Acer’s Aspire 9500 With 17 inch Wide-Screen
Thanks to the success of desktop replacements such as Toshiba’s Qosmio, and Sony’s VAIO A690, multimedia laptops seem to be all the rage of late. Now Acer is stepping up confidently to the plate with their own contender, the Aspire 9500 series.
Without doubt, the Ferrari 4000 notebook was a real breakthrough for Acer in 2005. The Turion powered Ferrari’s cutting edge design, and carbon fiber chassis (world first for a laptop), garnered positive reviews not just from Acer fanboys, but from many of the world’s tech press.
For the Aspire 9500 series, (9502WSMi, 9503EWSMi, and 9504WSMi notebooks) Acer decided to bypass AMD this time, and go with Intel’s second generation Centrino platform – Sonoma. Indeed, Acer 9500 notebooks are available with processors up to 2.26Ghz. Add to that hard drive storage space of 120GB, and up to 2GB of ram, and you can see that the 9500 is a serious desktop replacement.
When you consider the Aspire’s panoramic 17 inch wide screen (CrystalBrite) display, with 1440 x 900 pixel resolution, it hardly takes an exclusive Baker Street address and assistance from Dr Watson to deduce the motive for the 9500 – TV and DVD watching, game playing, music composition, and image editing. This is confirmed when you learn that the Aspire 9500 also comes with an integrated DVD-Dual double layer drive, 2.1 channel speakers with built-in subwoofer, and an optional analog and digital television tuner.
Acer have bundled some interesting extras with the 9500. First off eDataSecurity Management, is a file encryption utility that protects files from being accessed by unauthorized users. Another useful tool, eRecovery Management, acts as a standalone backup and recovery manager. The Aspire 9500 also features Acer’s cheesy sounding “Empowering Key”. Clicking repeatedly won’t transform you into He-Man, but Acer state it should let you speedily access frequently used functions and settings on your laptop.
The Aspire 9500 3.6kg chassis is stacked with a host of ports including a PCMCIA Card slot, 5 USB 2.0 ports, DVI-D slot, ExpressCard port, IEEE 1394 slot, Infrared port, CIR slot, VGA port, S-video/Tv-out, and an Ethernet slot.
The benchmark test jury is still out on the Aspire 9500 line, it’s unlikely to be the runaway success of the popular Ferrari series. Still there are enough features here to ensure that these Aspire notebooks will be popular stocking fillers come Christmas 2005.
By Todd Gold
Tuesday, October 25, 2005