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Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T review

Tom Morgan
23 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
480
inc VAT

Fairly portable for its size, the TimelineX 5820T looks great and performs well, but it isn't one of the better TimelineX models we've seen.

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The 5820T uses the same black and gunmetal grey chassis as Acer's other TimelineX models. The design is simple, with lots of straight lines and curved corners, which won’t appear out of place in either the home or the office.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T

Although it’s larger than most other ultra-portable laptops, the TimelineX 5820T uses similar components for maximum battery life and to weight to a minimum. The 2.13GHz Core i3 330M might be one of the slowest chips in Intel’s current line-up, but it still performs well when combined with 3GB of RAM. A score of 75 in our multimedia benchmarks is a very respectable result for an ultra-portable, particularly at this price. It's also very convenient to have an internal DVD re-writer and four USB ports, plus a multi-format card reader that supports SD, xD and Memory Stick formats.

The 15.6in screen is excellent for anyone unwilling to compromise on display space in a lightweight laptop. Unfortunately it has a glossy coating: strong reflections make working under bright lighting difficult. The 1,366x768 resolution is the minimum we would expect in a screen this size, but it still provides plenty of room for several windows. The LED backlight was bright, but colours weren’t particularly vibrant. There were only minor artefacts visible during video playback, but otherwise motion was handled well, particularly in 720p. Two very small speakers are positioned above the keyboard, but despite the Dolby Home Theatre logo they produced only average quality. Music was clear but volume was only moderate and there was no bass.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T left

The keyboard is big enough for even the largest hands, with good-sized keys that are comfortable to use. Despite being raised slightly from the keyboard tray, all the keys felt secure. Acer has also managed to include a number pad without shrinking down any of the other keys. The touchpad has a high enough sensitivity to cover the entire screen in one motion and, despite the touchpad buttons using a see-saw design, they weren't stiff. There was a dead spot in the middle, but we rarely noticed it.

The 5820T managed to last a respectable six hours in our battery test, although other TimelineXs last longer. Six hours is respectable, though and largely due to the six-cell battery and low-power Core i3 processor. The fan was barely audible at idle speed, and even at full load it wasn’t particularly loud. The keyboard tray was cool throughout our testing, although the underside near the processor did become warm to the touch.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T right

While it might be too large to be classed as an ultra-portable laptop, the 5820T is undeniably a light machine for its size. There are smaller laptops than this that feel just as heavy, so it makes sense to compare it to other thin-and-light machines. The Core i3 processor provides great performance and battery life is very good, but unless a 15in screen is a priority, there are laptops with similar performance but are much more portable.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-330M
Processor clock speed2.13GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size24x379x250mm
Weight2.4kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory384MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
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 slots0
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionburn own restore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£480
Detailswww.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk