Acer 18.4-inch Notebook A Multimedia Monster
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Product Rating8
Editor Rating8

Forget about bringing the Acer 8943G anywhere, this 18.4-incher is designed to replace your desktop and provide you with a great personal home theatre experience anytime.

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The 8943G measures 440 x 295 x 31/43.8 mm and weighs 4.6 kg, making it hard to bring on those long hauls. The brushed metal lid and interior helps minimise fingerprint marks and gives it a classy feel.

In terms of connectivity, the 8943G comes with five USB 2.0 ports, a 5-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, and xD), an e-SATA port, an IEEE 1394 port, HDMI, IR port, D-Sub port, headphone/speaker/line-out jack, microphone-in jack, line-in jack, Ethernet, and even an RF-in for digital TV cable input.

This notebook is ready for almost anything, thanks to its noteworthy specifications. It has an Intel Core i7-720 processor running at 1.6GHz, uses ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 5850 as its graphics card, comes with 8GB of RAM, and can store up to 1.2TB of data. Also onboard are five built-in speakers and one subwoofer, a Blu-ray drive, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, and 8-cell battery.

Opening the lid reveals an 18.4-inch Full HD LED-backlit LCD screen, a webcamera, a chiclet keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad, and a piano black touchpad that doubles as a media console. The unit also comes with three hotkeys that automatically launch the Acer Backup Manager, Launch Manager (Bluetooth/Wireless toggle), and Arcade Deluxe (for Photo, Video, and Music).

 
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The 8943G comes pre-installed with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, various Acer software (eRecovery, Updater, Backup Manager, Eye Webcam, GameZone, and Arcade Deluxe), Microsoft Office (60-day trial), Microsoft Works, and NTI Backup Now 5, and NTI Media Maker 8.

We ran a couple of Blu-ray movies to check the image and sound quality. Various outdoor shots in 10,000 BC looked crisp and vibrant, while dark scenes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind were well-reproduced. The only problem was that the glossy display is prone to reflection, forcing us to close the lights when watching indoors. The 5.1 speakers did not disappoint and provided rich audio throughout our test. Highs, mids, and lows were well-reproduced and did not break at high volumes.

Pressing the middle button on the touchpad instantly displays a control console for movies and music. The console has seven touch-sensitive icons (Movie, Music, Play/Pause, Stop, Previous, Next, and Mute) for easy audio/video navigation. It even comes with a rotary dial that controls the volume.

Besides being able to play videos and listen to music, the 8943G can also run some of the latest games, multi-task without slowing down, and even record TV shows.

The battery lasted close to two hours on our Blu-ray playback test (maximum brightness and volume). However, it lasted close to four hours when the brightness is set to minimum and only used for surfing the web and/or running office programs.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 8943G is a good desktop replacement. This notebook has powerful specifications, big screen, and can even play the latest games. The only thing that we didn’t like is the very reflective screen and the touchpad that is prone to fingerprints. It is available for $2544.

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