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For testing the 6292 was put through the usual set of benchmarks, including PC Mark 05 and our own Photoshop and Virtual Dub rendering tests. For purposes of comparison the Dell Latitude D630 was used, another corporate notebook which walked away Recommended Award earlier this month. It shared a very similar configuration, and performance ought to be very comparable.
This proved to be the case. PC Mark results were more or less the same, with some variance that's barely worth mentioning. In our in-house tests the results were similarly close, with the 6292 being a matter of seconds slower than the D630 in Photoshop tests and almost identical in the Virtual Dub test.
By ways of a more general observation, the combination of the Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 and 2GB RAM under Vista seems a good one. A lot of recent notebooks have come with this configuration, and this is a typically competent specification that deals with the higher overheads of Vista perfectly well. Alternatively, Acer is also selling a different configuration, the 6292-101G16N, which features a 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 instead of the 2.0GHz T7300. It's also worth noting that, although our sample came with Vista Business, Acer has since begun shipping these with XP Professional instead. A reaction to the (un)popularity of Vista? Quite possibly.
Battery life was tested subjectively, using the notebook for basic word processing and Internet browsing on the Balanced performance profile, with full display brightness and wireless enabled. A result of two hours and 50 minutes was good, though not as good as another 12.1 notebook, the Samsung Q45, which managed three hours and 20 minutes under similar conditions. As ever there's an option for a larger 9-cell battery, and this would certainly extend the battery life closer to five hours.
Overall, the TravelMate 6292 is very typical of Acer notebooks. It's well specified and competitively priced and this immediately makes it an attractive option. But, on this occasion, Acer hasn't quite delivered on every front. For a 12in notebook it's definitely a few hundred grams too heavy, while some of the design features such as the thick bezel, average keyboard and the display could be improved upon. Despite these reservations though, this is still a very capable notebook and is well worth considering if you'd take performance in lieu of weight and portability.
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