The Travelmate is all business, its matte black, silver and grey and reinforced screen, while not as rugged as a Lenovo, will certainly stand up to its share of knocks.
Acer's quick access buttons have been reduced to a tiny, yet still comfortable size and placed on the left. These give quick access to things like your default browser, mail program, and Acer's excellent notebook management software. Unfortunately only four out of the seven buttons are customisable, meaning you're locked into Acer's choices for three of them.
Considering the 4920G's wide touchpad we were hoping for more of the same, unfortunately the 5720G comes with a fairly standard offering, the usual unmarked scroll functionality available at the right and bottom of the pad, courtesy of Synaptics' software. The keyboard is curved as well, which after a brief period of adjustment is actually a pleasure to use.
Interestingly Acer has chosen to locate three of the four USB ports on the back, along with the modem port and power adaptor. The choice is questionable -- surely USB ports on the side are more accessible? Likewise, shifting the Ethernet port from the left side to the back would have been a better choice.
Exhaust ports are on the back, making sure that using an external mouse doesn't make your hand unnecessarily warm.