Faster and sleeker than ever, the Acer TravelMate 8204 is a high-end laptop and one of the first to utilize Intel's next generation Centrino Duo Mobile Technology. A successor to the highly acclaimed TravelMate 8100 series, the TravelMate 8204 is designed to impress inside and out. Sporting a revamped design, it is composed of a carbon fiber chassis combined with Acer's Folio design theme, exemplifying a modern and sleek design that appears to descend from the 22nd century.
Everyone will appreciate the new features and cutting-edge technology incorporated into this sleek laptop. It is filled with a robust set of features, including the new Intel Core Duo T2500 (2.0 GHz) processor, a whopping 2GB DDR2 RAM, and a massive 120GB Serial ATA hard disk drive. Other prominent features include a high-resolution 15.4-inch widescreen display, modular DVD+RW drive, built-in rotating Web Camera, and VoIP Bluetooth phone!
Avid gamers will be very satisfied with the performance from the mid-range yet powerful ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB DDR VRAM and AVIVO technology, while business professionals will appreciate the Smart Card feature, providing extra security from unauthorized access. The near-perfect Acer TravelMate 8204 WLMi is an attractive package: it's powerful, combines a myriad of new functions, and is just darn sexy. Of course for $2500, it's one of the more expensive laptops out there.Design
Although the Acer TravelMate 8204 WLMi possesses similar attributes to a desktop alternative notebook, this is a performance-thin laptop that won't break your back. Measuring 14.3-inches wide, 10.7-inches long and only 1-inch thick at the front section and extending 1.4-inches thick towards the back, the TravelMate 8204 is ideal for large sized cases and backpacks. I found the lightweight Samsonite L45 and the Samsonite Pro-DLX Medium laptop briefcase to be the perfect companion. I even managed to squeeze the computer on my flight to Las Vegas with just enough room to be used on the reclining table attached to the seat in front of me in economy coach.
Case and Design
The instant appeal of the TravelMate 8200 lies in its Folio design theme, which is Acer's name for its unique design found in a number of their laptops. In addition, the two tone inverted color scheme keeps it clean and simple, with carbon fiber wrapping around the top lid while graphite grey covers the surface around the palm rest and keyboard area. There is also a touch of glossy black trim above the keyboard and at the bottom of the outside lid for added style.
Sleek and durable carbon fiber lid gives it an original style.
The edges are curvaceous and the clean surface is smooth as silk, which gives the TravelMate 8204 a refining look. Not only is the carbon fiber lid lighter and stronger than other materials, it also gives off a distinctive look with the black and grey checkered shades, derived from the Acer Ferrari 4005 WLMi . For good measures, the laptop comes with a microfibre cleaning cloth to keep the laptop looking its best.
Acer also included a cleaning cloth to help keep the laptop looking slick.
Two stiff hinges hold the LCD panel together, located near each corner of the display. The LCD panel contains dual latches that assist in keeping the lid securely closed, preventing any type of movement when shuffling the laptop around. When shut the screen hovers slightly over the keyboard and palm rest area, reinforced by eight rubber pads to prevent the screen from touching the keyboard and wrist area.
There are two sets of status indicators found on the computer, the first is located on the upper-right corner above the keyboard (below the display screen) and the second set is on the front of the computer. The upper-right corner below the display contains indicators for hard disk, caps lock, and num lock. All indicators emit a green glow when activated.
Conveniently located on the front panel are a set of highly useful indicator lights which provide a quick glance at the power, battery charge, Bluetooth, and Wireless LAN. Both the power and battery status indicators emit a green glow when active (or amber for the battery when it's charging) while the Bluetooth and Wireless LAN buttons emit a dazzling blue and amber glow, respectively. The Bluetooth and Wireless LAN are buttons used to enable or disable its associated function.
Buttons and indicators located in the front for quick & easy access.