Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830T notebook review

Business laptop with sleek looks and energy efficiency
Photo of Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830T notebook
£589.99

Acer’s Aspire TimelineX series is designed for business, making the most of Intel’s new second-generation Sandy Bridge processors to offer up to eight hours worth of battery life. In keeing with the rest of the range, the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830T is suitably stylish and slim (at just 24mm) to impress your colleagues without being flashy.

Building on the range’s core essentials, the 5830T is a 15.6in widescreen notebook with an ultra-cool cobalt blue aluminium chassis that feels reassuringly solid. The same colour is replicated inside, on the work surface below the keyboard – including the relatively small but satisfyingly responsive touch-pad and mouse buttons.

Firm keyboard
The keyboard itself is set in silver, and is of the chiclet style that manages to include a full number pad alongside the regular QWERTY layout, although the tilde (~) and backslash () keys are unnecessarily rammed up against their neighbours. We’ve commented before that  exceptionally large right Shift keys can cause the cursor arrows to be shrunk to tiny sizes, and this is a problem here, too. That said, the keyboard’s firm and positive action allows comfortable and rapid typing. Just above the keyboard at top right is a handy programmable Launch Manager button.

The CineCrystal LED backlit screen is highly reflective, so may not suit those who need to work in brightly lit situations. It offers the standard native resolution of 1366×768, which provides enough desktop room for typical multitasking.

As you’d expect for a business model, you have four USB ports (one of which is a high-speed USB 3.0), a 1.3M HD WebCam, VGA and HDMI out, Ethernet, twin audio jacks and a DVD player. At the front edge you’ll find a discreetly placed multi-format memory card reader.

Core specification
Powering the machine is an Intel Core i3-2310M CPU clocked at 2.10GHz with 6GB RAM. A more expensive a version of the 5830T is available that uses NVIDIA GeForce graphics, but the basic version which we inspected used a simple integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 chipset, which still allowed low-intensity action games to look good with virtually no lag.

The installed Dolby Home Theatre system provides decent sound quality (especially with headphones), and HD YouTube videos reveal an impressive amount of detail.

Power-saving
The significant improvement in the new TimelineX over previous generations is in power usage. A monitoring system lets you decide when to stop powering devices via USB, the optical drive has a power-saving mode, and battery life has been further extended towards ten hours. We can’t help thinking that’s a little optimistic, though – at maximum throttle we managed about 2 hours 50 minutes. Even the charging life cycle of the battery has been boosted to three times the normal average, so you should be able to squeeze four years use out of it.

Company: Acer

Website: http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/

Contact: Acer on 0870 900 2237

Positives
  • Improved energy efficiency.
Negative
  • Average graphics.

Verdict

Acer have made a conscious effort to inject a little more style, improved performance and energy efficiency in its revamped Aspire TimelineX series and its top of the range 5830T is a cool looking workhorse that holds its own in a crowded market place.