Acer Timeline Finally Puts Battery Life First!

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 Timeline Laptop

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.


12 Replies to “Acer Timeline Finally Puts Battery Life First!”

  1. I thought it was a combination of my 9-cell being chipped from drops (it’s not leaking…) and Windows 7 that was dropping my once 6+ hours of battery life to now maybe 4.5 hours on Power Saver and lowest screen brightness. And I also hear the incessant fan going on and on as well. I’d love to pawn this off to someone, but at the $1700 I spent on it, no one would be willing to pick up old technology for even half what I paid for. Pity.

  2. This is quite the attractive looking laptop. I like the sleek look Acer has produced here and I’m glad they did not have to sacrifice battery life for weight. I’m very impressed, especially with the price range they has set forth for the series. This is something I’ll keep my eyes on since I’m always out of the office and long battery life is my top requirement for a laptop.

  3. The very same reason why I prefer desktop over laptop – battery life. I am usually online almost the whole day, and I think it is more efficient to use a desktop for long usage.

  4. Richard – It’s a fact of life that the batteries will eventually wear down over time, but that doesn’t help the fact that it’s becoming more and more power-plug bound.

    I probably won’t end up selling the laptop. Not really worth what I’ll get for it (probably $500 or less), so I’m planning on just using it back home as a kitchen computer or something.

    It’s interesting to see my laptop mentality progression since the beginning of university:

    As powerful as possible -> More portable, but still wanted decent graphics performance (and some good that 8400M GS did…) -> Next up – as portable as possible with amazing battery life

  5. I realize battery life will degrade over time, but my battery is only about 1.3 years old now. I didn’t realize that was considered a long lifespan. I also didn’t appreciate it because I only started noticing the decreased battery performance after installing Windows 7, which was supposed to improve battery life. I’m tempted to find myself an older, quieter Rev from DELL since my warranty has next-day, on-site service…

    I bought the 8400M GS because I thought I would be doing some gaming on it. So far the only gave I’ve bothered playing was 20 minutes of Galactic Civilizations in the airport, and the combination of a lack of a mouse and lowering my neck to view the laptop was just too much. Funny how not getting the discrete graphics card would’ve saved me $100 and a major headache with Dell support when I needed to get the card replaced in the US.

  6. I’m buying a laptop for this fall, and I have to choose between power and portability. I’m definitely leaning towards portability lately… The only reason I would need power would be for gaming, and I’m sure there is a large enough catalog of older games to keep me busy. I have actually been considering a MacBook. It seems like it would cover all my needs (plus it’s so pretty!).

  7. Will – Definitely focus on portability – I ended up realizing after two iterations now that if you really want power, you need a desktop, and a laptop should be something that is portable and lasts the day if needed. In upper years especially, when there are a ton of group projects, you want something you can easily carry.

    Case in point – I ended up with a mATX form-factor desktop to make it a bit easier to move all the time, but still have a big display, as it makes me so much more efficient.

    I considered a MacBook to replace my M1330, but can’t get past the fact that it’s about 25-30% more expensive than a regular ol’ PC and even its battery life isn’t enough for me (4 hours or thereabouts). I’m looking at the Lenovo X200 currently – 7-8 hours of battery life at around 3.5lbs and just over $1100 with the friends and family discount.

    Definitely nowhere near pretty though. Gotta make some compromises…

  8. Another important factor for me is durability/life span. I won’t be able to replace the laptop I buy for probably around 4 years, so I want something that will last. From the (admittedly little) experience I have with “regular ol’ PC”s they often seem like the build quality just isn’t up to par. Often they feel like they are going to fall apart if you lift them up too fast. Macbooks, on the other hand, seem very sturdy.

    I’ll be the first to admit I have way too little experience to be making generalizations, so please correct me if I’m wrong. I definitely need an optical drive with my laptop though.

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