Acer TravelMate 8200 review: Acer TravelMate 8200

We tested the $2,499 TravelMate 8204WLMi, which has a killer list of specs: a 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500 processor; 2GB of swift 533MHz RAM; a discrete ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card with 256MB of dedicated GDDR3 VRAM; and a colossal 120GB, 5,400rpm hard drive with antishock protection. As we described in our earlier story on the Core Duo, Intel designed the processor to provide blazing performance on games and multithreaded applications; the Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi delivers on the second half of that promise. While it scored ahead of single-core systems such as the Acer Aspire 1800 and the ThinkPad Z60t on our Doom 3 performance benchmarks, the TravelMate 8204WLMi trailed behind the superspeedy Dell Inspiron E1705; the Dell has the same processor and less RAM but includes the Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 graphics card. However, the TravelMate fared better on the suite of multimedia performance tests that CNET Labs originally developed to test dual-core desktops. Aside from the Sorenson Squeeze video-encoding program, the TravelMate 8204WLMi dispensed with every application in our suite faster--often much faster--than any single-core or other Core Duo laptop we've tested. The TravelMate 8204WLMi also scored well ahead of single-core laptops on the SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation tests, though its performance gains on office-productivity tasks were not as pronounced.

Our high hopes for the Core Duo's power-conserving capabilities were dashed in CNET Labs' battery-drain tests; the TravelMate 8200's cell lasted for 3 hours, 20 minutes, which would be just average for even a single-core Pentium M processor. By contrast, the ThinkPad Z60t's battery lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes. At 3 hours, 52 minutes, the battery life of the ultraportable HP Pavilion dv1000 was the longest of any Core Duo portable we've tested to date.

Acer keeps the TravelMate 8200's costs down by shipping the system with a one-year warranty and abbreviated phone-support hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m CT. The company's support Web site could use some work, as it lacks such helpful features as real-time chat with a tech-support rep. For more detailed information about warranties and service plans, check out Computer Shopper's overview of major computer vendors.

Maximum application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo's SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  
Acer TravelMate 8200
221 
297 
165 
Dell Inspiron E1705
211 
281 
159 
Acer Aspire 1800
180 
204 
158 
ThinkPad Z60t
159 
180 
141 

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo's MobileMark 2002 battery-life minutes  
Acer Aspire 1800
52 

Mobile application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo's MobileMark 2002 performance rating  

Doom 3 High Quality, 10x7, 4XAA
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Frames per second  
Acer Aspire 1800
10.1 

Multitasking tests (in minutes: seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
McAfee VirusScan and Dr. DivX file creation  
Dr. DivX file creation  
McAfee VirusScan  
Acer TravelMate 8200
2:52 
2:33 
2:45 
Dell Inspiron E1705
4:05 
2:33 
3:20 
Acer Aspire 1800
6:04 
2:42 
4:35 
IBM ThinkPad Z60t
8:28 
3:21 
5:46 

Media-editing tests (in minutes: seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
iTunes MP3 conversion  
Photoshop CS  
Sorenson Squeeze 4  
Acer TravelMate 8200
2:01 
2:12 
4:21 
Dell Inspiron E1705
2:02 
3:22 
4:23 
Acer Aspire 1800
3:09 
3:34 
3:44 
IBM ThinkPad Z60t
3:43 
4:34 
4:09 

Find out more about how we test Windows notebooks.

System configurations:
Acer Aspire 1800
Windows XP Home; 3.2GHz Intel Pentium 4 540; 1GB PC2700 DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X600 128MB; Seagate Momentus 5400.2 100GB 5,400rpm

Acer TravelMate 8200
Windows XP Professional; 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500; 2GB PC4300 DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 512MB (256MB shared); Seagate Momentus 5400.2 120GB 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron E1705
Windows XP Media Center; 2GHz Intel Pentium M-T2500 Core Duo; 1GB PC5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 Go 256MB; Fujitsu MHV2080BH 80GB 5,400rpm

ThinkPad Z60t
Windows XP Professional; 2GHz Intel Pentium M 760; 1GB PC4300 DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express 128MB; Toshiba MK1032GSX 100GB 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Acer TravelMate 8200

Part Number: LX.TAX06.034 Released: Jan. 6, 2006

MSRP: $2,099.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan. 6, 2006
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • CPU Intel Core Duo T2500 / 2 GHz
  • Resolution 1680 x 1050 ( WSXGA+ )
  • Weight 6.6 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (+R DL) / DVD-RAM - removable
  • Graphics Processor PCI Express - ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 - 256 MB DDR SDRAM