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-- by Jim Forbes
The AcerNote Light Multimedia has much of what you need in a notebook traveling companion-especially when you have to take your show on the road. But when it's time to perform, things might move a bit more slowly than you'd like. The notebook's feature set and design make it engaging, but a slow hard disk spoils this otherwise appealing package.
In addition to a 133MHz Pentium processor, this unit comes with an external 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, an 11.3-inch active-matrix color display, 16MB of EDO RAM, a 1GB hard drive, two vertically stacked Type II PCMCIA slots (that support Zoomed Video), a PCI-based graphics accelerator with 1MB of video memory, a full complement of external ports and a 6X CD-ROM drive. The travel weight, including external power supply and floppy drive, is 6.8 pounds.
The AcerNote Light uses the same keyboard as the company's flagship Nuovo notebook, with integrated Windows 95 keys, and excellent key spacing and tactile response. There's also a touchpad and a palm rest.
The unusual design places the recessed on/off switch on the case's rear right. Although unconventional, this position makes it harder to accidentally turn off the system. Most system attributes are controlled using keyboard commands. The Acer-made CD-ROM is also located on the system's right. By the end of March, a 10X CD-ROM will ship with this notebook.
Its excellent screen supports a native 800x600 display mode. The video runs much more quickly than most other value-line notebooks, cranking out an above-average 6.17Mpixels per second.
The AcerNote Light turned in mixed benchmark results. Its overall processor score was 228.33MIPS, but the Hitachi hard disk averaged only 1.03MBps uncached throughput-well below par. Macro scores averaged a sluggish 29 seconds for Word and 22.33 seconds for Excel.
The AcerNote Light is outclassed by the Dell Latitude LM P133ST on our Recommended List. The Dell is similarly priced when ordered with 16MB of RAM, and it has a 12.1-inch screen.