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Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG - Performance, Battery Life & Verdict
While there may be some issues surrounding the build quality and graphics switching system on the 4820TG, one thing it does have in abundance is speed. Our model, which has a mooted retail price of £899, goes toe-to-toe with large desktop replacement systems like the Acer Aspire 5942G and the Samsung R780, even outperforming the latter in PCMark Vantage.
This is very impressive, showing that the 4820TG can tackle all the most demanding tasks you're likely to throw at a laptop. Be it HD video editing and encoding or photo editing, it should cope quite comfortably. Given the size and weight of the machine, it shares a similar power-to-weight ratio as the Sony VAIO Z Series, though it doesn't get quite as noisy as it does.
Gaming isn't beyond the 4820TG, either. In both TrackMania Nations and STALKER: Call of Pripyat it performed well, producing results extremely similar to our two comparison systems. This should be enough to play many modern titles, such as COD4: Modern Warfare 2, at reasonable settings, though it doesn't quite classify it as a gaming machine.
While the performance has been quite evenly matched thus far, where the 4820TG stands out is with its battery life - as it ought to, given Acer's claims. In the Productivity segment it lasted a good 320 minutes (5hrs, 20mins), while 195 minutes (3hrs, 15mins) of DVD playback is long enough for even the longest films.
It's a far cry from Acer's claims of eight-hours from the standard six-cell, 6,000mAh battery though, which is disappointing but hardly surprising given the switch from CULV to Core i5 processors. Quite why Acer felt the need to cling onto this unrealistic claim is beyond us, but clung to the claim it has.
Despite delivering performance and battery life to satisfy any demands, the 4820TG is a difficult laptop to recommend outright. Its design lacks refinement and the build quality could be better, while its implementation of graphics switching leaves a lot to be desired. It's a great laptop for a power-user who understands its ins and outs, but regular users may find it frustrating.