Acer Aspire 2920-302G25Mn
- Affordable price, offers a solid performance in every area except gaming
- Eccentric 'Gemstone' design won't be to everyone's taste
The Acer Aspire 2920-302G25Mn is an ultraportable 're-imagining' of the all-purpose Gemstone series; offering a similar performance in a lightweight package. Provided you can overlook its garish interior, there's plenty to love about this little gem of a performer.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
The Aspire 2920-302G25Mn is the first notebook in Acer's flagship 'Gemstone' range to offer truly ultraportable specifications. With similar specs and a near-identical appearance, it kind of resembles an Aspire Gemstone 5920G (302G20N) which has been left to shrink in the wash (we like to imagine Acer's mum did this by accident, prompting the company to market it as a new product). It performed admirably in our CPU tests, achieving a higher score than several of its all-purpose siblings. As you would expect, its graphical showing was a lot less impressive, though this is somewhat to be expected from an ultraportable in this price range.
As mentioned, the 2920-302G25Mn shares an uncanny resemblance to previous Gemstone models, albeit in a slimmed down guise. Personally, we were never big fans of the Gemstone design, so this isn't a particularly strong selling point in our opinion. While the black holographic lid is inoffensive enough, the same cannot be said for the ugly beige interior, nor the assortment of 'futuristic' (circa 1960) LED lights. It kind of reminded us of the spaceship interiors from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey; which presumably isn't the look Acer was going for.
Otherwise, we found very little to complain about with this notebook. It comes equipped with the same 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 processor as the Aspire 5920G; while the inclusion of 2GB of DDR2 RAM will ensure most applications zip along at an acceptable rate. In Worldbench 6 the 2920-302G25Mn landed an overall score of 79. This is a very respectable result for an ultraportable unit, putting it on par with most of Acer's premium all-purpose efforts. It will easily handle most commonly used applications, including Web browsing, word processing and some photo editing.
When it comes to graphical pursuits, the integrated Intel X3100 graphics chipset will be a bit of a let-down for gamers; though to be fair, it was obviously never intended for this user base. In our 3DMark 06 test, the 2920-302G25Mn received a pitiful score of 589, which rules out all but the most primitive modern gaming titles. Running 3DMark 2001 gave a more reasonable result of 4314, which would suggest a smoother ride for older/budget games.
The Aspire Gemstone 2920-302G25Mn is well equipped to meet your multimedia needs, coming with a 250GB hard drive and a DVD writer, as well as a built-in 1.3-megapixel 'Crystal Eye' webcam. The 12.1in widescreen LCD display (1200x800) will do a fine job of displaying pictures and videos. The screen remained bright and crisp in a variety of environments, though its reflective nature may cause visibility issues at certain viewing angles. Meanwhile, the pair of inbuilt stereo speakers produced rich and impressively loud audio.
Weighing in at 2.2kg, the 2920-302G25Mn isn't the lightest ultraportable we've seen but it's far from heavy. Its overall dimensions of 304x223x32mm will see it fit into most bags without any problems. There's a reasonable array of connectivity options, including three USB 2.0 ports, an S-Video and VGA port, a 5-in-1 media card reader and an ExpressCard slot.
For our battery test we looped a DVD, which uses the speakers and optical drive for maximum drain. The 2920-302G25Mn chugged along for two hours and 13 minutes, which should see you to the end credits of all but the most butt-numbing of movies.
All up, the average traveller will be more than happy to have the 2920-302G25Mn's company on the road.
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