Weighing in at a whopping 7.8kg, the Acer Aspire is a beast of a laptop. Fortunately, it's intended as a desktop replacement rather than a portable system.

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The Aspire is most effectively employed as a multimedia centre. Its many goodies include a TV tuner, remote control and high-res screen, and it also boasts a Bluetooth VoIP (voice over IP) phone, allowing you to receive internet calls using services such as Skype in handheld or hands-free mode. A 1.3Mp (megapixel) high-res Acer OrbiCam is mounted on top of the laptop, using special Acer VisageON technology to track your face and centre it on the screen.

The Aspire includes a slot-loading DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive, a DVI-D port and an impressive 5-in-1 card reader supporting Secure Digital, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro and xD-Picture card. It doesn't disappoint on the Wi-Fi front either, connecting to 802.11a, b and g networks and using Acer SignalUp technology to boost the signal.

The large trackpad and keyboard are comfortable and easy to use - there are four quick access buttons at the top of the keyboard to instantly open applications such as a web browser or email.

In gaming tests the Acer performed similarly to the Evesham C720DC, producing smooth graphics and average framerates. As well as gaming enthusiasts, the Aspire would be ideal for multimedia aficionados, thanks to its large, crisp display and strong speaker system.

Although we rate this laptop highly for its range and quality of features, those seeking a truly portable laptop might be better off opting for the Zoostorm 53-7701 or the Evesham. The Acer Aspire is more of a complete desktop alternative than a notebook, perfect for burning and playing music and video, gaming and even running high-end graphics applications.

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Acer Aspire 9813WKMi: Specs

  • 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 processor
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 20.1in 1,680x1,050 TFT display
  • 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x/5x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 24x/24x/10x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 475x353x61mm
  • 7.8kg
  • 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 processor
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 20.1in 1,680x1,050 TFT display
  • 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x/5x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 24x/24x/10x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 475x353x61mm
  • 7.8kg

OUR VERDICT

Ignoring its bulk, the Acer offers a wealth of features such as a webcam, VoIP phone, TV tuner, remote and high-quality graphics and audio. This isn't a portable option, but it is an ideal and reasonably priced laptop for multimedia and gaming.

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