Acer TravelMate 6292 review
Acer’s 2.1kg TravelMate 6292 is the first of four Santa Rosa notebooks on test in this Labs and boasts draft-n Wi-Fi for faster wireless transfers. This is an optional component of the new Centrino Duo brand, but it’s a real bonus if you already have a draft-n router or plan to upgrade in the near future.
It also features Intel’s new 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 processor and a healthy 2GB of RAM, so we weren’t surprised to see the Acer storm to second place in the performance charts with a benchmark score of 1.01. While it isn’t the fastest score we’ve seen from a notebook, it’s rare to find such power paired with long battery life, and Intel deserves some credit for reducing power consumption.
Games aren’t really an option, as you only get integrated graphics, but this also helps to keep the power drain to a minimum. However, before we get carried away, we should note that while the battery life is decent enough it isn’t exactly stellar in this group. A light-use time of 4hrs 38mins puts it towards the bottom end of the group, and it lasted only an hour when pushed.
But it’s still a very desirable notebook, with curvy styling in dark grey to replace the green hue of recent TravelMate models. It’s solidly built, particularly the rigid lid and, while a few of the less frequently used keys are slightly too small, the keyboard is generally comfortable and responsive. There’s a card reader, three USB ports, 160GB of hard disk space, and security is boosted by the presence of a fingerprint reader and TPM module.
The 12.1in screen is bright enough without resorting to a glossy coating (which isn’t ideal for use when out and about due to the reflections), and the 1,280 x 800 resolution is plenty at this size. Its main ultralight rival is the equally small Samsung Q35, which just about has the edge for weight and costs a similar amount. There’s little to choose between them in terms of features – the Q35 has an instant-on jukebox application but no fingerprint reader – and both have single-year warranties. But when you consider the Q35’s battery lasts 6hrs 40mins under light use, it’s the better choice out of the two.