The Good Exceptional battery life. Comfortable keyboard.
The Bad 32-bit Windows means the 4GB RAM can't be fully utilised. Touch Portal is still a slow gimmick. Ordinary graphics performance.
The Bottom Line Acer's 1820PT brings portability and excellent battery life firmly into the convertible tablet space.
Acer Aspire 1820PT
Right now, the main attention paid to tablets is in the iPad space, and its many clones. Straight up slate-style tablets are the flavour of the month, but that hasn't stopped vendors from producing convertible tablets with full keyboards. Acer's latest, the 1820PT is a small (85x208.9x34.5mm) and light (1.72kg) tablet in an appealing blue finish. We were slightly less taken with the panel that sits above the keyboard, which features a slightly hypnotic silver swirl on it. The keyboard itself is well laid out with large flat keys, predictably tiny cursor keys and a multi-touch-capable trackpad. The trackpad sits above the mouse buttons, which are formed from a single piece of plastic with a gutter strangely cut into it. It does look a little odd, but it's easy to rest your fingers in there. As an added upside, if you ever dropped a truly tiny cup of cappuccino on the trackpad, it's got a spot to pool safely. We should point out, if only for reasons of legal liability that dousing your laptop in coffee will in almost every case void the warranty.
Most tablets to date have been more focused on battery power than performance power, and the Aspire 1820PT is no different. It sports an Intel Core 2 Duo (SU7300) 1.2GHz processor and up to 4GB of RAM, although our review sample only featured 2GB. Graphics are handled by Intel's GMA 4500MHD with only 64MB of its own memory. There's no on-board optical drive — a common thing with many tablets — but expansion ports include three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and microphone and headphone sockets. Complementing the gigabit Ethernet on the networking front is 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.
On the software front, the 1820PT comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and only a smattering of trialware and other included applications. These run from a trial version of Office Home and Student 2007 to CyberLink PowerDirector. Pre-installed software, and especially trialware, is often more pain that it's worth, so it's nice to see a system that's comparatively lightly preloaded.
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