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Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T review

Barry de la Rosa
23 Aug 2010
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
580
inc VAT

Near-desktop performance, nine-hour battery life and a great keyboard; only the screen's vertical viewing angles let it down.

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This is a radically different model of the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T we reviewed recently; it doesn't have a dedicated graphics chip, instead relying on the graphics chip built into the Core i3 processor. This means it can't run 3D games, but the battery now lasts for over nine hours and it scores a reasonable 75 overall in our benchmarks. Plus, it costs about £300 less.

At 2.2kg it isn't strictly an ultra-portable, but its slim shape means it's easy to slip into a bag, while the long battery life makes it ideal for long journeys away from the mains. It's even more amazing considering the fact that the Core i3 processor isn't one of the new ultra-low voltage models, but a full-power model that gives near-desktop PC performance.

You can still play HD video content using the integrated graphics chip, and the 14in display's 1,366x768 resolution is good for watching 720p content. The screen has the same glossy finish and fussy vertical viewing angles as the previous model however, so you'll have to choose a spot away from bright overhead lights, and adjust the lid carefully to get the best picture.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T

If you're watching movies, you'll want to connect the 4820T to an external AV amplifier or speakers, as the internal speakers aren't powerful enough. They are clear and have good stereo separation, but they lack bass and aren't loud enough. You have a choice of outputting both video and audio via HDMI, or you can use the S/PDIF port that's shared with the headphone socket.

Another advantage the 4820T has over ultra-portables is the inclusion of an optical drive. As this model has only a 250GB hard disk, you may well want to back up data to optical media to free up space. A button above the keyboard opens the drive bay, which is convenient.

You can also attach an external drive, and with four USB ports you'll still have enough left for a mouse, an MP3 player and a mobile phone. There's no Bluetooth, but support for 802.11n wireless means you can transfer files quickly across a network.

With a maximum thickness of 25mm, the 4820T is thinner than many ultra-portables, and the brushed-metal finish on both the lid and wrist rest make it look more expensive than it is. Build quality is good, although there's some flex in the keyboard. The key action is light, there's adequate feedback and the layout is pleasingly familiar. The touchpad is large and responsive and supports multi-touch gestures, with a see-saw button set close to the edge of the case that has a light action.

While it's not strictly an ultra-portable, the 4820T is slim and can last a whole day away from the mains. It also has an optical drive and it costs less than £600. It's one of the best all-round laptops you can buy, and wins our Best Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-330M
Processor clock speed2.13GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size25x342x245mm
Weight2.2kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size14 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA HD
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelTSSTcorp TS-U633F
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portsminijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionbackup and recovery software
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9 SE
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£580
Detailswww.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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