Acer Timeline 3810T-6415 Review
It seems that they discontinued the 3810T-6415 and replaced it with the Acer 3810T-8737. The only difference is that the 8737 uses Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 (1.3 GHz) and comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
After a week of playing with my sister’s 13” Acer Timeline AS3810T, I am now ready to give my review. There are different flavors of the 3810T and this is the 6415 which is the most expensive (at $850) among the bunch with a Core 2 Duo processor.
Here are its specs:
- Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (free upgrade to Windows 7)
- Intel Core™2 Duo Processor SU9400 (1.40GHz)
- 4GB (2/2) DDR3 1066 SDRAM
- 500GB hard drive;
- Acer CineCrystal 13.3″ WXGA (1366 x 768) TFT display
- Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
- 802.11b/g/Draft-N WLAN, Bluetooth®, gigabit LAN, webcam
- 3 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA ports, 5-in-1 card reader
- 3.5 lbs
To give a fair review, I uninstalled some unnecessary crapwares and trialwares and loaded it up with some programs. I installed a free antivirus, Chrome and Firefox as my browsers, Photoshop CS4 and other typical applications. I did all the necessary Windows Update and also partitioned the single 500GB into two afterwards.
I’m just an ordinary user and cannot give professional reviews with all those benchmarking tests but if you’re looking for an honest, easy-to-understand review with crappy pictures, then read on.
It’s one gorgeous optical drive-less notebook. It has less than an inch-thin (0.9 in.) profile and the brushed-aluminum coating gives it a stylish, professional look. At 3.5 lbs, it’s a little bit lighter than my ASUS 1000HE netbook yet still feel sturdy.
I love the keyboard on this one. Aside from looking really classy, the polished keys are big and spaced just right and the tactile feedback is spot on. I really enjoyed typing on this laptop than my ordinary desktop keyboard.
Only qualm I have with the keyboard is the single column on the right for the Home, End, Page Up and Down keys which takes quite a bit getting used to. They also act as multimedia controls but there’s no Fn key nearby for one-handed control.
The touchpad is a bit small for my taste but it’s workable. The single rocker for the left and right buttons are slightly recessed and can be uncomfortable for the thumb. There’s also a small button beside the touchpad to easily disable it.
The LED lights for the WiFi connectivity, BackUp Manager and battery profile found just above the keyboard are actually touch panels. This makes it easy to toggle WiFi off to save battery.
Battery Life and Heat
This Acer Timeline 3810T claimed that it can give you 8 hours of straight computing. However, during my tests I could only get an average of 5.5 hours even at Balanced Power mode.
It’s a rigid test for the laptop though. I was continuously connected to the WiFi downloading updates and installers which forced me to reboot the machine every once in a while. I also watched some trailers while at it using maximum volume.
Basically, I was working the processors and hard disks really hard. I think 6 hours or even more is a safe-bet for normal usage. Charging takes a long time though.
As for the heat, it doesn’t get hot at all in that 5-hour span. Just the nice warm temp that might give you therapeutic benefits. Hehehe.
I admit that it’s the first time for me to be using a 64-bit OS but this machine can handle the 64-bit Vista Home Premium it comes with without any hitch. The 4GB DDR3 RAM is really maximized by the OS.
Boot-up is slightly slower than XP as well as file copy between partitions or via external disks but we’ll have to chalk that up to Vista OS. Do note that I didn’t tweak the Vista optimization settings so it has all the bells and whistles Vista wants you to see.
It can handle multiple applications and browser tabs really well. Run Photoshop CS4 in 64-bit mode and you’ll be amazed how snappy it is rendering 5MB images.
Using a 64-bit-ready video converter (MediaShow Espresso), I was able to convert a 28-minute TV show (233MB) into iPod video format in 18 minutes (320MB). A 1:30- minute 720p trailer (51MB) was converted in just over 2-minutes (8.4MB).
The integrated graphics chip (Intel GMA 4500MHD) allows you to watch 720p high-definition videos on the 1366 x 768 display of this machine. There’s an HDMI port available so you can watch HD videos from the laptop to your HDTV.
I really enjoyed watching some 720p trailers from Apple in this machine. Hehe, I couldn’t match the same crispness and picture detail of such videos on my desktop so I was a bit giddy with the laptop’s performance.
I found the sound coming out of this laptop really weak. I had to plug in my v-moda Vibes to enjoy its Dolby Sound Room audio.
As for games, I wasn’t able to install any quality games on it but I won’t suggest this machine for 3D gaming. Flash-based games for Facebook like Restaurant City plays well though.
There are a lot of softwares installed and some are crapwares. There’s the MS Office 2007 Home and Student version (60-day trial) that you can easily activate to remove the 60-day limit (if you’re into that type of thing).
McAfee Security Center with a 1-month subscription. Acer’s Backup Manager. MyWinLocker for added laptop security. Acer GameZone for some trial games that you can easily play on Yahoo!.
I think my sister got the value for her money when she purchased this laptop. It’s just a nice, light and casual laptop that you wouldn’t want to replace in years to come. It’s not bulky to be lugging around with an adequate battery life.
However, here are some cons that I found which may or may not be deal-breakers for those considering the Acer 3810T-6415:
- Glossy screen makes it hard to view under bright conditions. Glossy looks great for high-def viewing but I prefer matte.
- Weak speakers. You might want to invest on those powerful mini-speakers or a good pair of earphones.
- No optical drive. No biggie for me.
- The uncomfortable left and right touchpad buttons
Anyway, for most people the pros outweighs the cons on this one and you will surely be delighted owning the Acer Timeline 3810T-6415 once you have it in your hands.
To view more photos I took, check out the unboxing.