Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9630 review

Big and powerful, this desktop replacement is no joke

Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9630
A powerful desktop replacement

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How did it hold up in our tests?

TechRadar Labs

Cinebench 11.5:
OpenGL: 33.01 fps
CPU: 5.16 pts
3D Mark '11: 1439
Battery Eater Pro '05: 1:07:54

After checking what's inside the Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9630, it was time to put it through its paces. Simply put, in addition to what it's been like to use this beast day in and day out, how did it perform against our standard suite of benchmarks?

Based on the specs alone it should come as no surprise that this baby performs extremely well. And not just for a laptop.

Dollars to donuts says that this laptop will outperform many desktop machines out there.

Shipping with Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit version), basic computing was super-fast. Whether browsing the web, watching streaming video content, we found nothing to complain about with this machine.

Ports galore

And while it ships with multiple HDMI ports, the screen is so large that we didn't even feel compelled to run the video to a larger screen.

Additionally, another task that really tends to test a system's might is using DRM removal software. With this in mind, we performed this task using Audials Tunebite, a memory and CPU hog and found this task to be nearly as fast as it was on most desktop machines.

Long story made short, this isn't something that you're gonna want to do on an ultrabook.

Boot-up from sleep on this machine was plenty fast, but since most users will use this machine more like a desktop than a laptop, we found ourselves putting it to sleep more than completely shutting down.

The Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9630 sports a full-size keyboard that is great to use. That said, this is also where the quirky touchpad tended to get in the way. The touchpad is both big and sensitive. In everyday use we found ourselves accidentally moving the cursor all over the place. This can be a major pain when composing large documents or email messages.

Being a big beast, we expected the speakers to be plenty loud, and in this case the Acer didn't disappoint. There are stereo speakers that were good for media playback. Of course, during gameplay we would suggest using a gaming headset.

Predictably, the battery life on the Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9630 was abysmal. So, because of its size, most people aren't gonna really use this on the go.

We squeezed a pathetic 67 minutes out of this system using Battery Eater Pro, our benchmarking program, that runs a looped 720p high-definition video in the background.

Of course, a machine with this kind of horsepower isn't designed to really be used on battery power for very long.

You can tweak the power settings to get as much battery life as you can. But that's like buying a Porsche and only running it on half the cylinders. If you want battery life, buy a different laptop.

Editor-in-chief (US)

Wil (Twitter, Google+) is a technology editor and journalist who has written for a variety of outlets over the last 16 years, including CNET, Computer Gaming World and Incite. Wil also spent two years as the on-air gadget correspondent on G4TV's live daily show, Attack of the Show. Before joining TechRadar, Wil was the editor-in-chief of @GAMER, The Official Games Magazine of Best Buy.