Acer Aspire 1802WSMi review

£953
Price when reviewed

Unlike the Samsung M40 (see issue 122, p122), the Aspire makes full use of the extra width of the 17in screen by including a number pad as well as a decent keyboard. Though handy, we’d prefer the keyboard to feature standard-sized keys – unlike the half-width question mark, Enter and full-stop keys – before adding more. Once used to the slightly odd placing of keys, though, even touch-typists should have no trouble. The keys have a firm action, with a comfortable amount of travel and solidity.

Acer Aspire 1802WSMi review

The chassis is equally solid, being built from thick and sturdy plastic. Should something go wrong, it’s worth noting this notebook’s one-year international traveller’s warranty. This provides a repair service in any country where Acer has an office (see http://global.acer.com/support for details). You’ll have to supply your recovery discs, so take these with you, but it’s a collect-and-return service. Acer will pick up the notebook and aim to return it in two days.

There are some faults with this notebook – most notably the screen’s poor viewing angles and disappointing battery life, but given the low price they’re more than forgivable. The Samsung M40 is over £500 more expensive and doesn’t offer gigabit Ethernet or such a powerful processor. Bear in mind that the M40 is almost 1kg lighter and provides much better battery life, but the size of any 17in widescreen notebook excludes ultra-portability anyway. All-in-all, the Acer Aspire 1802WSMi is a bargain.

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