A few days ago I was able to spend some time with my new Acer 1825 PTZ Netbook therefore I though i post a few words and pictures. From the store model I demoed, this is practically the same model as the Packard Bell Butterfly touch netbook.
Under Windows 7 (64-bit edition), it certainly seems to fly quite nicely due to the beefier CPU than most Atom based Netbooks and oodles of Ram to munch into. Despite Win7 not being my favorite flavor of Windows, I’m actually quite chuffed with it. It’s very light and battery life appears to be just over 8 hours.
Prior to purchasing my Acer, i’d tested quite a few netbooks from 8″ & 10″ and glad that I settled on a slightly larger 11.6″ model which retains the compact design but web pages are much more readable without having to resize or scroll around too much. Likewise, keyboard footprint is much bigger allowing for easier typing on the larger keys and better speed and accuracy.
At the top left of the keyboard is two additional buttons. The first (marked ‘P’) is a programmable button that can be assigned up to three functions or program launchers. Bit of a gimmick but handy as a desktop lock or Firefox launcher. The other button launches an auto backup process (after preselecting drives, files or folders for backup with the the pre-installed Acer backup utility). Again, a bit gimmicky but i’m actually finding it quite useful.
I didn’t really buy my Netbook as a gaming netbook but I have ran Call of Duty and Colin MacCrae Rally 2005 will all options set to the highest and frame rates are well up in the 60’s according to Fraps….and of course, those all important emulators run perfectly. It’s a shame the cursor keys are a little on the small side though so I’m having to get used to that classic gaming combination of Q,A, O & P again 🙂
Call of Duty
The touchscreen is just sublime and so much more responsive than my first tablet notebook. Items can be dragged, rotated and resized with touch screen gestures with no detectable lag. It’s best trick is the rotating screen allowing me to read documents, eMags & eBooks in portrait mode which is something I’d really missed with my HP TX1000. The vertical viewing angle is more than acceptable but the horizontal is a bit hit and miss not unlike most netbooks and notebooks outside of the Apple camp.
Flipping the screen around. A small magnet holds it in place and I haven’t had any problems with wobbly screens etc.
With pen for scale. The touchcreen is capacitive as apposed to resistive therefore much more accurate with fingers.
Retro Gamer Magazine #30 taken from the Digital eMag edition loaded in Foxit .pdf application. The screen auto rotates depending which way you are holding the Netbook and despite other reviews I’d read, I found it rotates in a fraction of a second.
Pages can be ‘turned’, scrolled, zoomed in/out with finger gestures on the touchscreen.
There’s also the usual splatter of input/output sockets including x3 USB, HDMI, Multi Card reader, VGA out, Audio in/out, LAN & Webcam. Speaker output is as expected and not the most powerful however I was surprised by sound quality from Dolby speakers.
Bloatware was also quite light on this model therefore there wasn’t too many useless applications, toolbars and shortcuts to remove.
My only criticism is that the Acer recovery/restore DVD creation utility wouldn’t run without first attaching a USB DVD drive (the 1825ptz is without optical drive). It would have been nice to have the option to create a backup .iso file (it didn’t work with a virtual drive either via Daemon Tools).
Although there’s not much in the way of touchscreen app for Windows based PC’s the inclusion of the touchscreen pack from Microsoft has a few cool applications, especially the pictures, video and music apps.
MS Surface Lagoon. Glorified screensaver but fun all the same!