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Acer Ferrari 1100 review: Acer Ferrari 1100

MSRP: $1,999.00
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The Good Ferrari styling; big hard drive and tonnes of memory; good software bundle; great connectivity.

The Bad Poor performance for the price; horrible trackpad; reliability issues.

The Bottom Line The Acer Ferrari 1100 is not cheap, but we'd be willing to accept the high price if it had the heart of a thoroughbred beating under the bonnet. Sadly, that's not the case. Instead, you pay a supercar price to get family saloon performance

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6.5 Overall

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Both Acer and AMD sponsor the Ferrari F1 team, so every now and again they buddy up to produce a Ferrari-themed laptop. This time, the duo have come up with a thin-and-light called the 1100 that will set you back around £1,400. It certainly has a supercar price tag, but does it have the style and performance to do the Italian marque proud?

Strengths
The 1100's styling won't appeal to everyone, but there's no doubt that the design does try to convey some of the magic of Formula One. The lid is covered with a carbon fibre texture and there's a large prancing horse badge in the middle. Flip the laptop open and you'll find that the theme is continued inside. The trackpad boasts the same carbon fibre texture as the lid and there's another Ferrari logo to remind you just why you shelled out so much cash for the machine in the first place.

Other than that, you get a keyboard that's actually quite spacious and a row of touch buttons at the top right to give you quick access to applications like your email client and Web browser.

The laptop is only slightly taller and deeper than your average glossy magazine so it's no surprise that it has a petite 12.1-inch screen. This has a 1,280x800-pixel resolution and uses an CrystalBrite coating, which is reflective but produces beautiful looking colours.

The AMD sponsorship link means that the laptop is built around a Turion 64 X2 TL-66, running at 2.3GHz with a healthy 4GB helping of RAM for support. There's also a spacious 250GB hard drive and despite the laptop's small size, Acer has managed to squeeze in a slot-loading dual layer DVD writer. Considering that AMD's laptop processors are generally considered more power hungry than their Intel rivals, the 1100's battery run down test results weren't too bad. It managed to keep going for 1 hour 58 minutes.

It's no slouch in the connectivity department either. There are three USB ports, a mini FireWire socket as well as a S-Video and D-Sub connectors for outputting video. You also get Bluetooth support and a Wi-Fi chip that offers faster Draft-N wireless performance when used on compatible Draft-N networks.

Some of the other nice additions include a webcam integrated into the lid, a fingerprint scanner sited at the bottom right of the keyboard and a pair of surprisingly good quality speakers. In the box, Acer also supplies a Ferrari-branded mouse, Skype phone and carry slip case.

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