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Acer Aspire 5920
Armed with a fast processor and solid speakers, the $1999 (as of July 24, 2007) Acer Aspire 5920G is great for both work and entertainment. It bears Acer's tritone "gemstone" case design, which looks stylish without being overly ornate. The screen is prone to some glare and battery life is so-so, but the machine can handle most types of applications.
Driven by a 2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 processor and configured with 2GB of DDR2-667 SDRAM , the 5920G notched a very good WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 77--a few points above the mark achieved by a Dell Inspiron 1720 that carried the same processor and RAM. The Aspire's average frame rate in our graphics tests was 83 frames per second--not close to the average of 100 fps posted by recent gaming notebooks, but capable of supporting good game play nonetheless.
The 5920G lacks the dedicated number pad found on some other desktop replacements, but it offers two sets of customizable buttons. Application launch buttons and a Wi-Fi toggle switch sit on the left side of the keyboard; media controls occupy the right side.
The media controls include a button for launching Acer's Arcade interface, which provides direct access to HD DVD movie and music playback without your having to boot up Windows. Both sounded great through this notebook's subwoofer-assisted stereo speakers. The 'e' button--a blue sparkly triangular piece of keyboard trim that looks like a faux gemstone--puts sound equalizer options such as rock, pop, and classical within easy reach. This laptop also includes a 1.3-megapixel Webcam. Unfortunately, the option to get an integrated TV tuner for the 5920G is available only in Europe and Asia.
The 5920G felt comfortable to use. The mouse buttons are slightly stiff, but the four-way scroll button for moving pages in any direction is nice. Overall its keyboard is great, especially for shortcut fans. Though the super-glossy Acer CrystalBrite screen reflects fluorescent office lights unless you tilt it just right, it's bright and easy to read otherwise.
This Windows Vista Ultimate home notebook lacks bundled applications, but it has power and style to spare. Short-list this one if you're on the prowl for a trendy home desktop replacement.
Acer Aspire 5920
Sophisticated-looking multimedia unit has oodles of custom keyboard buttons and one-touch sound settings.
- Shortcut-loaded multimedia keyboard
- Subwoofer-supported speakers
- Screen has slight glare problem
- Short battery life
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