Given the generous specification you’d expect the 8920G to perform well and you shouldn’t be disappointed. It managed excellent results in PCMark Vantage, showing it should be able to deal with almost anything you throw at it. Likewise, results in our in-house tests showed it will deal very easily with video encoding and heavy image editing.
As for games, though the nVidia 9650M GS is better than many cards provided on notebooks, it’s no heavy hitter and will struggle if you want to play at the display’s native 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Nonetheless, if you’re happy to turn the resolution down a little bit and restrict yourself to medium settings you should be able enjoy games like Call of Duty 4 with few difficulties.
One surprising element of the 8920G, though, was the battery life. With its high capacity eight-cell battery it managed just over two and half hours in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test. Not bad for a machine this big and noticeably better than the Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31Z we reviewed a little while ago. Even the DVD playback test gave a result of over an hour and a half, not bad at full brightness on a large display.
Overall, the Acer Aspire 8920G is an interesting machine. That it’s the only 16:9 ratio Blu-ray notebook currently on the market gives a definite appeal and if this sounds like the answer to your prayers then it’s worth a dip, though you might consider getting the slightly cheaper but otherwise identical 500GB version or if you need it, one of the TV tuner versions.
There are a few niggles, however, that preclude it from an unqualified recommendation. Design wise it’s not the most attractive or well thought out and the keyboard in particular is very disappointing, denting its desktop replacement credentials somewhat.
Its clunky design and poor keyboard are disappointing, but the Acer Aspire 8920G delivers excellent performance and a very good film watching experience at a reasonable price. If this sounds like a good idea to you then its worth investigating further.