A netbook-sized computer with notebook performance
Although it’s small enough to qualify as a netbook, the Acer Aspire 1810TZ is better described as a small, portable laptop rather than a netbook. Netbooks are usually inexpensive, have small screens and relatively poor processing power.
They are portable, good for surfing the web and running office applications, but can be uncomfortable and frustrating to use. The 1810TZ, on the other hand, is just as portable as most netbooks but it performs better, has a good battery life and a stronger build quality.
The 1810TZ has an 11.6in screen that produced a bright, sharp picture that made reading websites and editing documents much easier than on most netbooks. It has a 250GB hard disk and 3GB of memory – netbooks tend to only have 1GB of memory.
The processor is also much better. It’s a dual-core low-voltage model that helps when running multiple applications at once. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, rather than the Windows 7 Starter edition sometimes found on similar computers.
Nothing about the 1810TZ feels cheap. The chassis is made from a durable plastic, which isn't as nice as the aluminium used on some more expensive computers we’ve looked at recently (the Nokia Booklet 3G, for example), but it still felt solid despite being quite thin. The keyboard did not bend easily, the keys responded well to pressure and allowed for accurate typing, whatever size fingers your have.
There are three USB ports, a memory card reader, network socket (it can also connect to wireless networks) and both HDMI and VGA connectors for attaching screens.
It's capable of playing high-definition video without trouble, but the graphics card is not suited to serious gaming. It just about ran the older game World of Warcraft in low detail, but it will struggle with more up-to-date games.
The battery life was excellent, however, lasting a good eight hours, but this will depend on how you use the laptop, and settings such as the screen's brightness and whether the wireless networking is enabled.