Acer Aspire 5920G (102G16H)
- Speakers (with sub-woofer), HD-DVD ROM, HDMI output, New look, Battery life
- Not a high resolution screen to go with the HD-DVD player
As a stand alone machine, the Acer Aspire 5920G is a great machine with plenty of power for the average user, and enough for power users to get by. By comparison to Acer's previous models it's an excellent unit with plenty of good improvements.
Price$ 2,399.00 (AUD)
The legacy of Acer's silver green chassis design is coming to an end. Sporting a new aesthetic, called Gemstone, Acer's latest Aspire model, the 5920G (102G16H) is built on the latest Centrino Duo platform and has some nice entertainment features including an HD-DVD player. We tested a pre-production model, so check the specifications page for the final, retail specification. Scores and features may vary slightly from the final product, however the price will remain as stated.
As well as getting a makeover, ditching the silvery green design for a cream and black finish, the Acer Aspire 5920G has been given a good tune-up too. First of all it uses Intel's latest Centrino Duo platform including the new T7100 Core 2 Duo 1.8GHz CPU with an 800MHz front side bus (FSB), as well as 2GB of DDR2 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 8600m GT graphics card.
On top of that it has been installed with an HD-DVD ROM drive and an HDMI output. This port is basically a necessity to appreciate HD-DVD movies to their fullest, allowing the notebook to be connected to TV and output at full 1080p high definition resolution. HD-DVD can output at a resolution of up to 1920 x 1200, but the 15.4in screen on the Aspire only offers a meagre 1280 x 800. Despite this, HD-DVD movies still look good when viewed on the notebook. The screen is very bright and has reasonable contrast. The viewing angle isn't perfect but it will suffice for most users.
The HD-DVD player will not burn to HD-DVD-R media like the Toshiba Qosmio G30 (PQG32A-02V01W), but will still burn to DVD discs, including dual layer DVDs. The system has a 160GB hard drive installed, so there's plenty of room to begin with.
As well as the high definition HD-DVD player, the new Aspire also offers some excellent sound. The speakers reside above the keyboard and can churn out loud, clear audio. To top this off it also has a sub-woofer installed to add a little extra bass. Media buttons on either side of the keyboard provide quick control over playback, including play/pause, stop, forward and back keys. Volume is taken care of via the volume wheel on the front edge of the notebook.
There are also some shortcuts to mail, the Internet, the Acer Arcade Deluxe software (which lets you burn DVDs, play your media and capture video from a camcorder etc), the NTI CD&DVD-Maker Gold software, and hard switches for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. If you're into the media side of things you'll enjoy the Crystal Eye camera built into the screen. Also found in the corner of the keyboard is a shortcut to Acer's empowering technology software, which gives you quick access to Wi-Fi, audio, display and battery profiles, as well as encryption and backup features.
In our benchmarks the Aspire 5920G performed well, scoring a total of 72 in WorldBench 6. Intel's latest Centrino Duo platform offers some nice performance tweaks, the least of which is an 800MHz FSB giving the CPU and memory more bandwidth for faster communication.
In our CDEX test, where we encode 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192.Kbps MP3 files, it took 144 seconds to complete the task; about what we'd expect from this hardware. In our gaming tests the 8600m GT card did it well, with a score of 17911 in 3DMark 2001 SE. Meanwhile in the more taxing 3DMark 2006 it still achieved a fairly impressive score of 3143, which is good for a notebook not designed specifically for gaming.
The Aspire also performed well in our battery test. By looping a DVD, which uses the speakers and the optical drive for maximum drain, we managed to run down the battery in 133 minutes; a good result. This test is considered a worst case scenario, so normal usage will keep the notebook going for longer.
Weighing in at 3.2kg without the power supply and 3.6kg with it, it's not light but it's far from heavy. Apart from the HDMI port, there's plenty of other connectivity including a S-Video and VGA port, four USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader supporting SD, MMC, MS, MS-Pro and xD cards and one mini FireWire port. The unit has Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g and a 56k modem, not to mention gigabit Ethernet.
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