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Acer Aspire 8930G review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1250
inc VAT

The Aspire isn't cheap, but it's generously specified and well designed

Acer’s Aspire 8930G is the only laptop here to have a quad-core processor. The 2GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 powered this laptop through our Windows performance tests.

Its Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics chip couldn’t keep up with the SLI-equipped Asus G70S in our Call of Duty 4 test, managing only 16.4fps. It scored a far more playable 30fps with the resolution and detail settings reduced, making it suitable for games. At 4kg, this laptop is unlikely to travel far with you, but its three-hour battery life is good for when it does.

The 18.4in widescreen display looks bright and has reasonably wide viewing angles. It’s the only one here with a resolution of 1,920×1,080, so it can display 1080p Blu-ray video in all its glory. There are VGA, HDMI and even DisplayPort connectors for attaching an external monitor.

The built-in Blu-ray drive is one of only two here that can burn Blu-ray discs. There’s also an integrated Freeview TV tuner. The 500GB hard disk doesn’t provide as much recording space as the dual 320GB disks found in Asus’s G70S and Dell’s Studio 17, but it’s still plenty of disk space for most people.

Unusually, the Aspire has a built-in 5.1 surround-sound speaker system. However, as you can’t position the speakers around you, the effect isn’t very convincing, and music sounded airy and over-processed. Thankfully, you can connect the laptop to a quality surround-sound amp using the S/PDIF mini-jack output.

Thanks to the wide case, the keyboard has room for both a numeric keypad and a panel of touch-sensitive buttons for controlling media playback. The keys are comfortable to type on, with just the right amount of feedback when pressed. You can lock the touch-sensitive buttons to avoid triggering them accidentally. The large touchpad is accurate, but the small, stiff buttons are difficult to press.

The Aspire isn’t cheap, but it’s generously specified and well designed. If you want a powerful all-rounder for use at home, this is it.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q9000
Processor clock speed2GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle40W
Power consumption active76W


Viewable size18.4 in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce 9600M GT
Graphics/video portsVGA, DisplayPort, HDMI
Graphics Memory1,024MB


Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelPioneer BDRTD01RS
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL, BD-R/RE

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports1x eSATA, 1x minijack S/PDIF output, mini RF


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedNTI Media Maker, Microsoft Works 8.5, Acer Arcade Deluxe
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

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