Acer Ferrari 4000

Summary: You'll pay a bit of a premium for the prancing horse logo, but Acer has once again delivered a solid and speedy notebook.

  • Editors' rating:
    0.0
  • User rating:
    0.0
  • RRP:
    USD $1,999.00
    AUD $3,999.00
Acer Ferrari 4000
You'll pay a bit of a premium for the prancing horse logo, but Acer has once again delivered a solid and speedy notebook.

You can't brand a notebook with the Ferrari name and not pay attention to the design - indeed, we'd be surprised if the licensing agreement between Acer and Ferrari didn't' have a line specifically prohibiting ugly notebook designs. Unlike the last Ferrari notebook we tested, the Ferrari 3400, the Ferrari 4000 plays it a little lighter on the red tones, dressing the notebook in more solid black under a carbon fibre cover that's apparently meant to resemble a checkered flag. Naturally enough, the Ferrari stallion is present -- although it should be noted that the marketing material we were sent tells us that it's the "Prancing Horse" logo. We wouldn't have picked the word "prancing" to be all that close to the uber-macho world of F1 racing, but it doesn't seem to have done Ferrari any harm.

Branding issues aside, the Ferrari 4000 is a great looking notebook. The first thing you'll notice about the physical casing is the soft, almost rubberised coating on the palm rest. Depending on how you use the notebook, this will either be great as a non-slip surface, or at the very least a good way to soak up your palm sweat. The Ferrari 4000 features Acer's slightly curved and almost smile-like FineTouch keyboard which takes a little getting used to if you're accustomed to straight and flat notebook keyboards.

The Ferrari branding also extends to the Bluetooth-enabled mouse, which uses a shock of red colouring to stand out. We were impressed by the inclusion of rechargeable batteries with the mouse, which is a great touch if you're no fan of glidepads, which is the 4000's other main mousing method.

Underneath the hood (well, it is a car-inspired notebook, after all) of the Ferrari 4000 lies either an AMD Turion 64 ML-30 processor running at 1.6GHz (AU$2,999) , or an AMD Turion 64 ML-37 processor (AU$3,999), which clocks in at 2GHz. Turion, if you're not familiar with it, is AMD's less power-hungry brother of its desktop Athlon 64 processors. Wireless connectivity is available in both 802.11g and Bluetooth flavours, controlled by two rather large and obvious flashing buttons on the front of the laptop. Graphically, the Ferrari 4000 is equipped with an ATI X700 128MB PCI Express graphics chip, no matter which processor you go for, although the speedier model processor does boast 1GB of memory, versus 512MB for the 1.6GHz machine. The upper configuration Ferrari 4000 has a 100GB hard drive, versus an 80GB drive on the slower model. In terms of shared features, both configurations ship with a dual-layer super-multi slot loading DVD burner, a 15.4" WXGA LCD screen and a 5-in-1 memory card reader.

About our only complaint with the Ferrari 4000 came with the slot-loading DVD burner, which we felt was a touch noisy when reading from or writing to discs. We did wonder at one stage if it was trying to softly emulate the Ferrari engine noise. We tested with the AU$3,999 2GHz Ferrari 4000 using Bapco's MobileMark 2002 benchmarking suite. While it absolutely refused to run that suite's reader test - which simulates light reading activity in order to gauge best possible battery life under non-intensive usage -- it did fly through the performance test, which runs a suite of common programs while testing average battery life. Its performance score of 249 makes it a very compelling option, and when combined with a battery life of 201 minutes, which is acceptable but not exceptional for a notebook of this size, you're looking at quite a speedy notebook for your money. Naturally, if you're using either the Bluetooth or WiFi capabilities of the notebook, you can expect the battery life to dip sharply.

Acer Ferrari 4000
Company: Acer
Price: AU$3,999
Phone: 1300 366 567

Specifications

General
Packaged Quantity 1
System Type Notebook
Wireless capabilities IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Bluetooth
Screen type Widescreen
Notebook type Mid-size laptops (6-7.5 lbs.)
Processor / Chipset
CPU AMD Turion 64 mobile technology ML-37 / 2 GHz
Cache L2 - 1 MB
64-bit Computing Yes
Chipset ATI Radeon Xpress 200M
Features Enhanced Virus Protection
Memory
RAM 1 GB, 1 GB ( 2 x 512 MB )
Max RAM Supported 2 GB
Technology DDR SDRAM, DDR SDRAM
Speed 333 MHz / PC2700, 333 MHz / PC2700
Slots Qty 2
Empty Slots 0
Storage
Optical Drive DVD±RW (+R DL) / DVD-RAM - fixed, DVD±RW (+R DL) / DVD-RAM - fixed
Read Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
Write Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 2.4x (DVD+R DL)
Rewrite Speed 4x (CD) / 4x (DVD±RW) / 2x (DVD-RAM)
Optical Drive (2nd) none
Type portable
Display
Resolution 1680 x 1050 ( WSXGA+ ), 1680 x 1050 ( WSXGA+ )
Widescreen Yes
Color Support 24-bit (16.7 million colors), 24-bit (16.7 million colors)
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 41 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Humidity Range Operating 10 - 90%
Audio & Video
Graphics Processor PCI Express - ATI Mobility Radeon X700 - 128 MB, PCI Express - ATI Mobility Radeon X700 - 128 MB DDR SDRAM
Sound Stereo speakers , microphone, Stereo speakers , microphone
Compliant Standards Sound Blaster Pro
Input
Type keyboard
Communications
Wireless Bluetooth
Wireless Controller Acer InviLink 802.11b/g, Acer InviLink 802.11g
Network Interface Gigabit Ethernet
Remote Management Protocol DMI 2.0
Modem
Protocols & Specifications ITU V.92
Max Transfer Rate 56 Kbps
Features Wake on Ring
Battery
Technology Lithium ion
Installed Qty 1
Run Time 3 sec
Recharge Time 2.5 hour(s)
AC Adapter
Input AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz ), AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
Connections & Expansion
Slots 2 x memory
1 x CardBus ( 1 free ), 2 x memory ( 0 free )
1 x CardBus ( 1 free )
Interfaces 4 x USB 2.0 - 4 pin USB Type A
1 x modem - phone line - RJ-11
1 x network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45
1 x display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
1 x display / video - S-video output
1 x audio - line-in/microphone - mini-phone 3.5 mm
1 x audio - SPDIF output/headphones
1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
1 x infrared - IrDA
1 x docking / port replicator - 124 pin docking
1 x display / video - DVI-Digital - 24 pin digital DVI, 4 x USB 2.0 - 4 pin USB Type A
1 x modem - phone line - RJ-11
1 x network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45
1 x display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
1 x display / video - S-video output
1 x audio - line-in/microphone - mini-phone 3.5 mm
1 x audio - SPDIF output/headphones
1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire) - 4 pin FireWire
1 x infrared - IrDA
1 x docking / port replicator - 124 pin docking
1 x display / video - DVI-Digital - 24 pin digital DVI
Memory Card Reader 5 in 1 ( SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card ), 5 in 1 ( SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card )
Software
Software Included Cyberlink PowerDVD
Miscellaneous
Features security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
Compliant Standards ACPI 1.0b
Dimensions & Weight
Width 14.3 in
Depth 10.5 in
Height 1.3 in
Weight 6.4 lbs

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility

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