Acer TravelMate 3202XMi
- Small size, good battery, flexible networking
- One-year warranty as standard
With a great design and great performance, the feature-packed 3202XMi is a good buy for mobile business people.
Price$ 3,895.00 (AUD)
It's clear that Acer has put some serious thought into its TravelMate 3200 range.
For ergonomics, this model includes a latchless lid, four-way scroll button and dedicated Page-Up, Page-Down, Home and End keys. In addition, our test unit weighed just 2.4kg, had an excellent worst-case-scenario battery life of 95 minutes and came with Acer's ePowerManagement software.
The 3292XMi has flexible networking options, including built-in 56K modem and Gigabit Ethernet connections. Activation and status buttons are located on the front fascia for Bluetooth and certified 802.11b/g wireless networking, and Acer claims its SignalUp antenna technology improves connection reliability. The 3202XMi also supports Cisco's Light Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP) technology that helps secure wireless communications, but is proprietary to Cisco access points.
Our test machine included a 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M processor (Dothan version) and 512MB of 333MHz PC2700 DDR SDRAM (of a maximum 2GB). A 60GB 4200rpm hard disk was used and the 14.1" display was capable of a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 thanks, in part, to the speedy 64MB DDR ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics controller. The 3202XMi includes a slim multiformat (-/+/RAM) DVD burner. The DVD burner is welcome, but it would have been better if it were a modular drive, swappable for say, a second battery. The notebook also has two USB ports and a single FireWire port, plus an integrated multicard reader.
This 3200 series has an optional docking station, and a legacy port (serial, parallel, PS/2) cable is also available for an additional charge.
Its performance was quite strong in business-application benchmark SYSMark 2001 (269) but it's the score of 10,563 in 3DMark 2001 that blew us away for a machine of this stature.
Only a one-year warranty is included as standard (with two-hour repair turnaround) but this can be upgraded to three years for a bit extra.
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GGG Evaluation Team
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For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
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The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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