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Acer Aspire 6920G review: Acer Aspire 6920G

Typical Price: £880.00
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The Good Good performance; stylish looks; excellent connectivity; great media features.

The Bad Short on battery life; keyboard isn't quite as good as it could be.

The Bottom Line The Aspire 6920G is a stylish machine that offers great performance for watching movies or playing the latest games. It's an excellent option if you're looking for a desktop replacement laptop that can keep you entertained

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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The Acer Aspire 6920G is part of the company's new Gemstone Blue range of entertainment-focused laptops that all sport Blu-ray drives. There's more to this machine than simply Blu-ray, though. It also boasts a speedy graphics chip, innovative touch-sensitive media controls and Dolby Home Theatre virtual surround sound. You can buy it online from laptopsdirect.co.uk for £880, but has it really got what it takes to be a top entertainer?

Strengths
Like its brother, the Acer Aspire 8920G, the 6920G is certainly an attractive laptop. The lid is finished in glossy piano black and the Acer logo in the centre lights up when the laptop is turned on. Open up the laptop and you'll find a spacious keyboard that's flanked on the left by Acer's CineDash console.

Essentially, this is a backlit touch-sensitive panel that's decked out with a plethora of media controls. It looks very futuristic and slightly complicated at first glance, but it's actually very straightforward to use. It's especially useful for controlling Windows Media Center or Acer's own Arcade Deluxe media player software. The panel also has a hold button so you can temporarily disable it to avoid inadvertently triggering its controls when you're doing more boring stuff like editing work documents.

The 6920G is no slouch when it comes to performance. The combination of the Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 2.1GHz processor and 4GB of memory helped it push itself to an impressive score of 5,044 in PCMark 2005, making it one of the better performing Core 2 Duo-based laptops we've seen lately.

It's pretty handy when it comes to gaming too, as Acer has used a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 9500M GS chip with 512MB of RAM. It's not surprising that the laptop turned in a healthy score of 4,024 in 3DMark 2006. The 9500 chip also has another trick up its sleeve -- it also features Nvidia's PureVideo HD technology that offers hardware decoding of HD video; it's useful when you want to watch HD movies via the Blu-ray drive, while still having spare processing power for performing other tasks in the background.

It has to be said that movies and games look great on the 16-inch display. It's crisp and sharp, thanks to the 1,366x768-pixel resolution and because it has a proper 16:9 aspect ratio -- rather than the 16:10 used on most laptops -- you don't get any black bars when watching widescreen movies.

Toshiba has raised the bar somewhat for audio on laptops by opting for Harman Kardon speakers on its entertainment models, but here Acer has added a subwoofer, mounted just under the display, and support for Dolby Home Theatre virtual surround sound. As you would expect it never sounds like a true 5.1 surround set up, but the subwoofer does help to add more meat to the bottom end and the spatial effect succeeds in widening the stereo imaging to a pleasing degree.

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