Acer Aspire TimelineX finally launches stateside

Thin and powerful, yes, it’s possible

IT’S  TAKEN ACER a good few months to get the Aspire TimelineX series of notebooks to the North American market, but for anyone wanting a thin and light, yet powerful notebook with decent battery life for an affordable price, then this is what you’ve been waiting for. Acer is offering models ranging from 11.6 to 15.6-inches with a selection of Core i processors and even discrete graphics in some models.

Starting with the smallest model, the Aspire 1830, you’ll have a choice of a Core i3 330UM or Core i5 430UM processors, both of which are clocked at 1.2GHz and sport 3MB of cache, but the latter supports Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. Both CPUs are Ultra Low Power models and this is the first 11.6-inch notebook that we’re aware of that takes advantage of these new processors.

The 1830 uses Intel’s HM55 chipset and relies on Intel’s HD graphics. Acer will offer models with 4GB of RAM and up to 500GB of hard drive space. Other features include an HDMI port, a D-sub connector, a memory card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, a pair of audio jacks with S/PDIF out, a webcam and three USB 2.0 ports. 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi is of course also part of the package and even more interestingly, Bluetooth 3.0 with high speed mode which operates over Wi-Fi to increase the transfer speed.

The 1830 weighs in at a very light 3.09lb (1.4kg) with the 6-cell 4400mAh battery fitted. Acer recons the battery is good for “up to” 8h of battery life, but we’d guess it’ll be a bit less than that in actual usage. In terms of pricing, the 1830 will set you back $599.99 with the Core i3 330UM processor, 3GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard drive and Windows 7 Home Premium, while the Core i5 430 with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive is priced at $699.99.

Next up we have the 13.3-inch Aspire 3820T which is available with a 2.26GHz Core i3 350M or a 2.4GHz Core i5 450M. Again both processors have 3MB of cache and the latter model sports Turbo Boost. 4GB of DDR3 memory comes as standard, but this can be user upgraded to 8GB. The Core i3 model comes with a 320GB hard drive while the Core i5 model comes with 500GB. Unlike other regions, Acer has decided not to add discrete graphics to the 3820 in the US and as such you only get Intel HD graphics here as well.

Other features include an HDMI port, a D-sub connector, a pair of audio jacks with S/PDIF out, three USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a webcam, a memory card reader, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. You’re looking at lugging around 4.0lbs (1.8kg) with the standard 6-cell 6000mAh battery, although the high-capacity 9-cell 9000mAh battery adds an additional 0.34lb (170g) to the weight, but it also ups the battery life from a claimed 8h to 12h. The Core i3 350 model is priced at $729.99, but we didn’t manage to track down a price for the Core i5 model.

The 14-incher is called the 4820 and this time around we’re looking at four SKUs. The T models only come with Intel graphics while the TG models offer discrete graphics courtesy of the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650. Pretty much everything else stays the same as the 3820T with the exception of the slightly larger screen, a built in optical drive and an additional fourth USB 2.0 port. The optical drive and the larger screen make the 4820 slightly heavier at 4.9lb (2.2kg) with the standard 6-cell battery. We’ve only managed to find pricing for the models without discrete graphics and you’re looking at $749.99 for the Core i3 model, with the Core i5 costing $849.99.

Finally we have the 15.6-inch 5820 and again for some incomprehensible reason, Acer has decided not to go with discrete graphics as an option. The spec is once again the same as with the 3820 and 4820, although the 5820 does of course feature a built in optical drive. You don’t even get any additional ports on the 5820, but you do get more weight at 5.3lb (2.4kg). The pricing also appears to be the same as for the 4820 and we’re not sure why anyone would by a larger notebook with the same spec as a slightly smaller, lighter model.

All four models feature 1366×768 resolution screens with a glossy coating. The lid is covered with a metal finish and so is the wrist rest. The touch pad supports multi-touch and the keyboard is the same as that found on previous Timeline notebooks from Acer. We’re disappointed that Acer has decided to skimp on the discrete graphics options on all but the 4820TG models, as is other parts of the world the discrete graphics card is a standard feature across the entire range. Acer does offer slightly less powerful graphics solutions than the 5650 though, as many models come with the 5470 instead, this is still a jump up from Intel’s integrated HD graphics.S|A

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