CNET First Look
Acer's ultra-affordable Timeline U M5-481TG ultrabookFor under $800, this 14-inch ultrabook packs a Core i5 processor, Nvidia graphics, a DVD drive, and a backlit keyboard. It's a back-to-school special that's extremely tough to beat.
I'm Scott Stein and in front of me is the Acer timeline UM 540. Winds TG. Now if you're shopping back to school time what are you looking for a very affordable laptop and may be something that's like an ultra book. The super thin laptops that are popping up ever -- But are pretty expensive well this Acer aspire. For what it packs under the hood that I've ever seen. At 779. This fourteen inch laptop. -- chemical laptop more than an ultra book don't get that -- Carries in it Nvidia graphics a dvd drive. And a 500 gigabyte hard drive a standard hard drive with a little bit of SSD cache to make a run a tiny bit faster. So what you ask makes that different from a regular thin laptop. Not very much because you ditch the standard SSD. You add the optical drive and you add graphics into this package and it -- regular laptop and it's heavier it's about four point two pounds. But it's thinner than most other laptop so pretty sleek for the price a little bit heavy compared to most ultra books like a MacBook Air. You know. Who's this for -- -- for anybody who wants to replace their laptop. And get all those features and I have to give up anything because of HDMI USB three point oh SD card slot ethernet Jack. There's no compromises and this even includes a backlit keyboard and Bluetooth so you got the whole kit and the brutal. Minus may be Blu-ray for under 800 dollars and it performs really nicely and it has pretty loud speakers now. Don't get too excited because the screen is not fantastic speaker quality may -- is not the best I've ever seen and the design. He blends into the background or you may think it's surprisingly nice for the price. In this configuration. It really can't be beat especially -- looking for anything that includes graphics like the Nvidia GeForce GT 640. Graphics that are in here which perform about twice the speed of what you get. On Intel integrated graphics -- your gamer. You want -- place a mainstream games you really can on this now the thirteen 66 by 768 resolution display a wouldn't really call this a gaming laptop. Because you're not gonna be able to crank up the resolution. Anything that -- consider high end. That being said he could it was plug in an external monitor and you know what. Taking that resolution down a notch. For this larger size screen actually results in higher frame rates and the games looked really did such as dirt three which I played -- -- Weight and size expectation in a laptop a primary now what are you expecting exactly when you. Look at a laptop like this timeline you. Well you're comparing it to a MacBook Air you're gonna look at this thing and think hey that looks that collect a large laptop. But if you're looking for something it's a full fledged laptop your -- look at this and say hey that's pretty sleek and cool. That's -- type of thing I -- of that what you categorize this as is an ultra book compared to a laptop. They get called the -- thinner top or some sort of an in between her sort of like the Sony Vaio -- Now. You know concern all -- -- -- under the hood I forget it I think it's great their other laptops. Like that -- the satellite U 45 that are about the size that don't pack as much under the hood. And it all out. And as a deal that's hard to turn down if you're looking only spent about 800 bucks. And -- one of the thinnest laptops out there. I feels nice performed nicely -- a few annoying it preinstalled trial ware programs that pop up in annoy you but what windows laptop doesn't nowadays. And hey Acer nice job. -- timeline you and 540 wind TG. It's pretty sleek laptop. I'm Scott Stein and that's my look at one of the best budget ultra books I've seen to date the Acer timeline view -- 540 want to -- --