Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Acer Aspire TimelineX 4830TG-2413G75Mnbb

Those of you who follow this blog know that I am a fan of Acer's Timeline series of laptops. They combine the attributes of being substantially lighter than other laptops in the same class and having longer than the average battery life at a decent build quality at a mid-level price.

The first third generation Timeline has arrived on Philippine shores, in the form of the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4830TG. The Acer 4830TG is a thin-and-light laptop with a 14.1-inch (1366 x 768 resolution) screen at a 4.7 pound weight. Light enough to carry around. Big enough to replace your desktop. Powerful enough to replace your desktop too... but more on that later.

The first thing you will notice about the new Timeline is the its new garb. Instead of the business like subtle black and grey finish of the first and second generation Timelines, which were perfect for business users, the new Timelines come in a dark blue and silver case. It looks like the Timeline series is headed in a new direction, targeting gamers and the younger generation. The aluminum accented lid is colored in what Acer calls "Ice Blue" and the keyboard area is accented in Ice Blue and silver. Acer also has switched to a more conventional chiclet type keyboard from the older island type keyboard.

Inside you will find a Sandy Bridge Intel Cotre i5-2410M processor running at 2.3GHz, and which can turbo boost up to 2.9GHz when needed. This is a dual core processor, with a 3MB cache. Along with Sandy Bridge, the new Acer 4830TG now has a USB 3.0 port. One other major change from the previous model is the Nvidia GT540M graphics used, instead of the ATI Graphics in previous models. The Nvidia GT540M comes with 2GB of RAM and brings Optimus technology (graphic card swithcing) to the TimelineX, which I think is a fair bit smoother than the ATI solution. 

The Acer 4830TG offered in the Philippines is also equipped 3MB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, more than the previous version. What has not changed is the price, still being priced at a decent Php46,990.

Competitors. Looking at the other options available, one interesting alternative to the Acer 4830TG is Acer's own Aspire 4750G-2412G64Mn. The two have similar specifications, with the Acer 4750G coming in at Php12K less.

What do you lose for the lower price. On the specs sheet you lose 1GB of RAM, 110GB of hard drive space and Windows Home Premium. The Acer 4750G-2412G64Mn come with a Linux operating system installed. You also do not get the new blue and silver garb with the chiclet keyboard. The Acer 4750G still has the older island style keyboard.

What is not so apparent from the specifications is the battery size. Both the Acer 4820TG and the 4750G come with 6-cell batteries. But the one in the 4820TG is rated at 6000 mAh, while the 6-cell unit on the Acer 4570G is rated at 4400 mAH. This gives the Acer 4820TG 35% longer battery life than the 4750G.

All in all, I think the additional Php12K is worth it.

The other laptop which comes into mind is the new entry level Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro. Overall, I like the MacBook Pro better. It outclasses the Acer 4830TG on most counts. But at Php16K less, the Acer 4830TG outclasses the entry level MacBook Pro in one key area: Graphics. The MacBook Pro comes in Intel HD 3000 graphics, and while a very decent card it is no match for the Nvidia GT540M video card on the Acer 4830TG. One other advantage we think is the Acer 4820TG's USB 3.0 support and HDMI port. The MacBook Pro supports the faster Thunderbolt data transfer standard, but there are yet no peripherals that can take advantage of this in the local market. The MacBook also uses a Mini Display Port, which needs an adapter to be able to plug it into your LCD TV. All you need with the Acer 4830TG is an HDMI cable.

The Acer 4830TG is a nice solid release. I would have preferred a black and grey finish, but that kind of thing is subjective. If you are looking for portable and powerful, this a very good choice.

1 comment:

  1. Acer Aspire TimelineX 4830TG-2413G75Mnbb is the NVIDIA GPU here a discrete construction or on board chip? Makes a lot of difference in thermal performance and life!


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