Pros: Lightweight, DVD viewing, 3 USB2 ports, HD capacity, processor speed, Price.
Cons: Hardware Tech support under warranty. Shipping and repair pricing policies.
I bought the notebook for college use, hoping to access the campus wi-fi for test taking and class notes. A side by side comparison with the competition made the Averatec 3200 look like a good deal. It took the campus IT department three weeks to get the computer's wireless G to talk to the campus web, and only then because one of the techs had prior experience with Averatec computers and changed some default wireless network settings.
It handled all of the required college software with no problems and provided excellent performance and convenience, especially for the price. Typing was far easier on the small keyboard than I had initially supposed. Music and DVD sound playback over the internal speakers is satisfactory. The USB sockets are all clustered on the forward right side of the chassis and create a wiring nest in the area of right handed mouse movement if mouse, printer and scanner are all plugged in at the same time.
The display was crisp and easily read from a variety of angles, working like a champ until running a DVD on a desktop in the last month of warranty coverage. The screen emitted a loud snap and delaminated in a small circle the top. When subsequently rebooted the delamination spread and cracks appeared along the width of the screen. The notebook had always traveled in a padded carrying case and never been dropped or physically damaged.
When contacted, Averatec said it sounded like a defect and instructed me to send it in to be repaired under warranty. Shortly thereafter I received a bill for almost $400 and the notice that the computer was "out of warranty". This statement arrived while the 3200 was still in the last month of the one year warranty.
When contacted about he proposed charge for repair their tech told me that they had a lot of screen failures in the 3200 series. He would contact his supervisor to get permission to repair the screen under warranty. The supervisor denied the work as not covered. The tech then offered to take off a $55 tech analysis fee usually charged for non-warranty work. He only charged me $20 to ship it back after I paid for shipping it to them.
I weigh this repair-under-warranty policy against price and performance of the 3200 and find it a poor choice. A cheap, high performance paperweight is still a waste of money.