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Acer Travelmate 8204 accepts MacBook Pro Challenge

The MacBook Pro is great, but what happens when you put a new dual-core Intel chip where it belongs -- inside a proper laptop PC? Behold the Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi

The MacBook Pro has enjoyed an awful lot of press lately. As you may have heard, it's the first Apple laptop range to use Intel's new Core Duo CPUs, and though the announcement that Apple was taking Intel's shilling caused a furore among some Apple fanatics, their actual arrival has been celebrated the world over.

This is in no small part to Apple's ad campaign, which includes the slogan: "What's an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it's ever done in a PC." It's like someone stealing your girlfriend and then bragging about how much better they're treating her.

But what about 'proper' laptop PCs? Have they suddenly become redundant? Not according to Acer, which has just released the fantastic new Travelmate 8204WLMi -- the first PC-based laptop with a Core Duo processor and the latest iteration of Centrino, also known as 'Napa'.

PC fans can immediately claim bragging rights, as the 8204WLMi's Core Duo runs at 2GHz -- the MacBook Pro is only available in 1.63GHz and 1.8GHz guises. Ours arrived this morning, and though it isn't as attractive as Apple's little darling, it's certainly shaping up to be one of the best laptops of recent times.

It uses the same chassis as the Acer Ferrari series, minus the garish red livery, and has pretty much everything you'd expect to find in a high-end laptop. There's a wireless adaptor, a memory card reader, a DVD writer, and a Webcam and it even has a fast graphics card so you can beat Apple fanboys at an online game of Half-Life 2. That's assuming the game is ever released for Macs.

Watch out for a full review of the Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi shortly. -RR