Laptop manufacturers are facing something of a crisis. There was a time my wife and I would buy a new laptop every year. Now, I am happy with a nearly two year old laptop and do not see myself replacing it for another two years. A new smartphone interest me more than a new laptop. My wife's laptop is in its fifth year, but she splits computing time between a laptop, tablet and smartphone, and I think the nearly two year old tablet may get replaced before the five year old laptop. Yes, she still needs her laptops, but these days it has been relegated to being a word processor.
Intel's response to this is the Ultrabook. Microsofts response, Windows 8 which is designed to create a new generation of hybrid devices. Laptop OEM manufacturers, well they want to entice you to part with your money by giving you more value for your money. A good example of this is the entry level Acer V5.
The Acer V5 is a 14-inch laptop with an eye popping sticker price of Php17,900. For the bargain price you get a pretty capable laptop. The entry level Acer V5 is powered by an Intel 877 dual core processor has as much power as a top of the line processor just four years ago. And that is still pretty fast even by todays standards. If your laptop is used for typing documents, preparing spreadsheets and presentations, watching HD video on YouTube, this is more than enough. The budget price also yield you a large 500 GB hard drive, a DVD writer, USB 3.0 port and HDMI out.
But what makes the Acer V5 really interesting is the case. This budget laptop is just 0.9 inches thick. This makes is a hair thinner than the smaller Sony Vaio S and 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro. At 4.6 pounds in weight, it weighs just as much as the smaller MacBook Pro.
The main part of the weight reduction is the small 2500 mAh battery. But paired with the power efficient Intel 877 dual core processor, the combo is good for more than 4.5 hours of real world use. The weakest point of the package is the keyboard, which is not the best I have tried, but it does work. All in all not bad for your Php17,900.
This price comes with Linux installed, rather than Windows. So for many buyers, this laptop will cost you another 1.5-2K. On the other hand, if like me, Linux is your operating system of choice, it is nice to be able to buy a laptop without having to pay the "Windows Tax".