Acer Aspire 8920G Mini-Review

Multimedia on the Aspire 8920G

The gorgeous full-HD 18.4-inch (1920 x 1080-pixel resolution) CineCyrstal 16:9 display brought out the fine detail and lifelike skin tones in Denzel Washington’s face, while the CineSurround 5.1 speakers, Dolby Home Theater technology, and Tube CineBass booster added equally as impressive audio. Above the display resides the 640 x 480 Acer Crystal Eye webcam for taking snaps of yourself or making video calls in conjunction with the integrated mic. Images taken with it were a notch above other webcams as we could pick up fine detail.

Large Keyboard The 17.4 x 11.8 x 1.5-inch 8920G served up a spacious keyboard and number pad that featured responsive keys. To the immediate right of the number pad are keys for activating/deactivating the 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Internet Explorer, Windows Mail, and activating/deactivating the Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR signal. Acer also includes a biometric fingerprint reader for the security conscious. Dual Hard Drives, Many Ports Our configuration came with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, and dual hard drives totaling 320GB that kept us moving at brisk pace while we were listening to music in Windows Media Player 11, surfing the web, and engaging in a videochats. Under the hood runs Nvidia GeForce 9650M GS graphics card with 512MB of memory. The 8920G includes a host connections including a 6-in-1 card reader, 4 USB 2.0 ports, HMDI, VGA, headphone and microphone jacks (with S/PDIF support), line-in, Ethernet, modem, and an ExpressCard/54 slot. All in all, the 8.8-pound Acer Aspire 8920G looks to be stellar PC. Check back soon for a full review after we send this puppy to our labs for benchmarking. [flq:4b7053dfa8d044d8aa91c060f2213c4e]

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  1. Mark Says:

    Nice can’t wait to buy one to replace acer 5610.

  2. nina Says:

    woah that is sick and i want one!

  3. Jake Says:

    Love this machine. I would get one when it’s available but my Acer 9810-6829 is a little over a year old. Acer is making a fine laptop.

  4. moi Says:

    Nice but… Acer has a very reputation in terms of quality, reliability and customer support.

  5. moi Says:

    I meant “bad reputation”

  6. Me Says:

    Acer’s quality control, service and reliability are the worst in the business. Trying to download a driver updates takes almost all day, even with a DSL connection. Their website is not helpful, and the descriptions for updates suck, as there is none. I worked for a major retailer and I would not recommend Acer to anyone. Unless they are aware of the issues I mentioned above, were still looking for a value prices laptop.

  7. Antoine Says:

    What is the price of this “wonder”?

  8. UHUH Says:

    How bout we take that screen and put it on a toshiba. They’ll know what to do with it.

  9. Anthony Says:

    I second moi and me. I’ve bought acer laptop once and decided never going to buy again. The plastic at the back of screen cracked and comes off after day to day use. The lack of quality just appal me.

  10. NCN Says:

    How much does it cost? It looks like a pretty impressive machine… but I wonder if it would be
    too easy to bump the controls on the left-hand side, while typing?

  11. Nick Says:

    Three questions:
    1. It is going to come with Vista Ultimate 64bit out of the box?
    2. Is it Blu-Ray Burner or only a reader?
    3. When it is coming out?

  12. opla Says:

    To be fair if you spend less than 500 on any laptop no mattet who makes it will rersult in a bad experience.
    I have two acers and they are fine, even under repair I got my 17inch travelmate nack in 3 days. So it is horses for couurses. Oh btw (oshiba make tvs they should stik to that.

  13. sweetcreamybutter Says:

    I bought an Acer 2-1/2 years ago. It was a great value and still works great today. I would buy another without hesitation. I am salivating over this beauty right now.

  14. Jeremy Says:

    This is one of the craziest laptops I’ve ever seen!!! But then, is it fully linux compatible?

  15. Gijera Says:

    @Nick: 1. Yes their will be some versions that come with Ultimate — Here’s a link to the UK site that shows the various versions they have (though I’m not sure if they will match extactly what USA will recieve):
    http://www.acer.co.uk/public/page4.do?link=oln56.redirect&dau22.oid=36298&UserCtxParam=0&GroupCtxParam=0&dctx1=17&CountryISOCtxParam=UK&LanguageISOCtxParam=en&ctx3=-1&ctx4=United+Kingdom&crc=266337252
    2. I’m 99.9% sure that it is just a reader… further the 18.4inch has a 2X reader and the 16inch has a 1X reader
    3. I’m not sure, but from what I gather it may be at or before the 20th of May

    As for myself I’m still deciding between the 16inch Acer Gemstone Blue and one of the Asus M50S series.

