Ever since Apple's MacBook Air arrived on the scene there's been a pre-occupation with the thinness of laptops. As Apple proved, or dictated, thin and light generally (though not always) translates into under-featured and overpriced. However, as the newfound dominance of the netbook has shown, in these financially-troubled times people simply can't afford to pay as much for the privilege of portability.
Enter Acer's Timeline series. Comprising three laptops, the 13.3in Aspire 3810, 14in Aspire 4810 and 15.6in Aspire 5810, as well as a netbook, it aims to bridge the gap between design, portability and value. Today we're looking at the middle-of-the-pack 4810T, which unlike its smaller 13.3in sibling features an integrated optical drive while still maintaining a very portable weight of only 2kg.
This relatively low weight combines with an incredible thinness (a mere 29mm at its thickest), an affordable £749 price-tag and an incredible claimed battery life of over eight hours (largely courtesy of Intel's ultra-low voltage (ULV) SU9400 Core 2 Duo processor) to make this one very desirable machine. But it's not just the hard and cold technical details that make the Timelines so interesting, as Acer has paired these with a completely new design.
As far as looks go, the 4810T is stylish in an understated kind of way. In fact, if we didn't know better we'd say this slim notebook was aimed at business users rather than consumers. This is partially through the colour scheme employed, which consists of gunmetal grey and various shades of black, and partially due to the refreshing lack of embellishments, patterns or coloured lights.
Opinions in the office were divided, with some calling the Aspire 4810T boring or at best conservative, but for many these attributes will make it a welcome change from the overly flashy efforts of some manufacturers - Acer included. And it's not just about looks either, since the metal-topped lid (which is a mere 6mm thick) also increases durability and helps to keep the weight down.