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back to article Acer: Alive, and thirsty for Apple juice

Bought an Acer lately? Chances are you were looking for a modern, well-designed notebook/netbook/desktop/whatever and found that Acer does a good job at a decent price. What you were not doing was buying into the "Acer Lifestyle". Acer Plc is not Apple Inc. But now Acer has pretentions to that end. Number two behind HP in the …

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WTF?

While I have purchased half a dozen Acer's over the years

it's a fair bet that the last thing I want them to be is part of a 'lifestyle'

Step one when purchasing *any* computer? Rip off all the vendor supplied software. It's not rocket science.

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I was with them until...

I was with them until discovering it will only run on Acer hardware? Really? As the article said, at least iTunes content will run on windows and mac devices.

I don't think anyone is going to knock iTunes off its perch until someone badgers the content providers into allowing DRM free video. Until then, I'll stick to the vendor that makes the DRM work as seamlessly as possible, and right now, that's Apple.

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Pirate

DRM free video

I thought that was known as The Pirate Bay...

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"Acer Lifestyle"

<bitter ranting>

The Acer lifestyle. Really?

"Our hardware lasts one year, then the fans crap out and it dies." Alternately: "We ship you the shittiest possible power units which short out and take your notebook with you." How about "Acer: the lowest quality components humanly possible. So bad that we actually ship gear that in 2010 still dies of bad capacitors three months after purchase."

Acer lifestyle: buy cheap shit for a low price, throw it away after not much use or abuse and buy more cheap shit at a cheap price.

Over my decaying corpse will anyone I know ever buy anything from Acer. Freaking /DELL/ is a better bet than Acer.

Good luck trying to make a “lifestyle” play, Acer. Your shit stinks way too bad for anyone – even those with kool-aid lobotomies – to fall for that crap.

</bitter ranting>

My apologies to the good readers of El Reg for the foul language and the biased company attack. I acknowledge that it may be considered rude and/or out of place. I can only offer as an excuse having frittered away tens of thousands on this company before I realised how crap it was and the anecdotal evidence of over 60% of all systems crossing my bench for [dead X] being Acers. It is enough to strongly bias me against this company’s quality of manufacture.

Given even new equipment shipped by Acer is exhibiting the same terrible low quality as I have seen through the aughties, I feel that while my outburst is probably rude…it is not incorrect. I do welcome any refutation from individuals who have had to deal with a large number of Acer products in the past few years; I would deeply love to be wrong about this company. They provide low cost hardware and it would be nice to be able to believe that either there are some models in their stable which aren’t utter pants and/or that the company has decided on a sea change which will result in my not having to bang my head against the terrible hardware flaws I see from them every single day.

In order to build a following for your gear, you have to at least start with halfway decent gear.* Apple have a cult following not only because of the reality distortion field…but because their failure rates are actually remarkably low. (Though I personally do think Apple could stand to do better on the support for those items that do fail.) Lenovo business class notebooks have a nearly as strong cult following…they are just less noisy.

Some things – such as toughbooks – are simply the only real contenders. Their cult followings come from being the only real alternative to play in a given space. Alternately, you can do it by going the “build a different UI/app loadout route” – a la sense UI – but that’s a much harder road. (Ask HTC.)

I just don’t think Acer have a payer here. The only thing Acer ever had going for them was the ability to fool those who were never taught concepts like “false economy.”

*To the curious…I have had very good luck with non-bottom-of-the-barrel Dell gear. A 50/50 hit-or-miss with ASUS, HP and Panasonic. (The levels of failure might be due to volume; most systems I have deployed at the moment are ASUS. Though I have recently cut them from my accepted vendor list for piss poor support.)

I have yet to meet a Sun, Toshiba or Fujitsu that have given me problems, but in all fairness I don’t see many of them. Lenovo seems to crank out the reliable notebooks…but they don’t have much in the way of specs. Currently the only companies I have yet to see any returns for are HTC and Supermicro; both of which I have only recently started to use extensively.

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BUT...

The big problem for Acer, like Dell or HP or Sony is that whatever they do .. they sell Windows PCs.

Nothing against Windows but they are all attempting to differentiate themselves from other vendors of essentially the same thing. (The same is happening in Android handsets and Windows Phone7)

And they are also reliant on Microsoft to provide the developments in the OS whereas Apple, being both software and hardware OEM in their own right have total control and by its very definition are different!

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Go

"Lifestyles" are like ...

