Acer Aspire 3004wlci – A Rapid Review
I lately found myself in want of a new laptop. With a tight price range and reasonable demands, I knew it was not going to be simple to uncover a merchandise that would do what I wanted and even now be in my price assortment.
As a Network Technician and a Internet Designer, I essential a machine that would have ample storage to shop all my computer software, tasks for my clients, and still be able to handle an occasional temporary operating technique backup from a client’s machine. The qualifying candidate also had to have a decent sum of RAM and a fairly quick processor to preserve up with the demands of multitasking and making use of Studio MX ’04 on a everyday basis.
At 1st, I checked the auction web sites, the refurbished retailers, and the wholesale warehouses. I located a number of good offers for underneath $500, but absolutely nothing that would deal with the processing load that Studio MX 2004 would location on it. The typical machine had 256MB of PC133 RAM, a 20GB HDD, and a 1.0GHz Pentium processor. Not as well shabby for a student machine, but for everyday service in the fields I work in, not practically sufficient space or power to preserve up with my demands.
I speedily realized that a new laptop would be needed in purchase to meet my requirements. Realizing that most decent laptops are priced at in excess of $1,000, I wasn’t expecting a complete whole lot when I started buying all around. Even so, to my surprise, a local retail chain had a unique operating on the Acer Aspire 3004WLCi for $600 after a $150 rebate. This was the prime finish of my spending budget, but the specs were far a lot more than what I believed I would locate in this cost variety.
AMD Mobile Sempron 3100+ (1.8GHz) w/ 256K L2 cache
512MB DDR333 SODIM RAM (expandable to 2GB)
60GB 4200rpm Hard Disk Drive
15.4 Broad Display WXGA Check
CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive
3 USB 2. Ports (1 front / 2 side)
Front Audio / Microphone jacks
Integrated Microphone / Speakers
Integrated Audio Controller
Integrated Video Controller (up to 128MB shared)
Integrated 56Kbps Data/Fax Modem
Integrated 802.3 ten/one hundred Ethernet NIC
Integrated 802.11b/g WiFi
Highest display resolution: 1280 x 800
External keep track of optimum resolution: 2048 x 1536
One kind II PCMCIA Slot
AC Energy Adapter / 4-cell lithium-ion battery
one.five”Hx14.three”Wx11″D / six.2lb. w/ Battery
Microsoft Windows XP House SP2
Ok, just before I go into the Pros and Cons of this technique, let me initial say this… As a Network technician, I am a bit of a stranger to Acer items. I have observed them ahead of, but I’ve never ever used them. In an business dominated by Dells and HPs, Acer appeared more of an “off-brand” to me. With that in mind, I wasn’t expecting a complete great deal for my money. Luckily, I was not disappointed, but neither was I completely incorrect.
Also, it is worthy to note that prior to I utilized this machine, XP Residence was trashed in favor of XP Expert SP2 and I went by means of the program and carried out many small software program overall performance tweaks on the operating method all of which can be carried out utilizing the native Windows XP Pro utilities.
The Acer Aspire 3004 WLCi is a reasonably powerful program for $600. Even at the authentic $750, this technique is challenging to beat in the efficiency department. The Sempron 3100+ processor is remarkably quickly and capable. It dealt with running Dreamweaver MX 2004, Fireworks MX 2004, Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft OneNote 2003, Firefox 1.five, Internet Explorer 6., Opera eight.five, Resize Browser, CPick, Java JRE, NOD32 Anti-Virus, Hotmail Popper, and several system providers and minor utilities running in the background concurrently and didn’t complain or produce any unacceptable sustained CPU usage spikes. This is partly due to the generous and quick 512MB of DDR333 RAM, but even so, the processor surprised this prolonged-time AMD consumer.
The 60GB tough drive gives an ample sum of storage for typical consumers. It is on the reduced finish of my requirements, but sufficiently big ample to handle all my set up software program, over 12GB of services software program needed for support calls, all my consumer projects, and it even now has enough room left more than to easily accommodate a 20GB client method backup.
In addition, this program has a extremely great Broadcom WiFi controller. In my 3 story townhouse, which has superb insulation, this system can be utilized anyplace in my property with a signal strength of “Quite Excellent” to “Exceptional”.
The system is ergonomically laid out. I have rather big hands, and most modern laptops are totally too little for me to realistically use for any extended time period of time. Usually, inside of 20 or 30 minutes, my wrists and hands begin to ache from trying to keep a extremely unnatural place in order to sort the paperwork I am functioning on. Not so with the Aspire 3000 series. These laptops have a fairly large chassis with a keypad that is almost best for a person with large hands. I have in fact discovered that I can type virtually as fast (roughly 35wpm) on this laptop as I can on my desktop program that has an ergonomic split keyboard (40wpm).
If you happen to be seeking for a Multimedia program, or if you program to do any graphics intensive gaming, preserve on searching this system is not for you. Even with the widescreen WXGA display, this machine is not nicely suited for watching DVDs. The integrated video controller is only acceptable and the check calls for a good deal of “fiddling” with in order to locate the “just proper” position for viewing. Moreover, the glare on the display of this unit is horrible. I’ve located that in most brightly lit rooms I’m paying a lot more time straining my eyes to see past my own reflection. Also, the viewing angle is unimpressive. If you try to see the screen from anything greater than 15 degrees in any direction, you are either searching at a washed out or unfavorable variation of the unique. I have never been a large fan of LCD. I’ve constantly felt that a large quality CRT often seems to be greater, but this display is much more reminiscent of a LCD of 3 many years in the past than a brand new item.
The integrated audio and video controllers are a definite sore spot as properly. I’ve often preferred growth controllers above integrated controllers, but in this value range, I knew I would be caught with the so-so high quality of an integrated controller. No shock right here. As normal, the good quality and performance is sub-par with these controllers, but for my requirements, they do the task. Even so, if you prepare on listening to any audio playback on this machine, you had far better pack a high quality set of headphones. The small speakers on this machine are terrible sounding. Again, no massive shock.
Now, about battery daily life. I do not know who was in charge of defining this facet of this machine, but they need a checkup from the neck up. Battery overall performance on this machine is absolutely unacceptable. Unless you tune the program down drastically, it is extremely challenging to squeeze more than an hour of true usable time out of this system’s battery daily life. The manufacturer states that it will run for one.five hrs on the battery. I’ve in no way been capable to get more than an hour out of the unit. In this day and age, this is not acceptable. Thankfully, there are really handful of events when I require to use this method in which I’m not close to a energy outlet.
My only other significant complaint is the lack of expandability of this system. You get two SODIM memory card slots (filled with 256MBx2 sticks from the factory), 3 USB 2. ports and a Type II PCMCIA slot on this machine, and that is it. No internal growth capabilities, no firewire, no serial or parallel connections, and you can not swap out the combo drive easily. Offered the cost assortment of this system, I’m truly not surprised, but I am a bit disappointed. Thankfully, there are an abundance of USB adapters accessible that let me to do no matter what is required.
If you just want a standard method for function or college relevant duties the Acer Aspire 3004WLCi is a sound performer that can manage typical use with ease. I would definitely suggest this unit to school students or traveling experts who want an affordable, consumer-friendly laptop, but who do not prepare on making use of their laptop on batteries extremely frequently, or who do not intend on taking part in a lot of video games or motion pictures. For the value aware customers out there, this method is definitely worth the cash. In my humble opinion, you get more than what you spend for, but not by considerably.