Acer Aspire Timeline 3810TZ review

Price when reviewed

Acer’s Aspire 3810T might have impressed us when it first arrived in PC Pro’s offices, but now that the TZ version is available for as little as £408 exc VAT, it’s hard not to fall in love. The brushed aluminium lid looks outstandingly classy, and while the grey and black design is decidedly businesslike, it’s still attractively understated.

Build quality is good too, with the solid base only giving way when subjected to extreme twisting motions. Only the flexible lid rouses any concerns at all, with even moderate pressure on the lid fouling the TFT and causing show-through on the display.

It’s easy to forgive any issues with the Acer’s build, however, when you consider how light it is. It weighs just 1.6kg, and it’s unlikely you’ll have to carry around the 430g charger either; with 8hrs 20mins of light use battery life, it will outlast all but the longest of jaunts away from the mains.

Acer Aspire Timeline 3810TZ

Performance puts the Acer amongst the front runners of the current CULV pack, too, with an Intel Pentium dual-core joining forces with 3GB of memory to achieve a perfectly respectable 0.67 in our application benchmarks.

The worst complaint we can level at the keyboard is that the wide channels between each key serve as a perfect receptacle for dust and grime; thankfully it’s perfectly comfortable to type upon. The trackpad is fine too, and we particularly liked the button alongside to disable it, which means you don’t have to worry about accidentally jogging the cursor.

Elsewhere, there’s little to criticise. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless networking are both present and correct and the three USB ports are complemented by a card reader and both VGA and HDMI sockets. The worst aspect of the Aspire 3810TZ is its speakers, which sound tinny and lacklustre by comparison with the best on test.

Other than this small gripe, we can’t find fault – this Acer is the very definition of a superbly-balanced, inexpensive ultraportable. Some may crave more power than it, or any of its ilk, can muster, but for many the balance of power, portability and sheer tactile excellence will prove more than ample reward.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions322 x 228 x 29mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.0kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Pentium SU4100
Motherboard chipsetIntel GS45
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA 4500M
Graphics card RAM64MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity233GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskSeagate ST9250315AS
Optical disc technologyn/a
Optical driveNone
Battery capacity5,600mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


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

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio 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 typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating0.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use8hr 44min
Battery life, heavy use4hr 9min
Overall application benchmark score0.67
Office application benchmark score0.68
2D graphics application benchmark score0.78
Encoding application benchmark score0.60
Multitasking application benchmark score0.61
3D performance (crysis) low settings5fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition, burn own recovery discs

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