Acer Aspire 5684WLMi review
A well-balanced specification coupled with good performance, excellent battery life, plus sound build quality.
Review Date: 14 Mar 2007
Reviewed By: Jim Martin
Price when reviewed: (£910 inc VAT)
A laptop doesn't have to be the ultimate speed demon or boast every feature under the sun to win in the Labs. We have to be convinced that a product covers all bases, that it offers value for money and that - for notebooks aimed at consumers - we wouldn't be ashamed of having it in our own living rooms. In the sub-£1,000 range, Acer's Aspire 5684WLMi fits the bill perfectly.
In fact, there's only one area in which you could possibly level criticism at this machine: its processor isn't the fastest here. But the Core 2 Duo T5600, backed up by a generous 2GB of RAM, doesn't suffer too much in our tests; the result of 1.15 in our 2D application benchmarks is more than quick enough for even demanding users. There's also plenty of storage space, with a huge 160GB hard disk, while Nvidia's GeForce Go 7600SE boosts 3D performance to a reasonable level, although you'll have to reduce the resolution or detail levels from our settings for playable frame rates.
Battery life is impressive, especially in such disappointing company. In fact, the Aspire's 4,800mAh battery lasted 1hr 34mins and 3hrs 41mins in our intensive and light-use tests respectively. It may not be the lightest notebook in the world at 3.5kg including the power supply, but you'll be able to do more than write the odd email when you're out and about.
It's good value too. The price is on a par with the HP Pavilion dv2278ea and, although low prices often mean giving up on style or build quality, that isn't the case here. The Aspire may not have the wow factor of the HP, but it's stylish and solidly put together. Add an excellent 15.4in 1,280 x 800 widescreen TFT, usable and a well-laid out keyboard and an accurate touchpad into the mix, and you have a notebook that's great to use everyday.
There are even a few extras thrown in - a Bluetooth VoIP phone that slots into the PC Card slot to charge, a slot-loading dual-layer DVD writer and a DVI-D output that's HDCP compliant.
Acer's Aspire 5684WLMi may not have the sheer power of others this month, and its one-year warranty is also shorter than we'd like, but for all-round quality, battery life and value for money, no other notebook comes close in this price bracket.
Author: Jim Martin
- Malware can live in USBs undetected
- Hundreds of IE updates in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1
- Microsoft ordered to hand over European data
- Fitness trackers could pose stalking risk
- BT: Tech City's broadband is fine - startups just need to pay more
- Will the iPhone 6 arrive a month before the iWatch?
- SilentPower PC keeps cool with copper foam
- 1Password coming to iOS 8 apps
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Finally legal to rip music from CDs - just don't break DRM
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- ARM vs Intel processors: what’s the difference?
- 13 computers that changed the world
- How to download YouTube videos to a PC or laptop: is it legal to download YouTube videos?
- Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: what's the best cloud storage service of 2014?
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child