Notebookcheck

NBC Onsite: Acer's Notebook Lineup 2010

by Sebatian Jentsch, 04/15/2010

Something for everyone

ATI graphic cards are strongly represented (HD5650, HD5850), the new multimedia master is Ethos and Timline Models serve with i3 and i5 GPUs. Travelmates are also now available in 11.6 inches and the smallest ATI gamer in 13.3" has been named 3820T.

Large gamers (HD5850), multimedia masters, mainstream all rounders, runtime giants and office servants. Acer has the whole range in their lineup.
Large gamers (HD5850), multimedia masters, mainstream all rounders, runtime giants and office servants. Acer has the whole range in their lineup.

The manufacturer Acer wants more. After securing the title of the biggest notebook manufacturer in EMEA (notebook market shares 2009), the Taiwanese are aiming for even stronger sales figures in the current year. Stefan Engel, Acer Ltd. Germany, spoke of an increasing PC penetration in the industrial countries at the Munich press conference. The target of one PC per person will likely be achieved in 2014 and even top that. The reason would be the multifarious PC-like devices with which people go on the internet, according to the German Acer boss.

We'll be accompanied by a lot of Acer notebooks on the path to a "total computer penetration". The 2010 models of Travelmates, Aspires and Timelines had already been presented on April, 13th in Munich. We were onsite and handled the devices ourselves. Amongst others: Aspire Ethos, the new premium multimedia machine. Just like the Timeline X, 8 hours of mobility with the computing power of a Core i5/i7 and the 3D power of an ATI HD5650.

Entertainment machine – Aspire Ethos in 15.6 and 18.4 inches

Aspire 5943G view
Aspire 5943G view

For the first time ever, Acer uses real aluminum for a premium laptop. The Ethos models in a 15.6 and 18.4 inch size (Full HD) bring along a real 5.1 sound system (5 loudspeakers and a subwoofer) beside its puristic design. Intel's new Core processors are used model-dependently. As Acer previously has often implemented voluminous controls, now the buttons for media control are hidden in the mouse pad's surface. The control panel is enabled, and made visible, by pressing the round button between the mouse keys. The graphic card will be an ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650 or HD 5850. Acer thus shows where it wants to see its Ethos 8943G or 5943G – pouncing towards a gaming laptop.

5943G keyboard
5943G keyboard
5943G details
5943G details
8943G subwoofer
8943G subwoofer

Ethos series 8943G & 5943G Configuration
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor
Up to 8192MB DDR3 dual channel
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 with 1024MB DDR3 VRAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with 1024MB DDR3 VRAM
Up to 640 GB SATA (5400 rpm) hard disk
BluRay disk writer / DVD SuperMulti Double Layer
BluRay disk ROM / DVD SuperMulti Double Layer
DVD SuperMulti Double Layer drive
6-in-1 cardreader, 3 USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA-out, CIR-out, Firewire, loudspeakers, headphones, line-out (S/PDIF support), microphone-in, line-in, RJ45 port, adapter
Digital TV tuner supports DVB-T incl. remote control
Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam (1280x1024 pixels)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
2 year warranty incl. 1 year international
Starting at 999 euro (MSRP)

5943G Configuration
Up to 8192MB DDR3 dual channel (two soDIMM slots)
39.62 cm (15.6") HD Acer CineCrystal LED backlit TFT LCD, high-brightness (220 nit), 1366x768, 16:9, 8ms
5.1 Dolby with 2 loudspeakers and a subwoofer
Li ion battery (8 cells / 4800 mAh), up to 3.5 h battery life
Dimensions: 382 (w) x 269 (d) x 24/39 (h) mm
3.3 kg

8943G Configuration
Up to 16384 MB DDR3 dual channel (four soDIMM slots ind 18.3")
Up to 2x640 GB SATA (5400 rpm) hard disk
46.73 cm (18.4") HD Acer CineCrystal LED backlit TFT LCD, high-brightness (220 nit), 1920x1080, 16:9, 8 ms
5x USB 2.0
Dolby optimized surround sound system with 5 loudspeakers and a subwoofer
Dimensions: 440 (w) x 295 (d) x 31/43.8 (h) mm
4.6 kg

First Impression: We liked the resurrection of the manual volume control (front, under touchpad). The rather plain surfaces are pleasantly dull and leave a high-end impression, for instance on the slightly rubberized and solid wrist-rest. The keys couldn't knock us off our socks with an indistinct stroke at our first typing trials. Unfortunately, it was too loud at the press conference to try out the 5.1 sound properly. Standard models were showcased.

Aspire Mainstream - HD5650 only as a 17.3 incher

The x741 series, with both mainstream Aspire 5741G (15.6 inch) and 7741 (17.3 inch) models, is aiming at normal customers without a high-end focal point and a low budget, starting at a MRSP of 699 euro. The configuration technically ends up with an HD5650 (only in 17.3 inch) and a Core i5 CPU. The devices don't have a subwoofer, but depending on the model a BluRay disk drive.

Aspire 7741G view
Aspire 7741G view
Aspire 5741G view
Aspire 5741G view

Aspire x741 series Configuration
Intel Core i3/i5 processor
Up to 8192MB DDR3 dual channel (two soDIMM slots)
Up to 640 GB SATA (5400 rpm) hard disk
BluRay ROM with DVD SuperMulti Double Layer drive or DVD SuperMulti Double Layer drive
6-in-1 cardreader, 3x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA-out, loudspeakers, headphones, line-out, microphone-in, RJ45 port, adapter
Acer InviLink, 802.1 b/g WLAN, WiFI certified
10/100/1000 LAN, wake-on LAN ready
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam (1280x1024 pixels)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Li ion battery (6 cells / 440 mAh), up to 3 h battery life
2 year warranty incl. 1 year international
Starting at 699 euro (MRSP)

5741G Configuration
39.62 (15.6") HD Acer CineCrystal high-brightness TFT display (220 nit), 1366x768, 16;9
NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M with 1024 MB DDR3 VRAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with 512 MB DDR3 VRAM
Dimensions: 381 (w) x 253 (d) x 25/34 (h) mm
2.60 kg

7741G Configuration
43.94 cm (17.3") HD Acer CineCrystal high-brightness TFT display with LDE backlight (220 nit), 1600x900, 16:9
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with 1024 MB DDR3 VRAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with 512 MB DDR3 VRAM
Dimensions: 415 (w) x 275 (d) x 27.1/34.3 (h) mm
3.3 kg

First impression: Acer speaks of a solid case; we welcome the reappearance of matt lid surfaces. We've already had the 5741G in review. The displayed standard models are well manufactured, but had evident weak points, like a wobbly lid and a selectively yielding wrist-rest. Even the keyboard bent visibly over the drive.

Acer for gamers – ATI HD 5850 in 17 inches

Aspire 5745G view
Aspire 5745G view

Value-focused customers seek maximum performance for little money. These customers are supplied with the Aspire 7754G by the manufacturer. A Core i7 (maximum) beside an Nvidia GT330M or ATI HD 5850 is used in the 17.3 incher. The display's resolution won't deviate from 1600x900 pixels (no Full HD). However, two hard disks can be built-in (max. 2 x 640 GB). Especially interesting is the HD 5850 high-end graphic card. The manufacturer hasn't yet made it to a tradition to build in such a potent graphic card. The price is attractive, as it's around 899 euro (5745G, 15.6 inch) or 999 euro (7745G).

