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Acer Aspire 2930 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £589
inc VAT

Acer's Aspire impressed us with its specifications and performance, but it comes at a price

Acer’s Aspire 2930 is the odd one out in this group, as it’s the only laptop with a 12.1in screen.

At 2.1kg it’s almost light enough to qualify as an ultra-portable. A battery life of almost four hours means it can work away from the mains for a while; however, this is half as long as that of Samsung’s NC10 netbook, which is only £300.

What the Aspire does have is a broad selection of features that you won’t find in a netbook. The 12.1in screen has a 1,280×800 resolution, which is the same as most 15.4in laptops. Don’t overlook the built-in DVD writer, which the NC10 lacks. There’s a large 320GB hard disk, an ExpressCard/54 slot, plus support for Bluetooth and Draft-N WiFi, making the 2930 one of the best-equipped laptops here.

It’s also the only laptop in this round-up with an S/PDIF digital audio output, so you can enjoy surround sound on a compatible home theatre system. We were surprised at the quality of the internal speakers, which aren’t loud but have clear stereo separation and decent bass. The only feature missing is an HDMI output; there’s just a VGA port for connecting a larger screen.

The 2930’s design is similar to the larger 5735 on page 72, with rounded corners and angular details on the keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard is more cramped – and some of the punctuation keys are half-width – but it’s large enough for touch-typing. The touchpad is large and responsive, and the buttons aren’t too recessed and have a light action.

Windows text can appear a bit small on the screen, but it’s sharp. Colours are accurate and the backlight is even, but the glossy finish on the screen is very reflective. The integrated graphics chipset means that 3D games aren’t an option.

Acer’s Aspire impressed us with its specifications and performance. It all comes at a price, though. If you don’t need portability, HP’s similarly specified 6735s costs almost £100 less.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P7350
Processor clock speed2GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle18W
Power consumption active42W


Viewable size12.1 in
Native resolution1,280×800
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB


Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GSA-T50N
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionbackup and recovery software
Software includedMicrosoft Works 8.5

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

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