So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Acer TravelMate 6465WLMi
- Express card slot, SmartCard security, large hard drive capacity
- Nothing notable
This is a nice little unit with plenty of features. It performed well, has good connectivity and is quite portable.
Price$ 3,544.00 (AUD)
Unlike previous TravelMate models we've seen from Acer, the TravelMate 6465WLMi comes in a black casing that has a wax finish, otherwise it has most of the features we're used to seeing from the TravelMate range. Some of those features include a curved ergonomic keyboard design, a media card reader and programmable buttons that can be used to launch your favourite applications.
An Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0GHz CPU has been used, giving this notebook more processing power than the older Core Duo CPU-based range and, of course, the ability to run 64-bit operating systems and applications. An Express card slot has also been added to the list of features. This is useful for installing high-speed PCI Express devices such as a mobile Internet card (from the likes of Vodafone, Optus or iBurst) or a digital TV-tuner card. Acer has separated the Express card slot from the standard PC Card (type II) slot, meaning both types of cards can be used simultaneously.
There's also a SmartCard slot, with two SmartCard security cards included in the box. The SmartCard is a handy way of securing your notebook so others can't use it without your permission. The card must be inserted into a slot on the side of the notebook in order to enter Windows. This security feature is complimented by the addition of a fingerprint scanner, which can also be used for logging into the system.
This TravelMate did quite well in our tests, scoring 97 in World Bench 5, which shows it will have no problem running just about any common program you can throw at it.
As well as having a T7200 Core 2 Duo dual core CPU installed, the TravelMate also comes with 1GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM. These components ensure that you will be able to comfortably use multiple applications simultaneously.
This system meets the requirements for Vista Home Premium edition. Part of this qualification requires the notebook to have a graphics card that's able to run Vista's Aero interface. This requirement is filled by an ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 graphics adapter, which has 128MB of dedicated memory. Although it won't handle any heavy-duty gaming or 3-D rendering, the ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 will allow you to use the added visual features in Vista. The X1300 is not aimed at high-end gamers, but it still scored 10041 in 3DMark 2001 SE, which shows that it should be able to handle older games.
The TravelMate 6465WLMi returned fairly good results in our battery tests as well. Using MobileMark 2005's reader test, a best case scenario that simulates minimal usage, it ran for 201 minutes. In our worst case scenario test, where we run down the battery playing a DVD, it ran for 112 minutes.
The casing around the screen of this TravelMate is slightly sturdier than on previous TravelMate models that we've looked at. The screen's maximum resolution of 1680x1050 provides a sharp image and its vertical viewing angles are good, making it comfortable to look at.
The 120GB hard drive will be enough to keep a large portion of your music and movie files on the computer, while leaving space for a good number of software packages to be installed too. The DVD burner can burn to DVD-R and DVD+R discs as well as double-layer media and is handy for backing up data.
With Gigabit LAN, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g wireless and Bluetooth 2.0, not to mention a 56Kbps modem, you'll have no difficulty networking this machine. There's also one FireWire and four USB 2.0 ports for wired connections, as well as DVI and VGA ports for video output and a serial port, which may come in handy if you use older devices that require a serial interface to transfer data to a computer.
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