    – Further, here’s some links that you all may be interested in, in regards to the Gemstone Blue:
    http://www.theAcerGuy.com
    http://www.AcerGemstoneBlue.com
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyvs-M9w2us

  16. Nick Says:

    Gijera

    Yes the 8920G will definitely come with Vista Ultimate, the question is if the offer a 64bit option.

  17. ... Says:

    hopefully this is the first of many 18.4″ screens… 20.1″ screens make the laptops too heavy for travel. But 18.4″ looks like it will be just right – from the specs. Close to 17″ than 20″ weight. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    Also, I’m guessing that text won’t be too small on the thing since it is 18.4″… it’s not that my eyesight is bad, but I like to kick back a fair distance from the screen.

  18. Jake Says:

    I purchased an Acer Aspire 9810-6829 with a 20.1 screen and love it. It’s a great multi-media machine. It has HD-DVD and not Blu-Ray like the 8920 or 6920. The screen itself weighs more then the 8920. I saw the 6920 on ShopNBC on Sunday and they had it connected to a big screen HDTV with a movie playing and the Web cam and email up on the TV. I would get one now if I didn’t have the 9810 but since I do I will wait a couple of years. By the way the 6920 was selling for 1399 on shopnbc.

  19. Gary Says:

    “All in all, the 8.8-pound Acer Aspire 8920G looks to be stellar PC. Check back soon for a full review after we send this puppy to our labs for benchmarking.”

    Has the laptop been bench tested yet?

  20. Jean Says:

    Gary I was wondering the same, let’s hope a full review is up soon. I’m going to buy this baby in two days but am still debating if the extra power is word the extra $$ between the 6A and the 93

  21. Gary McNamara Says:

    Jean, I think that I will opt for the 8920G with the TV Tuner, Vista Home Premium instead of Ultimate and lower video card as I am not a gamer. I would probably use the TV much more than gaming. I am in the UK and the difference in price between the Aspire 8920G-934G50Bn and the Aspire 8920G-934G64Bn is $300! (£150). I hope that the benchtest will help in my decision to buy.

  22. Joanna Stern Says:

    We have posted the full review of the system: http://blog.laptopmag.com/mini-review-acer-aspire-8920g

  23. Gary Says:

    Thanks Joanna for details of the full review. It has confirmed my thoughts and I have decided to buy one. I should have it tomorrow!

  24. Jake Says:

    The question about Linux is why? It will be hard to find drivers for the superior devices you get. This machine is more of a multi-media machine then a gaming machine. It has a Blu-ray player ( A writer would make the price over 3000. The most model with the most features of the 8920 will tap out at 2599. Circuit City got it’s baby twin in last week and it 699 for a machine without Blu-ray and an intel graphics card.

  25. Gary Says:

    Got the Aspire 8920G-934G50Bn (LX.AP30X.080) three days ago. I am very pleased with it. Aesthetically it is very good to look at. The Blu-ray is excellent, the screen resolution is outstanding, the sound quality is outstanding (for a notebook). Only minor problems (and they are very minor) is that the end caps keep falling off, the notebook is large and fairly heavy 9lbs and that the TV Tuner is not brilliant. It is an AverMedia A309 Mini-Card DVB-T. For mobile use you have to be in an area with a very, very strong signal and even then the picture keeps breaking up. I have tried it in several locations and had differing results. However, it is very easy to set-up the TV Tuner as it’s virtually a one-touch scan.
    Once you’ve used the screen on this machine then all other monitor screens seem to look very poor! It is also very quiet to operate and without heavy use I can get about 3 hours out of the battery. It also only seems to take about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to fully recharge when not in use. I like the biometric fingerprint scanner. Had a little bit of a problem setting it up. Had to do it three times and then had to uninstall the program and re-install it form the Acer Support website. However, the Support website was very easy to navigate and all the drivers/programes for my machine were in one convemient area. With one swipe of my finger I can go straight to a particular application. You can scan all fingers and thumbs and each one can perform a separate function. However, if you scan all ten then you have to remember which finger does what! I can never remember. You can launch the settings program which is in the Notification Area and can quickly see the list of programes against each finger in a visual format if you forget. It is nice to be able to shut down with one finger swipe. Upon starting the notebook it asks for your log-in details and again with the same finger that shut down the notebook it restarts Windows Vista.
    Another minor niggle is the fact that I purchased an Acer 3-year Extended Warranty with Accidental Damage Cover. The Warranty, from Acer comes with a free USB optical mouse and a laptop case. The only options for the laptop cases are 15 inch & 17 inch! I asked for an 18 inch or a 19 inch laptop case but they don’t make them! I ended up with a 17 inch laptop case that I can’t use as the Acer is an 18.4 inch model! Somebody at Acer needs shooting for not having an accessory for this machine from launch date. I still can’t find a laptop case that is good enough to use for this notebook from Acer or elsewhere.
    At this time I am very happy with my purchase. I just hope that I feel the same in 6 months time.

