Acer TravelMate 8732TG review

21 Dec 2010

A few compromises, but the TravelMate 8732TG is a powerful, long-lasting portable at a great price

Acer TravelMate 8732TG
Price when reviewed: 
795inc VAT
5

Most 13.3in laptops are thin and light, but the Acer TravelMate 8732TG bucks the trend. It's 31mm thick at the front, rising to a tubby 50mm at the rear, and it weighs 2.1kg. But that's all due to its biggest strength: the battery.

Protruding from the back is a 6,000mAh unit, which produces impressive results: in our light-use test, with Wi-Fi off and an idle desktop, it lasted a full nine hours, and when pushed to the limit it made 2hrs 17mins.

The discrepancy is down to Acer's use of switchable graphics. When idle it runs on the integrated Intel HD Graphics, but a click of a system tray icon shifts responsibility to the Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics card. This means that the 8732TG can be used for games and other apps that demand 3D acceleration: it averaged 36fps in Crysis at Low quality at the screen's 1,366 x 768 resolution.

Acer TravelMate 8732TG

Our model (part code LX.TX303 014) includes a 2.4GHz Core i5-450M and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which powered the Acer to 1.45 in our benchmarks. That's more than enough for video-editing work, where the 500GB hard disk will also be handy. Our only gripe is the presence of 32-bit Windows 7 Professional rather than the 64-bit version needed to use all that RAM.

It's well connected too, with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, along with the latest Bluetooth 3 radio. Its three USB 2 ports are spread across both flanks, and there's also a DVD drive.

A fingerprint reader sits between the mouse buttons, and the multitouch pad is responsive. The keys are a little light on travel, but are well laid out. The display is muted compared to the glossy panels on many laptops, though, and there's minor backlight bleed visible around the edges.

You also get only a single year's warranty cover, which we would recommend you upgrade. But when all this comes at a cost of just £677 exc VAT, it's hard to complain.

Details

Price ex VAT £677
Price inc VAT £795
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 6
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 323 x 245 x 50mm (WDH)
Weight 2.100kg
Travelling weight 2.6kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-450M
Motherboard chipset Intel HM55
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GT310M / Intel HD graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 442GB
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Hitachi HTS545050B9A300
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive HL-DT-ST GU10N
Battery capacity 6,000mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT £74
Replacement battery price inc VAT £87

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Multitouch touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 9hr 0min
Battery life, heavy use 2hr 17min
Overall application benchmark score 1.45
Office application benchmark score 1.24
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.57
Encoding application benchmark score 1.46
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.52
3D performance (crysis) low settings 36fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS family Windows 7