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The market of portable computers is currently offering a variety of models, from super-light sub-notebooks of low performance but long battery life time to office notebooks for working in multimedia and office applications and high-performance desknotes, capable of substituting a desktop system.

Many notebooks look the same from the outside – having the same case, dimensions and connectors – but differ in their configuration, price, and purpose. Today I’m going to tell you about two such machines from Acer: TravelMate 803LCi and TravelMate 6003LCi models. The main difference between them is in their graphics subsystems: the former uses a discrete graphics processor and dedicated graphics memory, while the latter is equipped with an integrated graphics core.

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Design and Ergonomics

As I said above, you can’t tell one notebook from the other by their looks. The color scheme of their cases (a gray base with a light-silvery lid) is overall simple but elegant:

I already discussed the design and ergonomics of the Acer TravelMate 803LCi in the article called Two Office Notebooks: ASUS M6B00N and Acer TravelMate 803 LCi, but I think it would be right to repeat the basic points, paying special attention to differences, if any, between the 803LCi and the 6003LCi.

The lid opened, you can see a round power-on button and four quick launch buttons. They are all located on the right, near the screen hinges. One quick button launches your e-mail client, another starts up the Internet browser, and two more buttons are user-defined.

Near these buttons, the opening of the integrated microphone is found on the 803LCi model; on the 6003LCi the microphone is located in the right corner near the screen hinge. So, these portable computers can be both used to record sound.

There are two groups of indicators of the system’s status. One is above the keyboard, on the right, and consists of a hard disk drive activity LED, Num Lock and Caps Lock indicators. They are highlighted with bright green. The second group is located on the front panel, and this is very handy since the LEDs can be always seen whether the notebook’s lid is opened or closed. This group consists of a power indicator (green when power is attached), a battery charge indicator (green when the battery is fully charged and orange when it is being recharged), an InviLink WLAN connection indicator (it lights up when the integrated adapter is sending or receiving data packets), and a Bluetooth connection indicator (it goes alive when this connection is active). The external difference between the two TravelMates is that the insertions in their front panels are made of different material, and the system status indicators are lined up in a different order, as the snapshots below show:


Acer TravelMate 6003L?i


Acer TravelMate 803L?i

 
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