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Acer Aspire 8930G-864G32Bn review

Alan Lu
7 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
867
inc VAT

A great entertainment laptop with a full HD screen and reasonable gaming performance, but it's outshone by Sony's Vaio FW41E/H.

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Specifications

18.4 in 1,920x1,080 display, 4.0kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Acer's Aspire 8930G, with its 18.4in full HD screen and 4kg weight, isn't what we'd call a portable laptop, but it's well-equipped for entertainment so it could take the place of a desktop PC.

Amazingly, 5.1 speakers are built-in. They're very loud, but the surround-sound effect isn't very convincing. The dedicated Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics can play modern 3D games, managing just under 25fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. If you prefer more passive entertainment, there's a Blu-ray drive that can play high-definition movies, but it can't write Blu-ray discs.

The screen is bright, with vivid colours and reasonably wide viewing angles. Unfortunately, the backlight is a little uneven and images have a slight green tint. These are disappointing flaws in a laptop screen at this price. If you want to connect an external monitor, you can use the VGA, HDMI or DisplayPort connectors.

The Aspire 8930G's large size means that there's enough room for a standard numeric keypad, which is useful for number entry in spreadsheets. The keyboard isn't quite as large as we'd like thanks to the touch-sensitive media playback controls to the left of it and the large speakers above it. Its responsive keys still make it pleasant to use, though. We also liked the accurate and responsive touchpad, although its buttons could be bigger.

The Aspire 8930G is equipped with 4GB of RAM and a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor. It performed well in all our benchmarks and lasted nearly three hours in our light usage battery test, which is respectable for a desktop replacement.

Acer's Aspire 8930G is a great replacement for a desktop PC, with its Blu-ray drive, good 3D performance, comfortable keyboard and bright, high-resolution display. Sony's Vaio FW41E/H has a lower-resolution screen, but it edges ahead of the Aspire as our favourite £900 laptop thanks to its higher-quality screen, larger hard disk, faster 3D performance and generous software bundle.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8600
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size45x445x293mm
Weight4.0kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle36W
Power consumption active58W

Display

Viewable size18.4 in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce 9700M GT
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI, DisplayPort
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST BDDVDRW CT10N
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slotsExpressCard/54
ModemYes
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedCyberLinkPowerDirector 6, Microsoft Works 8.5, NTI Backup Now Standard Edition 5.1.2.606, NTI MediaMaker 8
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£867
Detailswww.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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