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According to the manufacturer, the TravelMate of the 620 series are mobile PCs of the business class with extended functional capabilities. They are meant for users which need mobility together with high performance. Thus, this is a business model with mystical extended capabilities. And certainly I will compare the 621XC with the 610TXV we tested before.
|TravelMate 620||TravelMate 610|
The photo shows a 15" model, and they look like two peas in a pot. The keyboards are identical. Well, they follow their proprietary style which looks rather pleasant. But there are still some differences from the previous review.
The first one is a different design of the front panel. The IR port is hidden in a groove, the speakers now take their typical place as this model is thick enough. Although I don't find such position of the IR port convenient, it looks nicely.
On the left:
On the back (left to right):
The right panel, like the left one, is not overloaded - it contains a Kensington lock, power button (!), air vent and AcerMedia Bay.
And what about the screws on the sides? It turned out that they attach the matrix to the lid of the notebook, while the frame is connected only with plastic clips. Probably it's because of the tests with a 14" matrix, i.e. the frame was too wide. But it happened to only one sample. Acer offered us some other samples to tests and they proved to have no such problems.
Fir the first time I was looking for the power button quite long as I got used to the fact that it's located on the keyboard. But it's not a disadvantage.
Well, it asks to insert a Smart card. It's the right time to show how information is protected in the notebook. The preinstalled software includes PlatinumPAS(TM), PlatinumSecure(TM) and PlatinumKey(TM).
The PlatinumPAS protects data on the BIOS level. During the POST procedure the program checks whether a main or emergency Smart card is inserted, and if it doesn't find it the booting process stops.
The PlatinumSecure extends capabilities of the authentification procedure on the OS level using cryptographic methods. When the card is ejected this program starts up the screensaver and locks the system. The emergency Smart card is necessary to enter the system and disable the protection if a main card is lacking. Besides, the utility allows for encryption of files.
The PlatinumKey provides auto user authentification on sites which require passwords.
All those things can be disabled.
When we inserted the card the computer booted up successfully. The keyboard
is very handy. I was never disposed toward TouchPads because you have to
move your hands down to position the pointer or press mouse buttons. And
here thumbs are right above the pointer management system, and you don't
need to raise the base of the palm above the keyboard. The TouchPad of
the TravelMate 620 series differs from that of the TravelMate 610. The
swing scroller is replaced with a disc which has some more functions (like
back-next in the browser).
|TravelMate 610||TravelMate 620|
I don't know how useful these functions are, but the touchpad itself helps a lot.
There are no more complains about its operation. Now let's turn to such function as Recovery. This process is implemented ideally in the Acer notebooks. You boot from the system CD-ROM and choose what you need to do. There are the following ways.
Service. Any of authorized service centers (the list is available on the site) can implement diagnostics of a notebook and, in certain case, repair. But to be repaired a computer gets into the central service center, if the warranty is valid. If not, any Acer's service center can repair it on the spot.
Site. The design is comprehensive, the descriptions of models are detailed and illustrated, supplemented with a demo program etc. There is a base of drivers and BIOS updates.
The hot-line support was checked when we tested the TravelMate350 model. Well, it does work.
So, the scores:
|Scores max.||Our mark|
|Appearance and ergonomics||25||15|
|Ease in handling||25||25|
Total: 88 scores.
We lowered the scores for
"-1" - no floppy disc drive;
"-10" - for the frame's behavior;
"-1" - lack of user manuals and description of accessories on some sites in other languages.
|BAPCo/MadOnion SysMark 2002||92|
|BAPCo/MadOnion SysMark 2002 Office Productivity||105|
|BAPCo/MadOnion SysMark 2002 Internet Content Creation||81|
|ZD Content Creation Winstone 2002||18|
|ZD BatteryMark 4.0 in the highest performance mode||3 hrs 41 min|
|ZD BatteryMark 4.0 with SpeedStep in the battery saving mode||4 hrs 45 min|
The run-down time is really striking! The company mentioned that this base will also be used for models with the P4 processor. That is why this is a very good choice for those who work on the go. The power consumption modes are switched with Fn+F3; apart from the extreme ones there is a presentation mode and some others.
Let's take a look at the graphics
The scores are comparable to one more i830 based notebook - Asus S1. Well, it's not a dream of overclocker.
If it were another sample... the scores could be higher. Nevertheless,
this notebook is a worthy extension of the TravelMate line with a surprising
run-down time. The tested sample is priced at $2057, its elder brother
621LV (with a 15.1" screen, 30GB HDD and 512MB memory, DVD and built-in
802.11b adapter) costs $2077. The price is a little too high, but it's
the Acer's policy.