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Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T - 14in Laptop - Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T
Having dealt in some detail with the design of the 4810T, it's about time we get onto what powers it. As already mentioned, the cast is led by an SU9400 ULV Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which has a thermal envelope of a mere 10W. Its clock-speed of 1.4GHz might seem slow, but it's a necessary sacrifice to ensure the 4810T's portability.
Moreover, in our PCMark Vantage results the 1.4GHz SU9400 does quite well against the 2.26GHz P8400 Core 2 Duo found on Samsung's contender for the 14in light-and-thin throne, the 1.9kg X460 we looked at last year. More surprising is how much it outperforms the 1.2GHz SU9300-equipped Sony VAIO VGN-T11WN - a machine that costs twice as much as the Acer (in fairness, the Sony TT is on another level when it comes to portability).
Basically, what the CPU performance comes down to is that while no speed demon, the 4810T should be perfectly happy running your daily productivity needs. Its CPU is backed by 3GB of DDR3 RAM, which is the maximum the included Windows Vista Premium 32-bit OS can handle anyway, as well as fairly generous 320GB hard drive. Further specifications include Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR.
Graphics come courtesy of Intel's integrated GMA chip based on the Series 4 chipset. While this is undeniably underpowered when it comes to 3D graphics, scoring a measly 6.17 frames per second in TrackMania Nations Forever on medium detail at the screen's native 1,366 x 768 resolution, it's one of the most efficient graphics systems when it comes to battery life and can handle everyday tasks with ease. This system did struggle a little with Full HD .mov files, but less intensive codecs shouldn't pose a problem and 720p content (the most likely source given the screen resolution) posed no such issues.
Another slight let down on the entertainment side are the 4810T's speakers, which live up to their tiny dimensions by being average at best. Though they don't suffer from distortion like the speakers found on most ultra-thin notebooks, they lack both bass and depth, meaning you're never drawn into music or films. One thing the 4810T and Timeline series does offer, though, is Dolby Sound Room, which should enhance your listening experience if hooked up to a decent set of headphones or speakers.
Like a lot of new laptops right now, the Timeline series feature 16:9 ratio displays - all of which are LED backlit and have a 1,366 x 768 native resolution. In the case of the 4810T, its display is solid, if a tad underwhelming. Its reflective glossy coating doesn't help matters, though this seems a pre-requisite with any consumer orientated machine. More off-putting are the viewing angles, which aren't the best, and whose severe contrast shift means greyscale performance isn't very consistent.
However, for a portable machine - particularly one so affordably priced - it's not the end of the world and in most other respects it's just fine. Minimal banding, no sign of backlight bleed, good colour fidelity and sharp text mean it does a fine job for office work and everyday usage, while many potential buyers probably won't even notice its failings.