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Acer Aspire 5920 - Acer Aspire 5920
With or without an HD DVD drive, having Dolby Home Theatre certification makes the 5920 a compelling solution as a mobile Media Center and household notebook. Draft N wireless and Gigabit Ethernet provide HD streaming options, and there's even a seven pin S-Video Out for analogue component TV output along D-Sub for external monitor support.
This is a great selection of video outputs, and in general the 5920 is well catered for in this area. There are four USB ports, one on the right edge and three on the left while on the front you'll find Line-In, Microphone and a combined S/PDIF, Headphone and Line-Out jack. Also located on the front is a 5-in-1 Card Reader, an infrared receiver for a Media Center remote and a handy analogue volume control wheel. A mini-Firewire can be found on the left along with an Express Card slot, Modem and Ethernet ports and all the aforementioned video and USB connections.
Our sample came with an 8-cell battery which, combined with the sizable 364 x 270.2 x 30.8/43.7 chassis, brings the total weight of the notebook to 3.17kg – just over the advertised 3.0kg. Since there are options for 8-cell or 6-cell batteries on the 5920, I'm willing to bet that the official figure is with a 6-cell battery, and as such if you're interested in buying it's worth checking which battery you're getting.
Either way in physical terms the 5920 is no Olympic athlete, but it's not so big that it can't be carried around the house from room to room, which is what it's clearly intended for. For mobile use you'll certainly want something a little more svelte, such as the forthcoming Sony TZ.
As it is the 8-cell version, the battery provides impressive performance, no doubt thanks in part to the new power saving initiatives instigated as part of the Santa Rosa platform – more on which can be found in Riyad's Santa Rosa feature.
For general usage Acer quote a 3.5 hour battery life using the 8-cell battery, and in my experience this figure is accurate. Indeed, if restricted to basic word processing tasks one can get a little more than the quote figure. Crucially, there was no problem with watching a two hour film on battery with screen brightness at full. On a full charge there was even an hour or so battery life still remaining, so there's plenty of tolerance for longer feature films or a mini Lost marathon.