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I have long been a fan of Acer notebook computers. It’s not that they’re much of a fashion statement, as there are other brands you can own that will garner far more attention at the no-fat soy latte macchiato bar. What I like is that they’re priced right and I’ve had trouble free, long-term experience with at least three of them.
The latest Acer notebooks shouldn’t disappoint. They all cost less than any that I’ve ever owned, and they would probably outperform them, too. Let’s take a look at Acer’s new notebooks.
The Aspire AS1430Z-4677 is an ultraportable notebook powered by a 1.33 GHz Intel Pentium U5600 processor and 3GB of memory. It is by no means on the cutting edge of computing horsepower, but it will blow away any netbook. In fact, the Aspire AS1430Z-4677 can be thought of as a super netbook, with its 11.6-inch screen and native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The display is driven by integrated Intel GMA HD graphics with 128MB of dedicated memory.
Like netbooks, the Aspire AS1430Z-4677 has no optical drive, but it’s hard to find a notebook that has an optical drive and weighs only 3.1 pounds. That light weight, combined with a battery that provides up to 4.5 hours of run time, makes this unit ideal for users who travel often and don’t want to carry anything big and heavy.
Other features include a 320GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet, a webcam and microphone, a memory card reader, HDMI and VGA video outputs and three USB 2.0 ports. A multi-gesture touchpad lets you pinch, flick and swirl your way to productivity. Aside from the lack of an optical drive, this notebook has a full feature set—but it’s priced more in line with netbooks.
Aspire TimelineX AS3820T-6480
If an 11.6-inch screen is too small for you, but you still don’t want to lug around a full-size notebook, then a 13.3-inch unit should fit the bill. The Aspire TimelineX AS3820T-6480 is a compact notebook with a big feature set. It also happens to look great with its black brushed-aluminum cover.
The Aspire TimelineX AS3820T-6480 has a 13.3-inch screen and a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. It is driven by integrated Intel GMA HD graphics accelerator with 128MB of dedicated memory. The notebook is powered by a dual-core 2.53 GHz Intel Core i3-380M processor and 4GB of RAM. The system also includes a 500GB hard drive, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, VGA and HDMI video outputs, a multi-gesture trackpad, a memory card reader and a webcam.
Ideal for users on the go, the Aspire TimelineX AS3820T-6480 can run for up to eight hours on a single charge. The lack of an optical drive helps keep size and weight to a minimum. The system is 12.7 inches wide by 1.14 inches high by 9.25 inches deep and it weighs just 4 pounds. Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) is the installed operating system.
Aspire AS5736Z-4427, AS5742-6475 and AS5742G-6846
Stepping up to full-size notebooks, the Aspire AS5736Z-4427 is an incredible value. The full-featured notebook has a generous 15.6-inch widescreen display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The display is driven by an integrated Intel GMA 4500M graphics accelerator with 64MB of dedicated memory.
The Aspire AS5736Z-4427 is powered by a 2.3 GHz Intel Pentium T4500 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Features include a 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive, a SuperMulti DVD burner, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, an integrated webcam, a multi-gesture trackpad and a memory card reader. Ports include three USB 2.0 and VGA and HDMI video outputs.
Small in size and lightweight considering its feature set, the Aspire AS5736Z-4427 is roughly 15 inches wide by 1.33 inches high by 10 inches deep and it weighs 5.7 pounds. A six-cell battery provides up to 3.5 hours of run time per charge. Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) is the installed operating system.
Like most other vendors, Acer makes similar notebooks with slightly different feature sets. The Aspire AS5742-6475 is powered by a 2.53 GHz Intel Core i3-380M processor and 4GB of memory. It also has a 500GB 5400rpm hard drive. All other features are the same as the Aspire AS5736Z-4427. If you want a larger hard drive and more powerful graphics, check out the Aspire AS5742G-6846; it features a 640GB 5400 rpm hard drive and an nVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics accelerator with 1GB of dedicated memory. Otherwise, the Aspire AS5742G-6846 is the same as the Aspire AS5742-6475.
Aspire AS7741G-6426 and AS7741Z-4839
When bigger is better, the Aspire AS7741G-6426 comes out ahead. The luxurious notebook has a 17.3-inch screen with a native resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. The big display is driven by an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6550M graphics accelerator with 1GB of dedicated DDR3 memory. The notebook is powered by a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5-480M processor and 4GB of memory. Should an app you’re running require a bit more power, the processor can be overclocked to 2.93 GHz using Intel Turbo Boost technology.
Other features of the Aspire AS7741G-6426 include a 640GB hard drive, a SuperMulti DVD burner, three USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, VGA and HDMI video outputs, a memory card reader and a webcam. The full-size keyboard features a dedicated numeric keypad and the multi-gesture touchpad has a lock function that prevents accidental cursor movement while you're typing on the keyboard. The Aspire AS7741G-6426 is 16.3 inches wide by 1.35 inches high by 10.8 inches deep and it weighs 7.3 pounds. Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) is the installed operating system.
If you like the idea of a notebook with a 17.3-inch screen but would happily trade some horsepower and storage space for a lower price, the Aspire AS7741Z-4839 should be more to your liking. The Aspire AS7741Z-4839 is a 17.3-inch notebook computer powered by a 2.13 GHz Intel Pentium P6200 processor with a 500GB hard drive and integrated Intel GMA HD graphics; otherwise it’s the same as the Aspire AS7741G-6426.