Notebook Review: Acer TravelMate 8471
TravelMate is a venerable trademark; it dates back to Texas Instruments' line of business notebooks, which Acer acquired in 1997. (Pause for the oldest old-timers to wax nostalgic about the TI 99/4.) Timeline is a label Acer started using last year to promote its Aspire consumer notebooks' battery life. Now comes the TravelMate Timeline: From the name, you'd expect it to be a business laptop with long battery life. You'd be right.How long? Acer advertises up to eight hours, and we think you'll get an honest six or seven. Our strenuous test sessions, with plenty of DVD movie-viewing and hard-disk thrashing, ranged from four and a half to five and a half hours. At the opposite extreme, Battery Eater Pro's barely-above-idle "reader's test" ran for nearly ten hours. Considering that the battery pack isn't bulbous and bulky -- the Timeline is just over an inch thick and weighs just 4.4 pounds -- we're impressed. We're impressed with more than the battery, for that matter. The Acer isn't a speed demon, and it isn't cheap at $999, but it's a seductively slim, thoroughly capable business notebook.