The Acer Aspire 5920 (£549 inc. VAT) is incredible value for money, as it delivers the best in terms of specification, but isn't an expensive machine.

Built around the Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, this is a 2GHz chip that we found to be very powerful. Backed by 2048MB of memory, it loaded applications with ease and ran smoothly. The 120GB hard drive is quite small, but it's more than adequate for most home users' needs.

Glossy design

The Aspire uses Acer's latest Gemstone design, so you'll find a black glossy lid and an oatmeal coloured interior.

It has a neat curve to the edges, so is easier to slip in your carry case and also the rounded corners are less prone to damage should you drop it.

We were impressed with the build quality of the Aspire as the plastic is thick and solid. The hinges holding the Super-TFT panel in place are built into the main body, so there is very little movement of the screen as you type.

Semi-portable laptop

Due to the placement of the hinges, when you open the lid the screen covers the back of the machine, so you won't find any ports located here other than the power input and the fan/air vent. Instead, you'll find the ports located on the front and sides of the machine.

While you won't find anything exceptional, the main connections are included. You'll even find a highly usable webcam located above the screen, so the Aspire lacks little.

Weighing 3.1kg, this isn't the lightest of machines, but can be carried around on a semi-portable basis. With a battery life, under test, of 204 minutes, this machine offers above average mobility.

Virtual Surround Sound

Billed as a Home Theater machine, the design boasts Virtual Surround Sound speakers, but while this laptop offers better than average sound quality, they aren't exceptional.

The 15.4-inch screen has an even tone to it, but watching movies is far more appealing experience on other laptops. This is due to the Acer's panel lacking brightness and contrast.

For everyday tasks it's fine, but there are better multimedia screens on offer.

Spacious keyboard

The keyboard is near full-size and there is plenty of space between the keys. While we found the keys in the centre of the board sit higher than those on the outside, which is due to it being a clip-mounted board, we still found it a highly usable keyboard.

The touchpad is large and has a widescreen aspect to it and proved responsive. The mouse buttons have a small scroll key between them and, while rather small, were more than usable.

The Acer Aspire 5920 isn't without its flaws, but we feel it offers great value for money and acceptable power.