Friday, September 9, 2011

Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8473TG Notebook Review

With the new edition of Travel Mate TimelineX series, of course, also an Acer 14-inch notebook with latest components that are compact, but designed to be equal to its big brother. Read on as we find out if you get a well rounded package for 1000 euro, which measure up to established B2B laptop.

Sturdy, mobile, equipped with the latest hardware features and security. It is the cornerstone for Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8473TG, which differentiates it from portable consumer-oriented Aspire series TimelineX. The target market of this notebook are business users and others who have enough gloss casing components and poor workmanship.

Unlike the already tested the Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8573TG, sporting our test model being the most popular screen size 35.6cm 14 inches with a total weight of 2.4 kg (5.3 lb). A notebook does not automatically mean less performance in those days.

Speaking of performance, in our 2414G50Mnkk-8473TG, we find the heartbeat Intel Core i5-2410M dual core processor, clocked at 2.3 GHz, the middle class with Nvidia GeForce 540M GT GPU with 1GB dedicated DDR3 RAM.

Other highlights include USB 3.0, eSATA, TPM security chip, and a dock connector. At first glance, we lack an integrated UMTS module to complete the picture of a model of less than 1000 euros, but will be available for a supplement to a variation of this unit.

Specifications Acer TravelMate 8473TG-2414G50Mnkk :
  • Processor : Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, DDR3, 1333 MHz, Hyundai Electronics (Hynix), 2 banks, maximum 8 GB
  • Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M - 1024 MB, Core: 672 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Nvidia GeForce GT 540M,
  • Display : 14.0 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO313C, LED, Diagonal: 35,6 cm (14.0"), ComfyView, matte, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : WDC WD5000BPVT-22HXZT1, 500GB 5400rpm Scorpio Blue, 500 GB 5400 RPM
  • Soundcard : Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 3 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Line-out / headphone, line-in/microphone, Card Reader: SD, MMC, xD, MS, MS PRO, 1 Fingerprint Reader, RJ-45 connector, Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
  • Networking : Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom 802.11n (abgn), 3.0 +HS Bluetooth, Broadcom 802.11n (abgn), 3.0 +HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ8A2AS
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 32.4 x 343 x 248
  • Weight : 2.388 kg Power Supply: 0.337 kg
  • Battery : 66 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells, 6000 mAh, 11.1 Volts
  • Price : 963 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 1.3 Megapixel, Notebook, 6 cell battery, 90 Watt powersupply, cleaning cloth, documentation, Adobe Reader 9, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Windows Live Essentials, Corel WinDVD, McAfee Internet Security Suite (Test version), newsXpresso, Norton Online Backup, NTI Media Marker 9, Software von Acer, 24 Months Warranty, Color: Black/Grey, Warranty 12 Months, including an International Travellers Warranty (ITW)
Simultaneous with the hardware upgrade, the Acer offers a new exterior for the children "series notebook 14. The case is forged magnesium-aluminum, highlighted in a display cover aluminum cover. Visually, the combination of black and Gray does not take advantage of the materials used.

Square, hard-edge design is unadventurous, and the cheap looking matte black plastic display box does not fit the image business notebook. resistance ratio, around the casing is not better than a of gloss. fingerprints on aluminum cover display is difficult to avoid though.

The stability of the chassis makes a good impression while on this laptop, as elsewhere, the area with the integrated DVD player is the weakest point in the case of high pressure. The screen cover is not very robust, due to the accumulation of fines. Small metal hinges are a good thing, hold the screen firmly in place. For transport, once again, the lack of a mechanism to block the display of the base unit.

A look at the bottom of the unit convinces us. Under the expanded access cover, held by five screws, we find two slots for RAM DDR3 RAM and a slot for a UMTS module. Unfortunately, the necessary antennas and a connector for this module is, so a subsequent update is not possible.

A cache module in a wireless coverage very low, with two antennas that ends above the end of the presentation. The dock connector for Acer ProDock integrated and easy to quickly change the DVD drive with a sliding mechanism to meet our approval.

A look at the pages of the notebook show small cuts due to lower case. Acer offers a good set of interfaces, including USB 3.0, eSATA port combination, a HDMI port and a USB 2.0 port with a cargo capacity even when the laptop is off and much more.

Compared to the high slot and ExpressCard/34 8573TG TimelineX TravelMate SmartCard reader security function is missing. We would have preferred that the trade of the DVD for additional interfaces.

