size. The Processor is an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 which runs at 1.1GHz. After the upgrade it now has Windows 11 Home version 21H2. There is an 84 key keyboard with the alpha keys being full size. There is 2.
Most items I get to review have Intel chips in and while specifications say something like Intel i5 or equivalent until I have tested an equivalent I am reluctant to say something will work. A while ago Parallels brought out a product that would allow Chromebooks to run Windows, most recent Chromebooks can run Android Apps but Windows was something new.
If your company or education establishment wants to save on the cost of Windows notebooks this Chromebook may help as it has the basic power and memory to run Parallels for Windows allowing you to run Windows in a ‘sandbox’ while still running Chrome on the machine your company will however still need Windows licenses for every Chromebook running it though, currently they are Windows 10.
If your company or education establishment wants to save on the cost of Windows notebooks this Chromebook may help as it has the basic power and memory to run Parallels for Windows allowing you to run Windows in a ‘sandbox’ while still running Chrome on the machine your company will however still need Windows licenses for every Chromebook running it though, currently they are Windows 10.
There is a list of Chromebooks from all the major players but so far only Acer have gone out of their way to find me units that qualify.  The basic requirements are an i5 Processor or equivalent, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as with any such project more is better. Chromebooks are great for basic things like word processing, working with emails and browsing the Internet.
Here is a recent Chromebook from Acer, this is a powerful unit more than capable of running Chrome Apps and that also means Android Apps – although some may look a little strange with the swap from portrait to landscape – so things that you use every day on your phone can now be viewed that little larger in your living room as well as on the road.
The Acer Chromebook Spin measures 30x23x1.5cm, the last figure at the back if you measure at the front it's barely 1cm, it weighs 1368 grams. Going around the outside has USB ‘C’, USB3, 3.5mm socket for headphones and Micro SD card socket on the left side. The front is clear. The right side has volume rocker, HDMI out, USB ‘C’ and finally on/off button. The back is clear as the screen rotates 180 degrees to become a Tablet. The base has four landscape rubber feet 3x.
During Lockdown and afterwards I spent a lot of time online with Webinars and various Zoom and various other online meetings both work and friend related, far too often people were moaning about the times they could not get into group simply because Windows was spending ages upgrading, other were getting problems with bandwidth for various unconnected reasons. The polite version from many was I am going to get a Chromebook as they do what you want.
So here one of the latest range that may help them and if there are programs and Apps that you cannot do without them Chrome already allows access to the Android store so Apps on your phone now work on recent Chromebooks. Better still Parallels is just launching a program that allows you to run Windows on your Chromebook. This offering from Acer measures 30.5x205x1.5cm the last figure is the maximum thickness as at the front it is only 1cm thick, it weighs only 1125grams.
Available in two colours, when I delved into what colour I was sent I find it was listed as Pink but to me it’s more like a light violet. This is a rather nice and quiet powerful Laptop from a company known for producing top quality items.
It is 21.5x31.5x1.5cm the last figure is at the back, at the front it is only 1cm. The screen display is full HD 1920x1080 and the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement is 14 inches, it weighs 1428 grams. The connections on the left side are 3.5mm socket for headphones and a USB port. The front is clear.
While there are a good number of units that are stated to withstand both heat and cold as well as dust and wet there are a lesser number designed to work for longer periods in places where there is zero or very limited mains power available so this triple battery model might be the answer.
It is 34x28x3.5cm and weighs 3.15 kilos. The viewable screen is 30.5x17cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14inches, out of the box the screen resolution is set at 150% but 125% should still be viewable and for those with perfect vision maybe 100%. The screen surround is 1.5cm on each side with 2.5cm at the base and 3cm at the top. Inset in the centre at the top is a webcam that has a vanity slider. On the area on the right side is a fingerprint reader.
This is a very powerful and also rather expensive offering but when you get a boot at six seconds and shutdown at two seconds this immediately tells you it will not be ‘cheap’ so what exactly does this latest offering from Porsche and marketed by Acer offer.
Porsche AP714-51GT laptop measures 32x19.5x1.5cm the last measurement is at the rear because at the front it is only 1cm thick. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of very close to 14 inches, the display is full HD 1920x1080 and the default is to show this at 150%. Going around the outside has connections on the left for power in, HDMI out, USB3 and USB ‘C’. The front is clear while the right side has a 3.
891461 Acer Swift 5 SF514 54T 14 inch Lapto

Acer Swift 5

This latest version of the Swift 5 is small and powerful and while it is intended for use when out and about, as it has a full size HDMI port there is no reason while it should not be used at home or even in the office if it is the latter then make good use of the Kensington Lock socket or someone else will be using it.
