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Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G review

Barry de la Rosa
25 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,000
inc VAT

The 8943G has everything: great performance in both Windows and games, a Full HD display and Blu-ray drive. Even battery life is good.

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Although Acer has thankfully moved on from some garish past designs, the Aspire 8943G still manages to divide opinions. Looks aside, it comes with an impressive array of features: there's a Blu-ray drive that can take advantage of a Full HD display, while an Intel Core i5 processor and dedicated ATI graphics card provide desktop-level performance.

Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G

You can switch between the Core i5 450Ms built-in graphics chip and the dedicated ATI HD 5650 chip depending on whether you need the 3D power or you want to conserve power, which is an odd choice for a gigantic 18.3in laptop that weighs 4.6kg. Incredibly, its battery will last for up to five and a half hours if you do want to be disconnected from the mains.

With the Radeon HD 5650 enabled, the 8943G scored 41fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark, which means you'll be able to play most games, although if you want to ramp up the resolution to 1,920x1,080, you'll have to turn graphical effects such as anti-aliasing off to get playable frame rates. There's also the promise of speeding up GPU-accelerated applications, although ATI's Stream technology isn't as widely supported as Nvidia's CUDA.

The 8943G managed a score of 90 overall in our Windows benchmarks - that's only 10 per cent less than our reference desktop PC, powered by a quad-core AMD Phenom II. Coupled with 4GB of RAM, it will handle just about any application, including photo and video editing. A 500GB hard disk should provide ample space for your files, and there are four USB ports along with FireWire and eSATA ports for faster external drives.

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