Aspire x745 series Configuration
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor
Up to 16.384MB DDR3 RAM (four soDIMM slots)
Up to 640 GB SATA (5400 rpm) hard disk
BluRay Disk Writer
BluRay Disk ROM / DVD SuperMulti Double Layer drive
DVD SuperMulti Double Layer drive
6-in-1 cardreader, 4x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA-out, loudspeakers, headphone, line-out (S/PDIF support), microphone-in, RJ45-Port, adapter
Acer InviLink, 802.1b/g WLAN, WiFi certified
10/100/1000 LAN, wake-on LAN ready
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam (1280x1024 Pixel)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
2 year warranty incl. 1 year international

5745G Configuration
39,62cm (15.6") HD Acer CineCrystal high-brightness TFT Display with LED backlight (200 nit), 1366 x 768, 16:9, 8ms
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M mit 1024MB DDR3 VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 310M mit 512MB DDR3 VRAM
Li ion battery (6 cells / 4400mAh), up to 3.5h battery life
379 (w) x 250 (d) x 25.5/34.1 (h) mm
2.60 kg
Starting at 899 euro (MRSP)

7745G Configuration
43.94cm (17.3") HD Acer CineCrystal high-brightness TFT Display with LED backlight (220 nit), 1600 x 900, 16:9, 8ms
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 with 1024MB DDR3 VRAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with 1024 MB DDR3 VRAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with 512 MB DDR3 VRAM
Li ion battery (6 cell / 4400mAh), up to 2.5h battery life
410 (w) x 286 (d) x 35/41.1 (h) mm
3.25 kg
starting at 999 euro (MRSP)

First impression: We could ignore the reflective lid – it's a matter of taste. The case only twists slightly when force is applied. The hinges don't tend to teeter, despite the heavy 17.3 inch lid. We, unfortunately, experienced a vague stroke in our trial typing. A small detail is the optical drive's eject button above the keyboard. But it's not a slot-in DVD drive.

Power on the go – Timeline X with Intel Core and HD 5650

Aspire 3820T view
Aspire 3820T view
Aspire 4820T details
Aspire 4820T details
Aspire 4820t details
Aspire 4820t details
Aspire 5820T view
Aspire 5820T view
Aspire 1830T view
Aspire 1830T view

Wherever an X turns up in the computer division, there's something with a lot of performance in it. Acer equips a few Aspire Timeline models with Intel's Core i3 and i5 CPUs. In the best case, the user can be mobile and use an i5-520M (2.6 GHz), anyway. Acer keeps its claim of an eight hour battery runtime upright. Gamers will likely be interested in the ATI HD5650, which can also be built into the 13.3 inch 3820T. Thus, a gaming suitable 13 incher beside the 11.6, 14 and 15.6 inchers is available again for the first time. The Timeline X models start at a MRSP of 549 euro (11.6 inch) or 699 euro (13.3 inch).

Timeline X series Configuration
Intel Core i3/i5 processor
Up to 8192 MB DDR3 dual channel (two soDIMM slots)
Up to 640 GB SATA (5.400r pm) hard disk
5-in-1 cardreader, 3x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA-out, loudspeakers, headphone, line-out (S/PDIF support), microphone-in, RJ45-Port, adapter
Acer InviLink, 802.1b/g WLAN, WiFi certified
10/100/1000 LAN, wake-on LAN ready
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam (1280x1024 Pixel)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit
2 year warranty incl. 1 year international
Colors: black, brown, red, silver

Aspire 3820T Configuration
33.78 cm (13.3") HD Acer CineCrystal LED backlt TFT LCD, high-brightness (200 nit), 1366 x 768, 16:9 
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with switchable graphics, up to 4901 MB HyperMemory (1024 MB DDR3 VRAM, up to 3076 MB shared)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with switchable graphics, up to 3579 MB HyperMemory (512 MB DDR3 VRAM, up to 3076 MB shared)
Dimensions: 324 (w) x 235 (d) x 22/28,9 (h) mm
Li Ion 6 cell battery (6000mAh) 8+ h battery life
1.8 kg with 6 cell battery
Starting at 699 euro (MRSP)

Aspire 4820 T Configuration
35.56 cm (14") HD Acer CineCrystal LED backit TFT LCD, high-brightness (200 nit), 1366 x 768 supports simultaneous multi-window display, 16:9
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with switchable graphics, up to 4901 MB HyperMemory (1024 MB DDR3 VRAM, up to 3076 MB shared)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with switchable graphics, up to 3579 MB HyperMemory (512 MB DDR3 VRAM, up to 3076 MB shared)
DVD-SuperMulti Double Layer drive
Dimensions: 342 (w) x 245 (d) x 24/25.4 (h) mm
Li ion 6 cell battery (6000mAh) 8+ h battery life
2.2 kg with 6 cell battery
Starting at 749 euro (MRSP)

