Acer has created a nice, cheap line of laptops with their Aspire group. These laptops are good quality and often are slightly better than some of the other cheaper laptops out there. Now, they do cost a bit more—usually between $700 and $800. There are cheaper laptops available, but Acer works to give you the most bang for your buck. That is definitely true with the Acer Aspire TimelineX AS3820T-5246.
To start with, the AS3820T-5246 is a slim computer. It weighs less than four pounds and measures only 12.7” by 9.3”. It’s 1.1 inches high when closed. That’s nice and portable. Of course, this means there’s no full keyboard, which can often be annoying for gamers. However, that’s something you may have to accept if you want to stick to a budget.
This laptop uses a 2.26 GHz Intel Core i3-350M processor, which is pretty nice for a laptop. It comes with 4GB of DDR3 RAM standard, which is also nice—many laptops only come with 3GB installed and make you upgrade. The hard drive is only 320GB, which is a bit small but still large enough to hold a number of programs. The laptop has an integrated webcam and microphone, Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, WiFi (b/g/n bandwidths), an HDMI out, a 5-in-1 card reader, and three USB ports. On the major downside, there is no DVD drive! That means installing games is going to be a pain. You’ll either need an external drive, another computer with a shared drive on a network, or only play games that are available as a download.
The graphics on the AS3820T-5246 could be better. The Intel HD Graphics card is pretty standard for cheaper laptops. The problem is that it only comes with 128MB of dedicated graphics memory. The display itself offers a 16:9 aspect ratio and has a native resolution of 1366 x 768, which is pretty standard for the display size. It’s a middle of the road screen—fine for most things, but games that are very graphics-intense may be out of this laptop’s range. As it is, with that little bit of video RAM, you’re going to have to set most games’ graphic settings to low.
All in all, it’s unfortunate that the AS3820T-5246 isn’t better equipped in the graphics area. The RAM and processor can run some good games, but without more video RAM, you may have some problems.