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Acer Ferrari 4000 notebook

Getting Turion right

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Review The general consensus here regarding Acer's Ferrari 3200 notebook was that it was a decent, well-featured machine, but no one was really sure that they wanted a bright red laptop. It seems that Acer has taken this on board, and the new Ferrari 4000 is more understated - in fact the general opinion this time around is that it looks damn cool, writes Riyad Emeran.

Acer Ferrari 4000Although there's still a liberal amount of Ferrari red splattered over this machine, the lid has been given a carbon fibre finish, which not only looks superb, but also fits in with the Formula One theme. It also has to be said that the Ferrari logo stands out a treat at the centre of the new lid, far more so than it did on the red lid. Of course there's still a red accent on the lid, but it's just enough to add some style rather than overpower things - after all, a Ferrari without red is like an English summer without rain, just not quite right.

When you open the lid things get even better, with a black bezel surrounding the large 15.4in screen. Having the dark finish surrounding the display makes it stand out, and give the impression that it's bigger than it actually is. The keyboard surround is also black, but more importantly, it's finished in a tactile, rubberised coating which feels just great when you rest your wrists on it. The finish reminds me of the coating that IBM uses for the ThinkPads.

Once again the Ferrari logo stands out against the black in the bottom right corner of the wrist rest. Acer has also refrained from sticking Microsoft, ATI or AMD logos on the wrist rest - a practice that has ruined many otherwise great-looking notebooks.

But it's not all black. Acer has sensibly thrown in some silver highlights here and there to brighten things up. Below the screen on the left is a square, silver power button that glows green when the machine is on. Yes that's right, it glows green not blue, and Acer should be commended for breaking with tradition and realising that not every piece of electronic equipment has to sport a blue light.

Acer Ferrari 4000

Below the screen on the right you'll find three shortcut buttons which can be mapped to any application you like. Pressing the far right button will activate Acer Launch Manager, which is the utility that lets you assign applications to these buttons. From here you can select the button you wish to configure, and then browse for the application that you wish to associate with it. You can also configure the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adaptors to be either always on or always off from the Launch Manager, although this isn't really necessary as there are hard switches for both.

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