The Acer Swift 5 measures 31x21x1.5cm the last measurement is at the back of the side as it is only 1cm at the front edge. It weighs only a tad over a kilo at 1041 grams. It is gun metal grey in colour apart from the hinge at the back and the Acer logo on top which are both copper in colour. The screen goes back to 135 degrees and the viewable screen dimensions are 30.5x17.3 which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of close to 14 inches.
This is one of the new breed of Chromebooks that give you much more functionality and even allows access to the Google Play Store and that also allows you to link to your Android phone. In fact it bears little resemblance to an early Chromebook that did not even have the ability to store things offline. This should really be considered a totally new category of product.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 511 measures 29.5x21.5x2cm and weighs 1212 grams. The viewable screen is 23.5x14.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 11.6inches and this gives you a variable screen resolution of up to 1518x853 which may make text a little small for some but a slider lets you change it through a range of resolutions up to 911x512. Going around the outside, on the left side is a small blue LED denoting power on, next is a USB ‘C’ then USB3.
Certainly not a cheap notebook, however it is a very powerful offering that is capable of doing everything you ask and it does it all within a small footprint so easy to use at home, in the office, or on your travels. So the name is right this is a Travel Mate.
It is 32.5x23x1.5cm the last figure is maximum as it is only 1cm at the front, it weighs 1218 grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13.8 inches. The screen surround is matt black so less finger marks. There is a .7cm border either side, the top border is 1.3cm and the bottom border is close to 3cm. In the top border has a web cam complete with shutter for privacy and a pin hole microphone.
Acer seem reluctant to bring in new names, as I have reviewed an Aspire 5 in the past, only the bit after the ‘5’ varies here however there is doubt that this a different unit as the previous one weighed over 2kilos and this one only clocks in a tad over 1.5 kilos so what else is new on this small and light laptop?
The Acer Aspire A514-52 laptop computer measures 32x23x1.5cm and weighs 1524grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of close to 14 inches. The screen is HD 1920x1080 with the default display set at 150% but I was perfectly happy using it at 125%. The 84 key keyboard has 4cm clear behind 2.5cm clear either side and 9cm clear in front with the 10.5x6.5cm trackpad mounted 9.5cm from the left and 12.5cm from the right.
I am used to review samples coming with a US keyboard where only a few keys are differently placed but this arrived with a German keyboard and when you use a UK keyboard overlay on it a number of keys move the most obvious is that the Y and Z are transposed but harder to fathom is where other keys have gone the most vital on initial setup of this Notebook is the ‘@’ key as try entering an email address without it, once booted you can investigate further.
The Honor MagicBook Pro measures 36.5x23.5x1cm and it weighs 1.674 kilos. The viewable screen is 35.5x20cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 16.1inches. The margin on the top and sides is only .5cm. The unit is 1920x1080 with the screen resolution defaulting to 125% but it is quite useable at 100%. It has an AMD Ryzen processor and graphics running at 3GHz. It comes with 16GB RAM.
Not a new name but certainly the contents are a lot more powerful than the unit I reviewed three years ago. This is a light Notebook that is powerful at the same time; it can happily show a presentation onto an external HDMI panel so ideal for those that travel around.
The Acer Swift 3 measures 31.5x21.5x1.5cm where the last measurement at the back with the front being as thin as 1cm. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 14 inches; the screen resolution is 1920x1080 which by default is shown at 150%.
A Chromebook can do a lot of the things that a Microsoft Windows Laptop can do however they normally cost less money. This is a ‘Touch’ version so assuming what you want is available in a Chrome App then this offering may suit your needs.
You will need a Gmail or Google account and very little more, early Chromebooks required Internet access to do most things as there was little internal memory this is no longer the case so if you are working on a series of document offline it’s OK. So basically if your requirements are email, word processing and web access then this certainly ticks all the boxes. It is 31.5x22.5x1.5cm and weighs 1356grams. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.
This is a small and light 14inch screen notebook with an AMD processor from Honor. It is a fast product, so what if anything is there that could be improved, first it is not that cheap but then all the components are high end, second there is only a single SSD drive of 256GB divided into ‘C’ and ‘D’ and on an office desk you could be short of connections.
The Honor MagicBook 14 measures 32x21x1.5cm the last figure is the maximum, it weighs 1371 grams. The only other things in the box are a 1.7 metre USB ‘C’ to USB ‘C’ lead and a 13amp plug with USB ‘C’ out on the top. This however is a 65 watt fast charge module so a 70% charge from empty takes 70 minutes and in my tests a discharge rate of 10% per hour when streaming music and keeping the screen live takes place.