Acer is one of the world leaders in IT systems for some time now and have grown to become the third largest manufacturer of laptops in the world. In the UK they are said to be one of the fastest growing notebook manufacturers. I tried out this lap top for about two weeks after I borrowed it from a friend who brought it over from Holland. Overall I found the TravelMate 7513WSMi notebook to be of exceptional quality but I did not find it that comfortable to use. To be fair this might be just down to the fact that we get use to using certain keyboards and when something new comes along it can feel a bit awkward at first. Nevertheless, I did find the keys a little small and too closely packed together - basically my typing speed slowed considerably when I used this device.
For those who like to simultaneously run multiple demanding applications then the TravelMate 7513WSMi notebook should hold up to task. The 160GB (not 120GB as indicated in the Dooyoo info) - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm hard drive offers plenty of storage capacity for a notebook. Furthermore an abundant memory of 1 GB of RAM (4 GB max) and a 1.6 GHz Intel AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-52 processor with 1MB L2 cache adds to the performance of application programs. I have used or had open 7 programs at the same time (Photoshop 6.0, MSWord, Firefox Web Browser, Windows Media Player, Excel, Dreamweaver and Macromedia Director) and the performance remained satisfactory throughout.
One feature I found very useful was the range of memory card slots on offer - The notebook supports tMemory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMedia Card (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) Card and xD-Picture Card. This should cover the needs of most users. There are also 4 x Hi-Speed USB ports for connecting auxiliary devices, a headphone socket and a microphone input. As with most lap tops nowadays there is the full 802.11a/b/g wireless capability, in this case via Acer InviLink. Another useful feature that some may find useful is the integrated Acer Orbicam - a device that might be useful for video conferencing, that is, if I could get it to work. I was unable to do this and although I am not sure if this was down to me or the computer, I do know that there have been a number of problems with Orbicam when used in conjunction with Vista.
Overall image representation though is of a quite stunning quality on the 17" WXGA wide-screen display with a razor-sharp 1280 x 800 resolution making it most suitable for watching your favourite DVDs. The screen incorporates Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD with CrystalBrite. Although not the best available I found the viewing angle quite acceptable, after all, the viewing angle is not so important with a lap top screen. Sound quality ws mwhat you might expect from the built in speakers: quite average but easily enhanced with the addition of external speakers if required.
One has to say that at 3.7 kg this is not one of the lightest of laptops I've used, but it's certainly light enough to carry around the house and is probably best considered as a desk top replacement. As usual and in my experience of notebook use, the Lithium Ion battery life of just under three and a half hours falls short of my own personal requirements. Therefore it tends to be one of those so called portable devices that aren't really that portable at all because you tend to rely on leaving them plugged into the mains socket. Nevertheless I would still class this a pretty useful and versatile mid-range laptop that won't burn too large a hole in your pocket.
I've seen it for £530 (inc vat) from PC World although you should find it cheaper elsewhere.
© Zmugzy - October 2007
(Also published under the name of Nazuku)