Acer Aspire 8930G (Core 2 Duo T9400 processor 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM)

With a true 1080p display, the 18-inch Acer Aspire 8930G is a capable HD content playback machine.


7.5
CNET Rating
10.0
User Rating

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The original Acer Aspire 8920G was the very first 18-inch laptop we had a chance to review, and the follow-up Acer Aspire 8930G is similar in terms of its essentials, with only a handful of component upgrades. The display has the same native resolution as a 1080p HDTV. Coupled with a unique set of touch-sensitive media controls (although we weren't crazy about the volume slider), this Aspire makes it an impressive package for movie watchers.

Design
The Acer Aspire 8930G is, like the 8920G before it, a boat of a laptop. As with other 18-inch models, the 16:9 display makes for a chassis that is wider but shorter than a typical 17-inch model that features a 16:10 screen. The entire system is decked out in black and dark grey, with a glossy black lid and keyboard, and textured dark-grey plastic on the wrist rest and touchpad.

Features
Like the 8920G, this model has a touch panel on the left side of the keyboard tray. They're the same capacitive touch controls found on other laptops, just arranged in roughly the shape of a handheld remote control. It's a clever idea — very eye-catching — that once you get used to, works fairly well, with the exception of the large volume slider that was neither sensitive nor responsive enough for our tastes. To be fair, it's a common problem with touch-sensitive volume sliders, which usually really only jump between preset volume points, even though they look like analog controls.

We also appreciated the 5.1-speaker system which produced decent bass for a laptop, but not exactly room-filling sound. The 18.4-inch widescreen LCD display is the real star here. The native resolution of our 18-inch screen was 1920x1080 (you know, like Blu-ray), while a high-end 17-inch laptop is usually 1920x1200. That means Blu-ray or other HD content will fit the screen better.

Performance and battery life
Intel's 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 is close to the top of the line for Intel, and is the same CPU we found in Sony's excellent 18-inch Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q model. At that level, high-end systems largely perform comparably in non-gaming applications, and the Acer is a robust performer even with heavy multitasking duties.

Nvidia's 512MB GeForce 9700M GT is a decent mainstream gaming GPU; you'd have to trade up to the GeForce 9800 to do better, and that chip is currently reserved for laptops specifically targeted at gamers. In Unreal Tournament 3, we managed an excellent 63 frames per second at 1280x800 and a perfectly acceptable 35.6 frames per second at the display's native resolution of 1920x1080.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Acer Aspire 8930G
717
Dell Studio XPS 16
750
Sony Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q
761
HP Pavilion dv7
894


Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q
126
Acer Aspire 8930G
126
Dell Studio XPS 16
134
HP Pavilion dv7
149


Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q
144
Acer Aspire 8930G
146
HP Pavilion dv7
156
Dell Studio XPS 16
162


Unreal Tournament 3 (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,280 x 800, 0x AA, 0x AF
Sony Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q
64.3
Acer Aspire 8930G
63
Dell Studio XPS 16
57.8
HP Pavilion dv7
44.2

The Aspire 8930G ran for two hours 51 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, which is especially impressive for a massive desktop replacement that isn't meant to spend much time away from a wall outlet. By way of comparison, Sony's 18-inch model ran for less than two hours on the same test.


Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Acer Aspire 8930G
171
HP Pavilion dv7
159
Sony Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q
117
Dell Studio XPS 16
103


Acer Aspire 8930G
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT; 320GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

HP Pavilion dv7
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VGN-AW17GU/Q
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT; 320GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Dell Studio XPS 16
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 512MB ATI Radeon HD3670; 320GB Seagate 7,200rpm


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Anonymous
10
Rating
 

Anonymous posted a review   

The Good:Everything - fits good on a desk

The Bad:Is the LCD probably 6-bit? : (

This one is AWESOME. No laptop I've come across is better than this one! But, I hate that the LCD may be 6-bit. I experienced dithering on a gray gradient test. It is a great desktop PC replacement!

 

Kyony posted a comment   

I've had nothing but problems with my 8930G, I had a DOA 8920G then they sent me a 8930G. It's been back to Acer 3 times and they've never fixed it. It's back there a fourth time at the moment. Don't buy an Acer Aspire, looks good doesn't work. Oh and don't get me started on Acer Support.

Frank H.
10
Rating
 

Frank H. posted a review   

The Good:What's not like...from great looks to performance.

The Bad:Can't find a case either. :( (at least not yet)

This is a great system and has the performance, looks and quality I have found yet.
Very happy with this system and would recommend it to anyone.

 

Acer owner posted a reply   

hamma sell 18.5 inch cases for around %uFFFD35 on amazon :)

Matthew R.
10
Rating
 

Matthew R. posted a review   

The Good:Screen is awesome - 90% gamut - great for photo editing. Smooth blu-ray playback. Expandable to 8GB DDR3 RAM. Very good battery life for desktop replacement. Small power supply. HDMI & VGA outputs. eSATA port. 5.1 cinematic sound system. 2 Hard drive bays. Excellent vista device drivers/software. Media Centre Remote, AverMedia TV Tuner. Wireless VOIP Phone. Webcam. 2YR Warranty. BEST VALUE for these specs. Acer Supports 32 & 64bit vista drivers. Soft "Piano" keys. Sturdy design - strong power port.

The Bad:Hard to find a big carry case. (it's 17" wide) - got a targus trolly bag. Screen Lid shows fingerprints. Very hard to fault. Deserves 10/10.

I bought this 3 months ago and use it every day. Acer has done fantastic finish on the chassis. Many people comment on how nice it is.

 

guest posted a reply   

Which BIOS version do you use?
Mine keeps dark with 8GB RAM.
Thanx




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User Reviews / Comments  Acer Aspire 8930G (Core 2 Duo T9400 processor 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM)

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Rating10

    "This one is AWESOME. No laptop I've come across is better than this one! But, I hate that the LCD may be 6-bit. I experienced dithering on a gray gradient test. It is a great desktop PC replacement!"

  • Kyony

    Kyony

    "I've had nothing but problems with my 8930G, I had a DOA 8920G then they sent me a 8930G. It's been back to Acer 3 times and they've never fixed it. It's back there a fourth time at the moment. Don..."

  • Frank H.

    Frank H.

    Rating10

    "This is a great system and has the performance, looks and quality I have found yet.
    Very happy with this system and would recommend it to anyone."

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