Well, it’s been a while i didn’t post anything: the reason is pretty stall :we had the visit of burglars during christmas eve, which stole all my IT equipment, while we were enjoying holidays in Normandie.

I’ve been busy setting up and recovering what i could as the bastards also stole my backup drives. Lost almost everything.

Well, i guess it was time for a fresh start… rebooting my life or something…. Well, i’m in need of a new laptop (i’ve been working for a month now on a good old Dell Dimension 4100: P3 900Mhz…. slow, but faithful and brave little working machine). I’m hesitating: i’m impressed with the new Acer Travelmate 8204 specs, not to mention the fibercarbon cover: Acer travelmate 8204WLMi. It really looks like i could use a dual core processor. But then Asus also has got some nice ones.

Anyway, the travelmate has not shipped yet, should do so early february, i guess i can still dream think about it for a few days…

Review:

GOOD
i’ve been using it for a month now, and i must say it is powerful all right. i have never been on a machine that could open photoshop 9 in a mere 10 seconds. you can have 5 or 6 applications open at the same time, you just don’t feel it anymore. so for work: it’s simply the best machine for a professional needing a powerful CPU, a lot of RAM and a powerful graphic card. ah, the graphic card: ati X1600. i tested it with F.E.A.R and Brothers in arms : earned in blood with all settings set to maximum, using the computer screen native resolution 1680X1050. the rendering is beautiful, and the animation is as fluid as if it were rendering pacman.

The design: not much to say here, i don’t particularly find it pretty, they could have done much better, especially with fiber carbon covers. i don’t understand why PC constructors don’t learn from apple’s , radical esthaetics: one cover color, flat surfaces, elegance on the whole and in the details.

BAD

three issues:

  1. the screen: the brightness is just not bright enough on a very sunny day. Plus, it seems to be uneven, the center of the screen being brighter than on the screen ‘s edges.
  2. the fan: why, oh why did they put the fan outlet on the right side, aiming just where right-handed persons using an external mouse (like me and 72% of the world population) put their hand ? especially when working/ playing in 3D, the air is really warm and it’s just annoying…
  3. the built-in speakers are useless, better use a helmet or connect your laptop to proper speakers. but that’s a minor issue, really the soundcard is very good otherwise. just the speakers sucks.

CONCLUSION

For work, it’s simply the best computer i’ve ever had. the intel dual core, the RAM and the graphic card make it the perfect machine for graphic intensive applications and multitasking. For playing, it is really good, yet not perfect. If you are in a place with much light, connect an external screen (rgb and dvi outputs are included) as the travelmate 8204 screen is not bright enough. if you use it to listen to music, use external speakers.