As with any Ferrari, what’s going on under the bonnet is just as important as the way it looks on the outside, and Acer definitely hasn’t cut any corners. If the last Ferrari notebook was a 360 Modena, this one is definitely an F430 – an improvement in every way, despite the previous model being far from disappointing. OK so the engine inside this F4000 may not be quite as intoxicating as the 4.3lt V8 in the F430, but the 1.8GHz AMD Turion ML-34 is pretty damn fast.
Now, the first time we looked at a Turion machine – coincidentally also from Acer – we were far from impressed. The performance was lacklustre and the battery life was poor. However, this time around, Acer and AMD seem to have got everything right. The Ferrari 4000 performed brilliantly both in application benchmarks and battery life testing, showing that the Turion is now living up to its promise.
The Turion CPU is backed up by a generous 1GB of RAM, so you’ll have no problem running multiple heavy duty apps on this baby. But the great spec doesn’t end there. Storage is amply catered for with a 100GB hard disk that’s been thoughtfully split into two partitions. As already mentioned, you’ve got both integrated Bluetooth and a Broadcom 802.11g WiFi adapter. There’s even a Gigabit Ethernet controller, so you can get lightning fast LAN performance if you’ve got a suitably equipped switch in your home or office.
If you fancy a bit of downtime, the ATI Mobility Radeon X700 chipset should be able to cater for your needs. You won’t be playing anything at the native screen resolution, but if you’re sensible with your settings you’ll get a decent enough frame rate from most games.
The chassis is jam packed with pretty much every feature you could want. On the right hand side is a slot loading DVD writer. Why doesn’t every notebook ship with a slot loading drive? It’s a real pain trying to eject a drive tray when you’ve got a notebook balanced on your lap, or even on a tray table on a plane, but with a slot loading drive the procedure is simple and there’s no drive tray to damage. Not only is the slot loading method a welcome sight, the drive itself is also a good one. This is a Super-Multi Panasonic DVD burner that will happily write to DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW DVD+R DL and DVD-RAM discs, while also supporting CD-R and CD-RW media. Next to the optical drive are three USB 2.0 ports, all with enough space around them for full population.