Acer Aspire Timeline 3810TZ review
Perfoming an almost perfect balancing act, the Aspire 3810TZ is a preternaturally accomplished ultraportable at a bargain price.
Acer’s Aspire 3810T might have impressed us when it first arrived in PC Pro’s offices, but now that the TZ version is available for as little as £408 exc VAT, it’s hard not to fall in love. The brushed aluminium lid looks outstandingly classy, and while the grey and black design is decidedly businesslike, it’s still attractively understated.
Build quality is good too, with the solid base only giving way when subjected to extreme twisting motions. Only the flexible lid rouses any concerns at all, with even moderate pressure on the lid fouling the TFT and causing show-through on the display.
It’s easy to forgive any issues with the Acer’s build, however, when you consider how light it is. It weighs just 1.6kg, and it's unlikely you'll have to carry around the 430g charger either; with 8hrs 20mins of light use battery life, it will outlast all but the longest of jaunts away from the mains.
Performance puts the Acer amongst the front runners of the current CULV pack, too, with an Intel Pentium dual-core joining forces with 3GB of memory to achieve a perfectly respectable 0.67 in our application benchmarks.
The worst complaint we can level at the keyboard is that the wide channels between each key serve as a perfect receptacle for dust and grime; thankfully it’s perfectly comfortable to type upon. The trackpad is fine too, and we particularly liked the button alongside to disable it, which means you don't have to worry about accidentally jogging the cursor.
Elsewhere, there’s little to criticise. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless networking are both present and correct and the three USB ports are complemented by a card reader and both VGA and HDMI sockets. The worst aspect of the Aspire 3810TZ is its speakers, which sound tinny and lacklustre by comparison with the best on test.
Other than this small gripe, we can't find fault - this Acer is the very definition of a superbly-balanced, inexpensive ultraportable. Some may crave more power than it, or any of its ilk, can muster, but for many the balance of power, portability and sheer tactile excellence will prove more than ample reward.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||322 x 228 x 29mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Pentium SU4100|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel GS45|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 4500M|
|Graphics card RAM||64MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||233GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Seagate ST9250315AS|
|Optical disc technology||n/a|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||1|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||8hr 44min|
|Battery life, heavy use||4hr 9min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.67|
|Office application benchmark score||0.68|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||0.78|
|Encoding application benchmark score||0.60|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||0.61|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||5fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition, burn own recovery discs|