We've seen several versions of Acer's Ferrari series over the years, and we're pleased to report that the 5000 is faster and better-looking than its predecessors. Aesthetically speaking, there is one major reason for this: Acer hasn't used nearly as much red on the chassis of the 5000.

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True, the scarlet livery is one of the Ferrari's most distinctive features. But while that kind of paint job may be fine on a car, it looks a bit silly on a laptop.The carbon-fibre casing looks good, even if sticky handprints show up in the light. We'd recommend keeping the kids away from this (and any other type of Ferrari).

What pleased us more than the design of the 5000 was the performance. A Turion 64 X2 TL-60 processor and a generous 2GB of DDR RAM helped the Ferrari to a stunning WorldBench 5 processing-speed score of 105. Games performance was okay, offering playable frame rates in both Doom3 and Halo, but in this respect the 5000 was far from a record-breaker. The battery life, however, was very impressive for a laptop with such high-end components. It lasted only six minutes short of four hours in our MobileMark 2002 tests.

The screen is an absolute corker – a 15.4in TFT with a resolution of 1,680x1,050, offering deep, rich colours and sharp definition. There's loads of space on the 160GB hard drive and a slot-loading DVD writer for backing up and burning home movies. You'll also get all the usual wireless networking options, Bluetooth connectivity and an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface). There's even a webcam that locks on to you to keep you centred.

Acer Ferrari 5000: Specs

  • 2GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 processor
  • Windows XP Professional
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 160GB hard drive
  • 15.4in 1,680x1,050 TFT display
  • 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/3x/3x/4x/4x/ (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 364x271x38mm
  • 3kg
  • 2GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 processor
  • Windows XP Professional
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 160GB hard drive
  • 15.4in 1,680x1,050 TFT display
  • 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/3x/3x/4x/4x/ (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 364x271x38mm
  • 3kg

OUR VERDICT

The price tag might be offputting, but you have to pay through the nose for a status-symbol brand. The components are top-notch, while the design is eyecatching and not as obnoxious as that of previous Acer Ferrari laptops.

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