Acer Aspire 3935
The Acer Aspire 3935 is 32x23x2.5cm and weights a modest 1.87kilos. Apart from the dark chocolate lid and keyboard surround the rest of the unit is the more normal black.
The left side has power input, VGA output, two USB ports and 3.5mm microphone and earbud sockets. The front is clear as the edge is feathered up to just a centimetre. The right side has the slot mounted DVD multi drive one further USB port a small Firewire port and the all important Ethernet port. The back is also clear as the battery bulges slightly and the screen curls over it to leave the maximum open area of the keyboard.
Hence the impossible figure measured from front to back of 23cm and the full 32cm width. There is 4cm clear behind the keyboard and 7.5cm clear in front of it, given that the keyboard takes 11.5cm of depth the figures add up. There is a small 1cm clearance each side of the keyboard.
The 86 key keyboard has full sized alpha and numeric keys and they are a little unusual being perfectly straight edged with .3cm clear between ideal for those like me who do not always hit keys fully in the centre. The area behind the keyboard has two buttons only the ‘on’ button on the left side and ‘Power Smart Settings’ on the right side. The rest of the area is taken by the excellent Dolby Home Theatre virtual surround sound speakers. There are eight LED’s built into the front edge of this area and they all have small icons to identify them.
Anyone who has opened a new notebook knows there is always a certain amount of time before they can do anything and here this was only 20 minutes before you have a desktop where you can do anything meaningful. Bootups after this were 45 seconds and shutdowns a very respectable 12 seconds. Once I had done all the McAfee updates this increased slightly to 50 seconds bootup and 15 seconds shutdown still quite acceptable.
The battery life is advertised as up to five hours, I never got near this. Using the button behind the keyboard to active ‘Power Smart Settings’ I got a tad under four hours of use when I was using Word or playing games. This was using what is called ‘balanced’ the other choices are ‘Power Saver’ and ‘High Performance’ To give some indication Power Options has three blobs beside battery life and three beside performance in this default setting. For Power saver it is six blobs beside battery life and two beside performance, while high performance has six blobs by performance and two blobs by battery life. I tried power save but my eyes did not like the brightness and contrast settings. Playing a DVD lasting 105 minutes left 33% from a full charged battery. Another of two hours left around 15% again from fully charged.
Software seems to be Vista Home Premium, a 60 day trial of Microsoft Office and McAfee Security as well as a raft of Acer applets and utilities.
The overall performance indicator was 3.8. Processor was 5.4, Memory was 5.9, Graphics 4.1, Gaming Graphics 3.8 and Hard Disk 5.9.
This is a Dual Core Intel system with 4GB of memory and Intel dual core P8700 2.53GHz processors a 109GB Hard disc. This I assume is a special review specification as the nearest I can find is on the first link below the highlighted items are different.
Unless the turning down of the brightness/contrast makes a huge difference I cannot see how you can get ten hours from this battery, so I assume it must be a different battery. Four hours in normal use is quite nice and the metal surround to the keyboard has a nice feel, the lid is also metal, you also get a fingerprint scanner between the buttons on the trackpad and of course there is a built in webcam in the lid above the screen.
A nice unit the closest spec I could find is the one below with less memory and a slightly slower processor but it does have a lot larger hard disc, available from the link below for £899.99 including free delivery.
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