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Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G - Performance, Battery Life and Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

As the 8943G costs nearly £2,000 you'd expect it to perform extremely well. It does, to an extent, but it's not as if you get significantly more performance for the money. For example, the Toshiba Satellite L650-10G isn't embarrassed in our system performance testing, and it costs a fraction of the price.

Of course, the Acer does have the advantage of a quad-core processor, and if you want to edit HD camcorder footage then this will come in handy. However, evidently the 12GB of RAM doesn't help system performance much and we find it hard to believe any home user would need so much memory. As the Asus G73Jh demonstrates a faster processor or better graphics would be more beneficial, and it's a good £300 cheaper too.

Unsurprisingly, Asus' gaming machine outperforms the Acer in the gaming tests, though the latter still performs reasonably well. TrackMania Nations didn't pose any problems, producing a silky smooth 90.6fps. We upped the resolution to 1,920 x 1,080 and set everything to high and we still got playable frame rates. Likewise in STALKER: Call of Pripyat, which ran at 50.9fps at medium detail, there's enough performance spare to improve graphical quality.

We routinely point out that battery life is fairly unimportant in machines this size, but the Acer still produces good results. In the productivity test it lasted nearly three and a half hours, a DVD at 100 per cent brightness ran for slightly less than two hours. Nonetheless, given the 8943G weighs 4.6kg, such battery life is unlikely to be needed unless there's a power cut!

And unfortunately this gets to the nub of the 8943G's problems. It has many good elements, but taken as a whole it fails to convince. Its unbalanced specification is largely at fault here, but there are several niggling faults that also undermine it. Given the choice we'd sooner recommend something like the Asus G73Jh, or an all-in-one PC that offers similar features at a more competitive price.

Verdict

It has the features and no shortage of design flair, but the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G is ultimately a bittersweet affair. It might make a better case for itself in cheaper configurations, but there are still fundamental issues to iron out.

TheLostSwede

July 15, 2010, 1:14 pm

So you're ripping it on value because it has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in as standard? That seems a little bit mean considering that you would've ever have to bother upgrading it. It's not a machine I'd buy, but judging by the features, it's not really bad value for money.

john g

July 15, 2010, 2:57 pm

I've been thinking about large laptops recently, wondering whether this is the way to go when my existing 15.4" laptop expires. I suspect the combination of a smartphone, netbook and large laptop would have all eventualities covered. Certainly a desktop machine feels too tethering, and a netbook would be great for those out-and-about times, but wouldn't be of much use for some work, such as photo editing. But I'm still waiting for more portable machines to arrive which have wide-gamut screens but are still affordable. It sounds like they're coming, but are still maybe a year or two away.

Jay4d0

July 15, 2010, 5:35 pm

I agree that it's a shame that it doesnt have USB 3 but I squarely believe that it's intels fault for taking so long to add it to their motherboard reference designs

Paul Blakeman

July 15, 2010, 5:36 pm

For two grand this should have an ATI 5870 and the 1.7 GHZ core i7 or maybe even the extreme edition version, The RAM is the largest I have seen for a while but I feel is overkill really.

Chris Hamer

July 17, 2010, 6:42 pm

"1.28GB" i think you will find, you meant to put TB (: good review though (: i think its not the thing i'd buy because you can get so much more power out of a custom built desktop PC and this is virtually non movable anyway.

Ohmz

July 17, 2010, 8:56 pm

"i think its not the thing i'd buy because you can get so much more power out of a custom built desktop PC and this is virtually non movable anyway."





The differnece is, this has a keyboard/mouse and monitor built in. And it folds for transport to protect both.





I'd pick up a DTR over a desktop tower with a monitor and keyboard/mouse any day of the week.

GoldenGuy

July 22, 2010, 4:38 pm

People seem to have written off the ExpressCard slot but the option to add USB3 connectivity, when it's still not widespread is seeing it make a little bit of a comeback which is nice. It's a very useful, flexible port and it's annoying that peripherals for it often exiled to the nether regions of online stores.

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