Review: Acer Aspire

Charlie puts Acer’s latest netbook through its paces and likes what he finds

By Charlie Brown

Make: Acer
Model: Aspire 4810T

From a design perspective, one thing that really struck me about it was how slim it was, yet heavier than it looks, which isn’t a bad thing – especially if you accidentally drop it (from about hip height), as I did. Luckily there was no damage on its surface, and none of the internal mechanics seemed to suffer. I also liked the keyboard – the keys are square, and nice and big, yet don’t affect the size of the unit.

I’m not totally sold on the mouse, which is set in a groove about eight centimetres long and about 1.5 centimetres wide. Unfortunately about 2/3’s of the groove is the click bar, while the other third is not – and on a few occasions I clicked on the part that wasn’t, which can be a tad annoying after a while.

Also not a great fan of the open button for the DVD drive – would rather the old “push in and it pops out” method myself, but that’s the way it is I guess.

Using the Intel Core 2 Solo processor the Aspire is not as fast as some netbooks I have looked at over the past year or so, but hardly noticed it when writing articles, and when playing a couple of games there were no delays. Surfing the net seemed ok, with Youtube streaming seemingly working fine, and the quality of the 720p resolution was pretty good.
It comes standard with Microsoft Vista as its operating system, which should send off alarm bells, but again, during my tests there were no problems with it.

I found the battery lasted about seven hours, although some of that time it was on standby. Acer claim it can last for up to eight hours. I find this believable, depending on how you use it. Obviously if you watch a movie, it will not last as long, but I reckon you would be able to use it while on a train or bus, you should be able to.

Finally, Acer are one of those companies bringing the ‘lap’ back into laptop. There have been issues with some such units that they get too hot. I had no problems with heat with the Aspire in that regard.

Overall, there are some issues with it as mentioned at the top of the review, however, there is enough to like about it to give it seriously consideration if you are in the market for a new netbook. I’ve seen it on sale for between about $1,300 to $1,600.

Pros: Good Keyboard, hardy, slim-line design, streams videos nicely
Cons: Mouse design could be better, open button for DVD not ideal

3.5 out of 5 Shacks