The Acer Aspire 7720 -- nicknamed 'Gemstone' -- is a beast, with a relatively high hardware spec, large widescreen display and weighing in at almost 4kg.
It's not the sort of machine you'd want to have to carry around for very long, but makes a fine desktop replacement and is available for £774.97 from LaptopsDirect.co.uk.
Under the slightly lacklustre hood of the 7720 is a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor and a healthy 2GB of RAM, which had no trouble running through the PCMark05 benchmark, returning a result of 4,395 which is extremely impressive for a laptop. Games performance, while not quite as remarkable, was also decent with a 3DMark06 score of 1,533.
With plenty of room to play with, the 7720 includes a spacious 17-inch glossy display that's pleasant to work on and a large keyboard with a separate numeric keypad at the side.
There's also an array of shortcut buttons along the top and a slightly ominous green button which launches Acer's Empowering Technology software, which, despite the slightly overblown name, is a useful suite of configuration utilities.
When it comes to ports and connectors, the 7720 could rival a desktop machine, with sockets for both VGA and DVI, four USB (two on each side), 4-pin FireWire, modem, Ethernet, memory card reader, audio (including SPDIF) and TV out strewn around its body.
It may stack up well in the performance stakes, but there's no denying the colossal size of this machine. It's also pretty hefty too at nearly 4kg, making only short trips from room to room feasible.
It's just as well that it's not realistic to take it very far as the battery wouldn't last that long anyway. It only managed to keep going for just over an hour when running the intensive Battery Eater test. It fared slightly better with the lighter reader test, but still only achieved around three hours.
It also looks like it was designed by a short-sighted engineer. The black plastic lid is speckled with small reflective bits -- which is presumably meant to look distinctive, but in reality just makes it look like it's covered in small particles of dust.
However, that's nothing compared to the greying beige plastic employed on the inside. Make no mistake, this is an ugly, plastic-looking brute.
Despite its large screen size, it only supports a maximum resolution of 1,440x900 pixels, which is a waste of the increased display space and means that you won't be able to view 1080p HD video at its full resolution.
The 7720 tries hard and it's a good performer when it comes to crunching numbers or the odd bit of gaming. However, it's a large, ugly beast destined to stay desk bound, but a reasonable choice if you don't have that many visitors and are happy to hide it away if anyone pops round.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire