Choosing that perfect laptop is tougher than choosing a mobile phone. At least for me. And at the end you may need to make some compromises. Not that the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T is a compromise of a laptop. It is the one that met most of my needs (why else would I buy it?) but, sadly, not all.
Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T specs
– Intel Core i5-460M processor (2.53GHz, 3MB L3 cache)
– Intel HD Graphics
– 14” HD LED LCD (16:9)
– 3 GB DDR3 Memory
– 500 GB HDD
– DVD-Super Multi DL drive
– Acer Nplify 802.11b/g/n
– 6-cell Li-ion battery
– Windows 7 Home Premium (though the box indicated a Home Basic version)
Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T price in India (the price I got it for): Rs 38,500 (with a laptop bag and a mouse thrown in).
Purchased from: Y2K Services & Systems (Acer Mall), S122, II Floor, V3S Mall, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi 110092. Phone: 9810008158, 9810518158
Let me begin with my laptop wish list, i.e., the features my ideal laptop should have and which all the 4820T fulfills.
Portability: I hate bulk and lugging around multi-kilo devices across different rooms and on my back. My laptop needs to slim and lightweight. I am also in for a smaller screen size. Because I believe that the screen size doesn’t matter too much and also because the bigger the heavier.
In terms of portability, there’s little that can beat 11.6-inch powerhouse 1830T. But then it is yet to arrive in the country and would also have a hefty price tag attached. Also the 13-inch variant of the new TimelineX series didn’t also seem to be around. Therefore had to be content with the 14-inch 4820T. A 15-inch behemoth would be too big for my comfort.
The T4820T is no Apple MacBook Air, but it is a few grams lighter than the 13-inch MacBook at only 2.07 kgs. And is also one of the slimmest mainstream notebooks around with a thickness (or slimness) of less than an inch (less than 25 mm).
Power: I have no need for a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor or for that matter a dedicated graphics card. I am no longer a gamer (actually nowadays I see it as a waste of time) and my video editing needs are not professional. I’m not the type who will buy an SUV to commute to work. It’s only a waste of resources (status symbol jaaye bhaad mein). For my Tata Nano needs I have my two-and-a-half-year-old Asus EeePC. An i5 processor (2.53GHz) and 3 GB of DDR3 RAM can easily take care of my daily needs. Though there is a lesser priced i3 version (with 2GB RAM) of the 4820T (Rs 34,500) is also available, a bit more processing power is always good to have.
The 4820T has just the right amount of power for my daily drive (and people say they can comfortably play decent games on the device. But as I mentioned earlier, me no gaming. But if someone gifts me a Kinect, I am a willing candidate to return to the world of gaming).
Price: My initial budget for a new laptop was Rs 35,000 and therefore was inclined towards the i3 version of the 4820T. The laptop that I initially intended to buy was the Samsung NP-SF510, a beautiful machine but not attractively priced. A little bit of thought and some quick calculations made me up my budget a bit and settle for the Rs 38,500 machine (the original price quoted by the dealer was Rs 41,000. Haggling works.).
Battery: The 4820T promises 8 hours (and more) of battery life and seemingly delivers on the promise. I’ve used it for extended hours without plugging in for power. The laptop comes with a 6-cell lithium ion battery pack. It has the usual power-performance optimisation.
Trackpad: The trackpad is impressive and supports multi-gesture control including pinch to zoom, rotate and scrolling. It is quite responsive and the trackpad buttons are also soft.
Keyboard: Of late I have developed this thing for chiklet keyboards. I find them not only better looking but also easier to type on and the Acer TimelineX 4820T keyboard lives up to my expectations. Though I wished that it was backlit, for my unearthly escapades, but then such features cost more money and wasn’t available in my budget.
USB 3.0: This still remains on my wishlist. Blazing fast transfer speed is what we all need but then it USB 3.0 hasn’t yet become mainstream therefore I think I can live without it till my next laptop upgrade.
Sleep charge: This feature, is another I wish my laptop had. But then you can’t get ‘em all. It would’ve been great to be able to charge my mobile phone through the laptop battery (via the USB port) even while the laptop is shut down. Next upgrade.
Looks: The 4820T is not a head turner. Like trophy wives, head-turning laptops are not kind to your bank balance. Undoubtedly it is slim and sleek and looks better with the lid shut. The brushed metal finish looks classy, though my mother felt that it makes it look old. There are no colour options to choose from, unlike some of the Sony and Dell laptops. But then it is the performance that matters more than the looks.
Screen: The screen is what I liked the least. It shiny and therefore reflective. I love matte. Why can’t they make more laptops with matte screens. I loved my Asus EeePC for its screen (contemplating about spending a few hundred rupees on an anti-glare film). Also the top viewing angles are nothing to write home about. This is another compromise that I had to make.
Sound: If you love your music loud, invest in a set of speakers. The inbuilt speakers are fine but not enough to party with.
If the Acer TimelineX 4820T wasn’t a good laptop, I wouldn’t have spent my hard-earned money n it. As mentioned earlier, I might have compromised on a few features, the laptop isn’t in itself a compromise. In fact, it’s the best in its price bracket.
I’ll rate the Acer TimelineX 4820T – 5463G50Mnks a 4/5.