In terms design nothing much has changed since the inception of the Gemstone Blue line. There’s the rather fetching dark blue and black ‘gemstone’ lid, while inside the body is finished in combination of glossy black plastic, matte plastic covering the speakers and a soft-touch textured palm rest and touchpad area.
In fact this is subject to the only real change because whereas the first generation of this line had light grey palm rests, the 6935G has a darker more metallic looking finish. It’s only a small change but it instantly lends the machine a more attractive and cohesive appearance compared to the slightly jarring mixture of previous models.
Inset into this palm rest is the touchpad. A dip signifies the extremities, while a slightly elevated vertical line cordons off the vertical scroll zone. We found the touchpad particularly nice to use thanks to the soft-touch finish and dimpled texture and the buttons below it produced no complaints. Like a few consumer notebooks of late there’s a fingerprint reader wedged between the two buttons, too.
No complaints can be made of connectivity, either, since the 6935G features more or less everything you’d demand from a desktop replacement and entertainment PC. There’s an HDMI output, an S/PDIF capable audio output, an infrared sensor for the included remote and a combined USB/e-SATA port among four USB ports in total. Another nice touch is the lock slot that’s integrated into the hinge section of the machine, something that also houses a sub-woofer (aka Acer Tube CineBass) and an air intake.
Being an entertainment machine it should come as no surprise to discover the 6935G makes a feature of its audio. Unlike the larger 8920G it only features two, rather than four, drivers along with the sub-woofer, but they still manage to produce a mildly convincing soundscape and no discernable distortion at high volumes, thanks in no small part to Dolby’s virtual surround technology – something you still benefit from if you plug your own speakers in. As is our habit, we must also mention the benefits of Dolby Headphone; it never fails to improve our experience of film watching with even an average set of headphones.
Continuing the cinematic emphasis is the 16:9 aspect screen. At 1,368 x 768 it’s not Full HD, but arguably you wouldn’t see the benefit of 1080p at this size and this effort is plenty sharp enough to enjoy a Blu-ray film, or a DVD, with good clarity. Colour fidelity is pretty good, too, though viewing angles are a little shallower than we’d ideally desire. This is less of a problem with a more personal machine like the 6935G – 16in being little more than 15.4in when you think about it – but as witnessed on the Toshiba Qosmio G50-115, it is a problem if more than two or three people want to view the same screen at the same time.