Acer Updates TravelMate Timeline Notebooks
Acer is launching a new generation of its TravelMate Timeline notebooks targeted at the business space. But can Acer stand out amid the swath of new offerings from other PC manufacturers? Read on for the tech specs and form your own opinion …
The new TravelMate Timeline comes in two models: a 14- or 15-inch screen with two sub-sets of each size, for a total of four new machines, the Timeline 8573, 8473, 6595 and 6495. With those four, Acer is competing on another four — features, that is: performance, durability, battery life and security.
Performance is highlighted with Intel’s new Core processors, coupled with USB 3.0 and the option for Nvidia or Intel HD graphics. Intel’s vPro technology and anti-theft technology are also standard, and the TravelMate can be outfitted with up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM as an option. For performance-based storage, a 120GB SSD can be outfitted instead of the 750GB HDD.
Business-conscious improvements include power over USB even when the laptop is powered down, allowing devices to charge. The Timeline features eight hours of battery life with “long cycle batteries,” designed to handle more charges and discharges than traditional batters, thus maintaining the eight-hour life span much longer than traditional batteries might.
For durability, Acer has outfit the Timelines with a magnesium-aluminum case to protect against drops and “DustDefender” technology that apparently can “push” dust out of the laptop to prevent the laptop from heating up over time. A spill-resistant keyboard comes standard but with a twist — Acer has built drainage gaps to ensure no liquid gets to the sensitive areas of the computer. Acer also built in anti-shock protection for the hard disk, should it not be solid-state.
If you’re the kind of person who uses their laptop as their main computer at home, Acer is also introducing ProDock, which allows for DVI, HDMI and USB ports to automatically connect to a desktop setup at home.
How much does this all cost? The 14-inch Timeline 8573 and 8473 are priced at $799, while the 15-inch Timeline 6595 and 6495 are priced $999.
Bottom line? On paper, the Acer TravelMate Timeline series packs a lot of punch inside a 14-inch and 15-inch notebook, and offers a solid value for price. At 1-inch thick and weighing in at about 5 pounds, these laptops are portable, but not MacBook Air-light. But Acer seems to have found a way to strike a balance between business-portable needs and home-robust needs.
If Acer isn’t your brand, don’t forget the Lenovo X1 also has endeavored to provide very similar functionality for power-hungry road warriors.