Acer Aspire 3935-6504 review: Acer Aspire 3935-6504

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Battery life: 7.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Slim, polished design; powerful for a sub-$1,000 13-inch laptop; good battery life.

The Bad Wimpy touch pad, VGA-only video output; some parts feel quite plastic.

The Bottom Line Thin, sexy 13-inch laptops are reasonably common, but the Acer Aspire 3935 is one of the slickest available for less than $1,000.

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It's easy enough to find a thin, sexy 13-inch laptop, such as the Dell Adamo or Apple MacBook. Finding one for less than $1,000 is a little tougher, as the base model aluminum MacBook starts at $1,299 (yes, there's a $999 plastic model, too), and HP's recent Pavilion dv3 is certainly inexpensive, but it's not particularly petite (and, until very recently, was only available with an AMD CPU).

Acer's new Aspire 3935 manages to fit a standard Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB of RAM, and a decent 250GB hard drive into a slim chassis with a brushed metal finish, all for $899. The trade-offs are the integrated graphics (the standard MacBook offers Nvidia's excellent GeForce 9400 GPU), a touch pad that's merely adequate, and a dearth of any kind of video output besides VGA.

Price as reviewed $899
Processor 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
Memory 3GB, 1066MHz DDR2
Hard drive 250GB 5,400rpm
Chipset Mobile Intel GM45 Express Chipset
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD (integrated)
Operating system Windows Vista Premium
Dimensions 12.8 inches wide by 9.3 inches deep
Height 1.0 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 13.3 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 4.2/5.0 pounds
Category Thin and light

The eye-catching Acer Aspire 3935 is only 1-inch thick, and the attractive bronze chassis has a brushed-metal overlay on the back of the lid. It's not as sturdy as the all-metal construction of the ($400-more-expensive) MacBook, but it generally felt solid and well-built, with a couple of exceptions. The plastic optical-drive tray wiggled and clicked under our fingers whenever we picked the system up, and we could occasionally hear the hard drive shutter and groan during even gentle handling.

A familiar-looking keyboard apes those found on Apple, Sony, and recent Dell laptops, with widely spaced, flat-topped keys. It's comfortable and easy to use, and includes full page-up and page-down keys, which we always find useful. The touch pad is usable but slightly cramped, and the mouse buttons require a firm click to register. The touchpad does, however, include a handful of multitouch gesture controls, including a photo-zooming pinch, and two-finger horizontal scrolling. We're fans of touch-pad gestures, but actually getting the gestures to register was hit-or-miss, and the small touch pad surface didn't give us a lot of room to work.

The 13.3-inch wide-screen LED display offers a 1,366x768 native resolution, which is standard for a 16:9 screen this size, and slightly higher than the usual 1,200x800 found on most non-16:9 13-inch laptops. The display was bright and easy to read, but also very glossy, so be warned if stray light reflections bother you.

  Acer Aspire 3935-6504 Average for category [thin-and-light]
Video VGA-out VGA, mini-HDMI or Mini-DVI
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 3 USB 2.0, SD card reader 3 USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, SD card reader
Expansion None ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner

The Acer Aspire 3935 performed on par with other mid-priced 13-inch laptops, such as HP's AMD-powered Pavilion dv3z, and Gateway's Gateway UC7807u. None were a match for the more expensive MacBook, but in the 13-inch category, Dell's high-end $2,000 Adamo was far behind in each of our benchmark tests, thanks to its slower ultra-low voltage CPU (although that same chip helps the Adamo be arguably the slimmest laptop on the market today).

In anecdotal use, we found the Aspire 3935 well-suited for everyday multitasking, including Web surfing, media playback, and working on office documents. The integrated Intel graphics aren't going to do much more than play casual Web games--another area where the MacBook has an advantage, with its Nvidia GeForce 9400 graphics.

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Where to Buy

Acer Aspire 3935-6504

Part Number: AS3935-6504 Released: Apr 27, 2009

MSRP: $899.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr 27, 2009
  • Installed Size 3 GB
  • Weight 4.2 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - fixed
  • Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500MHD
  • CPU Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 / 2 GHz