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Acer's new 13-inch TimelineX 3830TG-6431 reviewed: Portable power and a great price

As long as you can live without a DVD drive, Acer's new $779 TimelineX is one of the best fast, thin laptops you're likely to find.

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A few years ago, the Acer TimelineX was one of the first of what we then called "thin and light" laptops, 13-inchers with sleeker, lighter frames, long battery life, and a more easily portable design than a standard notebook.

The TimelineX series still exists, and Acer's latest version features newer Intel second-gen Core i-series processors and impressive Nvidia graphics. Still, the landscape has expanded to include many thin laptops: the Sony Vaio S and Toshiba Portege R835, and the extremely thin Apple MacBook Air and Samsung Series 9. The $779 TimelineX 3830TG-6431 is thin, but not as thin as a MacBook Air. It's not that light for its size, either--the Sony Vaio S and Toshiba Portege are lighter, and they include optical DVD drives. The TimelineX doesn't, although it looks large enough to accommodate one.

Battery life is good, but we've seen even better from the Toshiba Portege R835 and MacBook Air. What the TimelineX 3830TG-6431 does have is a competitive price that's on the lower end for thin 13-inchers, and a set of features that, optical drive aside, is superior to those of many of its competitors.

Does design matter more to you, or the features you can get for the price? If it's the latter, the $779 TimelineX 3830TG-6431 is worth your consideration. It's not the sexiest thin laptop around, but it's certainly one of the fastest, and it is one of the cheapest small laptops with this level of graphics power that we've ever seen.

Read the rest of our review of the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830TG-6431.