Acer eMacine E725-4520 Review

The Acer eMacine E725-4520 is a low cost laptop. It comes with an Intel T4400 which a dual-core CPU that runs at 2.2Ghz with 800Mhz front-side bus. 3GBs of DDR3 800 RAM are installed by default with a 250GB hard drive. The screen is a 15.6 inch LCD powered by an Intel GMA4500M chipset with up to 1308MBs of memory. The GMA4500 has 32MB of dedicated memory, the rest is taken from the RAM. The laptop comes with a dual-layer DVD burner and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. There is a SD card reader on the bottom and a WiFI card that supports both B and G.

Good

Battery life: While the laptop only comes equipped with a 6 cell battery it has fairly good life. With no power saving settings on at all I can get around 2 hours of battery life while surfing the web and watching Youtube clips. With the power saving feature on, the battery life jumps to nearly 5 hours. Watching a movie and playing games obviously diminishes the battery life, but you can easily finish a movie and start another one before the battery dies. While gaming the battery can last for around 2 hours with the power saving settings on.

The keyboard: I can’t stand most laptop keyboards. They feel cramped to me and the lack of a number pad is a huge turn-off. Thankfully the E725 has what I need. The keys that can’t be fit in are added through the use of a function button that enables alternate uses for the keys. The keys feel good and have a nice soft feedback to them. The numbers and letters are just printed on to the keys so with continued use they will likely wear off.

DDR3: This one surprised me. I was looking at the RAM for the laptop to see how much it could manage. Finding information was a big of a pain, but once I found out that it had DDR3 I was very happy. I have not seen too many $400 laptops with 3GB of DDR3 in them. It looks like it might even be able to hold up to 8GBs according to the Intel’s information on the chipset. The added speed of DDR3 helps improve gaming performance as well as it gives the graphics chip faster RAM to work with. It isn’t enough to make it great for gaming, but it does allow it to play some games well enough.

Bad

Lack of ports: The laptop only has two USB ports. This could be a serious problem. I use a mouse and keyboard when I’m at my desk so that fills up both USB ports on the laptop. So you will have to buy a UB hub to use more devices. On top of that there is no firewire, HDMI, or eSATA ports on the laptop. While it’s not a standard at this price range, the cost of adding some of the components is fairly low and would not likely raise the price very much.

Bloatware: The bloatware wasn’t as bad on this laptop as I’ve seen on some computers, but it still took a good half hour to get rid of all of it. This laptop comes with a trial version of MS Works, Office 07, Norton Internet Security, and about 20 different WildTagent games all of which were demos. It does come with a backup and ISO program installed which is a nice touch, but I removed that as well.

No install discs: I hate the trend of not including install discs with a new computer. I like having discs for my OS installs. The E725 makes you create your own backup disc. While this isn’t bad, it’s still not the correct step to take. I would prefer the discs to come in the box.
The eMachines E725-4520 cost me just over $400 after tax. It is a good showing from eMachines and it is nice to see them put out some nice laptops. Acer has done a wonderful job reworking the brand. Under Gateway’s guiding hands the eMachine’s laptops had a lot of problems that lingered from the days when they ran themselves. For its price this laptop has shown some good results. It is not a gaming laptop by any stretch of the imagination, but I do play a few games on it. Upgrade options are not terrible. The RAM sticks (which are Samsung, by the way) and hard drive are easily accessible from the bottom of the case. The CPU is also upgradable, assuming you’re willing to take apart the case. Since I plan on keeping this for a while I’m sure I will be tossing more RAM in soon followed by a SSD and somewhere down the road a quad core. Most likely a Blu-Ray drive as well.

Overall performance on the laptop has been good and my complaints with it are minor. I wasn’t expecting to play games on it so just being able to do some casual gaming is fine. It plays HD video very well and I am typing this review on it using Office 10 so that runs very good. The weight is around 5lbs I believe. Carrying it around is easy and my arms don’t get tired. My primary use for this thing is school and watching movies or surfing the web. If you are in the market for a fairly low cost laptop and don’t want a netbook the E725-4250 should be something to keep in mind.

The review was written by Pixel Smashers member Derangel.

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