Notebooks used to be all alike at first and defined as being other than stationary PCs, but the current division of portable computers into several classes has already become established and known to every user. And multimedia notebooks make up the most wanted and high-performance subgroup. We’ve got accustomed to expect such notebooks to be heavy and large, with a screen diagonal of at least 17”. This kills the very idea of portability or, at the very least, makes it difficult to work with such a computer on the run.
Perhaps the notebook I am going to test today, the Aspire 5654WLMi model from Acer, will change our notions about multimedia notebooks. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to carry it around as it weighs just a little more than average at 2.92kg. Its 15.4” matrix size is typical of a large share of portable computers. Traditionally for multimedia notebooks, but not only for them now, the display has a widescreen aspect ratio. The dimensions of the notebook are moderate, typical of ordinary 15” models: 358mm x 265mm x 36mm. Added to that, this powerful multimedia station, built according to the latest trends in notebook making, can make a handy traveling companion, which is a surprising exception to the rule because notebooks of that class are usually considered as stationary or pseudo-portable at least.
The manufacturer includes a remote control with the notebook for the laziest and most tired of users so that you could control the integrated TV-tuner without coming up to the computer.
I will first describe the exterior of the notebook and its accessories and then will check it out in tests in comparison with the Sony VAIO VGN-AR11SR whose specification is similar to the Acer Aspire 5654WLMi’s (for details on the Sony notebook see our review called Sony VAIO AR Series Notebook Review: Blu-Ray Going Mass?).