Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T ultraportable laptop
Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T review: an 11.6in laptop with great mobility
- Light, less than 30mm thick, decent performance for a small laptop
- Keyboard could be better, touchpad is too small, reflective screen
The Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T is an ultraportable notebook that's light, very mobile and provides decent performance for office and Web tasks, as well as some multimedia tasks. We think it should be considered by people who have considered getting a netbook but have been put off by their slow performance. Bear in mind that user comfort isn't great, however, as the laptop's touchpad is small and its keyboard a little too stiff. As far as mobility is concerned, though, it's great.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
The 11.6in Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T is an ultraportable laptop that's only a tiny bit bigger than a netbook but has more CPU power and memory under the hood. It's useful for people who want a thin, light and small notebook for the road, but it's not perfect. In particular, its keyboard could be better and its palm rest a little deeper.
Aspire TimelineX 1830T: Design and user comfort
The Aspire TimelineX 1830T is thin and light (only 1.37kg), and it looks nice. The battery slots into the spine of the laptop between the screen's hinges, so there is lots of unused space between the keyboard and the screen. It's the only design that could have been implemented to keep the notebook's profile thin; at its thickest point, the Aspire TimelineX 1830T is only 28mm. On the other end, the palm rest is a little too small — it's only 48mm deep — which means that the touchpad is also very small — only 67x36mm.
We're not fans of the Aspire's keyboard, which is a little bouncy and has keys that are too flat and too stiff. We wish the keys were softer, as we made plenty of typos while writing this review. The combination of the hard keys and the small touchpad makes the Aspire TimelineX 1830T a little awkward to use, and it's by no means comfortable to type on for prolonged periods of time — in fact, it can be tiring. That said, there's always a trade-off between user comfort and small size in laptop design. The chances are you will probably get used to this keyboard and touchpad after using them for a few weeks.
Comfort issues aside, the 11.6in Aspire TimelineX 1830T is very mobile and we love the fact that it also comes with a relatively small wall wart adapter, rather than a power brick. It's very easy to transport in a backpack or small laptop case. Around its edges it has three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, and microphone and headphone ports. You also get a webcam, Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It doesn't have a fingerprint reader, which would come in useful on a laptop such as this, but that's not a major drawback for us.
The 11.6in screen of the Aspire 1830T has a resolution of 1366x768 and a glossy finish. It's prone to reflections and a little hard to use in very well lit areas unless the brightness is maximised. But overall it's decent for reading documents and viewing Web pages. A matte screen would be welcomed on this model.
Aspire TimelineX 1830T: Specifications and performance
On the inside, the laptop has an Intel Core i3-380UM CPU, which is an ultra-low-voltage model with a 1.33GHz frequency. The rest of the configuration includes 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM, integrated Intel HD graphics and a 5400rpm, 320GB hard drive. Its CPU performed as expected in our Blender 3D test, with the laptop recording a time of 1min 52sec. This is identical to the time recorded by the Sony VAIO Y Series (VPCYA15FGB). However, the Aspire 1830T was swifter in the iTunes MP3 encoding test: it recorded 1min 56sec compared to 3min 06sec for the Sony.
You won't want to use the Aspire for 3D graphics tasks, as it's just not powerful enough. This was shown in 3DMark06, in which it recorded 1101 marks. Furthermore, while you can use this laptop for converting video files for use on portable media players, it's not recommended as it will take ages. Converting a DVD file to a 1.5GB Xvid file using AutoGordianKnot took 2hr 14min, which is almost identical to the Sony. It's about an hour slower than a regular-voltage Core i3 notebook such as the Toshiba Satellite C650.
In our battery rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the Aspire lasted 2hr 24min, which is 50 min less than the Sony, but this is an expected result as the Acer uses a smaller battery (4-cell instead of 6-cell) in keep the laptop slightly lighter weight and thinner. Still, if you enable a power management plan and tone down the screen brightness, you should be able to get close to three hours out of it.
Overall, we like the Aspire TimelineX 1830T for its small size and excellent mobility, but due to this it is a little uncomfortable to use. Its keyboard isn't great and its touchpad is small, but in time you will probably get used to them. We think this is the type of notebook you should consider if you've thought about getting a netbook, but also want something that will allow you to more than just browse the Web and create documents.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the newsletter!
This month, PC World is excited to partner with Zero Latency VR. You and seven of your friends will have the chance to win tickets to this experience.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Dynabook Portégé X30W-J – a very good all-rounder
- 2 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 3 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 5 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
Latest News Articles
- Samsung launches new Galaxy A smartphones in Australia
- Samsung upgrade their Australian tablet range
- Dell launches its Rugged range
- Sony launches three new 4K HDR Home Cinema Projectors
- HP launches Omen by HP Challenger Series Tournament
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- How the Xbox Series X (and xCloud) saved me from buying a gaming PC
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies