CNET First Look
Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T-68U118This Netbook-sized 11.6-inch Acer may be small, but it has the innards of a full-sized laptop.
-Hi! I'm Scott Stein, senior associate editor at cnet.com, and this is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T-68U118. Now, that's a mouthful. What it is, is an 11.6-inch ultraportable that looks like a netbook but actually has a whole lot more going on underneath. We've said all this year that this is a year for premium netbooks devices that are netbook size but actually have almost full-fledged specs underneath. And this 11.6-inch screen device may be small, but it's got a core i7 ULV CPU inside. There's also 500 gig hard drive and 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM. It also has HDMI out, 3 USB ports. It doesn't have an optical drive but it's really lightweight and it's a great set of specs for the size. Unfortunately, the price is high, $899 for its relative retail price. You may find it more or less at certain stores, but that's really high. That's pretty much what you'd find for a high-end 13-inch laptop. The question is, do you wanna buy that or do you wanna go portable. Well, you're gonna be hard-pressed to find anything this small that performs as well as this. It has performance that it's equivalent to the core i7 Alienware M11x that we reviewed recently. But notably, this does not have graphics. It only has Intel integrated graphics, so don't expect to play any games on this. Also, the construction, we could have like a little bit of better keyboard and it's got a very narrow palm rest area. And the trackpad, while multi-touch, is been relegated to a tiny horizontal postage stamp size thing that's right over here, really hard to navigate with it. And there are 2 little buttons that are crammed in right underneath it. The included 6-cell battery is tucked in up here so as to reduce some of the extra bulge on the bottom. That's nice, but it kind of feels like it added a little bit of extra space up above that could have been use for the trackpad's face down below. If this had been shifted up a tiny bit, we would have loved it a whole lot more. It's a little plastic feeling, but it's definitely thin and very portable. You can easily pick it up and hold it one hand. So, it's a great overall little powerful machine. The question is, at $900, is it worth it for you. It's a pretty fun device, though. And just to let you know, in case the price is a little bit off-putting to you, the 1830T in line of this Acer Aspire Timeline series does have lower price models for core i5 and core i3 configurations. We are reviewing the highest end version of that series. I'm Scott Stein, and this is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T-68U118.