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Acer Aspire Timeline X 3820TZ review

Amazing build quality and battery life for a bargain price

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Build quality
  • Portability
  • Battery life
  • Performance
  • Price

Against

  • No DVD drive
  • Glossy screen coating

If you take a trip to your local PC superstore and take a look at all the laptops under £399, you'll find that the majority are fat, heavy, plasticky and cumbersome. The Acer Aspire Timeline X3820TZ couldn't be more different, and it's just as portable and solid as it is great value.

The Timeline is finished with a solid brushed-metal lid and the same material is also used on the palmrest as well. This gives it a solid feel, reminiscent of a quality ultraportable, but instead of costing in excess of £700, this is available for a mere £380.

This 13.3-inch laptop weighs just 1.9kg, something your back will thank you for if you have a long commute.

Any 13-inch laptop at this size and price will immediately draw comparisons with netbooks, but let us be clear, there's a huge difference.

Firstly, the Aspire Timeline X3820TZ features a dual-core 2.00GHz Intel Pentium processor, which means it's capable of more than just simple web browsing. What's more, it also has a comfortable full-sized keyboard.

However, like a netbook, there's no optical drive supplied, so DVDs and CDs are out of the question – prompting questions about whether it's suitable as a main PC.

Acer aspire timeline x 3820t

Elsewhere, you'll find a healthy 3072MB of memory, which will keep it feeling responsive and fast when working on day-to-day tasks, and a 320GB hard drive, which is enough for most people.

The screen looks sharp and clear, but the glossy coating of the Super TFT screen will make it hard to see in direct sunshine.

We would expect most budget ultraportables and netbooks to slump in our lab tests, as the limits of low-cost, low-profile technology bite, but the Acer Aspire Timeline X3820TZ performed in line with most of the laptops at this price, achieving similar scores to the Samsung R540 and HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa, despite being over half a kilo lighter.

Its abundance of processing power means that it's capable of web surfing, tackling more demanding tasks like dealing with SD video, and watching rich web content.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 594 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 208
3DMark 2003: 3188

Staying power

In addition to impressive performance for such a low-cost ultraportable, the Acer still has one trick up its sleeve.

In our battery life tests, it achieved a staggering nine hours, meaning it will last a whole day out on the road, on campus, or simply out in the park on a sunny afternoon. This level of performance was untouched by any of its rivals around this price.

At such a competitive price, quality build and powerful spec, the Acer could be the UK's best-value laptop. If your needs are basic and portability is important, then you'd be mad to ignore it.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
BluetoothNo
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyAspire 3820TZ
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelP6100
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells9-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.97 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height47.8 mm
Width322.6 mm
Depth235 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series3820TZ
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAS3820TZ-P613G32nks
Product NameAspire AS3820TZ-P613G32nks Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.R2Z02.011
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Aspire AS3820TZ-P613G32nks Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter