Acer TravelMate 8472T: An Affordable Business Laptop

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Recently, Acer launched its latest lineup of business notebooks, the TravelMate series. There are various models targeting different budgets and the price range starts from Rs 23,999 +taxes. Click here to see the full press release and the models available. Touted as ultra-slim, portable and with ultra-long battery life, these notebooks seem quite promising. Today we have with us the TravelMate 8472T, which is quite impressive especially considering that it’s a business laptop with mainstream hardware at the price of an entry-level laptop. Now, let’s see what it really offers.

The entire body has a matte finish, including the screen

Design
Similar to most business laptops, especially the ThinkPads, the TravelMate too has an all-black matte body. Although it might not look that rugged, it has a rock-solid shell and looks good too. A scratch-resistant body, large and well-spaced keys, light-weight form factor and excellent battery backup are features that one expects from a good business laptop. And, that’s exactly what you get with this machine but before we move on to how well it performs, let’s take a look at the design and features.

 

Despite the slim form factor, the unit is quite rugged

What goes without saying is that, the all-black theme looks sober and is apt for business people. The slim lid is plain black matte with just a metallic Acer logo at the top-right corner. Even the chassis, wrist rest and screen frame have the exact same look and finish. Overall, it’s a good looking and sturdy machine, despite of being slim and light in light in weight. Ergonomically, there’s nothing to complain about whatsoever, typing is comfortable and the touchpad and buttons are good too.

 

An HDMI port would have added more value to the product

Features
The features and hardware of this laptop are typical of business machines, for instance, there’s no discrete graphics, it has ample storage space, a very good keyboard, and, you’ll even find a finger print scanner between the two mouse buttons. Built around an Intel HM 55 chipset, this laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 430M CPU which is clocked at 2.27 GHz and has 3 MB L3 cache. There’s 4 GB RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, Intel HD graphics and the matte screen is 14 inches with the common native resolution of 1366 x 768. So, as you can see, it’s a proper business machine with features that suffice for the intended purpose. Also it weighs merely 2.4 kg, so carrying it is not a pain in the neck, literally.

 

The Launch Manager (quick-launch) function can be quite useful for office applications

Other standard features include three USB and a VGA port, a dial-up modem, a DVD-writer, a memory card reader, audio jacks and a webcam. What’s missing is an HDMI port and keeping in mind that most mainstream laptops have it, we’re considering it a downside for this laptop. On a side note, I like the Launch Manager button next to the power switch, push it, and you have a host of applications to choose from. You can even add other frequently used applications.

Onward, our test unit came with a 6-cell battery and we got whopping battery life. Finally the machine comes preloaded with Windows 7 Professional (32 bit).
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This sort of battery backup is usually seen in ULV laptops


Performance

Performance and excellent battery life are the two biggest assets of this business laptop. Powered by a Hyper-threaded dual-core Core i5 CPU and backed by 4 GB RAM, the machine clearly performs pretty well, so mainstream and office applications (including design suites) are a breeze.

 

Two cores (4 threads) working simultaneously at 2.27 GHz more than suffice for office programs

What you cannot do on this laptop is gaming and heavy multimedia, though online and social network games are playable on almost all laptops, and this one isn’t an exception. Even HD movies are seamlessly playable. Despite of being able to do all of this and while having a 14-inch form factor, the laptop offers 7 hours 26 minutes of battery life, which is excellent for a mainstream 14-incher.

 

PC Mark scores

Personal Take
Business notebooks as a category are usually pretty expensive because manufacturers need to keep the overall weight of the unit in check, while offering excellent performance and stupendous battery back up. Keeping these factors in mind, I’d say that, the TravelMate series is a very good attempt. As touted on Acer’s website , the notebook is indeed an ‘optimal notebook for SMB corridor warriors’, except for the weight part of it. As in, the machine is pretty slim and light in weight, but there are lighter notebooks out there (at a higher price of course). However, otherwise, I recommend this notebook for someone who needs a business notebook that performs really well and offers excellent battery back up, not to mention the modest price for the category it belongs to.

Specifications

  • Chipset: Intel HM55
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 430M, 2.27 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache
  • RAM: DDR3 4 GB
  • Hard drive: 500 GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD
  • Optical Drive: DVD-Writer
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional (32-bit)
  • Price: Rs 43,000 + taxes
  • Battery life: 7 hours 26 minutes

Published Date: Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm | Updated Date: Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm