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Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T review

Verdict

It isn't powerful, but its portability, looks and battery life make this laptop a great buy

Review Date: 5 Oct 2009

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £576 (£662 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Performance
3 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

We won't mince words: the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T is not a powerful laptop. With its 1.4GHz processor it plodded through our benchmarks, undershooting most you'll find at this price, with a score of 0.77. If you're looking for high-performance computing, you should look elsewhere.

But for everyday use it would be a mistake to write off the 3810T. Its 4GB of DDR3 RAM makes desktop apps feel pretty snappy, and note that it's a dual-core processor so multitasking won't slow it to a crawl.

And the low-voltage CPU needn't mean you'll get less done; we found the Timeline to be a godsend for productivity, thanks to its light-use battery life of more than nine hours. Even under heavy load it lasted for 3hrs 31mins in our tests, courtesy of its 5,600mAh battery.

It's nicely put together too: the slim design isn't the most solid, but it slides easily into a bag, and opens out into a stylish black and grey design with a 16:9 TFT that's sharp and bright, if a little lacking in vibrancy. The shiny black keyboard looks nice too, although the gaps between keys are a trap for dust and crumbs.

The Timeline's compact frame is partly achieved by leaving out the optical drive, which could be a pain when you want to install new software (or upgrade to Windows 7). It also means you can't easily use that widescreen display for watching DVDs - not that you'd necessarily want to, since the speakers are puny and wholly lacking in bass.

But, once you accept that the 3810T is neither a workstation nor an entertainment centre, what's left is very likeable. Its 320GB hard drive is on the generous side, with most similarly priced portables sticking with 250GB. There's draft-n wireless, an HDMI out and a versatile card reader. And, of course, you get an attractive notebook that will keep you working all the way from Heathrow to JFK and back. For £576 exc VAT, that's very hard to sniff at.

Author: Sasha Muller

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