Acer Aspire 8930G review

Big, brash and powerful to boot. Acer's 18.4in desktop replacement is guaranteed to entertain.

5
Price when reviewed 
750
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Acer's Aspire 8930G is a big laptop. Measuring 441 x 300 x 44mm, it's a desktop hog and at 3.98kg it isn't the most portable, either.

Portability isn't the Acer's game, though. The 8930G is an entertainment laptop through and through - a point reinforced by its eye-catching looks. The deep blue lid sparkles with a light glitter effect and the central Acer logo is backlit for extra drama.

We weren't quite so enamoured with the keyboard's glossy keys, which proved slippery, but they soon redeemed themselves. Despite a little flex in the keyboard's base, the keys have plenty of travel and a positive action.

The interior is similarly bold, with matte- and gloss-black sections jostling for attention alongside a textured grey wristrest.

Tilt back the Acer's huge lid and your gaze is quickly drawn away from the full-sized keyboard and numeric keypad to rest on the touch-sensitive media playback console on the left-hand side.

And then there's the monstrous screen above. Measuring 18.4in across, the Acer's display is huge. It doesn't squeeze in a Full HD panel like the Samsung, but the 1,680 x 945 resolution makes a good partner to the Blu-ray reader. Colours are accurate and it manages to unearth plenty of detail in HD movies. Plus, should you want to hook it up to an external display, the Acer boasts a full set of VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs.

It isn't just a visual treat, though; the Acer's speakers are capable too. Ample volume goes hand in hand with impressive clarity and generous bass.

Gaming is firmly on the agenda, thanks to the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS chipset, which bested all the other laptops in our Crysis benchmarks by a considerable margin. And the rest of the specification is just as impressive. The 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor is backed by 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 320GB hard drive - a combination worth 0.98 in our benchmarks.

Although this laptop may not be as pretty as the HP Pavilion DV7-1211ea and has only mediocre battery life (lasting for 3hrs 27mins under light use, 1hr 28mins when we pushed it), it makes up for this with a supremely generous specification.

Warranty

Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions441 x 300 x 44mm (WDH)
Weight3.980kg
Travelling weight4.5kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T5800
Motherboard chipsetIntel PM45
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size18.4in
Resolution screen horizontal1,680
Resolution screen vertical945
Resolution1680 x 945
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce 9600M GS
Graphics card RAM512MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs1

Drives

Capacity320GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskWestern Digital Scorpio Blue
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader
Optical driveHL-DT-ST BDDVDRW CT10N
Battery capacity4,800mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

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

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchno
Modemyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)4
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks3
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readeryes
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationFront edge
Hardware volume control?yes
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
TPMno
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readerno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use207
Battery life, heavy use88
Overall application benchmark score0.98
3D performance (crysis) low settings45fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodBurn own recovery discs
Software suppliedMicrosoft Works 8.5, Acer Arcade Deluxe

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