Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Review Notebook : Acer Aspire 4930

This is my current notebook. Acer Aspire 4930. This is my second Acer notebook after I trade in my Acer Aspire 5670. Both my experience on these Acer's notebook is satisfactory.

Acer Aspire 4930 specification:
Processor Intel® Centrino® processor technology, featuring:
Intel® Core®2 Duo processor T5800 (2 MB L2 cache, 2.00 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, supporting Intel® 64 architecture
Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset
Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5100 (dual-band quad-mode 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N) Wi-Fi CERTIFIED network connection, featuring MIMO technology, supporting Acer SignalUp with Nplify2, 3 wireless technology
Operating System Windows Vista® Home Premium
VGA 14.1″ WXGA high-brightness (200-nit) Acer CrystalBrite™ TFT LCD, 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, supporting simultaneous multi-window viewing via Acer GridVista™
16 ms response time
Memory Dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM support
2 GB of DDR2 667 MHz memory, upgradeable to 4 GB using two soDIMM modules7
Graphics Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset with integrated 3D graphics, featuring Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (Intel® GMA 4500MHD) with up to 1759 MB of Intel® Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0 (64 MB of dedicated video memory, up to 1695 MB of shared system memory), supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 10
Dual independent display support
16.7 million colors
External resolution/refresh rate:
2048 x 1536: 60 Hz
1920 x 1440: 75/60 Hz
1856 x 1392: 75/60 Hz
1792 x 1344: 75/60 Hz
1600 x 1200: 100/85/75/60 Hz
1600 x 900: 60 Hz
1400 x 1050: 60 Hz
1280 x 1024: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
1280 x 960: 85/60 Hz
1280 x 768: 60 Hz
1152 x 864: 100/85/75 Hz
1024 x 768: 120/100/85/75/70/60 Hz
800 x 600: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
640 x 480: 120/100/85/75/60 Hz
MPEG-2/DVD acceleration
WMV9 (VC-1) acceleration
HDMI™ (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) with HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support
Acer Arcade™ Deluxe featuring Acer CinemaVision™ and Acer ClearVision™ technologies8
Audio Dolby®9-optimized surround sound system with two built-in stereo speakers
Optimized 2nd Generation Dolby Home Theater®9 audio enhancement, featuring Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Digital Live, Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx, Dolby® Headphone, Dolby® Natural Bass, Dolby® Sound Space Expander technologies
True5.1-channel surround sound output
High-definition audio support
S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface)11 support for digital speakers
MS-Sound compatible
Acer PureZone technology with two built-in stereo microphones, featuring beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise suppression technologies
Storage One 160 GB hard disk drive12
5-in-1 card reader, supporting Secure Digital™ (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), Memory Stick® (MS), Memory Stick PRO™ (MS PRO), xD-Picture Card™ (xD)
Optical Disk Drive 8X DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive:
Read: 24X CD-ROM, 24X CD-R, 24X CD-RW, 8X DVD-ROM, 8X DVD-R, 8X DVD+R, 6X DVD-ROM DL (double-layer), 6X DVD-R DL (double-layer), 6X DVD+R DL (double-layer), 6X DVD-RW, 6X DVD+RW, 5X DVD-RAM
Write: 24X CD-R, 16X CD-RW, 8X DVD-R, 8X DVD+R, 4X DVD-R DL (double-layer), 4X DVD+R DL (double-layer), 6X DVD-RW, 8X DVD+RW, 5X DVD-RAM
Communication Acer Video Conference, featuring: Integrated Acer Crystal Eye high-def webcam, supporting enhanced Acer PrimaLite™ technology
Acer Video Conference Manager software, featuring Video Quality Enhancement (VQE) technology with H.264 video compression, supporting 640 x 480 resolution online video calls with drag-and-drop Picture-in-Picture (PIP) interactivity13
Acer PureZone technology
Optional Acer Xpress VoIP phone
WLAN1, 3: Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 5100 (dual-band quad-mode 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N) Wi-Fi CERTIFIED network connection supporting Acer SignalUp™ with Nplify™2 wireless technology
WPAN: Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
LAN: Gigabit Ethernet, Wake-on-LAN ready
Modem: 56K ITU V.92 with PTT approval14, Wake-on-Ring ready
Dimensions and weight 340.4 (W) x 247 (D) x 22.9/42.3 (H) mm (13.4 x 9.7 x 0.9/1.6 inches)
2.43 kg (5.36 lbs.) with 6-cell battery
Power Supply ACPI 3.0 CPU power management standard: supports Standby and Hibernation power-saving modes
48.8 W 4400 mAh 6-cell Li-ion battery pack:
Up to 3.0-hour battery life15
2.5-hour rapid charge system-off, 3.5-hour charge-in-use
3-pin 65 W AC adapter
I/O Ports Acer EasyPort IV connector
ExpressCard™/54 slot
5-in-1 card reader (SD™, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD)
Three USB 2.0 ports
HDMI™ port with HDCP support
Consumer infrared (CIR) port
External display (VGA) port
Headphone/speaker/line-out jack with S/PDIF support
Microphone-in jack
Line-in jack
Ethernet (RJ-45) port
Modem (RJ-11) port
DC-in jack for AC adapter
Keyboard 88-/89-/93-key keyboard1 with inverted “T” cursor layout, 2.5 mm (minimum) key travel
12 function keys, four cursor keys, two Windows® keys, hotkey controls, embedded numeric keypad, international language support, independent US dollar and Euro symbol keys
Empowering Key
Easy-launch buttons: WLAN, Internet, email, Bluetooth®, Acer Arcade™
Acer MediaTouch keys: play/pause, stop, previous, next
Volume wheel
Acer Media Center remote control1
Warranty One-year International Travelers Warranty (ITW)

