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The display hinges rise up from the notebook’s body. The display can thus be unfolded by a little short of 180 degrees.

The Acer Aspire 9303WSMi is equipped with a 17” display that has a maximum resolution of 1440x900 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA+). The viewing angles are quite wide, judging subjectively, both horizontally and vertically. The display is manufactured using Acer CrystalBrite technology that improves saturation and image quality. The only downside is the glassy coating that is going to reflect every brightly lit object behind your back. So, you have to take care about proper lighting when you sit down to work with this notebook.

We measured the brightness and contrast of the notebook’s display using a Pantone ColorVision Spyder with OptiCAL version 3.7.8 software. We selected the highest possible brightness setting before this test and it didn’t change much when the notebook switched to another power source, as you can see.

AC power source:

  • 65.4cd/sq.m brightness, 48:1 contrast ratio

DC power source:

  • 64.7cd/sq.m brightness, 46:1 contrast ratio

Another family trait, the Aspire 9303WSMi is equipped with a full-size black keyboard with 105 keys. It’s the same keyboard as on the Aspire 9804WKMi model. The numeric pad is placed on the right, just like on ordinary desktop keyboards, and the Num Lock key doesn’t belong with the functional buttons anymore. The Arrow keys are lowered below the keyboard’s baseline to reduce the risk of your pressing them unintentionally. There are dollar and euro sign buttons above Arrow Right and Arrow Left, respectively. The Fn button is located at the bottom left of the keyboard, next to the Ctrl key, which is in the corner. This is convenient for people who are used to shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V. Two Windows keys are available: the Windows Logo is over one key to the left of the spacebar and the Context Menu key is over one key to the right of the spacebar. The functional buttons are smaller than others. PgUp, PgDn, Home and End are placed in a row above the numeric pad. Print Screen, Pause, Insert and Delete are in the same row with the functional buttons (you should press them along with Fn to access their additional functions). The letters are painted in white; the functional keys are blue.

The notebook’s touchpad is painted black. The touch-sensitive panel is sunken down and is even darker than the bezel around it. Below it there are two buttons and a four-position joystick for scrolling text. The joystick is silvery, as opposed to the rest of the touchpad.

There is a block of instant-launch buttons (and the Power button) above the keyboard on the right (from left to right):

  • Acer Empowering technology
  • Button to launch your e-mail client
  • Button to launch your web-browser
  • User-defined button

Each of the buttons can be reprogrammed using the Acer Startup Manager.

Occupying the narrow stretch on the left of the keyboard, there are the rest of system indicators and two buttons responsible for wireless connections (from top to bottom):

  • HDD activity indicator
  • Caps Lock
  • Num Lock
  • Wireless button
  • Bluetooth button (but this interface is missing in our sample of the notebook)
 
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