4 star rating

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402 Review

Pros: Powerful Dolby audio; Attractive premium-looking design; Good overall performance and graphics; Long battery life
Cons: Jumpy cursor when using touchpad; Small touchpad buttons; Reflective display
The Verdict: Excellent audio and strong performance make the 15-inch Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG-6402 a winner.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

Acer's Timeline series has always been a premier sub-brand in terms of design, and the Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402 is no different. This 15-inch laptop features an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia graphics, and excellent Dolby speakers, all inside a metallic blue chassis that's stylish and feels sturdy. Priced at $799, the 5830T is a bit more expensive than budget notebooks, but it's worth the extra dough.

Design

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830T shares the same aesthetics as its smaller sibling, the 13-inch Aspire TimelineX 3830T. The smooth blue brushed aluminum on the lid picked up few fingerprints. Unlike the MacBook Pro, the brushed aluminum doesn't extend to the bottom of the machine; instead, Acer opted for a more budget-friendly basic black plastic.

Opening the 5830T's lid reveals an attractive combination of brushed silver and a slightly more muted brushed blue. The silver surrounds the black chicklet keys and extends to the Dolby Home Theater speakers above the keyboard. The blue finishes off the palm rest and touchpad before wrapping around the front edge. Measuring 14.9 x 9.8 x 1.2 inches and weighing 5.4 pounds, the 5830T is not really travel-friendly, but it can be easily moved from room to room.

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402

Heat

The Timeline 5830T runs as cool as it looks. After streaming a Hulu video at full screen for 15 minutes, the notebook registered just 85 degrees on the touchpad and on the underside. Even the hottest spot was just 88 degrees between the G and H keys. We consider anything about 95 degrees to be uncomfortable and anything below 90 to be comfortable.

Keyboard and Touchpad

We found the striking silver-and-black chiclet keyboard on the 5830T to be quite responsive. We noticed only a bit of flex, and we appreciated the extra-large right Shift and Enter keys. The dedicated number pad was equally responsive. On the Ten Thumbs Typing test, we averaged 59 words per minute, which is just a few strokes slower than our the 63-wpm average on our desktop keyboard.

While the keyboard is spacious, the touchpad (3.25 x 1.75 inches) felt somewhat cramped. Navigating the desktop using the Elan touchpad was a bit jumpy, but with multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, we found ourselves frequently missing the two small mouse buttons. We would have preferred them closer to the edge of the palm rest.

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402

Display and Audio

The display on the 5830T was a little darker than we would've liked. While watching a clip of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon singing the "History of Rap, Part 2" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, we found ourselves pumping up the brightness to the max to make out details. Plus, the screen kicked back a fair amount of reflections.

The TimelineX 5830T's strong stereo sound helps this notebook stand out. The bundled Dolby Home Theater software allows users to choose from three enhancement profiles: movies, music, and games. While watching a trailer for The Muppets with the movie setting enabled, we were blown away by the sound quality. Even at the max volume, the audio remained full and crisp without distortion. Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" sounded very good with the music setting enabled. The background vocals rang just as true as the lead vocal, and the bass was present.

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402

Article Continued Below

Ports and Webcam

The 5830T has a generous array of ports, including a USB 3.0 port that features sleep-and-charge capabilities, so you can power up your smartphone with the laptop lid closed. Along the left side of the notebook are an Ethernet jack, VGA, HDMI and USB 3.0 ports, along with headphone and mic jacks. On the right side are the SuperMulti DVD burner slot and three USB 2.0 ports. The front edge houses the 5-in-1 card reader and a nifty silver button that displays how much battery charge is left when pressed.

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402

When we called a friend over Skype, she said the video that the 1.3-megapixel, 720p webcam captured looked bright and crisp with little to no motion blur.

Performance

On our benchmark tests, the 5830T proved to be quite the performer. The 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-2410M processor, 6GB of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics teamed up to score 6,432 on PCMark Vantage, almost 800 points above the mainstream notebook average and 200 points more than the Lenovo G570, which has the same Core i5 processor. However, the HP Pavilion dv6t, which also has the same processor, scored 6,673.

The 640GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive inside the 5830T did well on our internal file transfer test (duplicating a 4.97GB folder of mixed media). The notebook took 2 minutes and 40 seconds to complete the task, which equals a rate of 31.8 MBps. It was just a hair faster than the dv6t, which took 2:49 to finish, but it solidly beat the average time of 3:14 and the G570's leisurely time of 3:37.

