Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Acer TravelMate 5720 Series observations

We just received a new TravelMate series Acer laptop.

The TravelMate 5720 is based around the new Intel 8000 series Core 2 Duo processors with 3MB of Cache between the cores.

Out of the box it has Windows Vista Business x86 installed with the typical Acer twin hard drive partitions now formatted in NTFS. It also has the Windows XP Professional downgrade DVDs included in the box.

The unit itself is a bit smaller than the Canadian 6000 series TravelMates and it shows in the keyboard layout. The Enter key has a chunk missing from its bottom left hand corner to accommodate the "\" character key and the left Shift button has the same "\" key beside it too. The extra keys are to accommodate the French keyboard layout judging by the different green characters also on the keys.

It takes a little getting used to the need to reach the finger a little further to get to the Enter or left Shift keys. This may initially be a bit of a challenge for those whose touch typing skills are near entry level. Keep in mind that we are dealing with what seems to be a Canadian localized model.

All in all though, the new 8100 series Core 2 seems to perform quite well relative to the 7000 series Core 2 processor based laptops we have been selling. Between the configured 2GB of RAM and a 250GB SATA hard drive, there will be decent Windows Vista performance with enough storage to spare.

We do find that outfitting a laptop with 3GB or 4GB for Windows Vista does make a difference on the laptop's overall performance characteristics though. This is important to note if we are looking at providing a unit to our more advanced or performance oriented client users.

For the moment, this particular unit provides a good value for the price especially for our non-profit clients. So, we will stick with it until Acer's product line evolves yet again.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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