But there’s one very important issue to consider when judging the performance of the Ferrari 4000 – just like with the TravelMate 4401LMi that we reviewed recently, the Ferrari 4000 that Acer supplied me doesn’t conform to the actually retail specification. Although, whereas the TravelMate 4401LMi had a CPU that was faster than the production unit, this Ferrari 4000 has a slower processor than the one you’ll see in the retail products. You’ve seen that the 1.8GHz ML34 Turion is a very fast mobile CPU, so you should expect even better performance from the 2GHz ML37 chip that ships in the production notebooks. Of course it’s still annoying not to have benchmarked the actual machine that’s available to buy, but I’m fairly happy knowing that customers will get more for their money when they buy.
As far as weight and dimensions go, the Ferrari 4000 is pretty much identical to the TravelMate 8104WLMi. You’re looking at 363 x 265 x 34mm (WxDxH), with a weight of just over 2.8kg. So, it’s not the smallest or lightest notebook around, but it’s still ok for carrying around with you all day – something that I’ve done with it on many occasions.
As always, despite specification and performance, price is a major consideration for any product. It seems like Acer is continuing its quest to drive the cost of high-performance notebooks down and you can pick up the Ferrari 4000 with a 2GHz Turion and Windows XP Pro for only £1,289 including VAT. You even get a copy of Microsoft Works Suite thrown in for free from www.acernotebooks.co.uk, and a Bluetooth Ferrari mouse of course.
With a strong feature set, admirable performance and a stunning price, it’s pretty much impossible not to recommend the Ferrari 4000. If you’re not put off by the Ferrari branding, there’s little to fault Acer’s latest Grand Prix special.
Acer has put AMD’s Turion to good use this time, showing that it can match up to the Pentium M in pretty much every respect. The Ferrari 4000 really does look great and represents a huge step forward from the 3200 model that we looked at before. Feature wise you’d be hard pushed to find anything missing, while the price is quite staggering considering the spec. Overall a superb notebook, even if it’s not quite the retail specification.