As Intel's Santa Rosa chipset offers benefits such as improved battery life and the ability to connect to draft-n wireless network it makes sense for Acer to incorporate it into one of their compact notebooks - the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone.

The Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone also displays the same Gemstone design as the less portable Aspire 5920 we reviewed earlier this year.

Like the Aspire 5920, the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone is a black clamshell laptop that looks sophisticated from the outside. Despite being made of smudge-prone material, the lid feels secure and protects the screen well.

However, even though it is pleasant to type with the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone's grayish keyboard, it's not very attractive. Similarly, the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone's track pad may be large but is slow to respond.

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Web-chatting is facilitated by an integrated CrystalEye webcam, and we like the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone's media playback control buttons. There's also a button that launches Acer Arcade Deluxe, which includes HomeMedia to play files from your home media server and DVDivine for burning DVDs.

Also featuring Dolby Home Theatre surround-sound, the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone performs well as an entertainment and multimedia laptop. There are also dedicated buttons to enable Bluetooth and wireless LAN and launch the web browser or email application.

Although it isn't the most powerful gaming system, the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone is equipped with an ATI Mobility Radeon X2400 graphics card with 256MB of dedicated RAM. However we were less than impressed by the mediocre FEAR games score of only 16 frames per second (fps). Battery life in use is also a rather meagre 87 minutes, making us doubt the wonders of the Santa Rosa platform.

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The Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone features a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor, this produced an impressive WorldBench score of 76 - impressive for a budget laptop, at least. Its 14.1in widescreen is crisp and vibrant, displaying images, movies and text well. That said, the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone's ultra glossy display suffers from reflection on occasion.

Impressive specifications include 2GB memory and 250GB hard disk capacity. With four USB ports, a 5-in-1 card reader and the ability to hook up to a, b, g and n wireless networks, the Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone is not too shabby on the connectivity front either.

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Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone: Specs

  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 250GB
  • 14.1in WXGA CrystalBrite LCD
  • 1,280 x 800 display
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD X2400 XT (256MB)
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 344x24x37mm
  • 2.7kg
  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 250GB
  • 14.1in WXGA CrystalBrite LCD
  • 1,280 x 800 display
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD X2400 XT (256MB)
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 344x24x37mm
  • 2.7kg

OUR VERDICT

The Acer Aspire 4920 Gemstone is an affordable and stylish-looking laptop. It offers a plethora of features, but enjoys only average battery life - despite the presence of a Santa Rosa chipset. Including features such as Acer Arcade Deluxe, media control buttons and a webcam; it would make a great entertainment based and reasonably portable machine.

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