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The Extensa 5635Z is a business-centric notebook, and like most business models the core visuals take a back seat to functionality. This inevitably leads to a rather plain looking notebook, and there's really nothing in the Extensa's design that truly stands out. The keyboard uses just about every last millimetre of space open to it, which enables Acer to include a number pad on a model with a 15.6-inch display screen. The flip side of that is that some of the keys are very close together, and the cursor keys suffer from being quite small and being stuck under dedicated Euro and Dollar keys.
The one design feature in the Extensa that we did like — and that should appeal to the business crowd — is that it's a solidly build laptop, which should bode well for its ruggedness over time. "Solid" usually equates to "heavy", and with a weight of 2.5kg with the battery installed, you'll quickly feel the Extensa on your shoulder.
Acer sells the Extensa in a variety of configurations, and predictably the "from $1099" price represents the lowest specification machine that Acer sells. Our review sample sported a Pentium Dual-Core T4200 CPU, 2GB of RAM and an internal Intel GMA4500M 64MB graphics chip. Storage is provided via a 250GB SATA drive, and optical duties are handled by an 8x DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive. The Extensa ships with a multi-format card reader, three USB ports, D-Sub VGA output and a multi-touch capable touchpad. On the networking side it's got standard Ethernet, 802.11n and Bluetooth.