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Acer Aspire 5935

Acer Aspire 5935 15.6in Blu-ray notebook

A lot of laptop for your dosh?

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Security for virtualized datacentres

The laptop is equipped with 4GB of dual-channel DDR 3 memory, split into two 2GB modules. The Sata hard drive stretches to 500GB, although it's a 5400rpm model - a 7200rpm unit would be preferable on a machine destined to spend most of its life on a desk. The optical drive can only read Blu-ray Discs - if you want to burn as well then you'll need to fork out for a more expensive model. The drive also doubles as multi-format DVD writer.

Acer Aspire 5935

No shortage of ports, including HDMI, eSata and ExpressCard

The bulk of the ports are nestled on the left-hand side, where you'll find a Gigabit Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, eSata, two USB, an ExpressCard 54 bay, and line in, microphone and headphone sockets, with the latter doubling as S/PDIF. Flip over to the other edge and you'll see a memory card reader - SD, MMC, xD and Memory Stick - a four-pin Firewire, another USB and a connector for the TV aerial. There's nothing along the back, and the front edge only houses the infrared receiver for the bundled remote control.

Inside there's 802.11n Wi-Fi, which operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, which is useful if the airwaves around you are already congested with hotspots. You also get Bluetooth thrown in too.

The keyboard is large, good to type on and includes a backlight so you can make out which key is which in dark surroundings. On the far left are touch-sensitive shortcut buttons which toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth status, and start the Acer Backup Manager. Over on the right is another touch-sensitive panel of media playback and volume controls.

The touchpad is a decent size, and there's a fingerprint reader nestling in the middle of the buttons.

Acer Aspire 5935

The standard Blu-ray drive is for reading discs only - a BD-R drive costs extra

The Acer is certainly no slouch when it comes to performance. With the Nvidia GPU enabled, Windows Vista gave it an Experience Index score of 5.3 out of six, which breaks down as 5.5 for processor, 5.9 for memory, 5.9 for graphics, 5.4 for gaming graphics and 5.3 for the hard drive. In Intel graphics mode, the overall score dropped to 3.8, thanks to scores of 4.1 for mainstream graphics and 3.8 for gaming graphics.

Security for virtualized datacentres

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