TODO alt text

Acer TravelMate 8481T review

A bumper battery is this business laptop's stand-out feature

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great battery life
  • Decent performance
  • Usability
  • Portability

Against

  • Limited graphics grunt
  • Slightly dim screen
  • Battery protrudes from back

When it comes to battery life, Acer's TravelMate 8481T is the laptop to beat. It's not all that surprising when you see the battery protruding from the back of the chassis, practically doubling the breadth of the machine.

But, if you need to pack the TravelMate away, simply unclip the battery and it shrinks from 41mm thick to only 24mm. Our battery benchmark test – supplemented with looped high-def video – took 326 minutes to run down the TravelMate, so we'd expect that this machine would get you through a mains-free eight hour day with standard use.

Apart from the battery, there are other features that mark this laptop out as a travel device. Its 14-inch screen dispenses with Super-TFT reflective coating, instead opting for a matt-TFT finish. This means that, while movies and pictures won't look as colourful or vibrant, the TravelMate can be used in bright environments – like airports or train carriages without annoying glare being reflected on the screen.

Even with the screen brightness set to maximum, the display is noticeably darker than other laptops. This is an extra way to maximise battery performance, as the biggest drain on any laptop's power supply is keeping the screen bright.

There's also a fingerprint scanner nestled between the click buttons below the touchpad, lending saved documents an extra layer of security.

Boasting Acer's favoured raised keyboard, typing is also comfortable, thanks to a decent amount of travel, but not without some serious flex. Because the battery protrudes the way it does, you're typing at a raised angle, much more comfortable than on a traditional flat laptop.

While we might be tempted to lump the TravelMate in with the Portégé R830 as being eclipsed by the new Ultrabook range, the much lower price and substantial battery life mean there is a case for choosing one of these over an Ultrabook, although the black chassis – while simple – is nowhere near as elegant as the brushed silver of Acer's own S3 Ultrabook.

Energy saving

Acer 8481t

The TravelMate can last so well without mains support partly because the specs inside the machine are configured to conserve power.

Although you have a second generation Intel Core i5 CPU inside the laptop, it's limited to running at 1.6GHz (whereas you might expect to see this chip running up at 2.2GHz or 2.4GHz on other laptops). Similarly, you'll only find 3GB of RAM inside the TravelMate, compared with the standard 4GB found elsewhere.

TechRadar Labs

techradar labs

Battery Eater '05: 326 minutes
Cinebench: 7065
3DMark 2009: 3380

The lack of technical grunt on offer doesn't matter too much, given that this machine's primary aim is to provide plenty of battery life for more basic tasks like emailing and office work. Just don't expect gaming or video editing from this machine.

This focus on work-based mobility makes the TravelMate easy to pigeonhole. If you're a mobile professional who needs a machine with the best battery life available, this laptop should be your choice. But for most of us, there are other laptops that offer excellent battery life as well as better performance and media capability.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Finger Print ReaderYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyTravelMate 8481T
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-2467M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Number of Cells8-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyComfyView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
vPro TechnologyNo
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height22.3 mm
Width328.7 mm
Depth239.9 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series8481T
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelTM8481T-2463G32nkk
Product NameTravelMate TM8481T-2463G32nkk Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineTravelMate
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.V4V03.084
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Professionals spending most of their working life on the go need a notebook that is up to any challenge. A notebook capable of combining top performance with optimal security and extended battery life. Add to the mix a slim and light design and you have the TravelMate 8481, a true road warrior.

With the TravelMate 8481 there is no need to make compromises. First of all, it deliver all the power required for serious business on-the-go via the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors that not only allows to run business productivity applications 60% faster than the previous generation, but it delivers smart performance that adapts to the task at hand, enabling more responsive multitasking while ensuring energy efficiency.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • TravelMate TM8481T-2463G32nkk Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year