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An interesting additional feature is the Bluetooth VoIP phone. Acer is well aware that many notebook users, myself included, use VoIP to keep in touch when traveling abroad. The Bluetooth VoIP phone allows you to happily wander around your hotel room while chatting, without the need to be tied to your notebook via a headset. The VoIP phone is the shape of a PC Card, which isn’t surprising considering that it charges when inserted in the PC Card slot. The only downside to the VoIP phone is that it protrudes from the PC Card slot when it’s charging, so you couldn’t really store it in there. That said, this is still a great little feature from Acer.
Of course the big question is how did the TravelMate 8204WLMi perform? Well running SYSmark 2002, the fastest notebook I’d ever seen was a Rock Xtreme! that utilised a desktop Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor. Unsurprisingly the battery life was pretty much non-existent, so much so that MobileMark wouldn’t even run, but it did turn in a staggering overall SYSmark score of 351. It’s therefore all the more amazing that the TravelMate 8204WLMi managed an overall SYSmark score of 352, making it the fastest notebook I’ve ever seen for Windows application work!
Running MobileMark 2005 produced a battery life of 221 minutes, which isn’t amazing, but at over three and a half hours it marks an improvement over the old TravelMate 8104WLMi. The MobileMark performance rating was near identical to the old model at 259 compared to 256.
Although the ATI X1600 chipset isn’t high-end, it’s still a very capable mobile graphics solution. This is borne out by the 3DMark05 score of 4385 at 1,024 x 768. This gives a fair indication that you’ll be able to play games on the TravelMate 8204WLMi, but it also gives you an indication of just how great a notebook using a dual core Yonah chip will be if coupled with a high-end graphics chipset like the nVidia 7800 GTX or the mobile ATI X1800 when it arrives.
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