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Acer Ferrari 1000 review

Verdict:

Review Date: 23 Oct 2006

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: Seth Barton

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

Acer's Ferrari-branded notebooks have proven popular enough for other manufacturers to follow suit, with Asus launching a Lamborghini range. We're not sure where this will end, though we doubt you'll see Skoda or Kia notebooks anytime soon.

Acer's Ferrari 1000 ultra-portable notebook is designed to ape the stylish look of the cars. The lid is decorated with carbon fibre, with the famous Prancing Horse badge in the middle. It certainly looks striking, though whether it's tasteful is down to personal choice. It's slim, but not as slim as we'd like given there's no internal DVD writer. The upper chassis is finished in matt black. This looks coolly understated and doesn't pick up unsightly fingerprints, either. A series of illuminated buttons surround the keyboard, which is comfortable to type on. The touch pad is accurate, though the big metal buttons take a little getting used to as you have to press the lower half to get them to click.

The display is excellent, with good contrast and a nice clean white, and there's no visible graininess. The 1,280x800 native resolution is sufficient for running all but the most complicated applications. A rotating webcam is mounted above the display.

The Ferrari brand is as much about performance as looks, and Acer has justified the badge with a great specification. The processor is a fast 2GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60. In our benchmarks it performed equally well to the similarly speedy Intel Core Duo T2500. There's also 2GB of RAM, which is more than enough for most tasks. The huge 160GB hard disk is the biggest single drive we've seen in a notebook.

Unfortunately, it's about as economical as a real F1 car, with the larger of the two supplied batteries managing only two hours and 45 minutes in our test. This is two hours less than our preferred ultra-portable, the Toshiba U200 (see Labs, September 2006). As well as the batteries, the notebook comes with a Bluetooth travel mouse and DVD writer. Both are made from the same attractive matt black plastic as the notebook and have the Ferrari logo emblazoned on them. There are even separate black slip cases to keep them and the notebook in pristine condition.

Acer's Ferrari 1000 is a powerful notebook and lives up to its name as a great performer. The design and finish do set it apart from more pedestrian offerings, but the poor battery life keeps it from achieving pole position.

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