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Acer Travelmate range updated, gains P6 Ultrabook

Katharine Byrne
17 Oct 2013
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Acer has refreshed its Travelmate business laptop range with several new models

Acer has refreshed its TravelMate business laptop line-up with serveral new models, including the new P6 Ultrabook. Officially launched at the company's Amsterdam press conference at the end of September, the Travelmate P2, P4 and P6 series will all come with Intel's 4th generation Haswell processors to improve battery life along with a range of features and security options. Here are our hands-on impressions.

Acer Travelmate P645

The TravelMate P6 (centre) is by far the most portable TravelMate laptop but the P4 (right) and P2 (left) are still surprisingly light

At the top end of the range is Acer's flagship TravelMate P6-45 Ultrabook. It squeezes a 14in display into a 13in chassis, a feat Acer has achieved by significantly reducing the screen bezel. It will be available with either a standard 1,366x768 panel or Full HD 1,920x1,080 IPS screen depending on the specification.

Acer Travelmate P645

Its carbon fibre chassis is just 20.9mm thick and weighs 1.5kg, making it highly portable for frequent travellers. It comes with a full range of enterprise options, including a finger print scanner, TPM and V-Pro support for greater security management. It's also compatible with Acer's docking port to expand its range of ports and connections.

Acer Travelmate P645

Acer has stress tested the chassis to ensure it's highly durable and shock resistant. We were told it would shrug off a four foot drop, with rubberised components over the hard disk minimising vibrations as well as a freefall sensor that removes the head of the hard drive to protect your data if the laptop is dropped.

Acer Travelmate P645

The keyboard tray uses full-size keys with backlit LEDs, making it perfect for working in low light conditions. Naturally, there's no room for a numeric keypad, but we found it was comfortable to type on and all the keys gave a good level of tactile feedback.

Acer Travelmate P645
Acer Travelmate P645

The P6-45 also has a good range of ports for an Ultrabook. Around the sides, you'll find three USB3 ports, HDMI and VGA outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet port and separate headphone and microphone jacks.

The addition of Haswell components should have a dramatic effect on battery life, with Acer suggesting 17 hours on a single charge as an average scenario. This will obviously vary depending on what programs you're using, but it's certainly a bold claim that we're eager to try out ourselves.

Acer Travelmate P645

Alongside the P6-45, Acer will also be launching the P4-55 and P2-55 at the lower end of the range. Both laptops will have 15.6in displays, an aluminium chassis and Haswell internals, with a few key differences to separate the pair.

The P4-55 will have a Full HD resolution display option, fingerprint security and the anti-shock technology seen on the P6-45, whereas the P2-55 will have fewer security options and will only be available with a standard display.

Acer Travelmate P645

The P2 and P4 have very similar ports as the P6...

Acer Travelmate P645

... but a larger chassis means more room for an optical drive

Battery life will also vary, with the P4-55 coming in around 9 hours and the P2-55 lasting 6 hours on a single charge. The P2-55 will be priced accordingly, with Acer estimating around £339 while the P4-55 will start from £599 for the Core i5 model. The P6-45, on the other hand, will begin from £799 and head north of £1,000 depending on specification.

If Acer can get the finer specifications right, there's every possibility that these new TravelMate laptops could pose a serious threat to Lenovo's popular ThinkPad business brand. We'll bring you our full reviews as soon as possible.

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