Acer Aspire 8942G review
Huge and over the top, but the Aspire offers tremendous power at a surprisingly sensible price
Review Date: 21 Apr 2010
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £1,089 (£1,280 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The Acer Aspire 8942G is a desktop replacement in an almost literal sense - you'll barely be able to see any desk behind it. A gigantic 18.4in display means the chassis measures 440mm across and weighs more than 4kg, so it's good for the occasional trip up and down the stairs at home but not much else.
Once in place, though, the Aspire rewards you with power. Despite the dual-core Core i5-520M inside, it scored 1.74 in our benchmarks, helped by 6GB of DDR3 and a 64-bit OS. It's a fast consumer laptop, and should only fall behind quad-core systems in heavily multithreaded tasks such as 3D rendering.
Acer has also included a powerful graphics chip, with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 averaging 49fps in our Medium Crysis test, and a creditable 20fps at High settings. With a few detail settings lowered, you may even get close to the display's Full HD resolution in some less demanding games.
There's the obligatory Blu-ray drive for entertainment, while the screen is superb, with a bright and even LED backlight, vibrant colours and a coating that's glossy without being overly reflective. The 5.1 speaker set produces fine audio, rich and full at both ends of the scale and with impressive volume, all controlled by a sleek rotary dial and separate backlit playback panel.
The whole design seems to follow those touches: the power button is a brushed-metal disc with blue trim that lights up when on; a pair of tiny blue speaker grilles look like exhaust vents beneath the screen; and the rounded edges of the front of the chassis look almost like the front of a car. It's all a tad over the top in true boy-racer style, but it somehow works on such a massive laptop.
It's unlikely you'll move from the mains for long, but battery life is better than you'd expect: we measured just more than four hours of light use, and almost an hour-and-a-half at full pelt. All of which combines to make the Acer a very tempting desktop replacement.
The styling won't suit all tastes, but the 8942G costs little more than a grand, yet offers more power and entertainment features than you'd usually expect from a desktop PC.
Author: David Bayon
Great customer service..
I've got the older version of this machine the 8930G and it's a fantastic piece of kit. I got a small fault with it less than 5 days shy of a year old. I contacted Acer direct, they got DHL to pick the unit up on thursday last week and it's back with me today. No hassles. Great service. I'd encourage anyone considering a powerful desktop replacement to seriously consider this machine.
By CraigieDD on 28 Apr 2010
Does this model have a USB 3 port? If not, shouldn't it? It would be helpful if laptop reviews mentioned this as I understand USB 3 is finally coming through on laptops now.
By Barks on 29 Apr 2010
RE: USB 3
No, even though USB 3 is definitely coming through at the moment, laptops haven't quite jumped on board yet. We've seen a couple, hopefully the next few months will see it become standard on new models.
By DavidBayon on 30 Apr 2010
How many drive bays?
On such a big laptop does it have a second bay into which an extra drive can be added?
By Jaydax on 14 Sep 2010
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