back to article Acer Aspire 8920G 18.4in laptop

Acer is just one manufacturer vying for our attention amid the furore over the new netbooks, and it's hoping the Aspire 8920G will re-interest us in full-size laptops. Those of you lamenting the industry’s switch to a widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio from the old, squarer 4:3 should look away now, as the 8920G’s USP is the use of …

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Paris Hilton

I'm sorry...

But WTF?

> A cylinder at the rear of the laptop incorporates the screen hinges and a sub-woofer.

A sub-woofer in a laptop? I can't imagine it being that effective, even if the laptop is this ginormous!

Paris, because she knows all about sub-woofers.

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Anonymous Coward

I reckon that's a laptub

That's a pretty huge laptop there, perhaps even a laptub.

Working on the naming scale:

1. Laptot

2. Lapteen

3. Laptop

4. Laptub

It's about a 3.5. No?

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Film Ratio

>Even upscaled DVD material plays back without the letterbox black bars >on the top and bottom of the display

Of course this depends on the ratio of the film on the dvd, a lot of blockbusters will be in 2.35:1 which means unavoidable black bars,

whether DVD, bluRay or whatever.

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Boffin

RGB gamut?

"The screen can show 16.7m colours - many laptop panels only do 260,000-odd - using them to display 90 per cent of the colours within the RGB gamut."

So which "RGB gamut" would that be then: sRGB, AdobeRGB, ProPhotoRGB or a.n.otherRGB?

</precise>

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Anonymous Coward

HD refresh rate?

If you're focusing on 1080p playback for Blu-Ray, you should at least have established whether the screen has the ability to refresh at multiples of 24Hz - otherwsie you get motion judder and a second-rate viewing experience.

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Silver badge
Flame

Who in the world...

... wants a 'laptop' weighing 4.1Kg. Surely it defeats the object of being portable.

If watching Blue-Ray is your primary requirement for a laptop then this may be the device for you, but I'd book for the body-building course now.

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Coat

Ocular colour-depth

Dunno about you, but I think I can only recognise the difference between a few shades of colour. Maybe that's why I get the other half to choose the paint... but seriously, to the human or martian eye, what's the difference between 63 shades of green and 255?

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MrT
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

I'm a fan...

Currently got a tricked-up Dell Insipid 9400/e1705, w 17" 1900x1220 Trulife panel and 256MB 7900GS, which is by far the best screen I've ever used. It's also got a sub, but at 2" it stretches the definition somewhat. Does sound loads better than my older Compaq laptop. Actually a 4.1 installation, with centre channel created by software.

Thing about this is - what do you use on any laptop or desktop computer, regardless of spec? The keyboard and screen. So, get the best you can afford (in both cash, desk space and gym fees if you want to carry it). Then it's a compromise between battery life and performance in most laptops - my Dell won't go more than 100 mins at full tilt before the battery is out, but the multimedia is worth it.

Given a choice, I'll be buying one of these Acers, which start at around £800 for the lower-specced version, because they can do the biz in entertainment/games, plus can be folded flat and put in a drawer when not needed.

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Bronze badge

battery life

And battery life is.....?

Another thing I suppose it is a windows only machine with no hope of drivers for any other OS but then I have an aspire 9300 that I've managed to get OS/2 working on so there may be hope.

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Bronze badge

16:9 an advantage?

This sounds like an attempt to take advantage of available flat-screen TV tech: a laptop with what looks like a standard HDTV display.

This might not be a bad idea, but right now it's too expensive.

Weight, size, and everything, we're going back to the days of the first "portable" computers; something which you can readily transport, and put on any available desk. That's not useless, and the way power around here was in yo-yo mode, last night, the presence of the battery would be good.

And there's a "green" element: lower power consumption.

But a 16:10 display will let you watch 16:9 video and still see the toolbar.

Either way, this is is overkill for transportable DVD playing.

(Still, if my ticket comes up on the lottery, it's always worth buying top-end gear. But the Leica comes first.)

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Silver badge

LCD not good for video

LCD screens will probably take some more years before they are good for video. The main problem is that they hold the image till there is a new image causing the image to blur when you track objects with your eyes.

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Fattop

Finally, a laptop that can run Vista without struggling.......

What a porker!

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Coat

Does it play

Age of Cohen at full resolution.

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Thumb Down

Not nearly enough...

...shiny per buck.

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Anonymous Coward

eh?

You dare call these cramped for space, odd-ratio widescreen drivelings of the 'industry' a feature? begone!

