Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T review

All-day battery life, decent performance and great build quality make for the perfect all-rounder

David Bayon
4 Nov 2010
Price when reviewed 

We've seen plenty of nine-hour ultraportables and a lot of 15.6in powerhouses, but few laptops can claim to come close to successfully combining the two.

Acer’s Aspire TimelineX 5820T has a 15.6in screen size, yet it’s far sleeker than you'd expect: the lid feels as thin as that of a tiny Sony VAIO, but it has the strength of a road-warrior. The hinge feels rock-solid, and the only give in the base is around the soft-grilled speakers.

Its real strength, however, is battery life. Under light-use conditions the 6,000mAh battery gave 9hrs 29mins of life. It’s helped by the absence of a power-hungry discrete graphics card, but for a 15.6in laptop it’s remarkable, and beyond what many ultraportables can manage on a single charge.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T

Better still, it combines its all-day battery life with reasonable power. With a 2.13GHz Core i3-330M and 3GB of DDR3 RAM, our sample scored 1.23 in our benchmarks. This model is currently being upgraded to a 2.4GHz Core i3-370M (factored into the price at the top of the page), which in our experience should boost the score to around 1.40.

The laptop itself is a joy to use. The keyboard and number pad stretch the full width of the base, with only the cursor keys a little smaller than we’d like. The screen has a 1,366 x 768 resolution and a glossy coating, but the reflectivity is balanced by good brightness and a clean, balanced colour tone.

It has only a 320GB hard disk, but there’s a DVD writer along with four USB 2 ports, plus HDMI and D-SUB outputs. Gigabit Ethernet is joined by 802.11n Wi-Fi, and its card reader supports the major formats, including xD-Picture cards.

We've said it in a previous review and we'll say it again: it’s hard to find a serious fault with the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T. It has extremely long battery life, while remaining powerful enough for all but the most specialist of tasks, and it does so while retaining fine build quality and plenty of desirability. At just £552 exc VAT, it’s hard to think of many better home all-rounders.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions379 x 250 x 32mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.8kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i3-370M
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM55
RAM capacity3.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD graphics
Graphics card RAM128MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity285GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Hard diskWestern Digital Scorpio Blue
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveTSST TS-U633F
Battery capacity6,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)4
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readeryes
Pointing device typeMultitouch touchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use9hr 29min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 51min
Overall application benchmark score1.23
Office application benchmark score1.02
2D graphics application benchmark score1.19
Encoding application benchmark score1.17
Multitasking application benchmark score1.53
3D performance (crysis) low settings15fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodBurn own recovery discs

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