Acer TravelMate 6592 review

7 Mar 2008

Apart from the mediocre keyboard, the Acer does a lot of things right. But there are better-value deals this month.

Price when reviewed: 
787(£925 inc VAT)
4

Acer's TravelMate 6592 looks like the archetypal business laptop. Finished in understated light and dark grey, the only flash of colour is the green trackpoint and its accompanying buttons.

Build quality is a real highlight, and against some of the competition the Acer feels fantastically sturdy. Grappling with the stiff, strong lid did little to affect the display itself, and the base feels equally well-constructed. Some of this is no doubt due to the Acer's 3kg weight, but it's not overweight compared to other 15.4in models in the group.

Display duties are carried out ably by the 15.4in 1,280 x 800 panel - image quality is good across the board, with ample brightness and no sign of grain.

The spec is equally solid, with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor allied to 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard disk. Our application benchmarks were dispatched with a score of 1.12 - a result that puts the Acer in the middle of the pack.

Due to the standard 4,800mAh lithium ion battery, life away from the mains isn't quite so impressive. It lasted just 3hrs 41mins under light use, while heavy usage reduced that further, to 1hr 32mins.

The keyboard is similarly unimpressive. Acer has moved the keyboard upwards to make room for the extra trackpoint buttons, but this, in combination with the curved design, causes problems. The keys are shallower than usual, and as a result we found the typing position too cramped for comfort.

There are no such complaints with the Acer's wide range of features, however. DVI and VGA ports make it easy to hook up external monitors, and gigabit ethernet is complemented by draft-n wireless. Security is well catered for too, with a fingerprint reader, TPM 1.2 chip and a smart card reader all included as standard.

Overlook the suspect keyboard and the Acer is a solid, but unremarkable business laptop. Great build quality and a good specification aren't matched by fine ergonomics, however, and at £787 it isn't much cheaper than other, far better laptops here.