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Silver badge
Flame

I don't want a DVD player

I want a replacement for my 6.5year old 1600x1200.

I don't care if it's WS, I want more pixels high so I can read PDFs & Word & DTP A4 100% and have space at sides for toolbars, Menu bar, Desktop Icons etc.

1080 is a retrograde step. If you watch 2.35:1 Cinema content there will be black bars anyway.

WS on a Laptop is STUPID, unless you can rotate the screen to Portrait.

Anyone no if any good 1600x1200 or larger resolution Laptops still made?

And GLOSSY is marketing hype. Decent Matt is Far Better. As long as the process is not cheap texture reducing resolution. With reading glasses or magnifying glass you can see the individual pixels on my 1600x1200 15.4" Matt screen. It has almost no reflections at all, which give you headaches.

I use a TV if I want to watch Video.

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Thumb Up

Purchased one, love it

Bought mine at respectable £899 from John Lewis in Liverpool.

The screen resolution is fantastic and it easily handles COD4 in full 1080p while running visual studio debugger in the background (I develop software for games)

Colour reproduction is very accurate and recommended for any digital artist handling both After Effects and Photoshop CS3 very comfortably.

There's no noticable ghosting and sound reproduction is crystal clear.

The microphone setup doesn't work for ingame chat (something I've experienced on all realtek based audio hardware)

However the dual mic-monitor provides excellent bg noise removal without the usual pops, clicks and distortion.

Not mentioned in the review is the Audio over HDMI feature, oft missing from hdmi equiped PCs/Laptops.

For HI-Def screens / Audio Hardware supporting this the sound reproduction is crystal clear with no noticable distortion or clipping.

That said the internal speaker setup is more than sufficient for an immersive music / movie experience, my only bug bear being the

speaker configuration while gaming.

The rear Channels are projected from the speakers on the back bottom of the laptop rather than the front which seems strange to me, I'd have been more comfortable with them the other way around.

Surround sound is a much under used defensive tool in the realms of Dolby compatable online gaming.

Nothing that can't be fixed with a little software jiggery pokery.

All in all a great piece of kit, especially at under a grand!

Gareth

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Anonymous Coward

@ Mage

Mage • Friday 22nd August 2008 10:57 GMT wrote:

"Anyone no if any good 1600x1200 or larger resolution Laptops still made?"

I know the IBM Thinkpad T60p had a configuration with a -very- nice wide viewing angle 1600x1200 15" 4:3 display, but if they are still being actively manufactured.. no idea there. Try the Lenovo site, particularly, try emailing them and inquire about it specifically, they are very helpful.. at least to me they were when I needed them.

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Happy

I've got one and...

...to be honest I have grown to love it. I got it from PC World (ugh!) as it was for an insurance claim and didn't have much option and the HP that I had was no longer available..admittedly though whilst drooling over the spec I didn't pay attention to the screen size otherwise I probably would have changed my mind.

Yes it is big but for my purposes (it stays on a small table next to me in my living room or my bedroom) it turned out not to be a problem.

The screen is incredible if you can stand the size, the colours are more vivid and clear than most displays I have seen and the Blu-Ray playback is superb, no complaints at all (though for those who are interested the model of blu-ray player is not compatible with anydvd!). Plenty of memory, processing power and HDD space for more that just the average user, NVIDIA 9500GS 512 has enough horsepower for decent gaming (though Crysis struggles as to be expected so don't hold that against it!). Two issues though, the built in sound quality however I find is lacking, there are plenty of adjustments that can be made to the "5.1" internal setup but no matter what I try it just feels flat and tinny...the sub woofer is there and it does work but just not to any great effect...admittedly this could be just me not getting the settings good enough? Secondly the battery life as you would expect is short, about 2:20 with "medium" use, disappointingly there is not the hardware controls to preserve battery life such as HP use that controls the charge to a full battery when not required to prolong life, the Acer does it the dumb way by just charging regardless of the batter status so I am guessing that my battery life will be much shorter than usual (if I left it connected that is).

These things aside though I am very pleased with the purchase and I think most people would be...as long as like me they didn't find a need to carry it with them often!

Now you can go on to debate the word "laptop" and "portable" all you want and the philosophy behind the meaning when talking in context of the micro computing epoch etc etc, however there seems to be a market for it and for the price (I paid just under £1000) it fits into it's niche well.

BTW the Acer website has up to date drivers for this model and a good range of tools to leverage the hardware as effectively as possible.

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