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 reveals why it thinks we'll buy smartwatches
- Windows 8.2/Windows 9: release date, features and free cloud version
- Apple's top reasons for rejecting apps
- Raspberry Pi unveils HTML5-optimised browser
- Apple and FBI "actively investigating" celeb photo hack
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- 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