Acer Aspire 9301AWSMi review
You could easily be forgiven for thinking that £600 doesn't buy much when it comes to a laptop and there's certainly no shortage of mediocre models out there. The Acer Aspire 9301AWSMi, however, is clearly cut from a different cloth.
Firstly, it's huge - you're getting plenty of laptop for your money, as is made clear by the enormous 17in screen. Its native resolution of 1440 x 900 is the highest here and it's both bright and clear in use - DVD movies look particularly good.
The processor is an AMD Turion 64 ML-36 and it turned in a healthy benchmark score of 88%. The CPU is backed up by 1GB of memory, making the Aspire a good choice for those interested in a machine with enough performance to drive Windows Vista once it's released in early 2007.
The Vista-readiness of the system is reinforced by the inclusion of Windows Media Center Edition 2005, which comes with a free upgrade voucher to Vista. The pluses continue with the webcam integrated into the screen's bezel. This isn't anything special, but its swivelling mount makes it more useful than the static webcams found on other laptops.
The desktop replacement credentials of the Acer are further strengthened by its hard disk - 120GB might not be much compared to desktop PCs, but it's plenty for a laptop. In fact it should only start to constrain things if you added a USB TV tuner at some point and begin to record lots of TV programmes. Finally, the Acer isn't even the most expensive laptop here and if you want to replace your desktop PC with a laptop that has plenty of features and a lovely large screen, this is the place to look.