Sunday, November 28, 2010

Acer's New TimelineX Laptops - 1830T, 3820T and 4820TG

Best laptop buys for 2010. In the third and fourth quarter this year, Acer rolled out it second generation of Timeline laptops, now called the TimelineX in the Philippines. I think they provide the most interesting choices in the market right now, and are one of the reasons for Acer's climb to the top. 

Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T - Php32,500

Quick Specs:
  • Screen: 11.6" HD 1366 x 768 (WXGA) high-brightness (200-nit) Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD screen
  • O.S.: Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-380UM (1.33GHz, 3MB cache)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics with 128MB dedicated memory (up to 768 shared memory)
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 Memory
  • Storage: 250GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Optical drive: None
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 8 x 1-1.1 inches
  • Battery: 6-cell (5800 mAh)
  • Weight: 3 lbs.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820T - Php34,900

Quick Specs:
  • Screen: 13.3" HD 1366 x 768 (WXGA) high-brightness (200-nit) Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD screen
  • O.S.: Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel HD  Core i3-370M (2.40GHz, 3MB cache)
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics with 128MB dedicated memory (up to 768 shared memory)
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 Memory
  • Storage: 320GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Optical drive: None
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 9.3 x 0.9-1.0 inches
  • Battery: 6-cell (6000 mAh)
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs.

Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG (two versions are available) - Php45,900 and Php46,900

Quick Specs:
  • Screen: 14.1" HD 1366 x 768 (WXGA) high-brightness (200-nit) Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD screen
  • O.S.: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-460M (2.53GHz with turbo boost of up to 2.80GHz, 3MB cache)
  • Graphics: 1GB ATI Mobility Radeo HD 5650 or 1GB ATI Mobility Radeo HD 5470, with Switchable Graphics technology, up to 3579 MB of HyperMemor
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 Memory
  • Storage: 500GB or 640GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Optical drive: DVD Writer
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.6 x 0.9-1.0 inches
  • Battery: 6-cell (6000 mAh)
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs.

If not for my acquisition of a Macbook Air, I would have purchased either a 1830T or 3820T. Some may think that comparing Apple's to Acer's is like comparing apples to oranges. In a way it is. Acer's build quality is lower than Apple's, but the Acer's do sell at a lower price. However, in terms of weight, performance and battery life the closest competition to the new Acer TimelineX laptop are the Apple offerings.

Competition. The 11.6" Acer 1830T only has few direct competitors in the local market right now, the Toshiba Portege 210T. Priced at Php39,990, it cost Php7,490 more than the Acer 1830T. It also comes with a lower end processor, an Intel U5400 (1.2GHz) and lower end Intel Graphics (64MB dedicated memory). The Toshiba T210 does come with a larger 320GB hard drive. The 11.6" MacBook Air offers a very different set of benefits from the Acer 1830T. We have a comparison here. Other than that, Asus has a couple of lower cost 12.1" netbooks with ION2 graphics. Dell, Lenovo and HP really have nothing in the Philippine market which fall into the same class as the Acer 1830T or Toshiba T210.

At 13.3" the Acer 3820T, again faces competition from Toshiba, this time in the form of the Php51,990 13.3" T230. The Toshiba T230 is powered by a slower i3-330 (1.2GHz) processor but comes with more memory and a larger hard drive. But at a price premium of Php17,000, the Acer 3820T is a much better choice in our opinion. Dell, Lenovo and HP do have 13.3" offerings but these are heavier machines. A Sony Vaio Y would fall into the same class as the Acer 3820T, but at a higher price point.

See, the Acer 3820T and the Toshiba T230 are true ultraportables, falling in under 4 pounds in weight. The competition can provide you the same specifications, at the same price point as the Acer 3820T, but at a heavier 4.4 to 4.5 pound weight, which does not put them in the category of thin-and-light laptops. I consider the Acer 3820T a poor man's MacBook-- a cheaper (with the benefit of being a lighter) alternative to a MacBook. 

The 3820T is only available at Electroworld at the present time.

At 14.1" the specifications of the the Acer 4820TG are pretty generic. You can find plenty of competitors, until you consider the 4.5 lbs weight and 1 inch thickness. Its competitors are 0.4 to 0.5 inches thicker and 0.5-1.0 pounds heavier. It is about as thin and as light as an Apple MacBook Pro, albeit with more power under the hood. Right now it is the lightest and thinnest hardcore gaming capable laptop in the Philippines, short of considering some of the higher end Sony Vaio's. 

Battery life. One reason for looking at the TimelineX series is battery life. All the AcerTimelineX notebooks will provide about 6 hours of battery life when used for web browsing on WiFi and about 4 hours on DVD playback. The only disappointing thing is that the battery life of the smallest 1830T is only about 5% longer than its bigger brothers despite the slower processor. Battery life, or more accurately, the battery of the Acer TimelineX competitors are their main disadvantage.

Not all 6-cell batteries are created equal. Acer's 6-cell batteries in their Timeline Series are rated at 6000 mAH (5800 mAH for the 1830T). The typical 6-cell battery is rated at only 4400 mAH. The non-Timeline 11.6" and 14.1" Acer's come with this weaker battery, accounting for their shorter battery life.

Asus have several models which should be able to compete against the TimelineX. My favorite is the  12.1" Asus UL20FT, but equipping it with a 6-cell 4400 mAH battery, means that the Acer 1830T kills it in terms of battery life. 

Missing models. The models Acer have not released in the Philippines are the TimelineX 3820TG, 5820T and 5820TG. The 5820 series is a 15.6" laptop that weighs in at only 5.3 pounds, with a very long battery life. The 3820TG and 5820TG variants add ATI graphics.

Comparing Apple's to Acer's. Comparing Apple's to Acer's is like comparing apples to oranges. But if I did not get a Macbook, I would have gotten myself an Acer TimelineX. They come in at the right price point - below 50K. If I was to spend  more than 50K for a laptop these days, I would buying a MacBook, given that what I desire most in a laptop are  lightness in weight and long battery life. At less than 50K, only the Acer TimelineX laptops hold my interest right now.


  1. meron na ba ng 3820 sa pinas?

  2. Yes, it is available in the Philippines. Right now, it is exclusively being sold by Electroworld and Abensons. The model available here is the one with the specifications in the article.

  3. would you get the 4740 or the 3820? if i would be doing basic office activities and a photoshop, which would you recommend i get?

  4. The 3820's advantages are its more compact size, lighter weight and longer battery life, because of its battery rated at 6000 mAh.

    The 4740 will give you better graphics performance with its Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics and the unit you are looking at probably has a bigger hard drive the the 3820.

    It is a bit bigger since it has a larger 14-inch screen, a bit heavier and the battery life is shorter since the bundled battery is a 4400 mAh. unit. Since you mentioned photoshop, I would go with the 4470. The additional graphic power will probably be useful.

  5. Although this series is very old, but it is still one of the very best laptop series that ACER came up up with in 2010.

  6. Acer has not yet released a successor to the 1830T. But that was porbably my favorite bang for the buck ultraportable in 2010. Still a good choice today, although getting pretty hard to find in the local market.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...