3 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 3 reviews of the Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-581TG. Experts rate Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-581TG 8/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-581TG and Acer Ultrabook.
We love the sleek, slim metallic styling of the Acer Aspire Timeline U M5-581TG. It's also light, thin and tough enough to carry anywhere. It carries Ultrabook branding, though at 2.4kg it's heavier than most laptops with that label. It's a singularly lovely object, but the M5-581TG isn't without its unfortunate quirks of design. Most notable of these is the positioning of the touchpad. There's very little space on the wrist rest to the left of the pad, and we found ourselves unable to type comfortably without brushing it and moving the cursor to a random location on the screen. This is, needless to say, intensely annoying when typing long documents. Over time we were able to adapt our typing style to largely avoid brushing it, but it's a nuisance nonetheless. You'll probably have to use a program such as Touchfreeze, which automatically disables the touchpad when you're typing. Disregarding this issue, the keyboard, with its slim numeric keypad on the right, is accurate to type on, while the touchpad is sensitive and fairly comfortable to use. Its integrated buttons don't make life particularly easy if you need to click and drag, such as when you have to copy files from one folder to another, however.
With the initial fruit of Intel's ultrabook initiative having dropped nearly a year ago, the category is now home to a veritable cornucopia of machines from practically every PC maker. While this has produced some highly attractive products, it has also muddied what was once a clear mission statement. Ultrabooks were originally pitched as Windows-based competitors to Apple's MacBook Air: thin, light, sexy and speedy with an all-day battery life for less than $1,000 -- a challenging feat to be sure, but one that many companies quickly overcame, including HP with its ~$900 Folio 13. With another year's worth of engineering and the more efficient Ivy Bridge architecture to work around, it should be even easier for system builders to meet or exceed Intel's guidelines. On paper, the second wave of ultrabooks should be sleeker, faster, cheaper, more portable, and more autonomous. And they are. Those attributes have improved, it's just tough to find them all in one machine and the systems that come closest in raw specifications typically exceed $1,000. With so many heavyweights chomping at what is a relatively small slice of pie, their attempts at differentiation are to be expected.
As an Ultrabook, the Acer Timeline Ultra M5 disappoints. It's simply too big (with a 15.6-inch screen) and too heavy (at 4.5 pounds, not including accessories), to fit comfortably in the Ultrabook category. If anything, decision to market this model as an Ultrabook puts the Timeline Ultra M5 a disadvantage, since it can't compete with the sexy sleekness of smaller, lighter Ultrabooks. We should instead call the Timeline Ultra M5 what it is: a very good-looking 15.6-inch ultraportable laptop with a discrete graphics card. Our review model, priced at $829 as of July 23, 2012, has excellent specs considering its svelte form. It packs a third-generation, Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 6GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card. The M5 also has a 500GB hard-disk drive alongside a 20GB solid-state drive, which uses Intel's Rapid Response SSD caching technology to boot up and resume from hibernate quickly. The M5 runs a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.