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Acer Aspire Timeline 5810T-354G32Mn - Acer Aspire Timeline 5810T-354G32Mn

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Naturally, one of the highlights of the Timeline series is its use of Intel's Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (CULV) processors. At the heart of the 5810T-354G32Mn beats a Core 2 Solo U3500 CPU running at a relatively pedestrian 1.4GHz. Though this single-core part is far faster than a higher-clocked Atom and will run 720p content with consummate ease, not only did efficiently-encoded Full HD content leave it struggling in our tests, but even HD YouTube posed a challenge. This is something that the dual-core version would alleviate and which a more powerful GPU with HD-video decoding (using compatible software) would solve altogether. Of course, you can get a dual-core version of this Timeline - if you're prepared to dole out the £170 premium that demands.

As you might have guessed from the above, the graphics side of the 5810T is fairly weak too, with Intel's good old integrated GMA 4500MHD returning an utterly unplayable 4.34fps in TrackMania Nations Forever on medium detail at the screen's native resolution. However, while they're no great performers, it's worth keeping in mind that Intel's integrated graphics solutions are very frugal on the battery.

There's also nothing weak about the rest of this Timeline's specifications. Starting off with 4GB of RAM despite only coming with a 32-bit version of Windows Vista Premium, the 5810T continues on with a very generous 500GB hard drive, the highest capacity you'll find on a notebook until 640GB drives begin to hit the market. Nor has Acer skimped on wireless connectivity, with Draft-N and Bluetooth 2.0 plus EDR rounding things out nicely.

As you can see in our PCMark Vantage results, the 5810T-354G32Mn performed slightly better than the 4810T-353 despite sharing the exact-same CPU and chipset. This slight hike can be attributed to the different hard drive used, but keep in mind that in real-world use the performance-difference is negligible.

Last but hardly least we come to the machine's battery life. This is almost the same as the 4810T-353 (despite the extra screen acreage) thanks to its high capacity 5,800mAh (63 Watt-hour) battery. Both machines give an excellent result of over six and-a-half hours in the non-intensive Reader test with Wi-Fi turned off and screen brightness at a very usable 40 per cent, and since the screen is still perfectly legible at minimum brightness you can easily get even longer out of it.

Best of all, at a very reasonable £599 the 5810T is just as affordable as the other Aspire Timelines. However, the question remains if a slightly underpowered system with excellent battery life makes sense at this size. In terms of chassis, the only advantages you get are the full number pad, an extra USB port and arguably the bigger screen. Just on the basis of these we'd recommend going for the smaller and lighter (1.9kg versus 2.4kg) 4810T-353 despite its smaller hard drive.

If you're looking for something of an all-rounder, the 5810T isn't quite that easy to recommend either, since the likes of Samsung's R522 offer more for less in everything but battery life. The R522 features a regular Core 2 Duo which can handle Full HD and more strenuous multitasking, and connectivity is also improved with the addition of eSATA. However, if you must have the bigger form factor and demand the best battery life, Acer's largest Timeline is still worth considering.

Verdict

Acer once again shows off the potential of Intel's CULV processors with its conservative-looking Aspire Timeline 5810T-354G32Mn. Some of the best battery-life we've seen on a 15.6in laptop joins superb build quality, intelligent design and good ergonomics to form a generally well-specified laptop that is only held back in intensive usage and HD entertainment by its single-core Core 2 Solo CPU. It's still a decent laptop, but if true portability is what you're after, you're better off with the 14in or 13.3in models in the Timeline range.

manoz

July 2, 2009, 7:57 am

Will you review the 3810T? That's my max form factor.

Tim Rice

July 2, 2009, 10:51 am

Having recently been in the market for a smart but inexpensive laptop, the Timeline series really caught my eye. My impressions were mainly positive, but I eventually decided against all three because they all struggle with Vista in 'normal' spec, and:





3810T - lacked internal optical drive, which I think is a problem


4810T - the best of the range, but I wanted a 13" form factor


5810T - why bother getting this over the 4810T? For the number pad??





In case anyone cares, I went for an HP DV3, which matches 13" form factor with good spec, good value & an internal optical drive. It lacks the battery life of the Timeline series, however which is a real fillip of this range.

Daniel Gerson

July 3, 2009, 12:21 am

Page 1: Surely you mean "Were it not for this keyboard and the NON reflective screen". Otherwise how does it make sense to not require the care of a glossy screen? Am I missing something?

TechVegan

July 3, 2009, 2:38 pm

@DMG:


No, the screen IS reflective. Hence about the screen on Page 2: "Once you get past the reflections which mar the experience in bright ambient lighting".


Maybe you're getting confused with the matte screen-bezel? Unless I'm missing something :)

phred

July 4, 2009, 3:07 am

price should be given in u.s. dollars as well as pounds,for those who don't know the exchange rate.

Ian Piper

October 5, 2009, 3:03 pm

What a load of rubbish. Broadband connection keeps dropping, programs take ages to respond. Wish I hadn't bothered

jimmy

December 5, 2009, 8:20 pm

Hey i have used that and it is really good for the normal use. even the battery life is fine it works till 7 to 8 hour. you must try this lappy and i am sure you will fill great. you can find a great article at http://www.techarena.in/review... that really impress you.

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