Acer Aspire 8943G, a gigantic and powerful laptop at a reasonable price

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Acer Aspire 8943G, a gigantic and powerful laptop at a reasonable price

The Acer Aspire 8943G is a desktop replacement in an almost literal sense - you'll barely be able to see any desk behind it. A gigantic 18.4in display means the chassis measures 440mm across and weighs more than 4kg, so it's good for the occasional trip up and down the stairs at home but not much else.

Once in place, though, the Aspire rewards you with power. Despite the dual-core Core i7-720M inside, it scored 1.74 in our benchmarks, helped by 6GB of DDR3 and a 64-bit OS. It's the fastest of the consumer laptops here, and should only fall behind the quad-core systems in heavily multithreaded tasks such as 3D rendering.

Acer has also included the second most powerful consumer graphics chip this month, with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 averaging 49fps in our Medium Crysis test, and a creditable 20fps at High settings. With a few detail settings lowered, you may even get close to the display's Full HD resolution in some less demanding games.

There's the obligatory Blu-ray drive for entertainment, while the screen is superb, with a bright and even LED backlight, vibrant colours and a coating that's glossy without being overly reflective. The 5.1 speaker set produces fine audio, rich and full at both ends of the scale and with impressive volume, all controlled by a sleek rotary dial and separate backlit playback panel.

The whole design seems to follow those touches: the power button is a brushed-metal disc with blue trim that lights up when on; a pair of tiny blue speaker grilles look like exhaust vents beneath the screen; and the rounded edges of the front of the chassis look almost like the front of a car. It's all a tad over the top in true boy-racer style, but it somehow works on such a massive laptop.

It's unlikely you'll move from the mains for long, but battery life is better than you'd expect: we measured just more than four hours of light use, and almost an hour-and-a-half at full pelt. All of which combines to make the Acer a very tempting desktop replacement. The styling won't suit all tastes, but the 8943G costs little more than two grand, yet offers more power and entertainment features than you'd usually expect from a desktop PC.

Acer Aspire 8943G
Verdict
Huge and over the top, but the Aspire offers tremendous power at a surprisingly sensible price.
Performance
Battery Life
Features & Design
Value for money
Specs
This review appeared in the July, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing
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