Received my 8104WLMI yesterday and it's going back for depot service today.
Here's a summary of what happened in order to prevent problems for others that may have the same idea as me.
The first thing I noticed, after the pretty nice looks, good ergonomics, and good build quality, was the way they partitioned the hard drive... stupid! So, I installed a copy of partition magic (8.0) and immediately wiped out the D drive and resized the C drive to use all the available space. When I rebooted, everything seemed to be very sluggish and I could tell something was not right. OK, I'll just use the Recovery CD's and start from scratch.
Follow the instructions that came with the Recovery CD's and ran through the recovery process. Didn't take more than 15 minutes and it was pretty much done.
When it rebooted, I rec'd an error message that simply stated "eRecovery Error". Nothing more.
Everything else seemed to be working properly. OK, something didn't work right so I'll run through the recovery process one more time. Another 20 minutes later, same problem on reboot.
This morning I called Acer support and they are basically clueless because the system is so new. It appears that there is an eRecovery program that is installed from the factory that may be saving recovery files on the D partition and when I wiped it out, eRecovery can't work properly. Interestingly, when you do a full recovery, it doesn't re-establish the default partitions. (The only other one I'm familiar with is Thinkpad's and theirs does!) So once I wiped out the partiition, eRecovery is generating an error because it can't load.
The tech suggested that I leave a 1 gig partition for the D drive instead of completely removing it. Not sure if I understand this and I'm not sure the tech did either.
At any rate, they are picking the laptop up tomorrow and going to restore factory settings. (I thought that's what the Recovery CD's should do?) At this point, according to him, they don't know what else to do. Seems like a flaky response.
The tech was very nice and kept putting me on hold because he knows nothing about the system. He said they don't even have one to refer to.
What little I did get to use the system, I have a few comments that may be beneficial to others...
Screen - I really like ACER 15.4" WSXGA+ screen. Others may like the "brite" type screens, but for me (business, not gaming), I really like the wide aspect, brightness, and clarity. I currently have a T42 Thinkpad with the 14.1" screen and I liked the ACER better.
Keyboard - There is some flex in the center despite what others may say. If you want to see what "no flex", try a Thinkpad. It's not bothersome, it's just there. The keyboard, for a touch typist such as myself, will take some getting used to. It's not as comforatable or responsive as the Thinkpad, but it's not bad.
Connections - I don't care for all the connections (AC, Network Cable, USB's etc) being on the side of the laptop. By the time you are finished plugging in a few things, you've got wires on both sides and in the way of any papers you might want to set next to it.
Wireless - Seems very strong. Maybe the new higain antenna they have in it but it seems much stronger than the one in my Thinkpad.
Touchpad - Better than most of the ones that I've used. I generally use a trackpoint with the Thinkpad because I don't like the touchpads. Dell's really suck, but ACER's is more than a cut above Dell's. It's top notch as far as I'm concerned and I think I could easily get used to it. Everything is enables also... double-touch, scrolling, etc. Quality buttons and surface! It also gets warm, not hot. It's the only part of the laptop that gets warm except for the air vent on the left side near the back.
Fan noise - The fan is loud enough that you hear it running (I can not hear my Thinkpad's ever and I have excellent hearing). It seems to come on almost immediately after the laptop boots. Not annoying, just running. And it does blow warm air out the vent.
Size - Love it, love it, love it. It's the thin and light 15.4" laptop I've been looking for. I really like the looks and new folio design. Very, very attractive.
Build Quality - Seems to be very well put together. Definitely better than Dell but not quite up to Thinkpad standards. The bottom is very clean and properly labeled and all the connectivity options are easy to identify.
Summary - Pictures as soon as I get it back, but I'm going to try and use this laptop for some serious work and see how it hold up. Faster than my 1.8 mhz. Thinkpad. Both booting and shutting down are pretty quick. I'm looking at this from a purely business point of view and I think they've got a very good laptop that will compete very well with Thinkpads, Dells, and HP. The new slimmer design will really appeal to those who want a wide aspect that IBM does not offer.
I still want to test out the ezDock as soon as they become available.
One other neat thing is they have a DVI port on the back so if you want to hook it up to your DVI enabled widescreen TV, you can do it.
More info and comments when I get a chance to use it for a while. For now, I'll see how long it takes to turn it around when it has to go in for service.