4 star rating

Acer Aspire 1410 (2936) Review

$399.00
Pros: Sleek design ; Comfortable keyboard ; Good endurance ; HDMI output;
Cons: Mediocre graphics; Bottom left side runs very warm;
The Verdict: Acer’s budget-friendly ultraportable couples twice the performance of most netbooks with good battery life.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

With the advent of Intel’s Ultra-Low Voltage processors, notebook makers can now offer ultraportable systems that are priced similarly to netbooks, but have markedly better performance. Case in point: the Acer Aspire 1410. Thanks to its dual-core Celeron CPU, this machine has twice as much muscle as netbooks, and comes with Windows 7 Premium (not the limiting Starter Edition) for just $399. Some netbooks offer longer battery life, but the 1410’s 6.5 hours of endurance make it a very good choice for consumers on the go.

Article Continued Below

Design

From the outside, the Acer Aspire 1410 looks the same as the Acer Aspire Timeline 1810T; in fact, at 11.2 x 8.0 x 1.2 inches and weighing 3.2 pounds, it’s the same size and weight. Our review unit had a glossy, Ruby Red lid with Acer’s metal logo impressed in the lower corner; the lid picks up fingerprints fairly easily. The same color extends to the deck, which is offset by the matte black keyboard and glossy black bezel.

Unlike the Acer Aspire One 751h netbook, the 1410’s six-cell battery does not bulge out the back. Instead, it bumps out of the bottom, tilting the 1410 at a slight downward angle towards the user.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Like most other new Acer notebooks, the 1410’s keyboard has flat, non-chamfered plastic keys that have a slightly textured feel. The layout is close to full size, and we appreciate that the right Shift key is large and in the proper place. We were typing at full speed in no time at all.

The touchpad sits flush with the deck, and it’s only demarcated by two lines on either side. At 2.6 x 1.5 inches, it’s decently sized, and a bit larger than the 751h’s 2.5 x 1.6-inch touchpad; we liked that it offered little resistance as we moved our finger across it. (Toshiba’s mini NB205 still offers the largest touchpad around, at 3.1 x 1.6 inches.) The two accompanying silver buttons proved nice and crisp, an improvement over the 751h’s single bar.

Display and Sound

Like other notebooks with 11.6-inch displays, the 1410 has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Those extra vertical pixels mean less scrolling when viewing Web pages or documents, and that you can view high-definition content in 720p.

The screen is quite bright. When we watched an episode of The Simpsons on Hulu, we enjoyed pleasant colors and good viewing angles even from oblique side views; it was as if we were watching the show on our TV. While the glossy finish limited our viewing angles to either side of the 1410, we were still able to make out the clip when we dipped the lid forward slightly.

The 1410’s speakers, located on the underside of the front lip, were fine for a small notebook, but their placement caused sound to be muffled while the notebook was in our lap; when the notebook was placed on a hard surface, such as a coffee table, music played from Slacker and was able to reflect upwards, and was more amplified.

Ports and Webcam

On the right side of the 1410 is an Ethernet port, a Kensington lock slot, two USB ports, headphone and mic, and a 5-in-1 memory card reader. On the left-hand side is a VGA port, a third USB port, and HDMI output. Underneath the front lip on the left-hand side are well-concealed switches to activate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The 1.3-megapixel webcam mounted above the display worked fairly well; colors, such as a dark green shirt, were reproduced adequately in a video call over Skype. Our caller also said that the image was sufficiently lighted, and that motion blur only became an issue if we waved our hand vigorously.

Acer Aspire 1410 (2936)

Acer Aspire 1410 (2936)

Performance

Powered by a 1.2-GHz Intel Celeron SU2300 CPU and aided by 2GB of RAM, the 1410 was able to notch a score of 2,475 in PCMark Vantage. That’s still about 300 points below the ultraportable average and around 500 points below the 1810T, but more than 1,000 points above the MSI Wind12 U210 (which has a 1.6-GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 CPU). The Gateway LT3103u (which has a 1.2-GHz AMD Athlon 64 L110 CPU) scored over 1,300 points lower.

The 1410’s Geekbench score of 1510 is nearly double that of Atom-powered netbooks running Windows 7, such as the Toshiba mini NB205-N330BL (805) and the ASUS Eee PC 1008HA Seashell (826), and is very close to that of the 1810T (1,605).

The 1410’s 5,400-rpm, 250GB hard drive booted Windows Vista Home Premium in a fairly snappy 55 seconds, and was decently speedy during our LAPTOP Transfer Test. It duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files at a rate of 19.6 MBps, 1.0 MBps slower than average.

We then tested the 1410 by converting a 114MB MPEG-4 file to AVI using HandBrake. It took the notebook 12 minutes and 47 seconds; that’s about 2 minutes faster than the ultraportable average, and nearly 9 minutes faster than the MSI Wind12 U210. On the other hand, the HP Mini 311 converted the file in less than half that time using vReveal, a program that’s optimized to take advantage of that laptop’s Nvidia Ion graphics.

In everyday computing—surfing the Web, video chatting, playing Spore, writing a document in Microsoft Word—the 1410 performed well, never choking on any of the aforementioned tasks.

Graphics and Video Performance

Acer Aspire 1410 (2936)Predictably, graphics scores were weak on the 1410; the Intel GMA 4500MHD GPU mustered only 595 in 3DMark06. While that’s well above the netbook average (130), it’s about 300 points below the ultraportable average, and about half that of the HP Mini 311 (which has Nvidia Ion graphics).

However, we were able to play World of Warcraft comfortably on the 1410. With the resolution set to 800 x 600, we saw an average frame rate of 24 frames per second, which dipped to 17 fps when we upped the game to the native resolution. Even though that’s somewhat low, on-screen action was still smooth as we flew from Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff.

We tested this machine’s multimedia mettle further by outputting high-def MPEG-4 videos to a 32-inch 1080p Samsung LCD television via HDMI. With its resolution set to 1920 x 1080, a 1080p video (the trailer for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) played smoothly at full screen. When streaming an episode of The Simpsons at full screen, the video was slightly choppy—just enough to be distracting.

Battery Life and Wi-Fi

The one area where netbooks have the advantage over ULV processors is in endurance. The 1410’s battery lasted 6 hours and 33 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test (Web surfing via Wi-Fi). While that’s about 1 hour and 15 minutes longer than the ultraportable average, it’s nearly 2.5 hours short of the Toshiba mini NB205-N330BL (8:51). The Acer 1810T, which costs $200 more, offers stronger performance than the 1410, as well as a longer runtime of 8:45.

The 802.11a/b/g/draft-n Wi-Fi throughput of 19.9 Mbps at 15 feet from our access point was just about in line with the category average (20.5); at 50 feet, it performed slightly better, achieving a throughput of 18.7 Mbps (where the average is just 17.3 Mbps).

Heat

Acer Aspire 1410 (2936)While running our transcoding test, we measured the temperature of the 1410: the touchpad and the area between the G and H keys stayed below 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but the left side of the undercarriage got as hot as 100 degrees.

Greenness

Despite its additional muscle compared to a traditional netbook, the 1410 sips electricity. It took 3 hours and 43 minutes to fully recharge, and used a total of 5864.9 watts during that time. For the Laptop Battery Efficiency Rating (total watts divided by runtime), the 1410 scored 14.9. That’s well below the ultraportable average (19.8), and even comfortably lower than the netbook average (16.6).

Configurations

In addition to Ruby Red, Acer offers the 1410 in either Sapphire Blue or Diamond Black. Users can look for an older version with a single-core 1.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 processor, a larger 250GB hard drive, and Windows Vista Home Premium.

Software and Warranty

Acer includes a spate of its own apps with the 1410 (including GameZone and Crystal Eye webcam software), as well as CyberLink PowerDVD, Google Desktop and Toolbar, a 30-day trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite, a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007, and Microsoft Works 9.0.

Acer covers the 1410 with a one-year warranty, which includes 24/7 toll-free phone support. Check out Acer’s performance in our Tech Support Showdown to see how the company stacks up against the competition.

Verdict

If you like the portability of netbooks, but you want more power and a bigger screen in the same price range, the Acer Aspire 1410 is a very good choice. While identical in appearance, the Aspire Timeline 1810T lasts a couple of hours longer on a charge and offers more memory and hard drive space. However, that system costs $200 more. At $399—the same price as most premium 10-inch netbooks—the 1410’s dual-core processor, portability, comfortable keyboard, and over 6 hours of battery life make it a compelling choice.

Tags: Acer Aspire 1410, Acer Aspire 1410 (2936), acer aspire, Ultraportable Notebooks, notebooks, student notebooks, Acer, reviews, laptops

Technical Specifications
Acer Aspire 1410 (2936)
http://us.acer.com


The central processor unit, or CPU, is the brain of your notebook.
Learn More
CPU
1.2-GHz Intel Celeron SU2300
Operating SystemMS Windows 7 Home Premium
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
Learn More
RAM
2GB
The maximum amount of memory this notebook supports.
Learn More
RAM Upgradable to
4GB
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
Learn More
Hard Drive Size
160GB
The rotation speed of a mechanical hard drive.
Learn More
Hard Drive Speed
5,400rpm
Your notebook’s storage drive (hard drive or solid state drive) holds your operating system, your programs, and your data.
Learn More
Hard Drive Type
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
Learn More
Display Size
11.6
The number of pxiels (wxh) displayed on your screen at once.
Learn More
Native Resolution
1366x768
An optical drive allows you to play or record to DVDs, CDs, or Blu-ray discs.
Learn More
Optical Drive
The speed of the optical drive.
Learn More
Optical Drive Speed
Graphics chips are responsible for processing all images sent to your computer’s display.
Learn More
Graphics Card
Intel GMA 4500MHD
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
Learn More
Video Memory
132MB
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
Learn More
Wi-Fi
802.11a/b/g/draft-n
Bluetooth allows you to connect to wireless devices such as headsets, smart phones, and speakers.
Bluetooth
Mobile broadband connects you to the Net from anywhere, even places with no hotspot.
Learn More
Mobile Broadband
Ports allow you to connect to external devices such as monitors, printers, MP3 players, and hard drivse.
Learn More
Ports (excluding USB)
Ethernet; HDMI; Headphone; Kensington Lock; Microphone; VGA
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
Learn More
USB Ports
3
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
Learn More
Card Slots
5-1 card reader
Warranty/SupportOne-year limited/24/7 toll-free
Size11.2 x 8.0 x 1.2 inches
Weight3.2 pounds
AUTHOR BIO
Michael A. Prospero, Reviews Editor
Michael A. Prospero, Reviews Editor
Michael A. Prospero has overseen reviews on Laptopmag.com since 2007, focusing on producing the most thorough and authoritative mobile product reviews. After receiving his Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia in 2003, Mike worked at Fast Company. Prior to that, he worked at The Times of Trenton, George and AlleyCat News.
Michael A. Prospero, Reviews Editor on
Twitter Google+
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE