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Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ - 11.6in Intel CULV Laptop - Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ
Where small laptops like this are concerned, the keyboard, touchpad and connectivity are all liable to be compromised. Acer has plenty of experience with netbooks, though, where space is at an even greater premium, so an 11.6in chassis ought to pose it few problems.
Starting with the keyboard, it's more or less identical to that of the Acer Ferrari One - something that's true of the chassis as a whole, actually. This is a good thing, since the layout is very sensible and the keys are large and friendly. Key actions are sharp, too, but a tad on the shallow side. This takes a little getting used to at first and is one of the few chinks in the 1810's armoury, but it's one you'll quickly get used to.
Unlike the X120, Acer sticks to the tried and tested 'buttons below the touchpad' arrangement. It does mean the touchpad is smaller, but it's not really a problem. The touchpad area is also subtly delineated by a slight change in texture compared with the finish on the chassis. We like that the buttons are separate, rather than part of a single rocker switch, since the response from them is far more even and reliable.
As for connectivity, it's the usual fare really. Most importantly there's HDMI, providing an easy outlet to a TV and most modern monitors, in addition to the usual VGA. Three USB ports, Ethernet, audio jacks and a memory card slot round things off. It should go without saying there's no integrated optical drive, but that's to be expected given the size and price of the machine. It's just a little disappointing that Acer hasn't added 'sleep and charge' to one of the USB ports; one of the few ways this machine could be improved upon.
And that's it really. But for a slightly shallow keyboard, a little more refinement in the design and the addition of Bluetooth, we'd be looking at a 10/10 product. Even without these, though, the 1810TZ is one of the best laptops we've seen all year and sets a daunting benchmark for competitors to follow. We look forward to their response.
If you're after laptop level performance with netbook levels of battery life, look no further than the 1810TZ. We hope others will follow the example, but in the meantime this is the CULV laptop we'd buy.