Aspire 5820T Configuration
39.62 cm (15.6") HD Acer CineCrystal LED backlit TFT LCD, high-brightness (200 nit), 1366 x 768 supports simultaneous multi-window display, 16:9
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with switchable graphics, up to 4901 MB HyperMemory (1024 MB DDR3 VRAM, up to 3076 MB shared)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with switchable graphics, up to 3579 MB HyperMemory (512 MB DDR3 VRAM, up to 3076 MB shared)
DVD-SuperMulti Double Layer drive
379 (w) x 250 (d) x 21.7/29.8 (h) mm
Li ion 6 cell battery (6000mAh) 8+ h battery life
2.42 kg with 6 cell battery
Starting at 749 euro (MRSP)

Acer Aspire 1830T Configuration
29.46 cm (11.6") HD Acer CineCrystal LED backlit TFT LCD, high-brightness (200 nit), 1 366 x 768, 16:9
Intel HD graphics with 128MB RAM
Intel Core i3/i5 processor
No DVD drive
Dimensions: 285 (w) x 204 (d) x 25.7/28 (h) mm
Li ion 6 cell battery (5800mAh) 8+ h battery life
1.4 kg with 6 cell battery
Starting at 549 euro (MRSP)

First impression: Looks like aluminum, but isn't. The wrist-rest's fake aluminum first debunks its plastic characteristic when touched. The case of the 11.6 incher (1830T, standard model) disappointed us. We could twist it evidently. The same applies for the keyboard, which dents obviously at typing. The matt and structured lid in Acer's new style has a good grip when held. There will soon be other colors beside silver available (red, brown, black). The form factors larger than 13.3 inches do better in terms of stability. The key surface fits tight up to 90 percent and thus has a good stroke. We tried out the 13.3 incher and the larger models.

Travelmate in Timeline X style – Intel Core in 11.6 inches

There already have been Travelmate models in Timeline variations. But this time, not only the thin looks are applied to the business devices, but also the "Xtreme" claim, with an Intel Core and GT330M (TM 8472, TM 8572) or 310M (TM8372) in a 14, 15.6 and 13.3 inch sizes. All TM Timeline models have an Easyport 4 Port replicator port (Ethernet, VGA, DVI-D, USB) and an optical drive. The latter hadn't been available in the 13.3 incher until now. Important for bulk customers: The manufacturer has let the Travelmate be GS certified (German safety certificate). For this, the display has to be AR-coated and the input devices have to comply with a few minimum requirements. An 11.6 inch TM 8172 (1.4 kg) is new to the Travelmate family program. A Core processor is also used in the smallest model. Acer's promise of a battery life of a workday applies to the Timeline models with a common CPU technology (8 hours, assessed with Mobile Mark 2007 Productivity Mode, Acer statement).

Timeline 8x72 Serie: power on
Timeline 8x72 Serie: power on
Timeline 8x72 Serie: view
Timeline 8x72 Serie: view

Travelmate Timeline 8x72 Series Configuration
Intel Core i3/i5 processor
Intel HD Grafik with 128 MB, Microsoft DirectX 10.0 support
Optionally also with NVIDIA GeForce GT 310M with 512 MB DDR3 VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 1.024 MB DDR3 VRAM (TM 8472, 8572)
Up to 640 GB SATA (5400 rpm) hard disk or SSD with up to 160 GB
Multi-in-1 cardreader, 3x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA-out, loudspeakers, headphone, line-out (S/PDIF support), microphone-in, RJ45-Port, adapter
Interface for Acer'S Easyport IV port replicator
Optional UMTS module
DASP-technology, fingerprint reader
Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam (1280x1024 Pixel)
2 year warranty incl. 1 year international

First impression: The TM 8172 (11.6 inch) proved to be more stable in our hands than the 1830T in the same size. The case could only be twisted marginally. We liked the matt surfaces, just like the lid's solid surface. We have to note that the display only has a light AR coating. The TM8572 is heavy and has a thick case for a 15.6 incher. The slightly sparkling surfaces are solid and made a high-quality impression. Greasy fingers only appear on the unnecessarily glossy power and WLAN sliders. TM pre-series models were showcased at the press conference.

