Acer TravelMate 2501LMi review
Chunky and it has mediocre battery life, but the DVD writer and 802.11g are both boons.
Review Date: 16 Aug 2004
Price when reviewed: (£904 inc VAT)
The 2501LMi is pretty hefty at 3.4kg, but a larger chassis is a necessary evil when you need to cool a desktop processor. Acer has added some useful extras though. While its floppy drive is old hat, dual PC Card slots mean you're not restricted to a single accessory.
The 2501LMi also has built-in 802.11g wireless LAN - a great inclusion for this price. There's even a handy button above the keyboard for turning the radio on and off. This is also the cheapest notebook on test to include a DVD writer.
What you don't get is great battery life. Acer's 4,000mAh battery gave up the ghost after just 96 minutes of DVD viewing, so you'll have to pick your movies with care. In the intensive test it lasted just under 70 minutes, and two hours, 42 minutes under light use.
Noise is another issue common to using a desktop CPU. In Acer's case, a fan spins up occasionally. It isn't too obtrusive while running, but the starting and stopping is distracting. Thankfully, performance from the 2.8GHz Pentium 4 was admirable, scoring 1.28 in our 2D tests. The Radeon 9000 couldn't keep up with its discrete cousins, however, failing to break 15fps in either 3D game.
We like the bright screen though, and the keyboard has an intuitive layout.
As the cheapest machine with 802.11g, the Acer deserves a place on your shortlist, but there's better battery life and performance available elsewhere.
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