I purchased this Acer 4930 last year December 2008. Not so much of a purchase actually, it was a birthday present from my friend. Quite an enjoying experience surveying for the best specification with the most value for money price tag. Finally, I chose to buy from a retailer at Dataran Pahlawan Melaka. I wished I still remember the retailer's name because the salesman is so nice and gave me a great bargain.

Acer Aspire 4930 during that time having a price range of RM2000 to RM2300 depends on its specification. I got mine for RM2000. In order to bargain to this price, I asked the retailer to deduct the actual price tag (RM2200) by minus out their FOC items (4GB thumb drive, mouse and Epson printer) and also not to include the Windows Vista pre-loaded. I then, installed Windows Vista Home Premium myself through different purchase.

The positive side of Acer Aspire 4930 is its specification of 2.0GHz processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 14.1" VGA and 160GB harddisk which works well with what I need. This is what I consider as standard specification that is more than enough to handle normal day-to-day task including word processing, spreadsheet, slides, presentation, games, internet browsing and streaming online.

I love its glossy finishing on the display panel. Having a light up "Acer" on the front side of the display is very eye-catchy. The keyboard area do not have glossy surface though, which I find very smart because I definitely do not want to keep wiping the keyboard area everytime my hands touched it since I hate to see finger prints on any of the glossy surface. :)

For standard used, the keyboard works fine having similar size with normal desktop keyboard. Additional keys such as for Bluetooth, Wireless, Shortcut keys dan Media Player keys is good to have, although I do not so much used them. The analog volume dial on the left side of its chassis is amazing, I love it. It helps to easily dial up and down the windows volume.

The 14.1" VGA also work fine for me. Acer CrystalBrite technology drive a clear, bright and sharp image whom to me is satisfactory. It also include VGA and HDMI output port so that I can connect my notebook to my LCD TV for even larger view, although I never find much use for this option.

Acer Aspire 4930 where driven by Realtek chipset sound system. A very average, but good enough sound control. It also coupled with Virtual SurroundSound with Dolby Home Theater speaker but expectedly, the sound is just average. But by plugging headset to the system, the sound were driven to a much outstanding experience.

For online conferencing or chat, having 1.3MP CrstalEye webcam is sufficient. Although, it seems that some of the option setting that coupled with the camera software do not work at all. Specifically, there is an option for Face Tracking (where the webcam focus keep moving with your face to maintain your face as center to the webcam) which, however, is not working. Acer also packed an Acer PureZone microphone near the webcam so that you can talk directly to the camera area compare to my previous notebook that populated the microphone on the keyboard area. However, due to the microphone distance to my mouth, the sounds captured was not very clear.

I personally loves the Wireless experience though. The WiFi able to work with A/B/G/Draft-N signal. Coupled with Acer SignalUp, it able to capture even a very low signal. It has a built-in Bluetooth with hardware key to turn it on and off which I find both practical and easy to use. Having ExpressCard slot, works great for my ExpressCard 3G Celcom.

It also comes with 3 USB 2.0 ports which I find them very useful. 1 ports spefically accommodate for my mouse and still I have 2 more ports for my thumb drive or connection to my handphone.

Its battery able to support up to 3 hours if you use the Vista Power Saver option. My previous notebook support Acer Power Management which I loves, but sadly Vista do not support this Acer software on my Aspire 4930.

In terms of heat, its temperature did raised to a typical notebook heat after 30 minutes of usage but that is pretty standard for most computer.

As for 3D gaming experience, I do not expect much from this notebook. I did manage to play The Sims 2, Assasins and Warcrafts driven by the Intel 3D chipset. But I am sure, any latest games with higher specs for the 3D cards will not be manageable by Intel 3D chipset.

As for its compatibility with operating system, I find it strange that this notebook unable to use Windows XP. I have tried to install Windows XP SP2 for 3 times but it will hung to BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) even during the initial installation stage. However, this notebook works fine with Windows Vista Home Premium and even Vista Ultimate that I managed to try on. When running Vista, sometimes Vista keep telling me that the driver for WiFi, Infra-Red and LAN is not compatible and asked me to install the driver from the OEM. Even though after installation of the recommended driver, Vista keep telling me the driver is not compatible. Aside from its background notification for this issue, I did not find any problem using WiFi and LAN even with the original driver.

I have installed 2GB DDR2 RAM to my Acer Aspire 4930. Currently, its Windows Experience Index is at 3.7.

No comments:

Post a Comment