Acer TravelMate 210

Budget notebook

Review Acer is a big player in the notebook market, making products for many better-known brands. And, despite a fat-cat customer base, it also has some genuine bargains for the more cost-conscious buyer. We tested the TravelMate 210, one of Acer's low-cost models, to see what sort of a notebook you get for under £650. As you might expect, there are plenty of compromises made at this price point.

The TravelMate 210 features a budget 700MHz Mobile Celeron processor, which achieved a WorldBench score of 95. The 10GB hard drive is sufficient, if not generous, and the line-up is completed with a built-in floppy and 24x CD-ROM.

The screen measures just 12.1in and we didn't like the wide bezel that runs around it, as it makes the display appear dark. The TravelMate can reach a maximum resolution of 800x600. Its graphics are handled by an integrated chip, which shares 8MB of the available 64MB of RAM. This means the Acer is a non-starter if you are planning to play games.

Equally, the sound from the speakers at the base of the screen is tinny. The battery is a NiMH (nickel metal hydride) model, so don't expect it to last that long.

But - and this is an important caveat - the TravelMate 210 is a very cheap notebook. If all you want to do is run basic office applications on a portable computer then this is a good choice. It's not the fastest or the best-specified notebook around and, at 2.39kg, nor is it the lightest. However, the Acer is one of the least expensive portables you'll find. ®

Info

Price: £649.00
Contact: 0870 900 2237
Website: www.acer.co.uk

Specs

700MHz Mobile Celeron processor
Windows Me
10GB hard drive
64MB RAM
CyberBlade graphics chip with 8MB shared RAM
12.1in TFT screen
max resolution 800x600

Scoring

Build quality: 8
Features: 5
Performance: 5

All details correct at time of publication.

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