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7.4 Acer

System Specs:

AMD Mobile Sempron 3000+ CPU
512 Megs DDR 333 (PC2700) RAM in 2 sticks
80 Gig UDMA Western Digital HDD
8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW (Matsushita)
SiSM760GX Chipset
SiS Mirage2 Graphics
15.4" WXGA "Crystal Bright" LCD Display
Acer Chipset Fax/Data V.92 56K Softmodem
Acer Invilink 802.11 b/g wireless card (Broadcom Chipset)
SiS 900 Ethernet
AC97 Compliant soundcard
Bluetooth Adapter (I think?)
3 USB ports, 1 external VGA Port and one PCMCIA adapter

Price: $1039 CDN taxed and shipped including 5 year on site North America Wide Warranty.

Unit shipped with a preinstalled copy of WinXP Home. That lasted all of half a day after I got it before I installed SuSE Linux 10.0 on it.

Unit is average sized and weight for a 15.4" WXGA, weighing in just above 5 Lbs. with battery installed.

Battery life is abysmal with the stock battery. Acer claims "up to" 1.5 hours operation depending on configuration. Actual run time with this battery is exactly 1 hour. Good news though, an aftermarket 8 cell battery with 4400 mAH is available for about $100 even to replace the stock 4 cell 2000 mAH battery. I'm waiting for one to arrive tomorrow and it should, in theory more than double the stock battery runtime.

Display is very nice and bright, with brightness and sound volume controlled by special keys on the keyboard. No contrast control though, which I would have appreciated.

Fit and finish seem very slick, with soundcard jacks and bluetooth and wireless control buttons/indicators on the front panel. One warning about these buttons though. Their placement makes them easy to accidentally turn off and lack of tactile feel to let you know which state they are in can be confusing. Fortunately though, the buttons illuminate when they are active.

For those interested in putting linux on one of these, I can say that everything I tested on it works well with SuSE 10.0 except for the SiS900 ethernet ( a known bug with the SuSE kernel ) and I haven't tested the PCMCIA or Bluetooth yet for lack of compatible hardware. Complete info on the linux install can be found at these links

»My New Toy :) (Acer Aspire 3003 WLMI)

»linux-laptop.net/hosted/acer-3003-suse.html

All in all I have no real data on durability at the moment, but as I said, it seems well built from the look and feel of it and the fact they were willing to sell it with a five year warranty gives me hope that it will prove to be a functional and reliable machine for years to come. Other than the few minor annoyances I mentioned in this review, I'm willing to say that this machine is a bargain for the money and recommend it highly for those looking for an entry level notebook and/or mobile Linux machine.

[ADDENDUM] 8 Cell battery arrived today. Upon testing after a full charge, the unit gets over 2-1/2 continuous hours of useability with the new battery. If you buy one of these notebooks, expect to pay an extra $100 for an aftermarket battery, or else you will end up chained to a power outlet.

by Happyrat6 See Profile edited by fire100 See Profile
last modified: 2006-03-29 06:36:08

System Specs:

AMD Turion 64 Mobile Tech ML-32 Processor
512 MB RAM
60GB HD
15.4 WXGA TFT Crystal Brite Display
8X DVD/24X24X24 CD-RW Combo Drive (Phillips)
SiS M760GX Chipset
3D Graphics support
Realtek AC'97 audio
56k Agere Systems Modem
Wireless LAN 802.11b/g
10/100 Ethernet
8 cell battery
Bluetooth capable
Windows XP Home
Weight 6.17 lbs

I purchased this notebook on April 7, 2006 from CompUsa. Original price: $799.99. Final price: $599.99 after a $50 instant rebate and a $150 mail in rebate. I also purchased a 3 year extended warranty, a carrying case and an optical mouse.

Being new to laptops (this is my "other" computer, not my main one), I wasn't sure what to expect. I am happy to say that this laptop seems to be first rate. The weight is perfect, and it feels nice and solid. The outside is a very nice "brushed" finish.

The display is bright and crisp, even in bright light. The sound from the two speakers on the front is "ehhh", but I am used to a top notch sound system on my regular computer, so I'm probably not a good judge of quality laptop sound.

Different user settable "launch" buttons are laid out nicely above the keyboard. There are three USB ports, one on the front and two on the right side, along with a network jack, a modem jack and a Type I/Type II PC Card slot. The left side is the optical drive. On the front is the Bluetooth and Wireless buttons/indicators as well as the line in jack and mic jack. On the back is the power jack, the external display port and a security key lock connector (optional). Everything is laid out very nicely.

The battery life is good, lasting a solid 2.5 hours (although the specs claim 3). At home, I mostly use it with the power adapter. It has taken me a little time to get used to the smaller keyboard, as I'm used to a full size one, but that is just an adjustment issue on my part. The keyboard keys have a nice, soft touch.

It came shipped with (surprisingly) very little software installed, nothing like I was expecting. Norton Antivirus was there, but not installed, so I was able to install my AV of choice without the hassle of uninstalling Norton.

I am thinking of getting a cooling pad. It doesn't run hot enough for it to force me to not place it on my lap, but it's probably a good idea to have one anyway.

Only having had this laptop for a month, at this point I would have to say it completely met my expectations and I am very happy with it.

by La Luna See Profile edited by fire100 See Profile
last modified: 2006-05-08 07:57:33

Acer has an official security patch to remedy the Active X vulnerability found on their laptops.

This was addressed by members in our Security forum

*Thanks to fatness for locating the patch.

by lilhurricane See Profile edited by fire100 See Profile
last modified: 2007-01-11 09:46:32