The options of offering a convincing picture. In addition to a port Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Controller, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 + SA are supported. UMTS module is not included in our model (8473TG-2414G50Mnkk). The space required for any, but the antenna and connect it to the wall are not apparent.

As mentioned above, the Acer to cut some security features. As this case smaller, no space has been found in smart card reader. Space-saving Kensington lock, fingerprint reader and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) will remain in force, however.

When unpacking, the first disappointment sets in, because only the most standard accessories included. In addition to the laptop itself, there is only a 6 cell battery, a charger 90 watts, a little documentation and a cleaning cloth micro fiber black provided.

Offer an option is vast, with Acer, Acer ProDock among them that changes hands for around 180 euros. The pre-installed software continues in the same spirit as the hardware, accessories, or trial version of McAfee is particularly annoying with pop-ups. We propose to examine carefully the offer and proceed to remove unneeded software.

Acer offers a warranty of 24 months and includes 12 months International Travellers Warranty (ITW). This, the manufacturer is responsible for an average B2C market for consumers. Extended warranties are available, starting at about 70 euros.

Input Devices

Chiclet keyboard of the current series Aspire TimelineX (3830TG, 4830TG, 5830TG) found no entry with this update. Acer continues to use your standard keyboard floating less familiar here. The keyboard is on a firm and strict movement control of the keys is nice.

The keys are of sufficient size to 14 x 14 mm and the design is easy to adjust. The positioning of the norm of the left CTRL key and the upper right key LED support, and the clear labeling of Fn key functions. The only drawback for some users is the key number of blocks missing and a propensity to land or to enter the crumbs between the keys. Unfortunately, the keyboard has no backlight.

The Synaptics touchpad is pressed into the palm rest, which gives a clear demarcation. The slightly textured surface allows for easy and precise navigation. In addition, several multi-touch gesture support and a vertical scroll bar is also available in print. The mouse buttons are clearly identified and separated by the fingerprint sensor. Button long-haul remains a matter of taste.

The screen has a matte 14-inch HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels in 16:9 format. An alternative higher resolution is not available. Lenovo ThinkPad T420 notebooks by or HPS ProBook 6460b, with a native resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels has a clear advantage.

Thank you to the HDMI and VGA interfaces, you can compensate by using an external monitor at higher resolutions. A test of 1920 x 1080 pixels (full HD, 1080p) confirmed this statement.

The LEDs are responsible for lighting, they just left an average image for measurements with Gossen Mavo-Monitor tool. With a maximum brightness of 192 cd / m² display (type AUO313C) is matched only by the cheap consumer models in the range 400-500 euros. Aside from that, the very uniform distribution of brightness (97%) is a positive attribute.

Additional measurements continue to paint the figure average. Black has a higher value, which is the lack of a completely black screen and the contrast of a weak cause. The contrast is particularly important for watching movies and external visibility.

In addition to previous measures, which are shown in color space is an important criterion for Notebook Business. After the confrontation, we are disappointed that the screen does not even begin to compile a reference to the sRGB color space. In direct comparison with large Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8573TG is almost no difference is apparent.

Outdoor use is limited by the weakness of LED backlight and low contrast values. While inside, you can work without problems on the outside, it can be difficult to see, as the sun, the screen fails to overcome the ambient light. At least you're spared the glare near the surface of the matte screen.

Viewing angles are also responsible for cheap TN panels. Horizontal angles are relatively stable, although low angles. For comparison, vertical angles quickly lead to glorify or turn a reference to the image.

Only the last component operating within the Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8743TG, the kind you could find patterns in late for a multimedia notebook. The processor in our test model (2414G50Mnkk) Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor 2.3 GHz clock speed, sport 3 MB L3 cache and up to 2.9 GHz, 2.0 Turbo Boost enabled.

The advanced architecture, its performance exceeds that of similar processors Arrandale. Overall, a popular alternative economic and able to handle multimedia tasks, thanks to the integrated Intel GPU HD 3000.

3D power-up, Acer has also installed an Nvidia GeForce 540M GT GPU with dedicated RAM, which is activated according to the parameters and application. This process is automatic and transparent with NVIDIA Optimus, where parameters can be set in the Nvidia control panel. The GT runs at 672MHz 540M, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, sport, supports DirectX 11 and its performance levels in the upper middle class GPU.

