Review: Acer Aspire 6930G Notebook

The Aspire 6930G is another Acer notebook that could be interesting for hobby-gamers with limited budget. If you are looking for a budget multimedia laptop with 15 or 16 inch screen, you  could consider this notebook along with the similar Aspire 6935G and Aspire 5930G. All three of them are equipped with a GeForce 9600M GT video card with GDDR3 VRAM, and are rather reasonable.

Case

With the refreshing Gemstone Blue design the Acer Aspire 6930G does not only look good, it also stands out of the masses. However the dark blue lid is sensitive to fingerprints. The top side of the case is dark and does not really attract attention.

In contrast to the Aspire 6920G, the direct predecessor, and the similar Aspire 6935G, the 6930G comes without CineDash multimedia  console. However, its functionality was in the opinion of many users anyway debatable. For it, this notebook has an extra number pad right of the standard keyboard.

The workmanship of the Aspire 6930G is good. Despite of being with 3.2 kg quite heavy, it is no problem to pick this notebook up on its front edge. Thereby the plastic parts only slightly creak.

However, there are also some weaknesses here. In the tested notebook the top edge of the screen and the front of the base unit did not close flush. While the notebook closed almost perfectly and without gap on the right the lid projected the base unit by about 0.5 mm on the left. Furthermore, there was a tiny bump in the already mentioned part of the lid. It actually turned out that this part is not really well designed: If you open the lid as usual, that is in its middle, a little right of the web cam, the plastic considerably creaks.

The surface of the palm rests is quite coarse, and not that nice to the touch as for example the one in the Aspire 8930G.  
 
The maximum opening angle is limited to almost 120 degrees and therewith also the freedom of handling.

Front side: Multimedia card reader, IR port
Front side: Multimedia card reader, IR port
Left side: power socket, LAN, extension port, VGA, HDMI, USB/eSATA, USB, SPDIF, audio-in, audio-out
Left side: power socket, LAN, extension port, VGA, HDMI, USB/eSATA, USB, SPDIF, audio-in, audio-out
Right side: 2x USB, optical drive, modem, Kensington Lock
Right side: 2x USB, optical drive, modem, Kensington Lock
Back side: vent holes
Back side: vent holes

Input Devices

In the latest models of the Aspire series Acer uses glossy keyboards, very similar to those in the current range of Toshiba Satellite notebooks. We prefer the slightly coarse key surfaces, because, the fingers might slip on this slippery surface. Furthermore, such glossy surfaces are also sensitive to dust and dirt.

Even worse, the keyboard gives, especially the right hand area of the alphanumerical part. According to the measurements and the key layout it seems that this keyboard is identical to the one in the bigger 8930G.

The touchpad has a similar surface than the one of the Aspire 8930G. Contrary to the touchpad of the bigger notebook it feels slightly coarse. While the touchpad of the 8930G is a little greasy, as if rubbed with silicon oil. Mostly the touchpad works as expected. However, the vertical scroll area does always react immediately.

Keyboard
Acer Aspire 6930G
Touchpad
Acer Aspire 6930G

Display

Acer Aspire 6930G

The Acer Aspire 6930G comes with a slightly unusual screen, a 16-inch panel with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixel (WXGA). The non-standard 16:9 aspect ratio is not supported by some of the games. So, there will be either black bars on the sides or the picture will be stretched.

This LCD panel is made by Samsung and has a quite good  picture. However, on maximum brightness, the picture appeared to be too bright and the colors washed out. Warm colors proved to predominate in the color gamut, because of the evident excess of red. However, on areas supposed to be white, we only noted a slight violet overtone. Compared to the very good Dell M4400 WXGA+ (WLED) screen, black and gray areas also appeared to have a slight blue tint.

203,9
cd/m²
224,5
cd/m²
203,9
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
233,2
cd/m²
197,2
cd/m²
197,1
cd/m²
214,1
cd/m²
196,6
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 233,2 cd/m²
Average: 207.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Black: 1.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 179:1

The screen of Aspire 6930G is very bright. On maximum, the average brightness amounts to almost 210cd/m². A good score, considering the single fluorescent lamp used to illuminate it. The black level is rather moderate, but thanks to the high brightness the maximum contrast of 233:1 is not so bad (but also not really good).

Performance

The reviewed Acer Aspire 6930G was equipped with a Core 2 Duo T5800 CPU. This processor has a 800MHz frontside bus and 2MB L2 Cache. The only difference between this CPU and the equally cloced Core T7250 is, that the later utilizes the Intel Dynamic Accerleration (IDA) technology. This brings extra performance for single-thread programs, because it allows to increase the clock-speed of a single core. The performance of the two processors mentioned above and also of the numeruous comparably clocked Intel CPUs is relatively similar. So, the user will hardly recognize a difference in standard applications.

