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
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Met Police unveils FALCON to fight cybercrime
- Free Windows attracts 50 new tablet and phone makers
- Send a text and these SSDs will self-destruct
- How to download Windows 10 Technical Preview
- Mozilla takes aim at Chromecast with $25 dongle
- Microsoft reveals Windows 10... no, really
- eBay and PayPal split up
- iOS 8.0.2: old problems remain, new bugs added
- Technopop: London sci-tech festival is just for kids
- 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
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- Smartphone benchmarks 2014: what's the fastest smartphone?
- What is Kindle Unlimited and how does it work?
- BlackBerry Passport release date, UK price and specs
- How to change keyboard in iOS 8: customise the iPhone 6 keyboard
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: is the new iPhone 6 better than the Galaxy S5?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- 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