Acer Aspire 5672WLMi review
An extremely well-specified notebook for the money, but the TFT doesn't match up to the competition
Review Date: 20 Apr 2006
Price when reviewed: (£1,120 inc VAT)
Seven notebooks this month provide 100GB of hard disk space, but despite being far from the most expensive on test the Acer Aspire 5672WLMi boasts 20GB more. And not content with that, there's a whopping 2GB of PC2-4200 memory - twice as much as the nearest competitor.
Every tickbox is checked: a slot-loading DVD writer handling dual-layer media and DVD-RAM, a Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics card and an integrated webcam.
With its Core Duo T2300, the 5672WLMi posted the fourth-fastest Overall 2D score of 0.95. While the huge memory meant there were no bottlenecks in the RAM department, it hasn't boosted performance to any degree, and we can't help but wish Acer had stuck with 1GB and instead fitted a better graphics card.
The X1400 managed an average of 21fps and 20fps for Far Cry and Half-Life 2 respectively. This drops to 12fps a piece with 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering enabled. With quality levels at moderate settings, both games just about became playable at the TFT's native resolution.
Other nods to entertainment include playback buttons beside the keyboard and Acer's Arcade application, which is a Media Center-style interface. The TV option builds up expectations, but there's no built-in TV tuner.
The 640 x 480 webcam gives dire results at default settings, but turn off the low-light option and you'll get a far better frame rate. Thankfully, a microphone is integrated too.
Typing is a pleasure on the well laid-out keyboard. It's nice to see Control and Delete keys in opposite corners, and the whole unit is well built. For convenient access, the four USB ports are placed two on each side. In fact, the Acer has more ports than most: there's a DVI interface in addition to VGA, as well as S-Video output. Plus, there's an ExpressCard/34 slot and mini-FireWire. Naturally, Wi-Fi is integrated and supports 802.11a/b/g standards.
The only disappointment was the TFT, and this means the Acer misses an award. Placed next to any other notebook in the group, the glossy 15.4in 1,280 x 800 widescreen panel lacks both brightness and crispness. Plus, it's surrounded by glossy plastic that quickly attracts fingerprints.
Battery life is poor at a touch under two-and-a-half hours for light use and an hour less for intensive use. Fan noise won't prove a distraction; we measured 30dBA in our tests.
The one-year collect-and-return warranty is nothing special, but if this, the battery life and screen brightness don't bother you the 5672WLMi is a fine alternative to the winners, especially if you need the extra hard disk space.
- Google ditches OpenSSL in Chrome
- Apple and Swatch to buddy up for iWatch release
- StubHub fraud: how hackers stole $1m using tickets
- Mobile success boosts Facebook's profit by 138%
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Unlock your Moto X with a "tattoo"
- Samsung continues Tizen OS push with Galaxy Gear "upgrade"
- Killing the Surface Mini hit revenues, Microsoft reveals
- How to report website overblocking and miscategorisation to ISPs
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- The 12 best tablets of 2014: what’s the best tablet on the market?
- How to free up hard disk space
- Driverless cars: could your next car be driven by a robot?
- 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
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?