Nov 19, 2008

Acer Aspire 5920

Today we are going to review the latest model from Acer, which is designed for gaming. Let's see how it copes with games as well as other home tasks.
Acer Aspire 5920G-102G16
The manufacturer describes Acer Aspire 5920 as
the first notebook in the new stunning Gemstone design. Able to satisfy all requirements of a modern user, the Aspire 5920 is based on the latest Core 2 Duo processor. The graphics component is really splendid: wide 15.4" panel, Acer CrystalBrite technology, 8 ms response, with the NVidia GeForce 8600M-GT graphics card (up to 512 MB, some cards have 256 MB) of the latest generation with DX10 support. The excellent image comes with splendid audio owing to the 2.1 audio system (two speakers and a subwoofer) supporting Dolby Home Theatre Virtual Surround. Besides, a HDMI connector and a built-in HD DVD drive (in some models) open up the door to the age of high definition video.
And the key advantages are, according to Acer:

Excellent design
Acer presents a new concept design of Acer Aspire notebooks for home entertainment. It's designed in cooperation with a well-known industrial design team and called GemStone. The form and color of the GemStone design personify a natural harmony of gem stones. The new Aspire 5920 notebooks embody purity and value of precious gifts of nature. They attract with their excellent exterior and impressive components worthy of a modern notebook for entertainment

Multimedia heights
The Acer Aspire 5920 notebooks are truly multi-functional. They can impress even the most hard-driving users. The Aspire 5920 provides unforgettable impressions with its audio system (two speakers and a subwoofer) supporting Dolby Home Theater Virtual Surround Sound HDMI, HD audio/video port, HD DVD drive (in some models), and an optional built-in TV-tuner.
I generally agree with the description. But I would have also added gaming features of the 5920 to the list of its advantages. Web site, tech support
Unfortunately, it is not possible to go from the model catalog page directly to technical support. You have to instead use the menu.

The first page of the tech support web site is devoted to the warranty. It says that the warranty is valid only if you have a proper warranty coupon. Otherwise, the warranty will be up to your retailer. This page describes warranty peculiarities for Ferrari notebooks. Besides, the warranty for all Travelmate models is 2 years, Aspire models - 1 year. The international warranty is not described well. The website doesn't offer complete information on what you must do in the case that your notebook is broken.

The process of downloading drivers is not very good in our opinion. First you choose your notebook model in the list. On the next page dedicated to this model you choose the necessary driver (audio driver) from the drop-down menu. Then a window pops up with a direct download link. There are three links, one for XP Drivers, Vista Drivers, and Acer Utilities. The process seems easy enough, but the problem is it is difficult to tell whether you even need to download a new driver because no driver version is listed.

However, for advanced users direct FTP links to the drivers and utilities should cancel out the above inconveniences.

We should also mention that the bundle does not include a Recovery CD. A recovery image is stored on the hard drive, and the built-in utility suggests that you burn the image to a compact disc at startup. The company has started including an empty recordable compact disc into the bundle, so that users could create a recovery CD. -->
5920G-102G16 Specifications
Here are specifications of the model under review:

Processor :
Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 (1.8 GHz/ 2 MB/ FSB 800)

Chipset :
Intel PM965 Express

2048 (2x1024) MB DDR II
Display :
bright (220 nit) 15.4" WXGA (1280x800) display with Acer CrystalBrite technology, 8 ms response
Graphics :
256 MB nVidia 8600M-GT
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M, 256 MB GDDR2 VRAM, up to 1024 MB with TurboCache technology (up to 768 MB is allocated from system memory*), support for NVIDIA PureVideo (WMV HD, High Definition MPEG-2 Hardware Acceleration), Microsoft DirectX 9 and DirectX 10, OpenEXR High Dynamic Range (HDR) and PCI Express
160 GB SATA (5400rpm)
Optical storage :
DVD RW (Super Multi)

Audio :
Dolby-certified surround-sound system with two integrated stereo speakers (Acer 3DSonic) and one subwoofer supporting low-frequency effects.
Dolby Home Theater supporting Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, Dolby Headphone, and Dolby Virtual Speaker
Intel High-Definition audio support
S/PDIF support
Acer PureZone support - it uses two built-in microphones for high-quality recording and better voice rendition.

Communication :
4 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI with HDCP support
1 x VGA
1 x ExpressCard/54
5-in-one card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD)
1 x S-video/ TV-Out (NTSC/PAL)
1 x CIR
1 x IEEE 1394
1 x AV-In (in some models)
1 x TV antenna (in some models)
1 x RJ-11
1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
1 x headphones/speakers/line-out with SPDIF support
1 x mic-in
1 x line-in
1 x connector for the AC power adapter
I/O ports :
1 x RJ-45 Ethernet port (1GB Lan)
1 x RJ-11 Modem port
1 x S-video
1 x SPDIF (shared w/ Line-out jack)
1 x VGA port
1 x PCI Express Card (Type II)
1 x Mic-in
1 x Line-out
1 x Line-in
1 x Port Replicator Jack
1 x C-in for power supply
Power supply :
ACPI 3.0 supporting Standby and Hibernation modes
71 W 4800 mAh 8-cell battery pack (Li-ion): up to 3.5 hours life
Acer QuicCharge support: 80% charge in 1.0 hour, 2.0 hours recharge time with power off, 2.5 hours with power on
3-pin 90W AC adapter

Extra :
Built-in Acer Crystal Eye digital camera, support for Acer PrimaLite technology (in some models)

Warranty :
1 year

Dimensions and weight :
364 x 270.2 x 30.8/43.7 mm
3.00 kg
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