After putting it off for far too long, I finally decided it was time for a new laptop. This is the third time I’ve replaced my mobile computer in the eleven years since I started in business for myself. The old one actually performed quite well, way better than the one it replaced (a bulky, old, underpowered Compaq that cost me half a day’s work when it crashed on me in the middle of running a 60-Year Title), but was getting a little shopworn from being hauled around with me from courthouse to courthouse. I shopped around for a while, but didn’t see anything in the stores that caught my attention. So I decided to look for something online.
Now, let me preface this by saying that no one has agreed to pay me or to compensate me for this review in any way. I simply thought that it might be helpful to the many users of this ‘site who might be in the market for good, low-priced mobile computing solution. After shopping around, doing my "due diligence" and reading all of the positive reviews, I was still just a bit skeptical about this machine. A laptop with a battery life of nearly eight hours is too good to be true--right? That’s what I thought until I finally pulled the trigger on the purchase of an Acer Timeline X 5820T-6401.
Tipping the scales at a scant 5.4 lbs., this little gem features a lightning-fast Intel Core i-5 480M 2.66 GHz processor with a 4GB RAM and 640 GB hard disk drive. I'm not into any intense graphics or gaming programs, but running multiple applications simultaneously doesn’t seem to slow it down. It’s not only lightweight, it’s also compact, only 14.9”x 9.8” x 1.3” thin, with a 15.6” screen size. Its sleek black brushed aluminum case is sturdy enough for daily use and abuse, an important feature for us “road warriors”. The full-size keyboard layout is simple and functional, and I especially like the dedicated numeric keypad.
The Timeline X also features a multi-gesture touchpad, which enables a user to scroll, zoom and flip through web pages, much like an ipad. The Windows 7 operating system that comes preloaded has a “new-and-improved” user interface with a redesigned task bar. Not much different than Vista, if you ask me. The reviews and the company literature promise a battery life of up to eight full hours, but in real-world use, the battery lasts about 5-6 hours on a single charge. This comes in handy for those of us who work in record rooms where plugging into the county’s electrical outlets is not permitted.
Other notable features include a built-in 1.3 megapixel HD webcam, HDMI hi-def a/v output and an 8x SuperMulti DVD±R/RW drive, for those of you who are into that sort of thing. MSRP is around $700, but I was able to find one through amazon.com for a little under $650, including shipping.
Overall, the Acer Timeline X 5820T-6401 is a great all-purpose machine for those who are looking for a lightweight, reasonably priced, road-ready performer.