My five-year-old, 15-inch IBM ThinkPad (predating Lenovo’s buyout of the brand) still works, but it’s long in the tooth and short in battery runtime. While I’ve been eyeing ultraportable netbooks and three-pound notebooks, when it comes down to a candidate to replace my aged ThinkPad — one with a big enough display, good balance between power and battery life, built-in optical drive and affordability — the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T, a 4.9-pound machine with a 14-inch display and a starting price of $750, has me sorely tempted.
The 4820T is one of four models in the TimelineX series Acer introduced in June, ranging from a 3-pound, 11.6-inch flyweight to a 5.5-pound, 15.6-inch desktop alternative. It measures 9.6 by 13.5 by 1 inches.
The model I tested had a 2.26GHz Intel Core i3-350M processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, dual-layer DVD±RW burner, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a six-cell battery.
Many of the features on the 4820T apply to all four TimelineX models; Windows 7 Home Premium, to start with. Ports include HDMI, for doing high definition on external displays; VGA; and Gigabit Ethernet. There’s a 1.3-megapixel webcam and digital microphone, and a multi-gesture (two-finger scroll, pinch, rotate, and flip) touchpad with a scrolling strip at the right. The touchpad can, sensibly, be toggled off when you don’t want to do things by accident. Either Dolby Home Theater v3 or Dolby Sound Room audio is standard.
There are actually four versions of the 4820T in Acer’s catalog. If the dual-core, quad-thread Core i3 CPU isn’t macho enough for you, an alternate configuration comes with a Core i5 processor and a 500GB hard drive, while corresponding 4820TG models replace the Intel processors’ integrated graphics with AMD’s ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 adapter. Configurable options include bumping RAM up to 8GB, a higher-capacity battery, and Bluetooth.
Read the rest at Hardware Central.