Acer laptops are known for offering value for money, and that applies across most of their models, except that the Timeline series have earlier been seen as relatively more expensive because of the hardware they used.

Recently, Acer, along with Intel, announced its new Aspire Timeline X series of notebooks, which are revamped versions of the previous ULV-based models that were launched last year. On Tuesday, there were mainly two models showcased, the Timeline X 4820TG and the 4820T. These laptops have stepped out of the ULV category, straight into the mainstream laptop segment, but only in terms of hardware. Therefore, they are still light in weight (about 2.2 Kg), slick in design (1.1-inch in thickness), and offer tremendous battery backup.

The best part is, they are as powerful as mainstream Core i3/ i5 machines. Acer claims that these machines offer 8 to 9 hours of battery backup, despite the use of powerful Core processors and discrete GPUs. While this sounds pretty interesting, let’s see what these machines really have in store for us. As a test unit, we’ve got the Aspire Timeline X 4820TG which features discrete graphics with 1 GB RAM and an Intel Core i5 CPU, a powerful combination. Also, the laptop is quite smartly priced at Rs 48,924. It’s a good pick as long as it delivers what is promised.

The Aspire Timeline X 4820TG is a mainstream laptop which is ideal not only for office use, but even for power users. Be it for mainstream office chores like using the latest office suite, designing software, video/audio encoding, and so on, this laptop will suffice. Even gaming is one of its assets, thanks to a good dedicated GPU. The most striking aspect is that it offers the slickness and light weight form factor of a ULV laptop and the functionality and performance of a powerful mainstream laptop. In terms of features, there’s everything you might need, except for a finger print scanner (which is usually found on business machines). There are 4 USB ports and the display options include HDMI and VGA. Other features include a DVD-writer, a multi-card reader, 1.3 megapixel webcam, audio jacks and Kensington lock slot. Finally, the machine is pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).

This variant features an Intel Core i5-430M CPU which delivers sufficient processing power for mainstream tasks, and the dedicated ATI Radeon HD 5650 (1 GB RAM) will quench your thirst for gaming. To complete the hardware set are 4 GB DDR3 RAM and a 500 GB hard drive, which are a given in such as machine. Now, though this isn’t a gaming laptop, looking at the hardware, we ran game benchmarks and the results were quite good.

In the looks department, these machines will trounce most others, including ULV laptops that are known for their slick appearance. While there isn’t a huge difference between the previous ULV-based Timeline X series and this one, the brush metal lid and wrist rest can easily be raved about. The lid, screen frame and keyboard are black, and the wrist rest is grey, with the mouse pad being of a slightly darker tint. The entire body, except for the screen frame and keyboard rim, follows a matte theme. So the color theme and the overall aesthetics give the laptop a very elegant and business-like look and feel. Above all, at 2.2 Kg, this machine won’t give you a sore shoulder, when on the move.

Even ergonomically, there’s almost nothing to complain about, the keys are large enough and the tactility is good too. The large multi-gesture touchpad is matte and quite smooth. The mouse buttons could have been separate instead of a single bar, but nonetheless, it’s comfortable to use. It certainly looks more like a business laptop than a multimedia machine, but the performance says more than that.

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