At 57 seconds, the 5830T's boot time is better than average (1:05). While it didn't surpass the G570's super-fast boot time of 35 seconds, the 5830T will be up and running 15 seconds faster than the dv6t.

Graphics

The 5830T features Nvidia's Optimus technology, which switches automatically between the discrete Nvida GeForce GT 520M card and the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics chip depending on how much graphics oomph is needed by a particular program. In the 5830T's case, the Nvidia graphics card earned it a respectable score of 5,340 on 3DMark06, well above the mainstream average of 4,136. The dv6t earned 500 more points with its discrete AMD Radeon 6490M GPU.

While the 5830T isn't marketed as a gaming rig, the separate number pad will serve gamers well. The notebook held its own in World of Warcraft, posting a very smooth 64 frames per second with the graphics set to Good. When we maxed out the graphics, the frame rate droppred to a still-playable 30 fps. That's roughly comparable to the dv6t, which notched 54 fps at autodetect settings, and 26 fps at max.

On Far Cry 2, the graphics strained a bit under the weight of the game, managing just 33 fps with the resolution set to 1024 x 768 and dropping to an unplayable 25 fps at the machine's native 1366 x 768 resolution.

Battery Life

On the Laptop Battery Test (web surfing via Wi-Fi), the 5830T lasted 5 hours and 41 minutes, more than an hour longer than the mainstream average (4:32). The G570 lasted 4:52, while the dv6t conked out after 5:02.

Software and Warranty

In addition to the aforementioned Dolby Setting software, Acer packs the 5830T with plenty of software, including its Clear.fi multimedia management and sharing program, which comes with a tutorial. There are also numerous desktop shortcuts for apps and services such as Netflix, The New York Times Reader, Nook for PC, Norton Online Backup, and Skype.

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402

Acer also includes AUPEO!, a Slacker-like music streaming service; Acer Games, which takes you to the company's online game store; Acer Backup Manager; and Acer USB Charge Manager, which allows you to configure the charging port so that whatever you're charging doesn't completely deplete the notebook's battery. The 5830T also comes with the McAfee Internet Security Suite, but unlesss you register you'll have to deal with persistent pop-ups warning you that your computer isn't protected.

The 5830T comes with a one-year limited to warranty. See how Acer fared on our latest Tech Support Showdown and our Best & Worst Brands roundup.

Configuration Options

Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402Our configuration of the Timeline X 5830TG-6402 includes an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics, 6GB of RAM, and a 640GB hard drive for $799. The only other available configuration is the 5830TG-6862 for $599. It comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, Intel HD 3000 graphics, 4GB RAM, and the same 640GB hard drive.

Verdict

From its strong performance to its robust audio, the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG is a great multimedia laptop that won't break the bank. We just wish this $799 notebook had a better touchpad and larger touchpad buttons. We slightly prefer the HP Pavilion dv6t, which costs $30 less, offers better graphics performance, and has a fingerprint reader. However, if you're looking for speed and powerful audio in a stylish package, the 5830T is well worth the money.

Tags: Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830T, acer aspire, Acer, mainstream notebooks, notebooks, reviews, laptops

Technical Specifications
Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402
http://www.acer.com


The central processor unit, or CPU, is the brain of your notebook.
Learn More
CPU
2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-2410M
Operating SystemMS Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
Learn More
RAM
6GB
The maximum amount of memory this notebook supports.
Learn More
RAM Upgradable to
8GB
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
Learn More
Hard Drive Size
640GB
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
SATA Hard Drive
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
Learn More
Display Size
15.6
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
DVD SuperMultiDrive
The speed of the optical drive.
Learn More
Optical Drive Speed
8X
Graphics chips are responsible for processing all images sent to your computer’s display.
Learn More
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
Learn More
Video Memory
1GB
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
Learn More
Wi-Fi
802.11b/g/n
Wi-Fi ModelAtheros AR5B97
Bluetooth allows you to connect to wireless devices such as headsets, smart phones, and speakers.
Bluetooth
Bluetooth 3.0
Mobile broadband connects you to the Net from anywhere, even places with no hotspot.
Learn More
Mobile Broadband
Touchpad Size3.25 x 1.75 inches
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; Microphone; USB 3.0; VGA
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
Learn More
USB Ports
4
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
Learn More
Card Slots
5-1 card reader
Warranty/Support1-year limited warranty
Size14.9 x 9.8 x 1.2 inches
Weight5.4 pounds
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