Friday, September 3, 2010

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS4820T Review




Is the Acer Timeline X AS4820T worth your money? Yes, it looks good. But, the average performance of the GPU switch is what brings it down. If you want a good looking laptop which you can flaunt in the boardroom and will only use it for basic tasks without the headache of switching between the 2 GPUs, this could be a good pick. 

This laptop from Acer's TimelineX Series is the AS4820T. If you have seen the size-zero Vaio X series from Sony, then you will immediately associate the outer body of the Acer with it. 

It has got a nice black metal finish which means that there won't be any finger prints. The shiny metal finish continues on the inside with a neatly laid giant touchpad and a tactile keyboard. Although the keys are great to type with, the build quality is not so. 

The keys are quite wobbly. But in case of the touchpad, it is one of the best we have ever used smooth and responsive. The touchpad also supports pinch-and-zoom with two fingers. There is an obvious lag when you try to pinch or zoom into your photos, but then that's not what this touchpad is primarily going to be used for. 

Clean, glossy lines make up the top with power buttons and almost invisible speakers. All in all, it has a great design. But the best part is that even with a DVD drive, it's extremely light at just 2.1 kg. The screen is a beautiful, bright 14-inch one with backlit LED making Acer 4820TG really good to look at. 

It has an Intel Core i5 -430 M 2.26Ghz processor with 4GB of RAM. In addition, it also has a 500GB HDD and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 Graphics card. This ensures good video quality when you view your media or even want to play games.

The OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit which is responsive and works without hassles most of the time. But, if you open more than six applications and then try to watch a movie, it will start to freeze. 

Like Nvidia's optimus technology, this too, has two graphic processing units (GPUs) which switch between high performance and low to give you optimal performance for computing. What Nvidia Optimus does is switch to a high performance GPU, that is ATI, when it has to run programmes with high graphic content and switch to the Intel GPU for the low menial computational tasks. 

But then, you will have to do this manually as it doesn't switch automatically. If you are a new user, you wouldn't even probably know it's there as Acer has not mentioned this anywhere. A dedicated switch would have been better. 

Regarding the actual workings of the switch, Acer recommends that you shut down all applications before you switch to GPU. If you switch without shutting down your programmes, the screen freezes. The 2 GPUS are a pain to switch on. They do their job but with a lot of hiccups.

All standard forms of connectivity are present -- USB, HDMI out, Ethernet, standard headphone jack and Wi-Fi. Multimedia is a pleasure to view on this laptop as it supports full HD in 1080p in 16:9. The speakers are pretty good too and enhance the sound via Virtual Surround Sound making it slightly better than the speakers on most laptops.

Is the Acer Timeline X AS4820T worth your money? Yes, it looks good. But, the average performance of the GPU switch is what brings it down. If you want a good looking laptop which you can flaunt in the boardroom and will only use it for basic tasks without the headache of switching between the 2 GPUs, this could be a good pick
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Post: Acer Aspire TimelineX AS4820T Review; Blog Gadget; Rating: 100%

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