While it would seem the common belief among consumers is that Acer products tend to be cheap and have lower build quality, their Timeline series is anything but that and have left us impressed. Since then, they have ported some of the design elements over to their newer mainstream notebook line, so slowly but surely, the impression of being a 'cheap build' will probably fade away in due time.
That said, Acer's products are remarkably affordable, often offering superb hardware specifications at a price so low, we often wonder how they can afford to do so while still being able to stay in business. Case in point is the new Acer Timeline X series that we're reviewing and the model in question is the 4820TG, a machine which looks very familiar on the outside, but packs a whole lot of difference on the inside. That's not to say the original Timeline series will be discontinued; they will now exist side by side to confuse readers who don't happen to notice the extra "X" for eXtreme.
Bear in mind however, that the X series is Acer's answer to a performance-centric notebook while still keeping to the Timeline's form factor, so instead of the Intel Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors found on the Acer Timeline 4810T, the 4820TG packs an Intel Core i7 of the dual-core variety which does mean if you're in need of processing power, this notebook won't let you down. And despite the use of a much more powerful processor and together with switchable discrete graphics in the form of an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, the unit still keeps to a pretty slim form factor. Though it does feel slightly heavier to us and it is, at 2.2kg compared to the 1.9kg of the old 4810T.
Now, if there's one thing that we dislike fervently on Acer machines, it's that they come loaded with plenty of bloatware installed. Strangely though, our review Acer unit was pretty light in that department which meant we didn't have to do that much uninstalling before we could get down to benchmarking it. Before we get to the results, let's take a look at the familiar exterior and interior to see if we can spot any changes to the design.