Acer is in the process of trying to change its perceived brand value.

No longer does it want to be seen as simply offering bargain-priced laptops, but also more high-end brands.

The easiest way to achieve this aim is to release something a little different and the Acer Aspire 6920G-603G25Bn (£900 inc. VAT) is certainly that.

New improved screen

Known as the Gemstone Blu, this is Acer's second generation using the Gemstone design - its consumer-focused brand. The body shape is relatively unchanged, but it now comes with a 16-inch Super-TFT display.

This is the first laptop we've seen to sport this size of panel and it has been added to offer a better multimedia experience.

Instead of the 16:10 aspect ratio you'll find on a typical widescreen laptop, this display offers true 16:9, the same as a cinema screen, letting you watch DVDs in their native resolution.

This means the panel has a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, the same as on a flatscreen HD (High Definition) Ready televisions.

Blu-ray drive and multimedia features

This fits in perfectly with the multimedia features of the machine.

You'll find a Blu-ray optical drive for playing HD movies and on the main body of the system, next to the keyboard, are touch-sensitive media control buttons that Acer calls CineDash.

These work with Acer Arcade, an application that manages your movies, music and photos. It works well, but we did find the software was slow to respond and many of the features in Windows Vista work far quicker and smoother.

Simple layout

The CineDash controls enable the keyboard to sit neatly in the middle of the chassis and, while the keys are individually mounted, we found there was a fair degree of rattle when typing.

The touchpad is made from the same material as the palm rest and proved responsive.

The mouse buttons have a fingerprint scanner set between them, but rather than being used for protection, the idea is that you use it to instantly start your favourite applications.

A stand out laptop

Our review unit was a pre-production sample, so the specification will alter with the final release model.

For £900 (inc. VAT), you'll get an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 processor, 320GB hard drive and nVidia GeForce 9500M GS graphics card, which considerably improves the already impressive configuration we tested.

The only downside of this specification is that it downscales the OS to Windows Vista Home Premium instead of Ultimate.

Acer has done a great job of repositioning its consumer laptops, as this is definitely a machine that is out of the ordinary.

While the look won't suit everyone and the media buttons are not as useful as they first appear, there is no denying this is a great laptop.