Why Acer Sucks: A Cautionary Tale

Earlier this week, I had a major technology fail.  Let me share the “short and sweet” version, with some fun animated gifs to keep this a little more lighthearted than it’s been.


Why Acer Sucks

A Cautionary Tale

In July, 2012, I purchased a little Acer Aspire One netbook, for the sole purpose of not having to be tied to a desktop computer when I was writing, researching, or otherwise wasting time and creative energy on the internet.  All was well.  For the most part. The wireless adapter never really worked right, but I soldiered on.

Until December, when everything started locking up, refused to restart, and required several system restores.

Sebastian is irritated


It seemed that a patch in one of the Windows Updates didn’t like my computer, or vice versa.  Either way, the issue seemed to be resolved.  I continued.

From January 20th through January 27th, I participated in my local RWA chapter’s January “Book In A Week”.  I had a very lofty goal to revise 20 of the 37 chapters of the HFMO Part One, plus 5000 words on my chick lit romance.  Revisions went great, the 5k new words didn’t happen so much.  Still, I was pleased with how much work I’d gotten done in a week.

Minion at work

On Monday night, as I was researching/surfing the Interwebz, my Acer Aspire One started doing these weird hiccup things and freezing up again.  I figured I probably needed to restart, but after the issues in December, I was wary of doing so.  I uploaded all my new work onto my Google Drive, and restarted.

And then nothing happened.  So I tried a hard reboot, which led to an endless Startup Repair loop that did nothing.

Chandler can't believe it either


My husband played around with the boot settings, but still no luck.  So he had to do an eRecovery.  There’s supposed to be a way to do so without losing all your files, but the Acer didn’t like it.  So he had to completely reinstall Windows, thus wiping my hard drive of everything.

Jack Sparrow

Fortunately, it went through its whole reinstall cycle and seemed to be working again.  The hubs thought it was most likely a software issue, rather than hardware. I proceeded to download the programs I use, like Open Office and Write Way Pro (and Chrome, because I hate Internet Explorer).

And then the wireless adapter forgot our network security key and didn’t believe me when I typed it in correctly five times.

Merida feels my frustration

Incidentally, this is the same issue I had the first month I owned the Acer Aspire One, and I wasn’t even going to bother trying to download the driver, because when I tried that in August, it said it was the incorrect driver despite being the exact same driver listed in the hardware properties.

Jon Stewart is also frustrated.

So I decided to send an inquiry to Acer’s tech support, explaining the history of fails this netbook has had since I bought it.  The response was that the wireless adapter probably needed to be replaced, and I would have to send it in to a repair depot, with the assurance I would have it returned in 7-10 days from their receipt of my netbook.

Scully says, "Yeah, right."


Curious about this “repair depot” situation and wondering if I couldn’t just take it to Best Buy to handle the repairs, I learned through a variety of internet reviews that:

  1. People were told by Acer that their machines arrived at the repair depot with damages not covered under the warranty (despite these people’s insistence that the damage was not present when shipped), and therefore the issue requiring the repair in the first place would not be fixed,
  2. Computers sent to a repair depot weren’t returned for upwards of eight weeks, and
  3. Computers that were returned sometimes were not the correct computers

I also read a comment by an Acer employee, who basically said what amounted to, “If you buy one of our $250 computers, you have to do so with the realization that they’re cheaply made. So don’t expect it to work for very long.”

Clint senses the bull

When my husband got home, I reported on the lack of wireless adaptability, and he promptly ordered an Edimax wireless USB adapter, which came in 2 days thanks to our Amazon Prime subscription, and so far is working not only great, but better than the Acer installed wireless adapter ever did.

Plus, all my writing was safe on Google Drive.

Emma Watson feels my relief


As of today, the Acer is “working”, and I just hope it can limp along for at least another 6 months, if not longer. Because, other than the wireless adapter sucking and Acer’s customer support sucking and the weird apparent software issues, it’s meeting my needs.

However, I am going to start shopping around for better quality netbooks and slimline laptops, because if this machine goes on the fritz again, I’m not giving it another chance.

Moral of the story? You get what you pay for, and I should have just bought a Dell in the first place.

Stupid Technology

It seems that technology hates me a little bit this week.

First, our computer, which is just over a year old, completely froze up.  It was only pure luck and a miracle that when my husband restarted it, my manuscript (the software of which was still up and running when it froze) wasn’t missing any information – praise autosave.

Then our NetTalk dropped a call.  This has happened before, but usually after more than 45 minutes. This was after about two minutes.  I’m not sure if it’s our router or if it’s Road Runner.

Finally, my DVD player at school bit the dust.  Fortunately it was just at bus time.  But when I say bit the dust, I mean the stupid thing totally stopped working and wouldn’t even open so I could get the DVD out.  That’s the particularly sucky part – it was a brand new DVD of “Lilo and Stitch”, which I’d just purchased three weeks ago and removed the plastic wrapping literally five minutes before attempting to play it.

One must wonder what’s going on.