Travelmate Timeline 8x72 with Easyport 4
Travelmate Timeline 8x72 with Easyport 4

Business notebooks – True Travelmates

There are even innovations in the way of Intel Core and the new ATI/Nvidia generations to be noted in the mobile office servants. The market introduction of the now following Travelmate models will be later than those of the consumers. Acer affirms the end of Q2 and Q3 of 2010. Even the name Extensa has been mentioned, whereas the configurations will range around weaker Celeron Ms, Pentiums and Core 2 Duos.

The Travelmate 659x (15.6 inch) is a classic DTR with Acer's most stable platform. The manufacturer guarantees 1.5 years of platform stability, which is important for corporate images. Aside from the remote maintenance function, vPro, a docking port on the bottom is used (Easydock II). The 15.6 incher's (16:9) optical drive can be replaced by a supplementary battery (Mediabay). Technically, the Timeline 659x has been upgraded with an Intel Core and ATI HD5470. The TM 5740 (15.6 inch) or 7740 (17.3 inch) are also classical Travelmates, far from the Timeline looks. The technical configuration will move around up to an i5 and HD 5650 maximum.

Travelmate 7740 view
Travelmate 7740 view
Travelmate 5740 view
Travelmate 5740 view
Travelmate 4740 bottom
Travelmate 4740 bottom

Travelmate x740 series Configuration
Intel Core i3/i5 processor
Intel HD graphics with 128 MB, Microsoft DirectX 10.0 support
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with 512 MB DDR3 VRAM or ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with 1 GB DDR3 VRAM (models with G), Microsoft DirectX 11.0
Up to 8192 MB DDR3 (two soDIMM slots)
Up to 640 GB SATA (5400 rpm) hard disk
Multi-in-1 cardreader, 3x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA-out, loudspeakers, headphone, line-out, microphone-in, RJ45 port, adapter
Acer InviLink Nplify (802.11b/g/Draft-N) Wi-Fi
10/100/1000 LAN, wake-on LAN ready
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Optionally integrated UMTS/HSPA with GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) support up to 7.2 MB/s HSDPA and 5.7 MB/s HSUPA
Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam (1280x1024 Pixel)
Original Microsoft Windows 7 Professional +XP Professional Dualload (32Bit)
Original Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64Bit)
2 year warranty incl. 1 year international 

Aspire 5740 Configuration
39.62 cm (15,6") high-brightness WXGA HD LED TFT LCD, 1366 x 768
Dimensions: 381 (w) x 253 (d) x 23/34.15 (h) mm
2,6 kg
Main battery: 48.8W 4400 mAh 6 cell li ion with up to 4.5h battery life
Starting at 639 euro (RRP)

Aspire 7740 Configuration
43.94 cm (17.3") high-brightness WXGA+ HD+ LED TFT LCD, 1600 x 900
Dimensions: 410 (w) x 275 (d) x 25/35,5 (h) mm
2,95 kg
Main battery: 48.8W 4400 mAh 6 cells li ion with up to 3.5h battery life
Starting at 799 euro (RRP)

First impression: The TM 5740's and 7740's case amiably do without any greasy surfaces. We liked the stable wrist-rest at first sight, just like the matt display. The keyboard tray only yields slightly, which may have been due to it being the showcase pre-series model.

Acer Travelmate 5740 mit HDMI
Acer Travelmate 5740 mit HDMI
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > NBC Onsite: Acer's Notebook Lineup 2010
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2010-04-19 (Update: 2012-05-26)