Dotted around the speakers are shortcut buttons for various functions. On the far right is a dedicated button for ejecting the DVD drive and to the left are touch controls for toggling wireless radios, launching Acer’s backup solution and its battery life enhancing power management.
We wonder whether these could have been utilised better; how often are you really going to use a dedicated backup button? However, they work well enough and secondary key functions are logically arranged around the keyboard, with the Home, Page Up/Down and End keys dedicated to playback controls and the cursor keys to brightness and volume.
One of the more unusual features of the entire Timeline series (not just the 4810T) is the keyboard, since Acer appears to have created yet another variation on the popular isolation-style keyboard – just without the physical divides between each key. Whatever one calls this it’s definitely a success. Keys have a lovely precise action and the layout is pretty much spot on. Anyone who works on documents a lot will enjoy using the 4810T.
That’s provided you turn the touchpad off first, since Acer is yet another manufacturer to plonk it right in the middle of the machine where it constantly obstructs typing. Much like the HP Pavilion dv3-2055ea, which also suffers this issue, there’s a dedicated button to deactivate the pad, but putting it in the right place to start with would be preferable!
Once you get over this irritation, though, the touchpad is a very good one – it’s just the right size and its buttons are firm and responsive. It also has the added benefit of multi-touch support. It isn’t quite as elegant as Apple’s MacBook implementation, but it’s a nice addition nonetheless – hopefully Windows 7 will make such features far more useful and enjoyable.
While the inclusion of a multi-touch touchpad is impressive, one area where Acer has saved a few pennies is in the screen. As is the modern trend it’s a 16:9 aspect effort with a 1,366 x 768 native resolution; it’s also LED backlit. For general use it is fine – it’s bright and doesn’t suffer from noticeable backlight bleed. However, viewing angles aren’t the best, colour accuracy can only be described as ‘okay’ and very small text lacks a little sharpness. Few of these issues, apart from the viewing angles, are likely to bother 99 per cent of people, but we’ve seen better.