The Acer has all the bells and whistles you're going to need as a student, or mobile office worker; and then some.
The Acer has all the bells and whistles you're going to need as a student, or mobile office worker; and then some. It weighs just below the average 2.5kg weight, making this a reasonably lightweight contender. The system comes decked out with a 1.6GHz Pentium-M processor, which features power optimisations for improved battery performance, and 512MB of RAM. Add to this the 64MB of dedicated ATI RADEON Mobility video memory, 60GB hard disk drive and four-speed DVD burner with DVD-RAM support, and it's not surprising to see why this notebook is only just short of $4000.
The TravelMate 3202XMi finished third in our performance testing, behind HP's Compaq NC6000-106 and just ahead of the Samsung.
Due to the notebook's 14.1in display, it has a large footprint to support the monitor, giving it enough room to include a comfortable full-sized keyboard with a four-way directional button on the touchpad. This is a very handy feature for anyone reading a large number of pages of text on screen.
Acer's design is such that, aside from attaching or detaching a D-sub monitor cable, there's no need to reach behind the notebook. A right-hand side mounted optical drive, multi-format card reader, single USB port and Ethernet socket makes for easy plugging while the left hand side features an RJ11 phone line socket, 4-pin FireWire port, and a pair of audio jacks. This notebook also has front mounted push buttons for fast enabling and disabling of the integrated Bluetooth and wireless modules, give you convenient options to conserving battery life while they're not in use. Inclusion of both productivity software as well as antivirus means you'll have everything you need out of the box for work, and system security from internet nasties.
While this is a well featured notebook, it does come with a price tag to reflect the feature set. Those with deep pockets may want to look towards the HP Compaq NC6000-106 as it's similarly priced, but offers marginally more performance and plenty more battery running time.
This Review appeared in the March, 2005 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine