Acer TravelMate 4401LMi Turion notebook
Onto the processor, a 1.6GHz Turion. The unit we were supplied with came with the 1MB cache variant. However, the sale model contains a processor with 512KB of cache, and inevitably our benchmark scores will reflect this difference.
The CPU connects to an ATI Radeon RS480 chipset, which supports ATI's PowerPlay 5.0 power conservation system. However, our MobileMark battery test results weren't stunning, with a time of only 168 minutes. Compared to many recent Centrino-based machines that last well over 200 minutes, this is disappointing. That said, doing light word processing and web browsing on this machine saw it last about four hours.
There's 512MB of RAM fitted in the notebook and opening up the expansion slot with some screws reveals that it has been supplied on two sticks, leaving no room for expansion. The Turion doesn't have a dual-channel memory controller so there's no real need for two sticks, it's just cheaper. Additionally, Acer has also only supplied 266MHz PC2700 memory rather than the PC3200 that the chipset supports.
The Turion kept up AMD's habit of beating Intel, scoring 220 in SYSmark 2002, ahead of a Sonoma-based AJP machine, though we have to bear in mind that shipping notebook will only have half the cache our test machine did. We also ran a set of 3D benchmarks and got some very playable scores at the native resolution, hitting over 40 frames per second. However, during testing I did noticed some artefacts in Half-Life 2. In general use, the system fan occasionally fired up but the noise was fairly innocuous so wasn't a problem.
The Acer 4401LMi is a well-assembled notebook with a decent amount of connectivity. The X700 makes for a solid gaming machine, and the Turion processor impresses with its speed, but not with its battery performance. Ultimately, though it's the screen that disappoints, with a low resolution and poor viewing quality. I'd recommend a Centrino-based machine for battery work and something with a better screen for play.
|Acer TravelMate 4401LMi|
|Price||£700 inc. VAT|
|More info||The Acer Travelmate 4400 site|