To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1000
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.


Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G left

While the silver lid is pleasingly minimalist, opening it reveals a mish-mash of design elements. There’s the Sony Vaio-esque tubular hinge, which incorporates the power buttons at one end and a couple of shortcut buttons at the other. Above the keyboard is an odd speaker assembly, prominently advertising Dolby’s Home Theater technology. Then there’s the black wrist-rest, raised above the level of the keyboard, with its curiously glossy touchpad.

We liked the keyboard, with its separated Chiclet-style keys. They have a light action, with a distinct bite in the stroke that provides feedback for touch-typists. There’s plenty of space, so no compromises have been made in the layout, even with a four-column numberpad on the right.

Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G right

The speakers are a triumph of style over substance, however. Volume levels are low, and rely heavily on Dolby’s technologies to produce a wide soundstage. Turning these off results in the sort of tinny sound we’d expect from a much cheaper laptop, but the effect on the sound is over-processed and unnatural.

A glossy finish on a touchpad seems counter-intuitive: your fingers are more likely to stick on a glossy surface than a matt finish and it wasn’t as responsive as we’d like. The buttons are beneath one strip of plastic, which is large and set close to the edge of the case where your thumb naturally rests. There’s an extra button in the centre that activates LED multimedia controls that appear on the surface of the touchpad, while a volume wheel sits underneath the buttons on the edge of the case. You also get a Media Centre remote control in the box.

Despite the odd design touches and mediocre speakers, we can’t help but be impressed by the Aspire 8943G’s performance and features. It’s great value for money, and wins our Best Buy award.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-450M
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size18.4 in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA HD/ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory1,024MB


Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports5
Total Firewire ports1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portseSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack microphone input


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

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Read more