TravelMate 8000 series
Last year's successful TravelMate 800 range of professional notebooks has been superseded by the similar-looking but beefed-up TravelMate 8000 series. This includes the Acer's first Dothan-core Pentium M-based notebook, the 2GHz TravelMate 8006LMi, which will cost £1,499 (ex. VAT).
Built around the latest Intel Centrino technology with 512MB of RAM as standard, the TM 8000 series will use a 1.5GHz Banias-core Pentium M processor for the entry-level 8002LCi model, which will initially be priced at £1,099 (ex. VAT). Acer's Notebook Business Manager David White said that the company would like to get the base price for the TM 8000 range down to £999 (ex. VAT), and we wouldn't be surprised to see that happen before too long. All TM 8000 models use Intel's latest wireless module, the 802.11b/g PRO/Wireless 2200BG, which operates at 2.4GHz and has a maximum throughput of 54Mbps. For wireless personal area networking, you get Bluetooth built-in. High-speed wired Gigabit Ethernet is also supported as standard. Both the TM 8000 series and the special Ferrari 3200 model (see next page) benefit from Acer's SignalUp technology, which maximises wireless signal strength via efficient antenna design and positioning in the top of the LCD panel. The TM 8000 is a two-spindle 'thin-and-light' design, weighing just under 3kg and offering hard disks of 60GB (TM 8002LCi) or 80GB (TM 8006LMi) capacity. Optical storage resides in a hot-swappable bay in the form of a DVD/CD-RW combo for the entry-level model and a DVD Super Multi drive (a multi-format DVD burner) at the top end. The AcerMedia Bay will also accept a second Li-ion battery, among other things: with the standard battery Acer claims 5 hours' battery life, rising to 8 hours ('all day computing') with the second unit fitted. The TM 8000's 15in., 1,400-by-1,050-pixel display is driven by ATI's state-of-the-art Mobility Radeon 9700 chip, supported by 64MB of video RAM at the low end and 128MB at the top of the range. You can attach an external monitor via a digital DVI-out port, and manage a desktop spanning two screens. DVD playback benefits from hardware-assisted MPEG-2 decoding on the ATI chip. Other notable features on the TM 8000 series include a front-mounted 4-in-1 flash card reader, a smartcard reader, four USB 2.0 ports and a generally sturdy build quality including Disc Anti-Shock Protection (DASP) on the underside of the system. The Dothan-based TravelMate 8006LMi will be available at the beginning of June 2004.