Acer Extensa 5635Z

The Extensa is a business laptop with no particular frills. That's not a bad thing per se, but it's tough to get too excited about it, either.


7.5
CNET Rating
6.6
User Rating

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Design

The Extensa 5635Z is a business-centric notebook, and like most business models the core visuals take a back seat to functionality. This inevitably leads to a rather plain looking notebook, and there's really nothing in the Extensa's design that truly stands out. The keyboard uses just about every last millimetre of space open to it, which enables Acer to include a number pad on a model with a 15.6-inch display screen. The flip side of that is that some of the keys are very close together, and the cursor keys suffer from being quite small and being stuck under dedicated Euro and Dollar keys.

The one design feature in the Extensa that we did like — and that should appeal to the business crowd — is that it's a solidly build laptop, which should bode well for its ruggedness over time. "Solid" usually equates to "heavy", and with a weight of 2.5kg with the battery installed, you'll quickly feel the Extensa on your shoulder.

Features

Acer sells the Extensa in a variety of configurations, and predictably the "from $1099" price represents the lowest specification machine that Acer sells. Our review sample sported a Pentium Dual-Core T4200 CPU, 2GB of RAM and an internal Intel GMA4500M 64MB graphics chip. Storage is provided via a 250GB SATA drive, and optical duties are handled by an 8x DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive. The Extensa ships with a multi-format card reader, three USB ports, D-Sub VGA output and a multi-touch capable touchpad. On the networking side it's got standard Ethernet, 802.11n and Bluetooth.

On the software side, the review model Acer supplied to us came with Windows Vista Business 32-bit, but you can expect that to flip over to Windows 7 pretty shortly. You also get a 60-day trial version of McAfee Internet Security and Microsoft Office, and NTI's Media Maker and Shadow software packages.

Performance

Basic business machines are all about productivity and not necessarily pizzazz, and that's exactly what we got out of the Extensa. For writing or spreadsheet work it functioned well, as you'd expect a system with its core specifications to do. The cursor keys are a bit of a curse, especially if you don't need the extra dollar and euro keys, but they're not an insurmountable problem.

On the pure performance front the Extensa provided few surprises. Intel's in-built graphics solutions are always notably weak, so its 3DMark06 score of 779 was no surprise to us. If your boss buys you an Extensa, don't expect too many sneaky hours playing games with it, unless Solitaire really gets you excited. On the productivity front the Extensa performed well, with a PCMark05 score of 4017.

Acer supplies the Extensa with a six-cell battery life and is astonishingly modest about its battery capabilities. We're very used to the types of spin that vendors put on battery life, rich with qualifiers and often highly suspect battery life testing regimes. Acer's claim for the Extensa is that you'll get up to a two-hour battery life, which isn't much at all in comparison with just about any other modern battery claim. In our DVD playback test with all battery-saving features disabled and screen brightness pumped up to full the Extensa sailed past the two-hour figure, conking out at two hours and 55 minutes. For a system with a screen that large, it's a decent figure. Not the greatest battery life capable for a business machine to be sure, but we've got to applaud Acer's upfront honesty.

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Cam
1
Rating
 

Cam posted a review   

The Good:good for 2 years ONLY

The Bad:Common faults with motherboard, stopped working after 2 years.

I loved this laptop for the first 2 years, worked perfectly, did what i wanted it to do.....2 years later it died on me, took to get assessed and repaired, turns out the motherboard is FRIED!!! also found out that you cant buy a new mother board either, and i didnt want to risk replacing it with a second hand!! also mother boards cost around $400+, i might as well buy a brand new laptop for that price. ACER should be ashamed!!!

Erik S. Reed
10
Rating
 

Erik S. Reed posted a review   

The Good:Fast, reliable, full keyboard, silent, extremely cool running

The Bad:Bluetooth not included

My edition came with Windows 7 home and 4GB RAM installed, at GBP400 it was great value for the money. I'm not a gamer, so the graphics card bashing here is quite ludicrous to me. It does the trick if you're on the road and want to view downloaded movies/tv shows in 720p x264 or silverlight HD streams. What more is there to ask of a portable computer? Because that's what this is, a PORTABLE computer, not you overclocked, water cooled "extreme gamer bonanza 3000".


For work purposes I run Autocad and Photoshop on it without the slightest problem.

Conclusion: If you still can find one, buy it! It's been discontinued by the manufacturer, probably beacuse it was too good..

Davey D
8
Rating
 

Davey D posted a review   

The Good:Performance, Battery, Full Keyboard, Camera

The Bad:Nothing

Excellent Performance, Great with windows 7. If you say its bad for gaming, maybe you should buy a gaming laptop, this is meant for office work or school. Built to last. Thanks Acer

Blake8cake
10
Rating
 

Blake8cake posted a review   

I LOVE IT!!! I HAVE ONE TOO. ITS DA BOM!!! BUY ONE NOWWW!!!

JAmbler
9
Rating
 

JAmbler posted a review   

The Good:Speedy, Relaible, works well, fairly light and portable

The Bad:not great but satisfactory graphics

I really like this laptop especially with windows 7 installed. Performance is generally good and really nice to use. I really don't get why the gaming geeks that are writing bad reviews don't get a GAMING laptop, this laptop is best for school work and business. Also really good value for money!

mona
3
Rating
 

mona posted a review   

The Good:not much to say on it

The Bad:silly cursors too awkard to type on , crap battery life

I will never buy one again . I got **** service when ringing up about problems ....ACER you need to get it together and look after your customers .....

Jaz
1
Rating
 

Jaz posted a review   

The Good:worked for 6 months

The Bad:screen flimsy.. laptop died

I regret ever buying an acer...toshiba is the way to go

 

Blake8cake posted a reply   

I have had mine for a year! and screen is perfect and it hasn't died! I dont know what you have done to it to make it go like that! after a few months my screen was getting wobbly, so then i looked near the hinges and i saw a screw on either side so then i just tightened it and from then to now it hasn't gotten loose again! Also Acer make it a bit loose for a reason! And when you said it died, what do you mean. Like it wont turn on or...?

 

peelo posted a comment   

The Good:very fast

The Bad:wont install newish games connects to the internet for 5 mins then disconnects

i got one of these for christmas after 2 weeks it stoped installing games it installs games the date before 2004 but wont install newish games also it connects to the internet for 5 mins the disconnects and the only way it will connect again is if the router is restarted i would recomend this laptop for buisness people and school work but not for gaming!

 

Jake posted a comment   

The Good:nothing it is a piece of ****

The Bad:everthing

DO NOT BUY THIS LAPTOP. It will be the biggest mistake of your life it is a piece of **** an ipod is better then this piece of **** also it has a **** graphics card so u cant play games cause its so ****


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User Reviews / Comments  Acer Extensa 5635Z

  • Cam

    Cam

    Rating1

    "I loved this laptop for the first 2 years, worked perfectly, did what i wanted it to do.....2 years later it died on me, took to get assessed and repaired, turns out the motherboard is FRIED!!! als..."

  • Erik S. Reed

    Erik S. Reed

    Rating10

    "My edition came with Windows 7 home and 4GB RAM installed, at GBP400 it was great value for the money. I'm not a gamer, so the graphics card bashing here is quite ludicrous to me. It does the trick..."

  • Davey D

    Davey D

    Rating8

    "Excellent Performance, Great with windows 7. If you say its bad for gaming, maybe you should buy a gaming laptop, this is meant for office work or school. Built to last. Thanks Acer"

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