Saturday, June 25, 2011

Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nbb versus Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.3GHz

A thin-and-light laptop offers a nice balance between utility and portability. The standard on which other thin-and-lights are based is Apples sleek MacBook Pro. The entry level 13-inch model is only 0.95 inches inches thin and weighs in at 4.5 pounds.

The MacBook Pro line-up was refreshed in March of 2011. This compact package houses has a new Sandy Bridge Core i5-2410M processor, Intel HD 3000 graphics 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and a 63.5 watt hour battery for a retail price of Php61,990.
Acer contender at this category has been its 3800 Series Timeline laptop. The newest model is the TimelineX 3820T. The model offered in the Philippines is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nb.  In many ways its is a better option. The price is set at Php37,900, which is 24K lower than the MacBook Pro.
The TimelineX is 0.87 inches thin at the thinnest point and 1.15-inches at the thickest point, and weighs in a 4.1 pounds. The TimelineX is a bit thicker but is almost 10% lighter.

Both laptops comes with the Sandy Bridge Core i5-2410M. The TimelineX only comes with half the RAM at 2GB. The Windows Home Basic operating system installed in the TimelineX will support 4GB of RAM. The TimelineX has the same Intel HD 3000 graphics, but comes with 128MB of dedicated memory. The MacBook Pro's Intel HD 3000 card uses shared memory.

Fortunately Acer put in a single 2GB DIMM, so upgrading it to 4GB will not be expensive as you wont be wasting the installed memory. The TimelineX also has a larger 640GB hard drive as against the 320GB model on the entry level MacBook Pro. The TimelineX also comes with a larger 66.0 watt hour battery as against the 63.5 watt hour battery on the MacBook Pro.

In terms of high speed data transfer the MacBook Pro relies on the new Thunderbolt technology, while the TimelineX utilizes the new high speed USB 3.0 port. Which of these technologies become mainstream is still up in the air, but we are betting on USB 3.0.
The MacBook Pro does have an internal optical drive while the TimelineX does not. This could be a deal breaker for some as far as the TimelineX is concerned. Personally. I prefer the lighter weight versus the internal drive.

On the last issue of build quality. Apple's are well built, and the Aluminum frames are beautiful. They are not as indestructible as they seem. They are easily scratches and dented if dropped. The Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nbb is a very well built laptop, a notch higher than what we are used to seeing from Acer at this price range.

Which do we recommend? If you want the MacBook Pro, you probably do not care too much about value for money considerations. OSX does boot, shutdown and run faster than Windows. MacBook Pro's are very nicely built. In the end, I do not think you would be disappointed. If you are concerned about value for money though, the TimelineX is the clear winner.

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