Acer Aspire 8930G review
This laptop is terrific value, squeezing in a lot of features for the money, but quality does suffer in places.
Review Date: 10 Jun 2009
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £1,043 (£1,199 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Acer's Aspire 8930G may be one of the cheaper laptops on test this month, with a price of a mere £1,043 exc VAT, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in specification or features.
The processor, for instance, is Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9000, which achieved a respectable 2D benchmark result of 1.11 and scored highly in the multitasking component of the test - just like the gargantuan Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds, which has the same CPU and excelled in the same area.
Nvidia's GeForce 9600M GT is a popular part, appearing in four other machines this month, and its score of 15fps in our medium-quality Crysis benchmark means that the Aspire has some gaming ability, although it will struggle with the most demanding titles.
Unlike the Toshiba Qosmio G50, the low price of which limits its specification, the Acer includes plenty of flashy components. As well as 4GB of DDR3 RAM, there's a Blu-ray reader, 500GB of hard disk space, draft-n wireless and even a hybrid analogue/DVB-T TV tuner.
Battery life is reasonable despite this specification, with the 4,800mAh unit lasting for more than three hours in our light-use test and around half that time in the more demanding heavy-use benchmark. So there's some scope for using the Aspire 8930G away from home if you can find a bag to accommodate its 4kg weight and 50mm-thick frame.
Unfortunately, the Acer's budget price is reflected in the chassis. The keyboard and trackpad are hardly outstanding; the glossy finish looks and feels cheap, with the creaky lid and wristrest doing little to improve matters.
The screen and speakers can't match rivals, either: the TFT may have a decent resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, but it's pale and lifeless, and the speakers are muddy and weak compared with those used by Toshiba, HP and Dell.
This laptop still has plenty going for it. Alongside a capable processor, there's a decent set of features: many laptops would struggle to include Blu-ray, a half-terabyte of storage and a TV tuner for this sort of money. But in squeezing in all these features, the quality suffers and so scuppers the Acer's chance of an award.
Author: Mike Jennings
- Will Android Wear work with iOS?
- Amazon loses $170 million on Fire phone
- Photos: Information Age revealed at the Science Museum
- Surface makes $1bn for Microsoft in three months
- Facebook Rooms to give anonymity to iPhone users
- Google buys Oxford University AI startups
- Microsoft Kinect SDK 2 brings apps to Windows Store
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Windows 10: two-factor authentication coming to every device
- What is Google Inbox?
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 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