Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G review

Barry de la Rosa
25 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
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.


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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