Finally, a consumer laptop is pushing all my requirements buttons – battery life, weight, aesthetics. It may come as a surprise to hear that the company behind it is Acer. Yesterday, Acer announced the Timeline series laptops, coming in 13.3″, 14″, and 15.6″ sizes. The one I’m most interested in is the 13.3″ version, the 3810T.
Acer has put battery life as the number one priority in the new Timeline series, opting for ultra-low power Intel CPUs across the board. Coupled with some power saving features including an LED display and SSDs, the lineup should get 8 hours+ of battery life on the standard 6-cell battery. With the 6-cell battery, the 3810T weighs around 3.5lbs and will be just about an inch thick, 23.4mm to 28.9mm. To add some flare, the LCD lid is constructed with brushed metal (aluminum, presumably). What’s even better is that the whole package is slated to come in between $699 and $899. In all honesty, anything even around the $1000 mark, given decent build quality will put it directly in my sights for my next laptop.
The Dell XPS M1330 I’m writing this on has served me decently for the better part of two years, and it probably won’t be replaced before its 2 year anniversary. Unfortunately, what started off as a great laptop experience took a turn for the worse around the time BIOS A12 was released and the 8400M GS died. Now, to prevent the GPUs from dropping like flies over and over again, Dell’s recent BIOS updates for the M1330 have ramped the fans up to a dull roar, even when it’s sitting idling. That coupled with increased power consumption and the battery wear on both the 6 and 9 cell batteries have chopped battery life down to 2:15 and 4:00 respectively for typical productivity tasks (web browsing, email, word processing).
I’m on the market again, but very few laptops have put battery life first and foremost, at a reasonable price and portability. Hopefully production samples of the Acer Timeline don’t disappoint. Acer’s been on a roll with the Aspire Ones, so I’m holding out hope they’ll deliver.