Acer Aspire 3004wlci – A Rapid Review
I not too long ago located myself in need to have of a new laptop. With a tight budget and reasonable needs, I knew it wasn’t going to be straightforward to discover a solution that would do what I wanted and nonetheless be in my cost selection.
As a Network Technician and a Net Designer, I required a machine that would have enough storage to keep all my software, projects for my clients, and nevertheless be in a position to handle an occasional short-term working technique backup from a client’s machine. The qualifying candidate also had to have a good sum of RAM and a fairly rapidly processor to maintain up with the demands of multitasking and utilizing Studio MX ’04 on a daily basis.
At very first, I checked the auction web sites, the refurbished retailers, and the wholesale warehouses. I found a few great bargains for beneath $500, but nothing that would deal with the processing load that Studio MX 2004 would place on it. The typical machine had 256MB of PC133 RAM, a 20GB HDD, and a one.0GHz Pentium processor. Not as well shabby for a student machine, but for day-to-day services in the fields I function in, not nearly sufficient room or electrical power to hold up with my demands.
I rapidly recognized that a new laptop would be essential in purchase to meet my needs. Realizing that most good laptops are priced at over $1,000, I was not expecting a entire good deal when I commenced purchasing around. Nevertheless, to my surprise, a nearby retail chain had a specific working on the Acer Aspire 3004WLCi for $600 following a $150 rebate. This was the leading end of my budget, but the specs had been far far more than what I imagined I would locate in this price tag selection.
AMD Mobile Sempron 3100+ (1.8GHz) w/ 256K L2 cache
512MB DDR333 SODIM RAM (expandable to 2GB)
60GB 4200rpm Challenging Disk Drive
15.4 Wide Display WXGA Monitor
CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive
three USB 2. Ports (one 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
Optimum display resolution: 1280 x 800
External keep track of maximum resolution: 2048 x 1536
One particular type II PCMCIA Slot
AC Power Adapter / 4-cell lithium-ion battery
one.five”Hx14.3″Wx11″D / 6.2lb. w/ Battery
Microsoft Windows XP Property SP2
Okay, just before I go into the Pros and Cons of this method, allow me first say this… As a Network technician, I am a bit of a stranger to Acer items. I have witnessed them just before, but I have never utilised them. In an business dominated by Dells and HPs, Acer seemed far more of an “off-brand” to me. With that in thoughts, I was not expecting a total great deal for my funds. Luckily, I was not disappointed, but neither was I entirely incorrect.
Also, it is worthy to note that ahead of I used this machine, XP Home was trashed in favor of XP Specialist SP2 and I went through the program and carried out a number of minor application efficiency tweaks on the working method all of which can be performed employing the native Windows XP Pro utilities.
The Acer Aspire 3004 WLCi is a reasonably potent system for $600. Even at the original $750, this system is challenging to beat in the performance division. The Sempron 3100+ processor is surprisingly quickly and capable. It handled running Dreamweaver MX 2004, Fireworks MX 2004, Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft OneNote 2003, Firefox 1.five, Net Explorer six., Opera 8.5, Resize Browser, CPick, Java JRE, NOD32 Anti-Virus, Hotmail Popper, and a number of system services and minor utilities operating in the background simultaneously and didn’t complain or create any unacceptable sustained CPU usage spikes. This is partly due to the generous and quickly 512MB of DDR333 RAM, but even so, the processor surprised this lengthy-time AMD user.
The 60GB challenging drive provides an ample quantity of storage for regular end users. It is on the reduced end of my demands, but sufficiently massive ample to take care of all my put in software, over 12GB of services computer software needed for services calls, all my consumer projects, and it nevertheless has enough room left more than to simply accommodate a 20GB client system backup.
In addition, this system has a very great Broadcom WiFi controller. In my three story townhouse, which has excellent insulation, this system can be utilized anyplace in my residence with a signal power of “Very Excellent” to “Superb”.
The system is ergonomically laid out. I have rather massive hands, and most modern day laptops are completely as well tiny for me to realistically use for any extended period of time. Typically, inside of 20 or thirty minutes, my wrists and hands begin to ache from striving to keep a quite unnatural position in order to variety the paperwork I am working on. Not so with the Aspire 3000 series. These laptops have a comparatively huge chassis with a keypad that is almost perfect for an individual with large hands. I have in fact identified that I can type almost as fast (roughly 35wpm) on this laptop as I can on my desktop system that has an ergonomic split keyboard (40wpm).
If you are searching for a Multimedia program, or if you strategy to do any graphics intensive gaming, keep on looking this program is not for you. Even with the widescreen WXGA display, this machine is not nicely suited for viewing DVDs. The integrated video controller is only acceptable and the monitor calls for a great deal of “fiddling” with in purchase to uncover the “just right” position for viewing. Furthermore, the glare on the display of this unit is terrible. I’ve found that in most brightly lit rooms I’m paying a lot more time straining my eyes to see previous my personal reflection. Also, the viewing angle is unimpressive. If you consider to view the screen from anything higher than 15 degrees in any direction, you happen to be both seeking at a washed out or negative variation of the authentic. I’ve never ever been a large fan of LCD. I have always felt that a high high quality CRT often seems far better, but this display is much more reminiscent of a LCD of three many years ago than a brand new product.
The integrated audio and video controllers are a definite sore spot as well. I have often preferred expansion controllers in excess of integrated controllers, but in this price tag selection, I knew I would be stuck with the so-so high quality of an integrated controller. No surprise right here. As typical, the high quality and efficiency is sub-par with these controllers, but for my demands, they do the task. Nevertheless, if you strategy on listening to any audio playback on this machine, you had greater pack a good quality set of headphones. The tiny speakers on this machine are terrible sounding. Again, no large shock.
Now, about battery daily life. I will not know who was in charge of defining this facet of this machine, but they need to have a checkup from the neck up. Battery overall performance on this machine is completely unacceptable. Unless of course you tune the program down significantly, it is very hard to squeeze a lot more than an hour of genuine usable time out of this system’s battery life. The manufacturer states that it will run for one.five hrs on the battery. I have by no means been in a position to get far more than an hour out of the unit. In this day and age, this is not acceptable. Fortunately, there are extremely few occasions when I need to have to use this system in which I am not shut to a electrical power outlet.
My only other key complaint is the lack of expandability of this system. You get two SODIM memory card slots (filled with 256MBx2 sticks from the factory), three USB 2. ports and a Kind II PCMCIA slot on this machine, and which is it. No inner expansion abilities, no firewire, no serial or parallel connections, and you are not able to swap out the combo drive effortlessly. Offered the price tag assortment of this system, I am truly not surprised, but I am a bit disappointed. Thankfully, there are an abundance of USB adapters offered that enable me to do what ever is required.
If you just want a simple method for operate or school associated tasks the Acer Aspire 3004WLCi is a strong performer that can deal with regular use with ease. I would definitely advocate this unit to school students or traveling pros who need to have an low-cost, user-pleasant laptop, but who do not prepare on employing their laptop on batteries extremely usually, or who do not intend on taking part in a lot of video games or movies. For the cost conscious buyers out there, this system is definitely worth the funds. In my humble view, you get more than what you spend for, but not by significantly.