Acer Extensa 5620Z-3A1G12Mi
- Excellent value for money, good built-in webcam, wide variety of connectivity
- Lacks processing speed, ergonomic keyboard design takes getting used to, plain design
Although the unit lacks the speed seen in other dual-core systems, it is one of the best notebooks available for under $1000. If you are on a tight budget, this unit should be high on the must-see list.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
The Acer Extensa 5620Z (3A1G12Mi) is a budget notebook aimed squarely at the business market. With a combination of commercial features, such as an excellent built-in webcam, and a very low price tag — only $800 after a $99 cash back offer from Acer — the only real negative point for this unit is its lack of processing power.
The notebook is powered by an Intel Pentium Dual Core T2370 CPU, which runs at 1.73GHz and has a 1MB L2 cache. Considering the price, the dual-core CPU is a welcome surprise. Equipped with 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, a 120GB Serial ATA disk drive that runs at 5400rpm, a DVD-RW with dual-layer burning capabilities, and a 15.4in screen with a native resolution of 1280x800, the internal workings of the unit are all very positive on paper, especially when balanced against the low price point. Although some users may find the workspace a bit cramped while running multiple applications with the native resolution of the screen, good desktop management will avoid this, and DVD watching will be fine. The 1GB of RAM may seem low, but this can be upgraded to 2GB in the future.
The Extensa was slow in performing our WorldBench 6 tests, where the unit only scored a 56. Although you'll be able to multitask with typical office applications without encountering too much sluggishness, applications that require more power, such as video-editing, won't run well at all on this notebook. In our iTunes test, where we convert 53 minutes worth of .WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s to test the CPU, the dual-core system shone with a good time of 1min 46sec.
The 3DMark06 benchmarks returned a low score of 299, but this is to be expected from a system with an integrated Intel X3100 graphics card and a 1.73GHz CPU. Anyone looking for good gaming performance in a notebook will, naturally, need to look at spending much more than $800!
The 15.4in screen exhibited excellent colour reproduction when viewing movies and still images, although reflectivity is a problem. Viewing angles aren't spectacular, but using the unit in smaller spaces such as an aircraft seat shouldn't be a problem. The built-in webcam above the screen is relatively good, capturing motion in a variety of lighting situations.
A general quirk that we've noticed with many of Acer's notebooks is the 'ergonomic' keyboard. Instead of a straight-edged keyboard, Acer has chosen a curved design. New Acer users, especially touch-typists, may need time to adjust because the keys are in slightly different places due to the curve.
Cosmetically speaking, the Extensa is very business-like, so it won't turn heads. The screen and body are both sturdy, and should stand up to the pressures of constant use without many problems. Business users and travellers will also appreciate the Extensa's battery performance. In our worst-case scenario test, where we push the battery by running the optical drive, sound, screen and processor until the power runs outs, the Extensa lasted 1 hour and 44 minutes, which a good result. If a user sticks to less intensive applications and uses effective power management, however, the notebook will last much longer.
Without including the power supply unit (PSU), this unit weighs in at 2.75kg and it's generally bearable for use on laps. When carrying it around in your laptop bag, the whole package with the PSU weighs 3.15kg.
Given the low price tag, the unit has many connections. Although the wireless adapter only supports 802.11b/g networking, the gigabit Ethernet connection will facilitate fast transfer rates over a wired network. A 56Kbps modem port on the rear of the unit means that Internet connectivity is well-covered for all types of users.
The inclusion pf four USB 2.0 ports, as well as one FireWire port, S-Video out port and a VGA port are all welcome additions to this budget device, as is the variety of card slots. Apart from the 5-in-1 card reader, (SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD), an ExpressCard/54 slot sits below a Type II PC Card slot, and the inclusion of both provides for a great range of expansion cards to be installed, such as e-SATA or 3G data cards for fast external storage and mobile Internet access, respectively.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Lenovo ThinkPad celebrates 25 years of cutting edge technology
- Crowdfunding campaign to bring wireless charging to the Macbook
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSenior Test Analyst - SiebelACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Application DevelopmentWA
- CCSenior Development DBA - OracleNSW
- FTSenior Technology Specialist (Networks)Other
- TPProject ManagerACT
- FTRiggers / Telecommunication RiggersOther
- FTSoftware EngineerNSW
- CCIteration Manager - Insurance BackgroundQLD
- CCTest Analyst - BrisbaneACT
- FTPython DevelopersOther
- TPOffice 365 Technical LeadQLD
- TPFrontend Developer - AngularNSW
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- FTApplication Support SpecialistVIC
- CCExstream DeveloperNSW
- FTInfrastructure Designer - Citrix/AWSOther
- CCJava LeadNSW
- CCDynamics AX Functional Consultant ? Finance | Supply ChainQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- FTSoftware Developer (Ruby on Rails)NSW
- FTApplication Support Technical LeadQLD
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- TPBusiness Analysis, Design and Configuration ManagerQLD
- CCProject Manager - IVRVIC