The Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-2413G64Mnbb sports a very elegant almost futuristic design - I half expected it to transform into a robot at some point of time and just walk off. Lets check whether this laptop walks off with any prizes once we are done with our testing.

Design

The Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG has a sleek design and its edges have an angular look to them - the hinges alone have a cylindrical design. Its body comes in an eye-pleasing, contrasting mix of three colours: blue, silver and black. Except the glossy black bezel and the glossy screen, the rest of the TimelineX unit has a matte finish.  While the glossy bezel does attract a lot of fingerprints and smudges, the black glossy appearance of the bezel - especially when contrasted with the lighter silver and blue matte colours - enhances the visual appeal of the laptop. The matte surface, understandably, doesn’t attract fingerprints or smudges, but you should be careful of net getting oily smudges on its surface. The chassis has an aluminium-plastic finish - the palmrest has a plastic finish while the area surrounding the keyboard has an aluminium finish - and the backlid has a plastic finish.

Unlike in other Acer laptop models, like the Acer 5755G ,the screen hinges of the 5830TG  are located at either ends, at the rear of the chassis. The back-lit power button is located at the top left corner of the main chassis body.  Along the same horizontal as the power button, you will find Acer 'P' ("programmable key) button, next to which lies the num lock and caps lock indicators.

Features

This TimelineX laptop weighs slightly under 2.5 kg - which is pretty much the norm with laptops sporting a 15.6-inch screen.  I have to say that the overall build quality of the TimelineX unit was good -  however it has to be pointed out that the edge of the keyboard area, right above the optical drive opening, did seem to depress a tad bit too easily for our general comfort. The inbuilt speaker of the 5830TG forms a single continuous slab that is located along the same horizontal line, and is positioned between the power button and Acer's "programmable key".  There is a 1.3MP webcam located along the top central section of the screen bezel.

This Acer laptop has a number of other handy features. One such feature is the "Battery indicator" button, located at the front of the laptop, that displays, through various colours, how much of the battery's charge is left, and whether if its charging or not. When the laptop is powered on, if this button shines blue, signifies that it is connected to a power supply - similarly when connected to a power source, it will shine Amber when the unit is charging. When not connected to a power source, this button will shine Blue, for when there is more than 30% of the charge remaining; Amber when the charge lies between 10-30%; and finally red, when less than 10% of the charge remains. You can check on the battery levels, even when the laptop is switched of, by pressing on this button and it's light will shine in the appropriate colour  - gone are the days when you had to switch on your laptop just to know how much of the battery life remains.

The USB 3.0 port doubles up as a charging port for USB-charged devices. What this translates to is that, if you have a device that gets charged through a USB port, say a smartphone, by connecting this device to the USB 3.0 port, you can charge your device. The device can also be charged even when the laptop is switched of -  and depending on the battery levels, the connected device will be accordingly charged.

Monitor

The Aspire 5830TG features a 15.6-inch glossy screen with a native resolution of 1366x768. While the display is sufficiently bright, the viewing angles on this screen are decent - as it is with a good number of other mainstream laptops, there is a colour darkening that that is observed when looking from the vertical (top and bottom) and horizontal (left and right) viewing angles. The screen can be tilted backwards to almost 140 degrees, and this will be helpful, to an extent, in letting you find a suitable viewing position. Alternatively, courtesy of the HDMI port, you also have the option of connecting the laptop to an external monitor/TV to get a better visual experience.

Keyboard Usability

Acer has really done a good job with the TimelineX 5830TG's keyboard and touchpad, and it would be great if this was carried forward to other models as well.

The Acer TimelineX laptop has a full sized chiclet keyboard, with a dedicated numpad, with flat-surfaced keys that are well spaced. Typing on this keyboard was very comfortable and had a very good tactile feedback - the feel of the keyboard was at the ideal level, neither too soft nor too hard. This is not a downside to the keyboard, but in my opinion Acer could have had larger arrow keys on this TimelineX unit. Typing on this laptop for lengthy periods of time should be a comfortable experience.

In a design choice that was seen in another Acer laptop, the 5755G, the TimelineX 5830TG  keyboard's enter key almost connects entirely with the backward slash key that is placed right above it.Moreover, the matte palmrest is slightly elevated, relative to the keyboard area, and this does lend itself to making the typing experience even more comfortable. The touchpad features multi-gesture support and is very responsive - allowing for accurate and fast responses to the associated touch. The two mouse buttons are also very responsive and just the ideal level of pressure has to be applied to them for their action to be recognised by the system.

Hardware

In terms of inner hardware, the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG doesn’t disappoint, at all. This laptop features an Intel second generation Sandy Bridge Intel Core i5-2410M processor (2.30 GHz), 3GB DDR3 RAM, a 640GB hard drive and for graphics processing, you have the Intel HD3000 and GeForce GT 540M graphics card with 1GB of VRAM. The system can alternatively switch between using these two graphics options, via NVIDIA's Optimus graphics technology, depending on the graphical intensity of the particular task.

The 5830TG has a unique placement of ports, with most of them located towards the front of the chassis. The laptop's left side has a Kensington lock, a comparatively large exhaust vent, a Gigabit Ethernet port, VGA port, HDMI connector, a USB 3.0 port which also doubles up as a USB charger, a microphone jack and a headphone/speaker jack. On the right side of the laptop's chassis you will find three USB 2.0- ports, an optical drive and the power connector. The laptop also features Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity.


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