The first part of the benchmark CPU benchmark is jumping Maxon were performed several times with Intel Core i5-2410M. He reached 9378 points makes multi-threaded configurations (64 bits) and Cinebench R10, and at the same comparable level.

These include, for example, the HP Pavilion Lenovo ThinkPad E420s G6 1141sg or Edge. In Cinebench R11.5 after, the performance of top class selection of our database has been established. Next to the comparable notebooks like the new Dell Vostro V131, laptop with Intel Core i5 580M Arrandale of the same class.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 540 has no reason to hide in the synthetic benchmarks Futuremark game. In the older 3DMark 06 is the model test with a score of 7873, and is surrounded by similar configurations. Among them: Dell XPS Medion Akoya P6631 L502x 15 or more Asus N73SV.

Fastest GPU Nvidia GeForce 550M and 555 million to administer a performance advantage of 11% (Gigabyte P2532N) or 42% (Alienware M14x). These differences and the generally good performance, the picture was confirmed by 3DMark 11 for the latest DirectX 11 units.

Small will continue to be able to meet the benchmarks, the overview of a set of criteria and measures. The new PCMark 7, we test the configuration to get the points in 1766, and once again ends up in the middle in our database, and a small variance of the corresponding configurations found. All in all, a good multimedia performance, which could be blown up a solid state drive.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch hard-22HXZT1 WD5000BPVT can not be fast but cheap and popular mass storage device with a good value. With its interface SATA II 5400 RPM and a maximum of 83 MB / s (read) is possible in CrystalDiskMark.

With access time (SSD) performance is acceptable, with room for improvement. Modern solid state SATA III can also be integrated with the Intel platform Huron River. Examples include Intel SSD series 510 Elmcrest alias, agility OCZ Vertex 3 or 3.

Gaming Performance
Consider a pure performance of the game should not be missed, because conditions. On average, the NVIDIA GeForce 540 works well when the principal purpose of the great players, and the increased performance is the multimedia area. During the experiments, we found that low fps graphic details are not as good as comparable notebooks. With higher resolutions and settings for the results, however, have been restored.

Battery Life
In addition to good performance, this combination of Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU and GPU, the automatic transfer to pay the low power consumption. In standby mode, using the integrated GPU, a laptop is responsible for hunting range of netbooks with a maximum of 9.3 watts.

Loaded with Nvidia chips, and the 2.0 Turbo Boost enabled, the power consumption has been pushed up from 73.5 to 57.3 W and W, an energy quite large, with considerable variation in energy consumption. Convincing picture that went 6-cell battery, although the capacity of 66 Wh is nothing unusual.

The gap between measures continues with the battery life. In the classic test of the tool Battery Eater, OpenGL performs calculations with the Nvidia GeForce 540M GT GPU running, the maximum screen brightness and turn on Wi-Fi radio, just 2 hours 23 minutes are possible out of an outlet outlet.

Contrary to this, the player simulates the reading of a text document with the integrated GPU is used, the minimum screen brightness and WiFi turned off. On a 10-hour and 28 minutes, the device does not have to hide. In this mode, a work day at the office or a day at college is possible without the grid.

And how the measures are closer to the common use of a comfortable brightness of the screen? Surfing the WiFi seems a good example of a problem TravelMate Masters 5 hours, 47 minutes. This leaves a good impression and makes fixed before the end of the conclusion of this review.

The Acer TravelMate notebook TimelineX 8473TG is a solid business with relatively few weaknesses, many strengths, and therefore a successful upgrade. In addition, since the weak point on the DVD, the production is solid. Equipment, input devices and the level is adequate, although some customers prefer a Chiclet keyboard. The 14 "format is gaining popularity and Acer is the segment with a matte screen, but its attributes are boring.

The spread of performance of this laptop is attractive and corresponds to the emergence of multimedia notebooks late model, able to satisfy the casual gamers. We did not find problems with bottlenecks that we had previously seen on some notebooks from Acer Aspire TimelineX series.

But the problems with Prime95 and minimal low levels of executives at the back of game entry. We were unable to trace the reasons for this, especially given the temperature of the components always remained low. Different from the issue of bonds in slow motion, temperature and noise under load is critical, but the energy and positive values ​​battery life are mainly composed for her.

Overall, the Acer Travelmate 8473TG is a complete portable, currently available at an attractive price of 800 euros. It should be noted that there is a wide range of alternatives in the segment of 14 inches, competing for the favor of customers.

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