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Gem of a laptop
Priyanka Joshi | September 14, 2007
The new Aspire range utilises a distinctive "Gemstone" design, lending an oval-shaped quality. This gives the Acer 4920 a character of its own. On the other hand, the design of Dell's Vostro 1500 notebook is rather spartan, but definitely more professional.
The Acer Aspire 4920 is a large laptop. It supports the new Intel Santa Rosa platform which comprises an Intel Core 2 Duo chip, a mobile 965 Express chipset, wireless capabilities, and a minimum of the Vista-ready Intel graphics accelerator. Moreover, Santa Rosa is designed to boost a machine's battery life.
The Gemstone is a combination of a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip and a 2GB of DDR RAM, promising speed and endurance. But Acer Aspire 4920's real potential is as an entertainment laptop.
The Dolby Home Theatre virtual surround sound speakers deliver a full and clear sound which makes it ideal for watching movies. The 14.1-inch wide TFT LCD display presents text, images and video clips clearly despite the glossiness of the screen.
The laptop's 160GB hard drive is very generous given the price. However, the user may take time to get used to the touch-sensitive media keys on the keyboard.
Dell laptops, since they are no entertainment hulks, come with speakers that are nothing spectacular. We recommend an equaliser if you intend to listen to music on Vostro 1500.
The Core 2 Duo processor on board works very well. When multi-tasking, the dual-core functionality of the system really shows what it's capable of. Dell has made it possible to do CPU-intensive tasks and at the same time have a perfectly responsive computer.
Dell Vostro 1500 produces a huge amount of heat if you run the processor or video-card intensive programmes. While the system manages to keep itself cool enough to continue operating, it can get almost uncomfortable to put this computer on your lap while playing games or running processor-heavy applications.
If it is targeted at small businesses, then the Dell configuration software (bundled) pales in comparison to the configuration software available in systems manufactured by other firms, particularly Toshiba and HP. The laptop comes with power and screen setting options and a configuration tool for the Wi-Fi Catcher.
While Dell Vostro, which starts at around Rs 31,900, is a no-nonsense-at-work-buddy, Acer, at Rs 52,499, is a more take-me-home-for-fun kinda machine.