Acer TravelMate 8732TG review
A few compromises, but the TravelMate 8732TG is a powerful, long-lasting portable at a great price
Most 13.3in laptops are thin and light, but the Acer TravelMate 8732TG bucks the trend. It's 31mm thick at the front, rising to a tubby 50mm at the rear, and it weighs 2.1kg. But that's all due to its biggest strength: the battery.
Protruding from the back is a 6,000mAh unit, which produces impressive results: in our light-use test, with Wi-Fi off and an idle desktop, it lasted a full nine hours, and when pushed to the limit it made 2hrs 17mins.
The discrepancy is down to Acer's use of switchable graphics. When idle it runs on the integrated Intel HD Graphics, but a click of a system tray icon shifts responsibility to the Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics card. This means that the 8732TG can be used for games and other apps that demand 3D acceleration: it averaged 36fps in Crysis at Low quality at the screen's 1,366 x 768 resolution.
Our model (part code LX.TX303 014) includes a 2.4GHz Core i5-450M and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which powered the Acer to 1.45 in our benchmarks. That's more than enough for video-editing work, where the 500GB hard disk will also be handy. Our only gripe is the presence of 32-bit Windows 7 Professional rather than the 64-bit version needed to use all that RAM.
It's well connected too, with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, along with the latest Bluetooth 3 radio. Its three USB 2 ports are spread across both flanks, and there's also a DVD drive.
A fingerprint reader sits between the mouse buttons, and the multitouch pad is responsive. The keys are a little light on travel, but are well laid out. The display is muted compared to the glossy panels on many laptops, though, and there's minor backlight bleed visible around the edges.
You also get only a single year's warranty cover, which we would recommend you upgrade. But when all this comes at a cost of just £677 exc VAT, it's hard to complain.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||323 x 245 x 50mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-450M|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel HM55|
|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||Nvidia GeForce GT310M / Intel HD graphics|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||442GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Hitachi HTS545050B9A300|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||HL-DT-ST GU10N|
|Replacement battery price ex VAT||£74|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£87|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Multitouch touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||9hr 0min|
|Battery life, heavy use||2hr 17min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.45|
|Office application benchmark score||1.24|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||1.57|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.46|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||1.52|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||36fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Professional 32-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|