Laptop users looking for some Windows 8 experience are fortunate as their options are increasingly better by the day. The Acer M5-481PT is one of those machines that prioritizes balanced performance and portability above all else, with some sacrifices in display quality.

The package is rather attractive for the price offered, although it has puzzling port placement and unwieldy touchpad. The Acer M5-481PT offers a somewhat high-end appearance with case made from brushed aluminum-magnesium alloy. The laptop has a rather sturdy feel to it, while the matte finish resists fingerprints and smudges. There’s nothing remarkable with its chiclet-styled keyboard, but it offers comfortable typing experience and users need minimal effort to press the keys.

The 14” HD LED-backlit is one of the laptop’s big negatives. Colors look rather flat, while the glossy panel and low brightness result in reduced outdoor visibility. Under the hood, there are 1.8GHz Intel Core 3337U dual-core processor, 6GB RAM, 20GB mSATA SSD as cache and Seagate Momentus Thin 5400rpm 500GB HDD.

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