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A gem package

Acer’s 6920G gets big points for little ideas like a media console touch panel, a revamped sound system and repositioned heat vents to prevent lappie rash, writes Jayesh Mansukhani.

india Updated: May 04, 2008 21:30 IST

Acer has been on a roll with its Gemstone series of laptops, which taps the budget and value segment. Now, aiming for the higher end of the market — the mid-level and desktop replacement segments — they’ve just launched their Gemstone Blue range, which features innovations like 16:9 aspect LCD panels, Blu-Ray drives and a new touch panel for multimedia management.The 6920G is one of the stars of the Gemstone Blue range. And with good reason.

Form factor

It sports a glossy top panel and a well-designed (but highly reflective) LCD panel. The area around the LCD panel is similarly glossy. The space beside the keyboard is what’s unique to the new series. Just above the keyboard is a huge speaker grill that forms the basis of the new Dolby 2.0 speaker system. The left of the keyboard is occupied by the new CineDash Media Console, which Acer has introduced with this series. This touch panel allows you to manipulate Windows Media Player or other compatible players. It also interfaces with Acer’s own version of a media centre, called Acer Arcade Deluxe.

The keyboard, shifted more towards the centre, has a silver, textured finish at the bottom, common to the touchpad as well. The right sports a series of quick-launch keys, which are reprogrammable.

While this new design does look stunning, it’s not without issues. First, it’s oddly located and creates typing issues. It took a few hours of practice to keep those typos in check. Second, the physical profile of the laptop is BIG. The 6920G is aimed at the workhorse market and in this respect, it fails. It’s a good deal bigger and thicker than standard laptops in this range and is therefore heavier to lug around.

That, however, is where the negatives end. This laptop is made of solid plastic that does not squeak or flex. The hinges are firm and rock-solid. The heat vents, which many users had complained about in the past, have been repositioned to avoid ‘laptop rash’.

Conclusion

The 6920G is a step forward for Acer. It’s well designed, has good battery life, and is easy on the eye. At its starting price of Rs 59,000, it’s easily one of the best choices available right now.

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