Acer TimelineX Ultra-Portable is What a Laptop is Meant to Be

Acer is refreshing many of its laptops with new Intel Core processors. The 11.6-inch ultra-portable model of the TimelineX line is precisely the kind of laptop that more users should embrace, though, rather than some of the behemoth notebooks on the market.

According to the Acer press release on the laptop refresh, "The new Aspire TimelineX 1830T-68U118 combines maximum performance with ultra-portability along with battery life of up to eight hours. Powered by an Intel Core i7 680UM processor with Intel Turbo Boost technology, the notebook delivers speed and processing capabilities typically not available in such a compact device."

The TimelineX 1830T-68U118 is lightweight, weighing in at just over three pounds. The Core i7 680UM delivers a dual core 1.46Ghz processor with superior energy efficiency compared to the current line of TimelineX laptops.

With a suggested price tag of $900, the TimelineX 1830T-68U118 comes equipped with integrated Bluetooth, 4Gb of DDR3 dual-channel memory, a 500Gb hard drive, and an 11.6-inch LED backlit HD display. Not too shabby for a notebook with a form factor about the size of a sheet of paper and only about an inch thick. The compact TimelineX is ideal for carrying in book bags, backpacks, or travel carry-ons.

That brings us to why it is such an ideal computer for business users. A laptop with an 18 or 20 inch display is more like a luggable desktop than a portable laptop. While heftier laptops typically boast more desktop-like performance, they still fall short of what most desktops are capable of.

When it comes to traveling and mobile computing, though, they can be miserable and don't really meet the objective of having a portable computer to begin with. These larger laptops can be double the weight, footprint, and thickness of an ultra-portable like the TimelineX 1830T-68U118, making them a burden to lug about, and cumbersome to use in close quarters like coffee shops or economy class airline seats.

While a user is in an office, sitting at a desk, the ultra-portable can be treated just as if it were a desktop PC. It can be tucked away under the desk and connected to a large monitor, a standard keyboard, and a wireless mouse. Peripherals like external USB hard drives, printers, and scanners can all be connected to it as well--delivering essentially the same experience that a user would expect with a desktop PC.

But, when the time comes to travel, the purpose of having a laptop at all is to be able to make that computing experience mobile. A compact laptop that delivers the power and performance of that desktop experience, but in a compact, three pound frame capable of eight hours of battery life is exactly what a laptop is meant to be.

Now, if Acer could just do something about finding a catchier name. Acer TimelineX seems fine, but when you have to add the 1830T-68U118 it loses some luster.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Related:
Shop Tech Products at Amazon