Even though this laptop is titled with Aspire, it is actually the Aspire TimelineX series. The Timeline is a business end line with better portability, battery and features.
The battery is the biggest deal in this model. It comes with a 9 cell battery that extends out to the bottom of the laptop. While this may not be the perfectly traveling shape, it does offer a better keyboard angle
Most of the Timeline(older generation) and TimelineX only offers the intel graphics option. However, this model comes with both intel and a beefy ATi Radeon HD5650 packaged as “Hybrid graphics”. By using the intel, you get a solid 7-8 hours battery and pushable to 12 at extreme light use. The ATi does offer about 4 times more graphics power for gaming but it sucks away the battery like water for a 4-5 hours of light use and 2 hours in 3D intensive games.
Even a great battery life, it packs the following specs:
Intel Core i5 460M (2.53GHz up to 2.8GHz turbo)
ATi Mobility Radeon HD5650 1GB DDR3 (frequency: 550MHz core, 800MHz Memory)
640GB 5400RPM Western Digital drive
DVD Super Multi DL drive(no bluray)
Broadcom 802.11n (b/g/n support)
The physical appearance is very clean and discreet. A solid black brushed aluminum finish with a pushed out textured and polished acer logo provides a professional feel. The profile is extremely thin(without the 9cell of course) under 1 inch. 5.4lbs with a 6 cell, and probably just under 6lbs with 9 cell still superior to my old 5920 6.6lbs!
the left side has a ventilation air exhaust followed by a VGA, HDMI, RJ45 Gigabit, USB 2.0, audio input, speaker headphone out that should be dubbed with S/PDIF aswell.
On the left front, there is a 4 in 1 multi card reader, the image above shows a after market MicroSD to SD adaptor so I can have one extra compatibility on the go.
The air intake right below the touchpad keeps it nice and cool even during a heavy use
On the right we have a power jack, DVD ROM without an eject button and 3 USB 2.0 ports, I would wish for a better location as if a heavy use of USB cables and devices, they will get in the way if you are using a mouse.
The screen is extremely bright, LED back lighting lits up the screen instantly without a warm up time like older generation of LCD does. The screen has a crisp 1366×768, an aspect ratio of 16:9 (I prefer 16:10 as it is closer to 1.618…) that makes the movie viewing experiences much more pleasant as no screen space is lost to black bars on HD contents. while the 768 pixel hight is not exactly enough for some taller apps or in some cases, 3D mark vantage benchmark.
The video card is a HD5650 that sits nicely at 550MHz/800MHz core/memory 3D profile clock speed, a little push to 700/1100 makes a jump from 7640 to 9499 where as the intel graphics only scores 1385 in 3D Mark 06 tests
The processor is a nice i5 that runs up to 2.8GHz, while it is not a 1.6GHz i7, most current applications can still take advantage of single thread at 2.8GHz if it is a single threaded application. While a multi threaded application can still the on 4 threads at both cores. This makes the CPU a great budget and a good performer
The 4GB DDR3 can be upgraded to 8GB max. Not the most packed but good enough for your Windows 7 64 bit and your office applications and the games that will run on the HD5650
Hard drive packed with this notebook is somewhat disappointing. 640GB is a great capacity but only a single partition on stock. where as most other acer laptops comes with 2 partitions instead. This drive makes a noisy and worrying clicking noise on typical use, no matter what stress the hard drive is under, it makes the clicks. A small help from QuietHDD app can fix this issue due to some AAM and APM settings on the hard drive itself.
The keyboard is a nice full keyboard with the new Acer’s keyboard design(water lily). Big room between keys to allow easy cleaning. The numeric keypad is what I have always been missing from my old 5920G. above the top right of the keyboard are 2 keys, one is a Acer power management only available when unplugged(providing extended battery use) and the other for DVD ROM ejecting as there are no buttons on the DVD ROM itself. The DVD will be powered down if the Acer power management is engaged and will be powered up again if the eject button is pressed once, and next press will then eject the drive.
While the speakers are not as “Home Theater” as it claims, it does provide a better virtual surroundsound effect over the older 5920G. without the Subwoofer, the quality of music is not exactly the most enjoyable clarity like the 5920G, maximum volume is not on par with it either. However, it is bearable for most situations.
Touchpad is a multi touch touchpad with 2 finger scrolling and pinch zoom, the bottom 2 keys are fused together. Pressing left will give you a left click, and right will result right click, might require some getting used to. For those big on touchpad, the default driver DOES disable the touchpad for a good second if any keyboard keys are pressed. This is to prevent accidental clicking with your palm. This is not an option unless you use other drivers that does not offer this feature, it can be rather frustrating if you rely on the touchpad most of the time. This will make you wait for the touchpad to become responsive all the time. (gaming with this driver is impossible with a touchpad)
The webcam is a 1.3MP camera (up to 1280×1024) but the framerate is not as good as the 5920G’s 0.3MP at the same 640X480 setting. Even at 640×480, it will appear choppy unless under an extremely well lit environment.
+Great battery life
+Good performance for it’s size
+Nice looking external design and very sturdy build
-Typical laptop speakers
-Higher screen resolution at least 1440×900
-Most ports are on the right side.