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Acer aims to offer users with a multimedia notebook that offers portability, simplicity, and style. The Acer Aspire 2920 is a 12.1-inch notebook that has good specifications and suite of functions and features to keep you entertained, but may not cater to everyone because of its ‘physical’ problems.


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The Acer 2920 cannot be considered as an ultraportable PC since it weighs 1.95kg. It is not thin either, as it is 42mm thick. However, we have found its overall construction to be solid, making it resilient to a few knocks and hits. The exterior lid of the Aspire sports a ‘holographic 3D’ design that gives off a classy look. Unfortunately, Acer was unable to continue its classy design on the notebook’s interior, with the inside looking tacky as ever since it sports a grey plastic finish.

Acer has provided the normal suite of connectivity ports on its 2920. An ExpressCard/54, two USB ports, S-Video, VGA out, and charging port is found on the left side of the unit, while an Ethernet port, RJ-11 Modem port, USB port, DVD drive, and 4-in-1 card reader can be found on its right. Users can also find the multimedia speakers, headphone jack, microphone jack, and a volume dial up front, making it easy for users to adjust the volume.

 


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The 2920 sports a 12.1-inch display that has a native resolution of 1280 x 800. The keyboard is cramped and may pose a problem for people with large hands and fingers. The touchpad is generally responsive, although there were times when we had to click twice since our left/right clicks failed to register. Five buttons located at the foot of the screen offer quick access to functions like Bluetooth, e-mail, web browser, wireless on/off, and Acer’s Arcade Deluxe console. The ‘e’ button, also found at the foot of the screen, launches Acer’s empowering widgets, which helps in optimising your computer. Three of the buttons (‘e’, e-mail, and internet) can be configured, allowing a user to customise the buttons to their own personal preference.

The Aspire 2920 is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 clocked at 2.0GHz and paired to an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (up to 358MB), making it ready for light gaming or office applications. The 2GB of RAM is sufficient enough for simple programs but can be upgraded to 4GB should it be slow in memory-hungry applications. Acer has provided a 250GB drive (divided into two partitions), giving users the chance to store quite a number of music, video, and photo files.

Hardware aside, Acer has installed a suite of proprietary software programs to make things easier. The Acer Arcade Deluxe is a program that allows a user to burn files to a DVD, play media files from your home media server, play movies, edit home videos automatically, and capture videos from camcorders directly. The Acer Crystal Eye program utilises the VGA camera located on top of the screen to take photos. Meanwhile, Acer’s GameZone Online connects you to the Acer GameZone website where you can purchase flash based games (like Luxor, Zuma Deluxe) for a fee.

 


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The Acer Empowering Technology software consists of programs like audio management, data security management, locking management, net management, power management, presentation management, recovery management, and settings management, giving users easy access to file protection and troubleshooting programs anytime. Finally, Acer’s GridVista program divides your screen, allowing you to look at two or more programs all at once.

The Aspire 2920 was able to provide us with a good movie-viewing experience, thanks to its bright screen and loud speaker output. Battery life was stellar, lasting 132 minutes during our DVD playback test and would take the same amount of time (150 minutes) to be fully charged.

Conclusion:

There is nothing physically appealing about the Acer Aspire 2920: it is heavy considering the fact that it touts itself as an ‘ultra portable’ notebook, it has a normal set of connectivity ports, and sports a shabby grey interior that makes it look cheap and flimsy. However, it does have great multimedia functions, long battery life, provides users with various troubleshooting programs for easy computing, and comes at an attractive price point of $1799.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

 Product Specifications:

Processor and Chipset: Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7300 / Mobile Intel GM965 Express Chipset
Operating System: Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
LCD: 12.1″ WXGA Wide Screen CrystalBrite (1200 x 800)
Grpahics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 up to 358MB
Memory: 2GB DDR2 667MHz (2x 1GB) expandable to 4GB
Storage: 250GB SATA hard disk drive (5400rpm)
Storage bays: DVD-Super Multi drive (Dual Layer)

I/O interfaces:
1 x ExpressCard/54 slot
1 x 5-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD)
3 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x External display (VGA) port
1 x S-video/TV-out (NTSC/PAL) port
1 x Headphone/speaker/line-out jack
1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Ethernet (RJ-45) port
1 x Modem (RJ-11) port
1 x DC-in jack for AC adapter

Software and Utilities:
Acer Empowering Technology (Acer eNet, ePower, eAudio, ePresentation, eDataSecurity, eLock, eRecovery, eSettings Management), Acer Arcade featuring Cinema, Video, Music, Album, Acer HomeMedia, Acer Arcade Deluxe featuring DV Wizard, VideoMagician, DVDivine, Acer HomeMedia, Acer Crystal Eye, Acer GridVista, Acer GameZone, Acer Launch Manager, Acer Video Conference Manager, Adobe Reader, CyberLink PowerProducer, Norton Internet Security, NTI CD Maker, Microsoft Works 8.5 with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial

Battery Life: Up to 4.5-hour battery life with 6-cell battery
Weight: 1.95kg
Dimensions: 304 x 223 x 32/42 mm

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Acer Aspire 2920 | $1799 |  | www.acer.com.au

For: Various multimedia and troubleshooting programs; Clear 12.1-inch screen; Speaker output; Battery life
Against: Heavy for a 12.1-incher; Tacky interior; Will have a hard time playing latest games
Conclusion: A great notebook so long as you can get over its physical problems.

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