With the credit crunch hitting people where it hurts the most, it seems that laptops are now appearing on the market that not only offer people the choice of owning a laptop at a reasonable price but also ones that also allows people to have a decent spec on their machine that is capable of playing most of the latest games that are coming out. The Acer F5SL AP016C is dubbed to be one of these laptops so let’s see if it’s got what it takes to make that pound stretch a whole lot further…
The laptop has been designed using ASUS’s usual style consisting of a chrome silver effect with the ASUS logo branded at the top of the lid – great for all those brand concious people out there!
The screen is a full 15.4″ widescreen that rests nicely between the too small and too big scale whilst running at a above standard 1280 x 800 resolution, which means that all your desktop icons will rest with ease on the screen without having to flight for breathing space.
The keyboard is a full sized laptop keyboard and as such will feel familiar to people use to handling a laptop without getting their pulse racing. Thankfully the mouse pad is placed in the usual place a mouse pad should go and has not opted for the new ‘design’ route of putting the mouse pad slightly to the left or right which seems to aggravates me as I am forever moving off the pad thinking its in the centre where it should be.
Under the bonnet
As you can see from the technical spec below, this laptop comes with Intel’s all powerful (sorry AMD fans) Intel Core 2 Duo. While this is a powerful processor in its own rights this particular model runs a T5550 version which in human speech runs at 1.83GHz you might inclined to think this is not very powerful. However, considering that this runs at x2 that number and that most modern applications take advantage of these dual core types, you do have in fact a rather powerful processor for the price.
Bundled with that is 2GB of DDR2 RAM running at 667Mhz. Although, this is not the recommended amount of RAM you need to run Vista and games at the same time this should be fine for average gaming and everyday tasks. You could even upgrade the RAM to double the amount for a surprisingly small amount extra which is due to RAM prices being exceptionally low at the time of writing this.
Most importantly graphic card wise this laptop comes with a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 256MB. This card is faster than the laptop version of Nvidia’s 9300M GS while comparing to the desktop version of the 8400 GT (remember desktop cards are much faster then laptop cards) as it’s a HD version of ATI’s card range this supports DirectX 10, the next generation of gaming design platforms. However you may not expect to get as high a frame rate whilst using this card as you would expect so you might need to stop hoping that everything will run on Hi-Res. As long as you are happy with Lo to Medium setting, this card should support you through the latest games.
With 250GB of Hard Drive space, this amount of memory should allow you to store as many MP3 files as you wish and a few movies to boot. Internet wise this comes with a 1.3 megapixel web cam at the top of the screen making MSN video calls a breeze.
The Gaj-It Verdict
For all of us on a budget at the moment, this laptop will offer stable gaming at an affordable price, although the wife will still complain that it’s a waste of money that could be better spent (on her).
- Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 / 1.83 GHz ( Dual-Core )
- 2 GB (installed) / 4 GB (max) – DDR2 SDRAM – 667 MHz ( 1 x 2 GB )
- 250 GB – Serial ATA-150 – 5400 rpm
- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
- 15.4′ TFT 1280 x 800 ( WXGA ) – Color Shine
- DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 – 256 MB
- Bluetooth – No
- Notebook Camera – Integrated – 1.3 Megapixel
Shop For It