I recently bought this laptop because Amazon had it as a “Lightning Deal” for $279 (reg. $399) and based on the specifications, there was no way I could resist making the purchase. I’m absolutely happy that I did. This laptop is a fantastic unit, one that is definitely worth the $399 price point, so with $120 off you’d be a complete fool not to purchase it.
I’ve written a lengthy review for Amazon on the product, but before I purchased, I found that there are no good reviews of the unit anywhere online. Thus, I’m re-posting my Amazon review here (with updates in the future, of course!) so that prospective buyers will be able to walk into the purchase of this laptop feeling well-informed.
(By the way, my Sylvania G netbook is still going great. It’s an awesome platform for testing software and websites on, and I continue to carry it with me everywhere I go.) On to the review of the eMachines eME527-2537 laptop!
I bought this laptop purely out of the compelling nature of the Amazon Lightning Deal price of $279 plus the specifications of the unit (since then it seems they’ve made the deal price the standard one, for now). I own a computer service business, so I know exactly how to research laptops for potential purchase down to the component level, and here’s why I decided to make the buy:
- CPU: It might be a cheap Celeron, but it has a 1MB cache and 64-bit capability, and is based on the Core 2 processor; DEFINITELY far more powerful than any netbook, and in my tests it plays 720p high-definition H.264 video clips without a single hitch. The lower cache is also somewhat mitigated by the dual-channel DDR3 memory.
- RAM: 2GB of dual-channel DDR3. Enough said. It’s the latest and greatest kind of memory, and there’s enough to get most typical things done. You could even run Photoshop if you wanted, and it’d be fine.
- Hard drive: 160GB SATA…pretty small by today’s standards, but it’s way more than most people will use, including myself since I have a desktop for all the big stuff.
- DVD-RW drive: YES, IT BURNS DVDs. Very compelling, particularly since netbooks’ main missing feature is an optical drive.
- 15.6″ widescreen: You can easily buy a laptop for $300 more and get a smaller screen. The image is crisp and I absolutely can’t complain. The resolution is really good, also. Plenty of video real estate to get things done.
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit: 64-bit! Not Starter Edition! Not Vista! What more could you ask for? (Also, Linux works great on it; I checked!)
- This thing isn’t a 17″ laptop, yet it has a numeric keypad! Not a full one, but just the fact that it has the standard 0-9 and Enter matrix in the proper place is amazing, and awfully handy for keeping those pesky financial records!
Some people will not like the lack of a webcam, but the most annoying compromise is the sound. While you can easily connect a set of speakers and get wonderful sound, the built-in speaker is mono (there is only one speaker), very quiet, and has a very poor response range. It’s sufficient for hearing sounds such as a mail notification (if ambient noise in the room is low), but it’s insufficient for almost everything else, including listening to music. Honestly, most people could care less about the missing cam and pitiful speaker, especially at this price point. It’s powerful, it gets the job done and does so at great speed, and the feature list is absolutely shocking for a $279 unit. If I was evaluating this at its “normal” $399 price, I would advise coughing up an extra $100 and buying a dual-core unit with 4GB and a 320GB hard drive instead, but the $120 off makes this an absolutely unbeatable offer. In fact, I’ve already helped three other people purchase one since mine was delivered and I evaluated it first-hand.
If you get this at a good price, you absolutely won’t be sorry. Just buy it!
Stay tuned for future updates.