Little Adventures

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Substance Above Style

Note: This article is not directly related to photography but I consider computers as an integral part of anyone's photography associated products and accessories - especially in the digital age.  You need a lot of computing muscles to move those megapixels.

My Acer Aspire 5740. I must say, "much more than I expected."

I must be weird for being, perhaps the only person, who is not a fan of the MacBook. Sure they're pretty, they're well made and fun to use but . . . it's just not for me. What I don't like most about it is the price. They say it's much simpler to use but . . . what can be simpler than what I'm already used to? I've been using PC for as long as I've been using computers - since the DOS days, long before Windows. And it's just so simple to me now.

At one time, I got the itch to get me an iPod Touch but then I learned that transferring movies and music to it is not as easy as the drag and drop feature of Windows Explorer. Apparently, you need to install iTunes and files need to be converted and then synchronized and . . . uhhhh.

About three weeks ago, I got myself an Acer Aspire 5740. And while it's not as pretty as the MacBook, the things that came with it made an impressive package at an unbelievable prize. Check this out:

- Intel Core i3 processor 330M 2.13 GHz, 1066MHz FSB (whatever that means . . .)
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator up to 1754 MB
- 4 Gb RAM
- 320 Gb HDD
- DVD Super Multi DL Drive
- 15.6" HD LED screen in 16:9 True Cinematic view screen
- Integrated Numeric Keypad
- Multi-touch Touch Pad
- HDMI output
- Dolby Home Theater Virtual SurroundSound
- Windows 7 Home Premium

plus the usual USB 2.0 ports, multi-card reader, wi-fi, bluetooth, etc.

And check this out, a Windows performance rating of 4.6 ---> The average laptop will have a rating of about 3.0 to 3.8. Any higher than that and your laptop will carry with it about the same specs as mine - BUT with a much higher price tag.

So how much did I paid for my Acer Aspire 5740? QAR 2,599 (US$ 712) (PHP 32,617.45). The cheapest MacBook would cost around QAR 4,500. A similarly specified laptop by another brand would cost about the same as the cheapest MacBook - perhaps a little bit cheaper. It is without a doubt, a bargain. Big bang for the buck.

So how's the experience so far after 3 weeks? Wonderful!!! It's blazingly fast even with Photoshop, DPP and Powerpoint open all at the same time. And it has no problem handling my photos quickly - each one is around 11 Mb. And the LED screen is so lovely, whether watching movies, viewing pictures or editing pictures - it is such a joy.

Windows 7 is a vast improvement from the disappointingly slow, but great eye candy, Vista. I like it when I connect my laptop to a projector and they automatically communicate, making the right adjustments - automatically. It also recognizes my current gadgets - Creative Vision, Canon EOS 40D, Powershot G7 - without asking for installation CD's. Beautiful!!!

Whatabout virus attacks? Well, as soon as I installed McAffee Anti-Virus any virus was never an issue.

Sure, it's not as pretty as a MacBook but it is, by no means, ugly. I'm looking at the brilliant screen most of the time and with all that stuff that keeps me happy when computing, and at this price, why would I even want a Mac?


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