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
- Sorry monkeys: you can't copyright your selfies
- Google: driverless car testers don't need to be "safe drivers"
- Microsoft to announce Windows 9 on 30 September
- Motorola Moto X+1 press photos leaked online
- Microsoft working on Miracast Dongle streaming hardware
- Diaspora: we can't stop spread of beheading videos
- Sony Xperia Z3 specs leak online
- iPhone 6 and iPhone 6L pictures leak online
- Bug hunters paid to target Oculus Rift
- Meet the "scarecrows" and "snipers" slaying Twitter spam
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- 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
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to edit PDFs: make change to a PDF
- Building a patently better future
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- 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