Acer TravelMate 6292 review

A corporate laptop that's built to take the knocks

The lid and top of the main body is made from magnesium-alloy, while the base is made from thick plastic

TechRadar Verdict

An understated but impressive corporate laptop that's well built and performs well

Pros

  • +

    Strong build quality

    Impressive spec and performance

Cons

  • -

    Cramped keyboard

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The Acer TravelMate series is aimed directly at corporate users, with the 6292 (£1029 inc. VAT) being a semi-portable all-in-one solution. What will impress travellers is how sturdy and solid this machine is.

It may look rather grey and corporate, but this is the first machine we've seen with Acer's latest ProFile design. The lid and top of the main body is made from magnesium-alloy, while the base is made from thick plastic. The look may not be a huge change, but build quality is greatly improved over previous models.

The keyboard initially feels cramped as the keys are on the small side. However, as they are well mounted, it's easy to grow accustomed to it. The touchpad and mouse buttons are also on the small side but, once again, the quality shines through, as they are robust and solid to the touch.

Weighing in at 2.2kg, we were impressed with the size and compact nature of this machine, especially as you'll find a DVD rewriter fitted.

To keep size down, the screen is a 12.1-inch panel, but as it comes with a widescreen aspect ratio, you can view plenty of information. The panel is a standard TFT and while it has an even tone, we found it needed to be pushed up to the brightest setting to give the best results; particularly when working outside.

When it comes to everyday use there is little to worry about, as with the latest chip and chipset - the 965 Express - you won't find a faster specification at the moment. As the new processor is still in short supply, our test machine came with the Core 2 Duo T7500 version, but will actually ship with the T7300 instead.

It's worth checking the final version available, as our test machine used the consumer Duo chip, while corporates will definitely find benefits opting for the Pro variant.

Regardless of the final CPU speed, its 2048MB of memory and 160GB hard drive are equally impressive. When running its Windows XP Pro software or even when upgraded to Windows Vista Business, we found this configuration showed both OS's in their best light.

With a hotkey to launch Acer's management utility, referred to as Empowering Technology, you can manage features such as the battery mode, wireless LAN settings and even recovery tools.

While larger IT teams may have alternatives in place, if you work for a small company these tools can help offset the cost of maintenance. Other features include a biometric fingerprint scanner, as well as a 1.3-megapixel webcam.

The Acer TravelMate 6292 is an impressive laptop that offers the latest in performance from Intel's new processor. With the added protection of the laptop design, it easily makes a great choice for the business traveler.

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