OVMumPMekXQW8/uI7JcaqA== A L L 4 M O B I L E: Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T

Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T

 Acer TimelineX 1830T

11.6” portables tend to be underpowered, in fact most are netbooks with Atom or AMD Neo CPUs rather than the more powerful Intel Core i CPUs found in standard sized laptops. Want more power in your ultraportable? It’s gonna cost you some serious bucks. The Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T might not be bargain basement cheap, but it is one of the best equipped and powerful 11.6” notebooks money can buy. At $899 for the Intel Core i7 ULV model and $699 for the Intel Core i5 ULV, Acer beats the competition on price in this segment, and it’s hard to find significant fault with the 1830T.  It weighs just 3 lbs., has a 1.47GHz Intel Core i7 680UM CPU with 4 gigs of RAM, a 500 gig hard drive, HDMI, 3 USB ports and a pleasing gloss Acer CineCrystal display.

The Acer 1830T targets those who wish they could carry a netbook on the road but need more power and a higher resolution display. At 11.6”, it’s not for those of you who think that 13.3” is as small as a notebook should go.  Rather it’s for the extreme ultraportable set who want to do more challenging tasks such as video encoding, Photoshop and 720p video playback.  Battery life is as good as a netbooks thanks to the TimelineX’s focus on long battery life. With the standard 6 cell, 5800mAh Lithium Ion battery that tucks neatly into the rear edge, the 1830T can go for 7 hours when doing productivity tasks.
Design and Ergonomics
The TimelineX 1830T is a good looking notebook that has clean lines and a diamond plate patterned plastic lid that reduces fingerprints and improves grip. The laptop is made of plastics and the wrist rest area has an aluminum finish. It’s a good looking machine that’s reasonably rigid though the keyboard is Acer’s usual sprung model that has flex and not much travel. The small Alps mouse pad is integrated into the wrist rest area and 2 overly subtle lines provide minimal tactile feedback to let you know you’ve wandered off the active area.  The mouse buttons live at the edge of the notebook and are stiff. We had no trouble using them, and their location is a concession to miniaturization. The trackpad is too small to make practical use of multi-touch gestures but the designated side-scroller works decently.
Acer TimelineX 1830T
The near full size keyboard has relatively large keys but this isn’t the popular and more ergonomic island style keyboard with spacing between the keys. We were able to type quickly and accurately but some folks may be put off by the lack of key spacing. Keys are in their normal locations and we appreciate that both shift keys are oversized unlike the larger Lenovo IdeaPad U260 that has a small right shift key.
The 1366 x 768 LED backlit gloss Acer CineCrystal display is solid. Colors are nearly as accurate as the lovely matte high end Lenovo U260’s and we found viewing angles slightly better than the Lenovo (60 degrees). Brightness is good at 200 nits and clarity is excellent with sharp text and good looking images. This is no bargain basement display, and it’s well-suited to the TimelineX’s higher price tier. Glare can be an issue when working near a window and we wouldn’t recommend any gloss display for outdoor work, but it looks great indoors. We found brightness to be surprisingly good (and I like a bright display). I rarely raised brightness much above 55 to 60% indoors thanks to the bright panel. Interestingly, cranking brightness didn’t have a huge impact on battery life.

Ports, Specs and Upgrading
The Acer has a full complement of ports by ultraportable standards  including 3 USB 2.0 ports (1 left, 2 right), HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm stereo audio out with SPDIF, mic-in and power. The laptop has both WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 (both Broadcom). It’s easy to open up the TimelineX 1830T to do upgrades: simply remove 4 Philips head screws and remove the large bottom cover to access the hard drive, 2 RAM slots wireless module and empty PCI Express connector.  The machine ships with 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM in 2 SODIMM slots and it has a 500 gig 5400 rpm hard drive with 8 megs cache (ours is a Western Digital).
Acer TimelineX 1830T

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