Acer Timeline 4810T
A Core 2 Duo laptop with an eight-hour battery life? You bet
Review Acer says its new series of Timeline laptops offer a battery life up to eight hours. That’s a mighty bold claim so we’re putting the Aspire Timeline 4810T under the microscope to see whether it’s a piece of engineering genius or PR puff.
Acer's Timeline 4810T: titanic battery life?
There are three sizes of chassis in the Timeline series, with two models at each size offering a choice of processors. In each case, the cheaper version has a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo U3500 processor while the more expensive model has the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo U9400 and an extra cell in the battery.
The 13.3in model weighs 1.6kg and has no optical drive. It's priced at £550 and £700, depending on your choice of CPU.
The larger 14.1in and 15.6in models each have a dual-layer DVD writer. The 14.1in version weighs 2kg and costs either £550 or £750, while the 15.6in big boy weighs 2.4kg and costs £580 or £800.
To put it another way, the single-core processor models cost £550, £550 or £580 so the choice of chassis size makes no difference. The dual-cores cost £700, £750 and £800 so each step in chassis size costs £50, which leads us to the thought that the extra cost results from the increase in the number of cells in the battery.
One design, three screen sizes
During our testing we found that we could run continuous loops of PCMark05 for 3h 59m. This is a harsh test as it keeps the laptop working hard and we're confident that you can double the time achieved to reflect real-word battery life. This means that the Timeline 4810T can truly run for a complete working day on a single battery charge, or a flight across the Pacific.
Looks like a very nice and reasonably priced bit of kit with an optical drive.
Being a Linux user on desktop, laptop and server I'd say it's likely that a little extra work might need to be done to get everything working, dependent on how standard the hardware is. For example a number of 802.11n wireless adapters are not natively supported within everyone's favourite fluffy distro, Umbongo. It can involve compiling and installing drivers from source supplied by the manufacturer or using an NDIS wrapper.
Having said that, even if a bit of tweaking is involved to get it all working with Umbongo, it will run like the proverbial hot poo off of a shovel compared to Fistula. And do you really want an OS that isn't sure which CPU is still plugged in? *titter*
*NIX-friendly or not?
"Then there’s the DVD drive eject button, which mirrors the position of the Power button - we found it was all too easy to press the wrong button when we wanted to turn on the laptop."
I for one would find the reverse quite a bit more annoying... but again, I'm part of these extremely gifted people able to remember the buttons' place after a couple hours using a piece of kit. ;-)
Easy enough to try a CD/DVD version of Linux - get to see how well its works, and it doesn't affect the original OS.
...is that is it doesn't embiggen your mental capacity to remember where buttons and ports are? How perfectly cromulent.
I Want It!
Seriously, if it were available here... Good build quality, a Core 2 Duo, 8 hours of battery life and only 2kg (together with an internal optical drive) on the 14" model, and, while not too cheap, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg?