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Serious Hardware

Acer’s new TravelMate

As technology prevails, notebooks are becoming smaller and prices are dropping. At the same time there is the constant need for businessmen to keep in contact whilst on the move, making the need for a notebook more a necessity than a luxury item. SEAN BACHER reviews the new Acer Travelmate.

Well, you’ll have to charge the batteries before you can start carrying it around with you. You’ll also have to go through the registration process on Windows XP before you can begin using it. But other than that, its pretty much plug and play.

Well, on the hardware side, its pretty straight forward, if you can operate a notebook you will have no problem. On the software side, you shouldn’t have any problems either ‚ I mean it is Windows XP, one of the easiest operating systems to use. We do recommend that you install all the software you need before leaving on your first trip, as the CD-ROM requires external power and besides, who want to carry a CD-ROM drive around with them anyway?

To be perfectly honest, we couldn’t fault the machine at all. The speed and memory was adequate to launch our application quickly and effortlessly and the storage space was ample for storing anything from our documents to our illegal MP3s.

The sheer baby size of it is innovative enough for me. However Acer have included one other rather clever security component. Above the PCMCIA slot you will find a slot for a Smart Card (included with the machine). This allows you to restrict access to the machine to anyone that hasn’t inserted the card. It’s far better than remembering password after password, however if you do lose the card, be prepared to do some explaining to the Acer technicians before they override it.

You may think that R16 500 is quite a hefty price for a notebook. However, you have to ask yourself the following question when buying any new computer: Will this machine be compatible with applications that arrive on the market in a couple of years from now? Well, if you are thinking of getting the Acer TavelMate, our answer to you is yes, with 256Mbytes RAM, such a large hard disk drive and a relatively fast CPU, this notebook will still be worth its buck in a couple of years time.

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