Acer Aspire 5. 02. Series AMD Turion 6. Notebook Review (pics, specs) - FOLLOW- UPby Joseph Roost, The Netherlands.
Model under review: Acer Aspire 5. WLMi (LX. A4. 60. Note: Since this review was posted last year on 1/1. Jos added a Follow Up Section to this popular article.
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Introduction. For some months I have been considering replacing my . Although a DTR (Desk.
Top Replacement) notebook in principle, it should definitely be a mobile notebook with at least 2 hours battery time and not . A further personal requirement was that this new notebook should at least be equivalent to my other desktop system: an Athlon XP 2.
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GF4- Ti. 42. 00 graphics. After some studying and reading about the current notebook offerings and visiting some computer shops, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a notebook with a 1. This Aspire 5. 02. Aspire 1. 69. 0 series and the Turion promised to be cheaper than a similarly- performing Pentium- M. Being slightly AMD- minded, I decided to wait for the Aspire 5. WLMi. When it appeared “in stock” at the end of May 2.
I ordered one for Euro 1. Hardware. Discount in The Netherlands.
Below are my first impressions and some benchmark results of this machine . I found these pictures on the web (see also the German Acer ftp site): Click the images to enlarge! The notebook feels solid and well made.
The silver with black design definitely looks good, although maybe more business- like than stylish. I’m not completely sure if the silver parts are from aluminum or plastic. The size of this notebook is typical for a notebook with a 1. But as I will use it mostly as a desktop replacement, this is no problem. Installation. Installation is very simple. I could select to install either English, French or Dutch Windows XP. After some time it enters Windows XP setup, asking you language, time- zone and keyboard settings.
Eventually, you end up with the normal Windows XP desktop, ready to work. The C- drive contains Windows and all Acer software, the D- drive is empty. I think there is also a hidden system recovery partition, but I didn’t investigate this. Included software. Acer e. Manager – for connecting to a beamer, system recovery and some basic system settings Acer Arcade – for playing video and audio NTI CD & DVD maker and Backup Now – for burning CD’s and DVD’s Cyberlink Power. Producer – for making video / dvd’s Norton Anti. Virus. Note: the Acer e.
Powermanagement software (which is present on e. You can only set power management features via Windows. Documentation. The included documentation on paper is minimal: the User’s Guide . There is a slightly more extensive .
PDF version installed on the hard disk. This means that it has a kind of a glossy finish (like Sony X- Black) which should provide a brighter display. Disadvantage is that you may/will have more reflections. Indeed, I found the display sharp and bright with lively colours.
But I also noticed reflections, especially when displaying dark- coloured images on the screen. However, when displaying light- coloured images (e. But you should definitely take this into account when positioning your notebook. The viewing angle of the screen is good, especially in the horizontal direction; the vertical direction is a bit more sensitive and you quickly see the intensity of colours change when you rotate the screen.
I used the “Dead Pixel Buddy” from Laptop. Showcase to investigate my screen for dead pixels: I found not a single dead (sub)pixel.
They are small and do their job but sound a bit tinny. If you are critical about sound, I would recommend using headphones or connecting external speakers. The drive was hardly noticable when playing an audio CD or a DVD.
However, when copying files from a data CD it was rather noisy. Until now, the drive had no problem reading any CD or DVD that I tried. Burning a CD was no problem. I have not yet tried burning a DVD. Sometimes the fan switches on with low speed and is then noticable, but not disturbing. When the system is being worked hard and the CPU and/or GPU get warm, the fan noise at full speed is quite intrusive. Until now, I mostly worked on a full- size keyboard with separate arrow- keys and numeric keypad.
And therefore, finding the correct arrow- , Home- , End- or Del- key still causes me some problems. Also some of these keys are rather small. Probably, someone used to working with a notebook would feel more and/or quicker at home, but for me it will take some time to get used to and to reach the same typing speed as on normal keyboard.
I quickly got used to using the touchpad. It works well and allows precise and rather quick cursor positioning. Personally, I’m still quicker with a normal mouse though. Fn- key plus arrow- keys allows you to control volume or brightness, etc. Battery. Eater then keeps both CPU and GPU busy with an Open. Gl animation. I checked several times with CPU- Z and saw that the CPU continuously ran at 1.
MHz. Also the fan was almost continuously operating at full speed. Under these conditions, the battery was drained and Windows shutdown after 9. Under these conditions, I ran Battery.
