Perfect Office on the road laptop – Acer Aspire V5 Review

Looking for a road machine for work? The Acer Aspire V5-171-6815 might be your ticket with a 11.6” gorgeous screen (1366 x 768 resolution), 4GB RAM, and a spacious 500GB hard drive. And only three pounds in weight.

I’ve been using one for the last month as my office away from the office and I’m very impressed. I’ve installed Office 365 and Quickbooks 2013 on the top of the Windows 8 operating system (sorry no Windows 7 version available).

Perfect for the updating social media on the go, revising contracts and other documents, writing a quick blog (like this one), even invoicing on QuickBooks. And preparing and playing PowerPoint presentations. Comes with both VGA (standard for most projectors) and HDMI ports.

Battery life while doing standard office tasks like the ones above is a strong four hours. If you need to run video or edit a video, this is not your machine. Battery life is a paltry two hours when playing video.

Acer Aspire V5Touchpad on the Aspire is overly helpful with more options that any sane person (i.e. touch typist) would ever want. I turned off most of the “helpful” features and the touchpad now responds mostly only when I want it to. To modify the touchpad, go to the charms (click on the upper right hand corner of the screen), click on Settings (the geared wheel) and click on Control Panel and click Mouse. In the Mouse control panel, click on the last tab, Elan, and click options, disable most of the addons and you should have a controllable touch pad with fewer surprises (the zoom feature drove me nuts).

You can add both external keyboard and mouse and still have a USB port left over. One of my favourite features of the Aspire is that it has two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. Most Ultrabooks only have two ports and rarely USB 3.0. I use the high speed port to transfer files I need to move over to my desktop for heavy lifting computing.

If you only use basic office software (Microsoft Office), accounting software like Quickbooks and web browsing and updating, this is a wonderful little machine. Both the RAM and the hard drive are upgradeable (unlike tablets).

Got mine for $379 plus tax (from here). Be careful if you go shopping for one at Future Shop, they’re selling a similar Aspire that is very underpowered compared to this model for under $300 and not recommended for the business tasks described in this review.