Acer Aspire 2920-302G25Mi £399
5th Jan 2009 | 11:28
A portable and well-equipped laptop, but the styling won't appeal to everyone
Acer's Gemstone design has been around for a couple of years now, with laptops featuring a distinctive glossy black and beige finish.
The Acer Aspire 2920-302G25Mi (£399 inc. VAT) is the smallest machine you can buy with this design and features a 12.1-inch screen.
Although colours on the display are reproduced reasonably accurately, there are some distortions depending on the angle you view the screen at.
We found colours at the bottom of the display featured a slight yellow tint, unless the screen was tilted backwards.
You'll be able to carry out similar tasks to bigger laptops, as it features an Intel GMA X3100 graphics card. It results in moderate performance, capable of editing photographs or light video editing, but you won't be able to play the latest games.
The keyboard is comfortable but flawed. Rather than stretching to the edges, you'll find an inch of space on both sides of the board. As such, some of the keys are compromised in size, making it easy to hit the wrong one when typing at speed.
The lid on this machine features a 3D effect, with a transparent top coat over a metallic second layer, which makes the Acer logo appear to be floating. It's attractive and hides scratches well.
Open up the lid, however, and most things about the design are certain to divide opinion. We rather liked the distinctive grey/beige finish. Unfortunately, it's quite a bulky chassis. This does give it a robust feel, however.
The components in this machine are mainstream, with a mid-range 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2048MB of memory. We didn't have any trouble running the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system, but it's not the quickest machine.
The 250GB hard drive is also reasonable at this price, having a decent 5400rpm rotational speed.
Networking features are comprehensive, and you'll find an ExpressCard and 5-in-1media card reader, and a multi-format DVD rewriter included as standard. Bluetooth is built-in.
You'll also be able to hook up an external display using S-Video or VGA cables, but the Aspire is starting to show its age through its lack of digital connections.
Overall impressions of the Acer Aspire 2920-302G25Mi are mixed. Build quality is largely good and we also liked the design, but this laptop is let down by the cramped keyboard.
Although there are a good range of features for the price, it's no longer cutting-edge, and the poor screen also let it down.