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Acer Aspire 2920 MainThis is a review of the Acer Aspire 2920 notebook. Got my hands on a brand new Acer Aspire 2920 recently. Bought it and prepped it for a relative, who called one day asking for help in buying a notebook. So, off I went to Subang Parade. Yeah, that’s where I normally go to get my IT supplies. It’s the nearest IT center from my humble abode. Besides, it’s not as crowded as anywhere else.

Around I went surveying the notebooks on display. The Compaqs, HPs, BenQs, etc. As I recently bought a Compaq for another friend, I was thinking of getting another similar one. Then a thought hit me. Perhaps, I should take a look at some 12″ or 13″ models. 14″ and 15″ models would probably be too heavy for a lady to carry around.

Ok, let’s go over the requirements first then

  • weight: not heavy
  • price: Less than RM3000.00
  • OS: Windows XP Professional

Not much of a requirement right. Well, yes it’s not much but the price limit makes it a bit out of reach for a 13″ much less a 12″ notebook. I was in luck, however. I found the Acer Aspire 2920 on display. The shop puts it at RM3199. After some long minutes of negotiation, we agreed on a RM2950 price tag.

Acer System PropertiesHere’s what we got for RM2950

  • Model: Acer Aspire 2920
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Disk: 120GB
  • OS: Windows XP Professional

It’s a pretty good deal, I believe so myself. My only beef with the config is the 1GB RAM. I’d like it better with a 2GB RAM. That would’ve raise the raise the price past the RM3000 limit. Oh well, I don’t think that relative of mine would mind a 1GB configuration, though.

Once I reached home, I ran through the installed system. I updated everything that needs to be updated in the system. Tonnes of updates required. Why couldn’t they include the updates in the installation? They’ve also got the the free edition of AVG installed. Good enough an antivirus for me. It’s also updated.

The system works like a charm. Response time was great. Everything launched in a wink. But then again, the system is still fresh from the oven. Not too many stuff installed, yet. However, if you’re looking for some benchmark numbers here, I’m sorry. I don’t have the tools to do that.

Display wise, it’s simply sharp and crispy. Thanks to the GM965 Express Chipset with integrated 3D graphics. It also comes loaded with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 with up to 356MB of Intel Dynamic Video Memory. Both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 are supported. As I said, at a resolution of 1280×800, the display is simply outstanding.

I didn’t have the chance to really test out the sound system. It comes with a Dolby Home Theatre Virtual Surround Sound speaker. I did, however, ran a Barney test. Barney sounds just fine on the speakers. Here’s what the Acer site says about the sound system:

The Aspire 2920 is part of the world’s first full line of notebooks to feature Dolby® Home Theaterâ„¢ for truly enhanced cinema-style 5.1-channel surround sound directly through the notebook’s front mounted speakers.

Wish I could have had the time to really experience this so called 5.1 channel surround through the front speakers. Really, I find it amazing that it really (the 5.1 channel) can be achieved with just the front speakers. Oh well, some other time perhaps. Need to get my hands on a true Dolby Home Theater capable DVD movie then.

Acer Aspire 2920 KeysBeing a 12.1″ notebook means that keyboard space is limited. As such, the keyboard is pretty much smaller in size than any other notebooks. This is also true with the Acer Aspire 2920. So if you’ve got huge fingers, maybe a 14″ or 15″ models are more to your liking. As for me, I don’t have problems with the size of the keys. They just don’t feel as responsive as they should be. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right. Let me rephrase that. The keys don’t feel good to my fingers and ears as I type on them. Perhaps it just need some getting used to?

Acer Aspire 2920 TouchPadThe touchpad feels a bit different too. When I first tested the touchpad, the scroll area did not respond accordingly. It also had problems when an external keyboard was used. I then discovered that the Touchpad drivers were not included in the installation. After installing the driver, and tweaking some configurations it works like a charm. However, again, my fingers didn’t feel good using them. It’s somewhat not as smooth as the touchpad on my current NX6330.

Acer Aspire 2920 DesignI do like the overall design of the system, though. It’s rounded, black shiny exterior and white greyish interior is simply catchy to my eyes. Perhaps I’m so used to this squared, black colored notebook of mine, that the change in design is so welcoming to my eyes.

The 2920 comes with a 6-cell battery. The battery will hold up to about 3 hours of normal usage. I don’t know if Acer provides other battery configurations. However, I’d say that the 3 hours is sufficient enough to get you through should you need to work without electricity. If you do need batteries with more juice, try asking Acer.

The system also comes with an embedded webcam. I don’t dig webcams. As such, I just made sure that it was functioning as expected. There are 3 USB2 ports. Good enough for a small notebook. Need more? Go get a USB hub. No firewire though. This don’t bother me as I don’t own any firewire devices.

All in all, the Acer Aspire 2920 is a pretty good buy. I’d recommend it to those looking for a sub RM3000 (after bargaining) ultra-portable notebooks.