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Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 18.4-inch Desktop Replacement

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Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 18.4-inch Gaming Laptop PC
Image Courtesy Acer

The Bottom Line

Aug 20 2011 - Tired of laptops with super small screens? The Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 (LX.RJ207.008) is equipped with a 1080p 18.4 inch display that is nice and large for gaming. It also has a speedy quad-core processor and 8GB of memory with support for up to 16GB of RAM. Unfortunately, the slow hard drive is a bottleneck, and the video card isn't high end. However, if you are looking for a casual gaming system that also works well as a multimedia machine, the Acer Aspire Ethos 8951G fits the bill.

Pros

  • Large 1080p Display
  • Blu-ray Disc Player

Cons

  • Slow Hard Drive
  • Video Card Could be Better

Description

  • Intel Core i7-2630QM 2.0GHz Processor
  • 8GB DDR3 Memory
  • 1920x1080 18.4 Inch Full HD LCD Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 2GB GDDR3 Video Card
  • 750GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • Blu-ray Disc Player
  • 802.11 b/g/n WLAN
  • Media Card Reader
  • 8 Cell Battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Three USB 2.0, One USB 3.0, One HDMI Port
  • 17.32" x 11.61" x 1.55" @ 8.38 Pounds

Review - Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 18.4 Inch Laptop

Although the Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 retails for $1,600, the desktop replacement can be found on the street for $1,450 with rebates. The notebook has a 1920x1080 display (a high resolution screen is a must for an 18.4 inch laptop since it is so large). Speaking of big, the Aspire Ethos 8915G weighs in at 8.38 pounds so a system of this size is best used as a desktop replacement. The overall design is simplistic with a basic black chassis.

As seen in most other systems in this price range, the Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 has a quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM processor that runs at 2.0GHz stock with Turbo Boost speed up to 2.9GHz. Overall, this CPU is nice and fast thanks to the new Sandy Bridge architecture. Having a quad-core processor is becoming quite standard in notebooks over $1,000, and the i7-2630QM doesn't disappoint.

In regards to memory, the Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 comes with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, although the notebook supports up to 16GB. It's important to see if a laptop is upgradable, especially if you plan on keeping the computer for an extended period of time.

The Acer Aspire AS951G-9600 also functions well in casual games thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 2GB GDDR3 graphics card. While it can't compete with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M, it does offer individuals a way to game on a large screen at a midrange price.

Another nice feature on this laptop is the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive. Watching Blu-ray movies is a great way to take advantage of the large HD display. It's also great for students who use the laptop for multimedia. On the other hand, the hard drive is a disappointment. Although it is spacious at 750GB, the drive is a slow 5400RPM model making it a bottleneck. For $1,450 or more a 7200RPM hard drive is a must as some systems even include SSDs.

In terms of ports, the Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 has one USB 3.0 and three USB 2.0 ports. I'd like to see an additional USB 3.0 connector, but the one is adequate. The laptop also has an HDMI port, which is nice since the system has a Blu-ray drive. If you don't own a stand-alone Blu-ray player or a PS3, you can connect it to an HDTV that has an HDMI port to watch Blu-ray movies on a big screen TV.

Overall, the Acer Aspire Ethos AS8951G-9600 is best suited for casual gamers or those looking for a large 18.4 inch desktop replacement. It makes a great multimedia machine, but avid gamers will most likely want a better graphics card to take advantage of maxed out settings in the latest DirectX 11 games.

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