We were impressed with the array of multimedia and entertainment features found on Acer's 9813WLMi. Unfortunately, that laptop's top-heavy frame precluded pretty much any kind of portability. So we are pleased to see that the 5683WLMi is a more movable model and, while it cuts back on some features, it offers a strong overall package.
The 5683WLMi is very adaptable and would perform well as an office-based PC. It offers a decent amount of memory and hard disk capacity, and performance is handled by a capable Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 chip. Its GeForce Go 7600 generates decent graphics speed, meaning the Aspire will double up nicely as a gaming laptop. Add to this the sharp contrast and rich viewing experience afforded by the glossy 15.4in widescreen TFT, and you have a laptop that works well for just about any activity.
The audio setup isn't the best we've come across, however. While the stereo speakers are substantial, they don't coax the best-quality sound from the high-definition audio controller. The Acer is armed with plenty of buttons and you can launch mail applications and web browsers at the flick of a switch. And it's quick to find Bluetooth and 3G devices, and enable wireless LANs. Support for a, b and g wireless networks is provided, while SignalUp technology helps boost the wireless signal. The webcam is a nice touch, but we would have appreciated a little more quality.
A good selection of software is bundled with the Aspire. While you don't get the handy TV tuner or Bluetooth phone included with the 9813WLMi, the Acer's extras are worthy of praise.