Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G 18.4in laptop
Full HD desktop replacement with plenty of poke
Acer’s opted to give the touchpad a glossy finish – this might make it look good, but I’m always in favour of a bit of texture on a touchpad. A rather curious circular button sits just between the touchpad buttons.
With the press of a button, the touchpad magically turns into a media control panel
Give this a prod and the touchpad transforms into a touch-sensitive media control panel. Another press returns it to standard touchpad duty – thankfully this button requires a deliberate push, so you won’t be activating the media control panel by accident. It’s an interesting idea, but not one that adds a great deal in terms of usability.
Two elongated speaker grilles dominate the section just above the keyboard, while another pair is found lurking underneath the front lip. Although reasonably loud and able to conjure up a decent surround sound effect, I was left somewhat underwhelmed by the tinny nature of the audio.
According to Acer, there’s also a rear-facing sub woofer. Sure enough, closer inspection revealed a tiny circular grille on the underside of the chassis. However, even with an ear pressed right up against it I couldn’t detect any sort of bass. Sub-standard woofer, more like.
Continuing the media theme, Acer’s seen fit to furnish the Ethos with its very own Blu-ray player. Given the style-led nature of this laptop I was expecting it to come with a fancy slot-loading optical drive, but the LG CT21N drive is of the standard pop-out tray variety. HD movies looked good, but the slightly lacklustre colours and tinny audio let them down.
No doubt this is where the softly spoken sub woofer resides
No less than five USB ports adorn the chassis; three on the right, two on the left. One of the USB ports also doubles-up as an eSATA port. Mini Firewire is also present, as are the obligatory HDMI and VGA outputs.