Eater in . I checked several times with CPU- Z and noticed that the CPU was at 8. MHz. On top of that, I did some writing of this review, but not continuously.
The fan was mostly OFF and only occasionally switched on with low speed. In this mode, the battery was drained after 3: 3. So, Acer’s claim for . I have only had this machine a few days now, but from my experience until now, I think that when using this notebook for such things as gaming, the battery will be empty after one to one and a half hours. Doing light to moderate Office applications, three hours certainly seems feasible.
Booting into Windows takes appr. I think the installed Mobility Radeon X7.
MB memory is up to any game you want to play. The hard disk is a 8. GB 4. 20. 0rpm drive.
As already mentioned, it comes default formatted in two equal FAT3. I consider this one of the weaker parts of this notebook. Personally, I would rather have a single 8.
GB NTFS partition and also a 5. The installed memory consists of two Nanya 2. MB DDR3. 33 memory modules. This is enough for most applications, but I’m considering upgrading it to 1.
MB to prevent swapping to the hard disk as much as possible. Processor / System Info.
This is one of the first notebooks with the AMD Turion 6. ML 3. 4 model which runs at 1. MHz: I’m not sure where the “3. I thought AMD had abandoned these ratings for the Turion. I also think that this 1. MHz Turion is closer to an Athlon 6.
I was unpleasantly surprised by the indicated memory speed: the installed memory is specified as DDR 3. I was expecting a memory frequency of close to 1. MHz, and not close to 1. MHz. With proper DDR 4. So. DIMMs you should be able to run Athlon 6. MHz. And there is no BIOS setting to adjust the memory speed!
Si. Soft Sandra 2. CPU Dhryst MIPS8. CPU Whetst MFLOPS2. CPU i. SSE2 MFLOPS3. CPU media Int it/s. CPU media Float it/s. RAM BW Int MB/s. 19.
RAM BW Float MB/s. TOPIC. I interpolated their results for P- M 7.
GHz. Conclusion. Pros: good value for money: cheaper than a Pentium M (7. I think this is a very good machine: a nice design and as compact as it can be for a 1. It is also very powerful and has a good battery life. This Turion notebook is definitely a solid competitor for the Pentium- M / Centrino notebooks, even more when models with the faster ML3.
ML4. 4 Turions and/or the lower power consumption (2. Watt) MT3. 4- MT4. I can recommend this notebook to anyone looking for a powerful and still mobile (desktop replacement) notebook. January 2. 00. 6In the 7 months since my original review was published, there have been extensive discussions about the Aspire 5. Notebookreview. com and on other fora. I will list the most important issues here and also give a list of links to newer drivers, to some articles about the Turion and to some utilities that may come in handy when using this notebook. Generally, I’m still very happy with (the performance of) this notebook, especially after the “slow memory” problem was solved.
Also, the screen, keyboard and DVD drive are still doing well, although I had to order a new cover for the DVD drive from Acer Support. Pros / Cons / Known issues: no SPDIF out cover of slot- in DVD sometimes comes off; you can order a new one from Acer support. But you can also download the separate Winphlash utility from the Acer website to update the bios. You need the bios file from the M2. X7. 00 graphics. If you want to install Windows according to your own preferences, you will need a separate Windows CD.
Updated benchmarks: I re- did some benchmarks of my original review to show the effect of going from 2x. MB@1. 33. MHz (original modules with original bios 1. MB@1. 66. MHz (new modules with bios 1. As expected, there was a considerable improvement in PCMark and Sandra memory benchmarks. Also 3. DMark and Aquamark seemed to like more/faster memory, but all the other benchmarks seemed to depend mainly on CPU- speed.
System. Aspire 5. WLMi. Turion ML3. GHz. BIOSv. 1. 0. Memory. 51. 2 MB (2. Turion. 64 MT3. 7/ML3. GHz, 1. 02. 4KB, 2. W) being offered for appr.
Euros, and Turion. MT4. 0/ML4. 0 (2. GHz, 1. 02. 4KB, 2.
W) being offered for appr. Still expensive but likely to become cheaper. Furthermore, recent contributions to this thread show that it is apparently physically posible to upgrade the Aspire 5.
CPU, but you will have to dis- assemble the system almost completely. It is also not known if the bios supports faster CPU’s (it probably will, if the mentioned 5. WLMi with ML3. 7 is an official Acer model). Further links to drivers, articles and utilities.