An important pro of the Aspire 6930G is its video card, an nVidia GeForce 9600M GT with GDDR3 VRAM. As already mentioned this is one of the few Acer notebooks equipped with this graphics card. If you are looking for a multimedia notebook with a price tag below 1000.- Euro, the GeForce 9600M GT is a very reasonable choice. Furthermore, graphics cards with GDDR3 VRAM are faster than those with DDR2 VRAM. E.g., this video card is faster than a GeForce 9650M with DDR2, which is used in some Asus laptops. However, the performance in demanding games will likely only differ by some or few frames-per-second. But, especially here, even a small increase can be valuable.

If you want to buy a Aspire 6930G, you should carefully check the specifications of the model. There are some with an inferior dedicated video card (GF 9300M GS).  

Attention: The 3DMark06 score is maybe higher, because the test was run in 1024x768 resolution instead of the usual 1280x800.

3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE26788 points
3DMark 0316354 points
3DMark 0510197 points
3DMark 06
 1024x768
6296 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Asus Eee PC 901 (min)
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
73
   ...
Dell Vostro 1500
 T7100, GeForce 8600M GT
3194
Asus G2K
 TL-64, Mobility Radeon HD 2600
3468
Acer Aspire 6930G
 T5800, GeForce 9600M GT
6296
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54208G50aii
 4200U, GeForce GT 750M
11844
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
 4700MQ, GeForce GTX 770M
21806
   ...
Gigabyte P25W (max)
 4700MQ, GeForce GTX 770M
23917
PC Mark
PCMark 055340 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Dell Studio 15
 T8300, Mobility Radeon HD 3450
5311
Sony Vaio VGN-SZ71WN/C
 T9300, GeForce 8400M GS
5320
Acer Aspire 6930G
 T5800, GeForce 9600M GT
5340
MSI Megabook GX400
 P7350, GeForce 9600M GT
5346
HP Pavilion HDX16
 P8700, GeForce 9600M GT
5357
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
Cinebench R10
 SettingsValue
 Rendering Single 32Bit2013 Points
 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit3835 Points
 Shading 32Bit4470 Points
Quake 3 Arena - Timedemo
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768highest, 0xAA, 0xAF409.5 fps
F.E.A.R.
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768GPU: max, CPU: max, 0xAA, 0xAF56 fps
 800x600GPU medium, CPU medium, 0xAA, 0xAF106 fps
 640x480GPU min, CPU min, 0xAA, 0xAF196 fps
Crysis - CPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1366x768Low51.57 fps
 1366x768Medium25.81 fps
 1366x768High13.87 fps
 1024x768High, 0xAA, 0xAF17.28 fps
 1024x768Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF27.05 fps
 1024x768Low, 0xAA, 0xAF72.23 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF23.75 fps
 800x600Med, 0xAA, 0xAF37.29 fps
Crysis - GPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768High, 0xAA, 0xAF19.28 fps
 1366x768Low55.84 fps
 1366x768Medium27.37 fps
 1366x768High14.93 fps
 1024x768Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF34.96 fps
 1024x768Low, 0xAA, 0xAF60.45 fps
 800x600High26.38 fps
 800x600Med, 0xAA, 0xAF44.53 fps
Transfer Rate Minimum: 23.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 65.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 51.6 MB/s
Access Time: 16.9 ms
Burst Rate: 101.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.2 %

Gaming Performance (Fraps 60s):

Call of Duty 4
resolution 1366x768, "normal/medium" details
min 22, med 29.37, max 40 frames/second

Company of Heroes
resolution 1024x768, "high/med" details, AA enabled
min 31, med 46.13, max 75 frames/second

Gothic 3
resolution 1024x768, "high" details
min 13, med 23.53, max 33 frames/second

Medal of Honor Airborne

resolution 1366x768, "medium" details
min 42, med 48.13, max 64 frames/second

Supreme Commander
resolution 1024x768, "high" details, AA enabled
min 27, med 29.63, max 31 frames/second

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling system of Aspire 6930G works properly. Although the heat emitted by the hardware is considerable, the computer stays even under load relatively calm. Under light load the fan is inaudible, and only a faint whir of the hard drive can be heard.

The maximum noise level we measured, was just 34.4dB. Not only is the noise level moderate, but also the noise characteristics is absolutely harmless.

Noise Level

Idle 32,2 / 32,2 / 32,3 dB(A)
HDD 32,5 dB(A)
DVD 33,4 / 36,8 dB(A)
Load 32,3 / 34,4 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Aspire 6930G is not only rather quiet, it also stays rather cool. Even after applying heavy load for a longer time, the temperature stayed low. That is everywhere except of close to the fans. On the bottom side it reached a temperature of 46.5 degrees Celsius there (above 53 degrees inside).

