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Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG (4820TG-5454G50Mnks) review

Kat Orphanides
4 Oct 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
798
inc VAT

Acer's outstanding Aspire TimelineX 4820TG outclasses many more expensive laptops and has an excellent specification for the price.

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Specifications

14 in 1,366x768 display, 2.2kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 450M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We're big fans of Acer's TimelineX series of laptops, and the 4820TG does nothing to change that fact. Acer claims eight hours of battery life despite the powerful Core i5 450M processor, but we actually saw nine hours, 39 minutes in our light-use battery test. This is fantastic for a general-purpose laptop. However, the hefty battery adds a lot weight, making the 4820TG heavier than most 14in laptops at 2.2kg. The TimelineX also tends to get rather warm - not hot enough to cause discomfort, but it was certainly noticeable.

Build quality is very good, as we've seen with previous TimelineX models. The lid is surprisingly thin, though, which makes it feel a little vulnerable. The 14in 1,366x768 screen has a glossy finish, which makes it very reflective under some lighting conditions. However, it's bright and clear with pleasingly realistic colours, which still looked good at reduced brightness settings. Plus, we had no complaints about viewing angles, which meant we didn't have to be square-on to get the best contrast and colours.

The speakers produce a full-bodied sound with plenty of volume. They become a little muddy on busy or complex tracks, but are reasonably good if you’re watching a film or listening to the odd pop song.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG (4820TG-5454G50Mnks)

We appreciated the laptop’s four USB ports, but there’s no support for eSATA or FireWire. VGA and HDMI ports cater for video and there's Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi and a memory card reader that can handle SD, SDHC, Memory Stick Pro, MMC and xD formats. The keyboard feels a little light and loose, which can make it a bit uncomfortable for heavy typists, but it’s centrally positioned, with large keys and even a decent sized space bar and we managed good typing speeds on it.

Although you could hardly call the 4820TG cheap, it easily outdoes many more expensive laptops in terms of performance and features. There's a 500GB hard disk, 4GB of RAM and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics processor with 512MB of dedicated graphics memory. The graphics card means that it managed a very respectable 39.3fps at 1,280x768 in our CoD4 test, making it a decent choice if you want to be able to play games. The laptop's overall score of 92 in our multimedia benchmark was excellent, putting it head and shoulders above many more expensive laptops.

The 4820TG offers a tempting combination of processor power, gaming performance and battery life. It has a good-quality display and we have few complaints about its other physical characteristics – keyboard, touchpad and build quality. The only criticisms we can level at it is that it's a touch heavy and gets a little warm. The one-year warranty isn't as good some manufacturers offer, but at least Acer will collect and return your laptop to you in the event of a fault.

The fact that it's faster in both applications and games than many more expensive laptops means the TimelineX 4820TG is an excellent choice. Add the fact that it also lasts far longer on battery power, and it's a deserving winner of our Best Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i5 450M
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size25x342x245mm
Weight2.2kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size14 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GU10N
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, Memory Stick PRO, MMC, xD
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionburn own restore disc
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9.0, NTI Backup Now 5, NTI Media Maker 8
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£798
Detailswww.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk

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