As mentioned previously we've run our usual set of tests for this notebook, PC Mark 05 and our own 2D benchmarks that are designed to test real-world performance. For comparison I've chosen the Evesham Zieo N500-HD which, despite its ordinary looks, was an impressive performer.
Overall, despite having a slower processor and less dedicated video memory, the 5920 did very well. It matched the Zieo in most departments, performing well in all the 2D tests. The only test which showed a noticeable difference was the Virtual Dub encoding test, where the slower CPU is the major factor.
We haven't run a full set of 3D benchmarks with the 5920 due to time constraints, but real-world testing – i.e. playing some games – showed that the 256MB 8600M-GT was perfectly capable of playable frame rates at native resolution with some effects turned on. It's never going to be a gaming powerhouse, but for casual PC gaming it'll get the job done.
When it reaches retailers in July the 5920 be retailing at a very reasonable £799.99 inc. VAT, with a one year International Travellers Warranty. This isn't as generous as the 3-year warranty that's included in the Zieo's £1,099 inc. VAT price, so you'll probably need to factor a warranty upgrade into the quoted price as well. But, even with that taken into account, it's still a great price for a fantastic notebook that has all the Santa Rosa features and plenty more besides.
Acer's Aspire 5920 hits a great sweet spot between price, design and functionality. It might not be most portable of beasts, but it should serve as a great desktop replacement which can be wheeled around the house for all sorts of functions. The low resolution screen may be a little disappointing, but Acer isn't alone in this and until higher resolutions become the standard it would be unfair to single it out in this regard. Thus, if you're in the market for Santa Rosa notebook, it's well worth waiting for this one to hit retail.
Update: For those looking to buy this, it should be available at the beginning of July.