Acer was one of the first vendors to sell laptops with 17in screens. And, we're glad to say, it's come a long way since then. It still sells 17in laptops, but they're a vast improvement on the old models.

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You're out of luck if you're expecting a clunky 7kg monster. The latest laptops from Acer are sleek, lightweight, sturdy and well-designed. The Aspire 9410 looks great, works well and offers potential buyers all kinds of features.

The 17in widescreen display offers sharp definition and eye-catching colours. The resolution of 1,440x900 isn't as high as 17in screens go. It's adequate, but the graphics setup leaves a little to be desired. The GeForce Go 7300 controller borrows some system memory but doesn't produce lightning frame rates in return.

Nonetheless, the Acer has an impressive turn of processing speed, notching up a healthy 93 points in our WorldBench 5 tests.

The wide chassis accommodates a numeric keypad to the side of the keyboard, while 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi facilities and an ethernet port mean the 9410 can easily hook up to wired and wireless networks. It's still quite chunky at 3.7kg and 40cm wide, but it's intended as a desktop replacement and you won't have trouble moving between rooms. The 9410 is bundled with Acer's proprietary Arcade software package. This, in essence, adds media-centre functionality.

Acer Aspire 9410: Specs

  • 1.6GHz Intel T2300 dual-core processor
  • Windows XP Professional
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,440x900 TFT display
  • 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/4x/4x/4x/3x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • Acer Arcade
  • Norton AntiVirus
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 400x295x40mm
  • 3.7kg
  • 1.6GHz Intel T2300 dual-core processor
  • Windows XP Professional
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,440x900 TFT display
  • 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/4x/4x/4x/3x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • Acer Arcade
  • Norton AntiVirus
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 400x295x40mm
  • 3.7kg

OUR VERDICT

It's big, but not so big as to be cumbersome. Well-designed and easy to use, the Acer has great features and a good screen. It's just a pity about the graphics.

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