Max. Load
 37,1 °C30,9 °C24,9 °C 
 32,4 °C32,8 °C25,6 °C 
 31,7 °C32,7 °C27,8 °C 
Maximum: 37,1 °C
Average: 30 °C
25 °C28,7 °C46,6 °C
25,2 °C30,2 °C30,2 °C
23,5 °C31,4 °C33,5 °C
Maximum: 46,6 °C
Average: 30.1 °C
Room Temperature 21,5 °C

Loudspeakers

The Tuba CineBass Booster, a subwoofer placed on the back of the laptop, makes the difference. This loudspeaker system helps create an effect not available in laptops lacking such. If the Aspire 6930G was used by someone not too fastidious, there is no need  to plug-in external speakers while watching movies or listening to the music.

Battery Life

The Aspire 6930G has a battery with the same capacity as the already reviewed Aspire 5930G (4400mAh, 48Whr). But, this model has a considerably shorter battery life. Why? Because of a CPU with higher thermal dissipation power (TDP). The Core 2 Duo T5800 (TDP: 35W) used in AS6930G test sample is far less energy-efficient than the P8600 (TDP: 25W).

The test sample has a battery life even shorter than HP Pavilion dv5 series  laptops with GeForce 9600M GT. And the later is one of the worst in its category. Under two hours for browsing the web with the WLAN module activated (but without switching to energy saving mode) is really low.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 9min
WiFi Surfing
1h 53min
DVD
1h 28min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 48min

Power Consumption

Idle 25.5 / 31 / 38 Watt
Load 70 / 96 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Due to our tests this powerful notebook rates rather good. The Acer Aspire 6930G does not only look good. Compared to the similar Aspire 5930G it is equipped with a more energy-efficient CPU with comparable performance. So, the battery life is longer.

The well designed and solid case of the bigger of the above mentioned notebooks, does not really get warm and, what's more, the cooling system is nevertheless even under load rather quiet.

The Aspire 6930G is equipped with a 16:9 aspect ratio screen. This is brilliant for watching films. For usual applications the Aspire 5930G appears to be better, because it can display more pixels in the vertical axes. Also in regards of games it has to be mentioned, that some do not support a the 16:9 aspect ratio and do, therefore, not look that good.

Acer 6930G Notebook
Acer 6930G Notebook
In Review: Acer Aspire 6930G
Acer Aspire 6930G

Specifications

Acer Aspire 6930G

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel PM45
:: Memory
4096 MB, Nanya DDR2-667, 2x 2GB
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT - 512 MB, Core: 500 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, GDDR3, ForceWare 176.09
:: Display
16 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Samsung SEC304C / 160AT01-A01, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
, GB WDC WD3200BEVT-22ZCT0
:: Soundcard
Intel 82801IB
:: Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, V.92 Modem, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio-in, Audio-out,
:: Networking
Atheros AR8121/AR8113 PCI-E Ethernet Controller (10/100MBit), Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5100 (a b g n ), 2.0 EDR Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
Optiarc DVD RW AD-7560S
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 43 x 385 x 275
:: Weight
3.175 kg Power Supply: 0.51 kg
:: Battery
71 Wh Lithium-Ion, Panasonic, 6 cells
:: Price
769 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Professional 32 Bit
:: Additional features
fingerprint reader

 

The Aspire 6930G is one of numerous Acer notebooks with GeForce 9600M GT video card.
The Aspire 6930G is one of numerous Acer notebooks with GeForce 9600M GT video card.
Although being rather quiet, the Aspire 6930G does also not get hot.
Although being rather quiet, the Aspire 6930G does also not get hot.
The Tuba CineBass booster, however, ensures nice low-tones.
The Tuba CineBass booster, however, ensures nice low-tones.
The Virtual Surround Sound was not really noticeable.
The Virtual Surround Sound was not really noticeable.
The dark-blue lid also gets easily stained with fingerprints.
The dark-blue lid also gets easily stained with fingerprints.
The glossy keys are not a reliable support for fingers during typing, and are hard to keep nice and clean.
The glossy keys are not a reliable support for fingers during typing, and are hard to keep nice and clean.
Instead, this Acer laptop comes with an extra number pad.
Instead, this Acer laptop comes with an extra number pad.
The Aspire 6930G does not provide the CineDash Media Console.
The Aspire 6930G does not provide the CineDash Media Console.
The chassis proved to be solid.
The chassis proved to be solid.
The concept of the power socket inside this shape close to the hinge was developed by Sony, but some notebook vendors followed.
The concept of the power socket inside this shape close to the hinge was developed by Sony, but some notebook vendors followed.
One of the neat features is a cylindrical shape at the back of the chassis.
One of the neat features is a cylindrical shape at the back of the chassis.
The reviewed notebook certainly looks sleek.
The reviewed notebook certainly looks sleek.
The battery life is disappointing.
The battery life is disappointing.

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Compare Prices

Acer Aspire 6930G at Ciao

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Pro

+Good price to performance ratio
+Stylish design
+Quiet during operation
+Decent sound of the loudspeakers
 

Cons

-Flexing keyboard with glossy keys
-Short battery lifetime
-Some weakness in workmanship (although the chassis is quite solid)

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Acer Aspire 6930G Notebook
Author: Sylwester Cyba, 2009-02- 5 (Update: 2012-05-26)