Now that surfing the Net while flying is no longer new, I really want a computer that can last the entire flight from San Francisco to NYC, which is about 6 hours long.
Acer seems to have a solution for that. On Tuesday, the company announced its newest Aspire Timeline series, which it claims offers more than 8 hours of battery life on average in one charge. If this is true, it'll really set a new standard for mobility and productivity.
According to Acer, the Aspire Timeline series achieved this extended battery life thanks to a combination of factors, including a unique design, Intel's ultralow-voltage processors, advanced power management, high-capacity batteries, and LED backlit displays. The result is a series of laptops that are thinner, lighter, and much more energy-efficient than other laptops.
The best thing about the new Aspire Timeline series, however, is the price. Ranging from $598 to $899, the Timelines are among the most affordable laptops.
However, there's a catch and it's rather big: the three laptops in this series use very low-performance CPUs. Running at a paltry 1.4Ghz or 1.3Ghz, the 15.6-inch Aspire Timeline AS5810TZ-4657 uses an Intel Pentium, the 14-inch Aspire Timeline AS4810T-8480 uses the Intel Core Solo, and the 13.3-inch Aspire Timeline AS3810T-6415 uses the Intel Core 2 Duo. To put this in perspective: most Netbooks use Atom CPUs running at 1.6Ghz.
In addition, they all run Windows Vista, and from my experience with similar configurations, this means the performance will suffer terribly. It would be somewhat better if they were configured with Windows XP or Linux, but that's not an option.
So, while this series is exciting news, on second thought, I think I'll still stick with my Dell XPS M1330 for now. It has around only 3 hours of battery life, but they are 3 hours of serious computing.