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After 3 weeks of owning the acer aspire 6920G i can safely say it is the best laptop i have ever used (or even see other people use), the elegant design, uniquely awesome 16" screen and the great price/performance ratio makes for one great laptop.
One of the first things you will notice when you first turn on the laptop is the 'Cinedash' media bar on the left of glossy keyboard. Essentially it is just a funkier version of the standard media hotkeys prevailent on all but the most budget of laptops, but it is a wonder to behold. If nothing else it just makes the whole of the laptop seem just that little bit more stylish, even if it does attract the attention of every friend/family/flatmate/spouse, meaning that for all the faffing with the touch pad volume slide, you can hardly get a chance to use the laptop yourself at first!
Stepping away from the cinedash, you will realise that the rest of the laptop is just as aesthetically pleasig, the textured surface that resides under the keyboard is pleasant to the touch, providing enough friction to serve as a passable palm rest. The blue-hued on button and the wonderful blue lights that project out from the hinges of the laptop also add to the pure swish-style of the laptop (i've even taken to turning off the main lights when im using the laptop, just to see the blue circles cast across the desk). Of course this style may not be for everyone, but if you like blue, this is definitley a look for you.
The Keyboard on the laptop is also decent, with good quality keys to make typing a bit less fingertip strenuous, my only problem was the first hour or
two where i was still adjusting from my centered keyboard on my last laptop to the offset one present on this one, the trackpad is also of good quality, providing good accuracy and is also quite responsive. The mouse buttons have a very soft click, so they aren't as annoying as some of the other loud mouse buttons found on laptops. Hidden in between th mouse buttons is the fingerprint reader, which has so far been very useful in the event of forgetting passwords (it can associate any password you enter, internet or in windows, to your fingerprint if you se desire). The Webcam and microphone are of good quality, don't be put off the 0.3MP resolution of the camera, since it has produced better quality images than many 1MP+ webcams i have previously used.
In terms of connectivity, it is well equipped with all the things you would expect bar a firewire port, with 4 USB ports (3 on the right and 1 on the left) HDMI cable, and expresscard slot, 6 in 1 media card reader and all the other standard connection options.
Onto the performance aspect of this laptop, although it doesn't have the same awe to it as the design, the specs are still excellent for this price range, my particular version is the 'lowest' spec of the mainstream models (retailing at £599.99) which corresponds to:
this will roughly translate to enough power under the hood to run anything a normal laptop user to even a semi-serious gamer (such as me) would ever want to run. All basic programs such as office, photoshop and the ilk run perfectley with minimal loading times and stutter. If you are more interested in the gaming side, you will have the ability to run all but the most hardware punishing games. Call of duty 4 can be comfortably maxed out (including native resolution) for a framerate of around 25-40FPS, and much the same for unreal tournament 3. Crysis doesn't run as well as these, but is still acceptable, with decent (20-35) framerates with 1024*768 and medium-very high settings, which is still very pretty to behold. I will note that currentley GTA4 only runs at around 20FPS on this laptop with medium-ish settings, but it is still playable, considering the xbox 360 ran it at anything from 10-25FPS, and PS3 from 15-60. But apart from that, gaming performance on this laptop has been very good.
One of the most overlooked but easily one of the most useful features of this laptop is how cool it is whilst running intensive programs, meaning that the laptop has never been uncomfortable to use, even when playing crysis! The fan is amazingly efficient and it is coupled with a heat sink on the top part of the laptop (on the hinge just in front and behind the screen when in use) so heat just rises straight out of it. Initially i was concerned by the heat sinks close proximity to the LCD, but overall the screen stays much cooler than the norm for laptops due to the efficient cooling.
Overall, The screen performs well, delivering crisp, sharp images without any noticable ghosting (which was noticable on my last laptop), however it does have a tendancy to develop a dead pixel or two, on my screen i have one semi-dead pixel that displays dark blue instead of black (but still produces all other colours) so is only noticable on a blank screen up close, so hardly a crisis, but for those who really really hate dead pixels, it may be a major annoyance, however acer does have a dead pixel replacement policy if a few should arise. The screen makes watching blu-rays a joy, with great playback provided by the 9500M, meaning you will nary see a stutter (i certainly haven't yet). Also to be commended is the sound, the quality of which is very, very good and is better than most of the smaller seperate 2.1 sound systems avaiable, especially with the bass enhancers from realtek and dolby, so i am hoping that all the other laptop manufacturers will take note.
In terms of portability, a netbook it ain't. Since it's a 16" laptop, and as a result it is heavier than most of the 15.4's, however if you are happy to lug the laptop around, it does have a decent battery life of around 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, depending on what you are doing at the time.
Overall this laptop is a recommended purchase for anyone looking to buy at this price range. With its combination of powerful components, a beautiful design, a Blu-Ray drive, you can't get much better than this for £599.
Warning: once you use this laptop, you will find every other laptop to be both dull looking and weirdly proportioned. Also as a final note, the PC World specs for their product is inaccurate, they have recentley upgraded their stock of 6920's to the specs of my laptop from their published ones (so 70GB HDD more, a T5800 instead of a T5750 and a 9500M GS instead of the HD3650), which makes them the cheapest retailer at the moment. (11/12/08)
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