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When we saw the specs list for the Acer Aspire Ethos 8951G, we certainly weren't disappointed. Acer has stuffed in one of Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, the Core i7 2630QM, which runs at 2GHz.
Backed up by a mammoth 8GB of RAM, it was obvious that the Ethos would destroy our benchmarking tests.
And destroy it did. We didn't think the Dell XPS 15z's CineBench score of 11,474 would be beaten any time soon, but the Ethos 8951G topped it with a score of 12,633.
The Intel CPU's eight cores are perfect for multi-tasking, while software loads up almost instantly. No matter what we were doing, this laptop provided a smooth, fast experience.
Since the Ethos 8951G was built for enjoying media, Acer has included a dedicated nVidia GeForce GT 555M graphics card.
Most modern games that we tried ran fine, although we had to turn down detail levels on more demanding titles. HD films ran smoothly as expected, as well as video editing software.
The dedicated graphics make full use of nVidia's Optimus technology, powering down when you're doing basic tasks such as bashing out an email.
In these cases the basic integrated graphics on the motherboard take over, to save power. As a result, the Ethos 8951G's battery lasts for a full three hours when you aren't playing games, and even longer if you turn down brightness levels and performance settings.
This was much longer than we expected considering the high specs and huge screen. Okay, so the battery life isn't really a significant factor considering the size of this machine, but at least you won't have to drag the charger as well as the laptop when you shift to another room.
3DMark 06: 9989
Battery Eater: 185 mins
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