... diets and waist sizes. They come, they go and they seldom stay for a long time when they do come. The same can be said of fads and toys both of which Apple seems to fully grock. But, all fads end and people soon realize what they need is stability and predictability. Acer was both and that may soon be a thing of the past if they now are embracing "change for the sake of change" and cosmetics. The techies love it though; keeps them employed. Why do you think the various vendors keep coming out with new products? Do you actually believe it's to provide better technology to the masses or to keep IT satisfied? No, it's to maintain a market edge pure and simple.

As for selling Windows being a problem, well, tell that to the stockholders and blue-haired old ladies living on the dividends of the various MS "slave" corporations. The ONLY measures of success in the market (and the market is all there is here) is stockholder equity, the bottom lines and company growth ... all measured in currency not emotions. If those are problems, I'll take them any day, and you pure, idealistic techy-types can try and fill your bellies on hope and dreams all you want.

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Go

No...don't do it...

I buy (and recommend to others) to buy a PC / Android Phone because it gives us choice. It's that simple.

I bought the last of the first generation Acer Aspire One netbook last year from eBuyer for £149.99 inc.VAT + Delivery. It came with a strange Linux distro which I whipped off and dual booted Ubuntu (for home stuff) and Windows XP (for emergency SQL server management).

IMO this is the right place for Acer, selling cheap machines. I'd like to see them increase quality before they start trying to get in to software. A decently styled tablet running Android (or a choice of Windows) like the new Dell 'flip screen' would be cool too...

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FAIL

I'm still laughing...

Okay, so they want to create a "<insert brand here> lifestyle" by <del>imitating</del>"following" what another brand does? The word you're looking for, dear Acer PR department, is not "lifestyle", it's "copycat".

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Unhappy

Marvellous

All but one of our company laptops have been Acer so far but the current crop looks like being the last. What we want from a business laptop is a machine fit for business first, good sized screens, fast when of mains and capable of long battery life when needed. If it can play DVDs and games too after hours then fine. Watching a widescreen movie on a 4:3 screen cropped or with black borders top & bottom is just fine by me.

Try buying an Acer with over 1000 vertical resolution now, you used to be able to but can't any more. All the screens are designed for movies which makes then a lousy fit for spreadsheets, graphical packages such as schematic captire or 61511 languages. Not much damn use for plain old letter writing either.

Then there's the increasing cruft infesting the things out of the box. All I want is 'blows (XP up^hdowngrade preferred).

Acer have well and truly lost the business plot and from this announcement it looks like they have no desire to win that market segment back.

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FAIL

Acer = Like Apple, cheap junk sold expensively

Acer want to follow Apple? Acer are cheaply built, just like Apple. I know because I repair them, on a daily basis at my firm Kitamura Computers, as I do Apple equipment. They're built to look nice on the outside, like Apple like to use their "single sheet of aluminum", but inside, are shoddy and cheaply built. On Acers, case parts break more than usual, mouse buttons (the microswitches, not the plastic your finger touches) are soldered direct to the motherboard rather than being part of the palmrest trackpad assembly, needing to be desoldered and soldered to be replaced, and the machines generally fail prematurely.

Take the latest MackBook Air. 3 year old Core2Duo processor (My 3 year old Clevo has a faster C2D CPU). Everything is soldered to the motherboard. CPU, Flash and RAM. And how often do us techies have to replace RAM sticks in PC's and standard laptops because they've gone bad? Very Often. Meaning the board in the 2009/2010 Airs has to either have the Flash and RAM replaced/reballed, or the whole board scrapped. After paying $800+ in the first place to buy the crap? No thanks, pal!

So, if Sony and Acer/Asus want to copy Apple, go to it. Puts my food on the table in my chip reballing sector of my company, along with all the failing PS3 FAT consoles (and now Slims that are emerging with no video or power!) I've seen a massive drop in failing RRoD 360 consoles, the newest Elites and Slims are staying really strong!

I prefer SUBSTANCE over STYLE. Otherwise the iPad and MB Airs are the nasty disposable results you get if you favour style, and listen to fanbois! I'd rather be able to upgrade the RAM and CPU in my systems, thankyou. Mac CPU's have always been soldered in their laptops, and they should be done for the amount of their disposable crap that ends up in landfill because it's either A) The device is obsolete and can't be upgraded, or B) The owner can't afford my reballing and vacuum rework costs, they've blown it on the device itself and haven't finished paying it off!! Their excuse is always, "Ooh, it looks nice!" Wow. Not.

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