The Acer Aspire 8942G-526G64Bi is a very large and comfortable laptop that offers exceptional performance and a great Blu-ray experience. It's also one of the most fully featured machines we've seen, making it a great desktop replacement multimedia system for all the family.

The laptop's comprehensive power comes courtesy of an Intel Core i5 processor. This is combined with 6144MB of DDR3 memory. As a result, it is able to run resource-intensive programs without issue, even concurrently.

A dedicated graphics card from ATi's latest line provides great 3D performance, and you'll easily be able to edit photos and HD movies while enjoying the latest games.

The 640GB hard drive is capacious, and provides plenty of room for storing your content.

Photos, films and games look fantastic on the laptop's massive 18.4-inch screen which dominates the chassis. It is a gorgeous panel with vivid colour reproduction and detail that is a pleasure to use for everyday tasks such as editing a spreadsheet. It's also perfect for watching Blu-ray discs thanks to the laptop's screen size and 1920 x 1080-pixel Full HD resolution.

We felt utterly immersed in the content, with images proving extremely sharp and vibrant. Due to the size of the screen, the laptop's 4.3kg chassis is also huge, however, and you won't want to be carrying it around for long periods of time, if at all, making it more suited to home use.

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Premium feel

It's a very well built laptop, with a shiny lid and textured palm rest that provide a premium feel. A set of dedicated stereo speakers are also in place, positioned below the screen, and produce surprisingly good sound quality – only enhancing the multimedia credentials of this machine.

Networking is top-notch, with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet providing you with the fastest connections.

The laptop also has a huge range of connectivity options. VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort let you connect to external monitors, and the five USB, one eSATA and one Firewire ports let you connect peripherals and external hard drives. This gives real flexibility and provides a good deal of future-proofing.

We were extremely impressed by the Acer Aspire 8942G-526G64Bi. While it is expensive, it offers everything and more that you could possibly want from a Blu-ray laptop, despite its limited portability.

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