Acer Aspire 5672WLMi

The Acer Aspire 5672 has been designed so you can use your notebook as a versatile communication portal. This has been achieved by the introduction of a small Bluetooth VoIP phone that charges while it is docked in your PC Card slot. The phone relies on Skype and Acer's pre-installed proprietary software to make a call. A 1.3 megapixel webcam with 225 degrees of rotation has been placed in the top bezel to make the most of Skype 2.0's video call functionality.

The glossy 15.4in WXGA display, which has a 16ms response time and a native resolution of 1280x800, has a display dimming feature that activates when the notebook isn't in use, even if it is plugged in, to increase the longevity of the LCD.

Connectivity is excellent -- support for Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) is included. EDR allows for a data transfer rate of (up to) 3Mbps, three times the bandwidth of Bluetooth 1.1. Dedicated multimedia hot keys line the side of the keyboard and provide user access to Acer's multimedia platform, the "Acer Arcade", when the operating system is running.

The Aspire 5672 we tested has an Intel Core Duo T2300 processor with 1GB of RAM and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics accelerator. It scored 92 in PC WorldBench 5 and 9263 in 3DMark2001SE. As this notebook is designed for business applications, its 3-D graphics adapter is not overly powerful, but it can be used sparingly for gaming. FEAR ran at 18fps with graphics set on high.

Ample storage is provided by the 100GB SATA hard drive, as well as a slot loading, super-multi double-layer DVD burner that supports all DVD formats. The notebook includes a built-in microphone and speakers, which may make the Bluetooth phone seem redundant. However the phone is useful -- to achieve reasonable clarity using the built-in microphone for a VoIP call, you would need to speak approximately 5cm from the keyboard.

Unfortunately, we encountered a lot of problems with the Bluetooth phone when configuring and pairing with the notebook, as well as adjusting for what audio should be channelled through your desktop speakers and what audio should be channelled through your phone speaker.

Verdict: The Bluetooth VoIP phone is a great idea, but needs simpler and smoother implementation. It is a well priced, portable, business notebook.
Price: $2799
Vendor: Acer
Phone: 1300 366 567
Specifications: Centrino Duo, Intel Core Duo T2300 CPU; 1GB RAM; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 HyperMemory graphics card; 15.4in WXGA 1280x800 glossy screen; 100GB SATA hard disk; double-layer Super Multi DVD burner; 10/100/1000 Ethernet; 802.11b/g Wi-Fi; 56Kbps modem; Bluetooth 2.0+EDR; Bluetooth VoIP Phone; 4x USB 2.0 ports; 5-in-1 media card reader; S-Video out port; DVI and VGA ports; 1x PC Card slot; 1x ExpressCard slot; trackpad pointing device, weight 3Kg.

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Damien Donnelly

PC World
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