The Bottom Line
- Very Compact
- Good Performance
- Small, Difficult To Use Trackpad
- Limited Resolution Webcam
- Speakers Are Extremely Tinny
- Intel Core i7-680UM Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.2" x 8" x 1.1" @ 3.1 lbs.
- Windows 7
Guide Review - Acer TimelineX AS1830T-68U118 Ultraportable Laptop PC
Dec 16 2010 - With the release of the latest ultra-low voltage Core i7 processors from Intel, Acer has decided to update their TimelineX series of ultraportables. The new 1830T-68U118 features the high performance Core i7-680UM dual core processor. The clock speed isn't that much higher than the previous Core i3-330UM but it does feature a larger cache and the Turbo Boost technology that automatically increases the clock speed when only a single core is in use. This combined with the 4GB of DDR3 memory gives the laptop a very smooth feel that can even try to tackle heavy duty tasks such as video editing. Admittedly it won't be as fast as a standard laptop processor but it is capable.
While the internal processor has changed, the overall design has remained the same. This is good in some ways but still has its drawbacks. The Timeline X is roughly as small and light as many 11-inch netbook systems making it extremely portable. Sure, it doesn't have the thin profile of the MacBook Air but it also doesn't have the same high price tag. The biggest problem with the compact size is the trackpad which retains its flush design that is small and difficult to use. More than once when typing with it I accidentally touched the trackpad and shifted the cursor.
The hard drive space for the new model has also been increased from the previous 320GB to 500GB. This should provide more than enough space for storing applications, data and even media files. In order to keep its extremely small profile, it obviously does not come with an optical drive but that isn't as much of a problem as it was in the past.
The graphics and display remain unchanged on the 1830T-68U118 model. It still uses the same glossy coated 11.6-inch display with a 1366x768 resolution. The resolution is higher than most netbooks and offers a fine dot pitch. This makes working in applications much nicer and has the ability to handle 720p HD video streams thanks to the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics. It certainly won't be used for gaming at all but most ultraportables aren't designed that way. The glossy coating can be a bit distracting at times especially outdoors. An HDMI port is available for hooking up a external monitor or HDTV.
The Aspire TimelineX 1830T continues to use a six cell 5800mAh battery pack. Even though this model uses the more powerful Core i7 processor, the battery life was not impacted much over the previous Core i3 model. In my video streaming playback test, it was able to run for just under four hours before going into standby mode. More traditional usage that isn't so demanding on the processors and network should yield somewhere between five and six hours. Certainly not class leading but more than enough for many users.