  26. LH Says:

    Don’t buy anything from ACER!
    before you buy, please try this … call the customer support number!

    In SG, I tried the toll free support number and could not even get connected.
    I call the non toll free number, was but on hold for 30mins, when a operator pick up, she said she had to transfer my call, i was transfered to ‘god knows where’

    I was trying to find the drivers for the bios for ACER Aspire M5640 …. because i had ACPI error all over my event log, and i could not find my PC model on their web site.

  27. Qvad4 Says:

    Why nothing about 5.1 surround sound system?!

  28. Ali Lami Says:

    I have not ant CD drive for my acer Aspire 8920
    i need link for download driver .. acer.com working very slowwww

  29. Tim Davidson Says:

    Hellloooo ALL

    I am currently using this laptop 8920G and have owned 4 acers prior to this one…. I would reccomend ACER to anyone!!! I have two children and they bashed and beaten and stand up to everything… Generally speaking they are very good specs and great value.. If anyone wants to make reference to poor quality laptops try ADVENT… I bought one as a second machine at xmas… and got rid within 4 weeks…what a pile of excrement that was.. I had a 5612WLMI that developed a fault, It was collected and fixed and returned within 7 days… Thats great service… I am not a lover of return to base warranties so i purchased the Advantage pack with this 8920 which gives me 3 years on site service, and covers against accidents… Just in case… That all said i am amzed by the quality and how unique this laptop is… Blu Ray player is great, the machine is quick does not hang stays cool, and it is fairly portable….,But come on it has got a massive 18.4″ screen… I will put up wth having to lug it about, i made that decision as i wanted a quality machine…. Horses for courses…I am 100% happy..

  30. Ivan Says:

    It would be good notebook, can even magnificent. But Vista transforms it simply into piece of Bill’s dung. I have bought it, and now I do not know as to get rid. And all because of Vista. That Bills has choked with my money!

  31. Jace Says:

    I’m sold on it…

    now if I could get it with Windows XP instead I would be addicted..

  32. Chad Says:

    While typing this, I am using an Acer Aspire 8920G

    To answer some questions I have read over:

    The price I paid for this machine is $1,400. (Reasonable, for what it is)

    Is it Linux compatible? Certainly, I am dual-booting Ubuntu 8.04 while running X86 Vista (32 bit)
    However the machine itself is 100% x64, for those asking, x64 means you CAN have backwards compatibility for x86 OS’s. However to avoid issues with Linux, I would recommend installing an x64 Linux distro.

    Is the Blu-ray player a burner as well?
    Negative. From my tests it does not seem to have the ability to burn discs, only play them.

    Issues with Linux? One, when installing the sound drivers, you will need to modify the ALSA sub-list to include an update from INTEL, else you will have to switch to OSS4, and that will cause some speaker output issues. Other than that, everything works perfectly.

    Breaks? – Had mine since augest (it is now oct) and nothing has happened to it yet. Great stuff, Acer!

    Customer support? – They do their best, I can’t blame them for that, however the website does host faulty drivers so make SURE to burn a backup disc once your laptop is turned on for the first time.
    I’m still awaiting the disc that Acer had sent me (with the appropriate drivers).

    All in all, I love this laptop, it’s been the best one I had yet. HP would be my second choice, Also a great make.

  33. Chad Says:

    One further note, This laptop has 4GB DDR2 RAM. You certainly won’t see a slowdown even while playing games such as Crysis. (Take it from me, I love my gaming, and this machine can do it all). Furthermore, Whilst having Vista Home Premium installed on my laptop, Not a single issue in terms of slowdown or viruses has been detected. I wouldn’t bash vista just yet, I see good things in it. (Reason I used “whilst having vista home premium, is due to that I have upgraded to Vista Business N and am awaiting the drives on CD from Acer since their website did not work.)

    All in all, 8/10. Beautiful display and resolution options, very fast, No viruses/bog-down due to OS, and fairly large 320GB HDD.

  34. josh Says:

    quite a few people are selling their 8920g just having it for a few months for some reason they probably getting rid of it because its too bulky theyre right and a few have gone back to acer some problemn or another hence now would be about the best time to aquire wun real cheap when they first came out they were about 2000 to 2500 odd bucks now with all these problems you could pick it up for about 800 900 bucks even stores are slashing their prices to abot 1200 to 1300 or 1400 odd bucks make sure you get a machine thats works proper nothing wrong with it and extend the warranty if you can its a great buy if you get a fully working machine

  35. era Says:

    the price now is $2299 (in my country), now i’m waiting for my order, the seller said it’s will available within 3-7 days…

    my 1st acer is poor and unstable, it’s travelmate :-(
    the 2nd is good and i’m happy with it, it’s aspire 5920G, very stable and “smart” machine ;-)

  36. johovo Says:

    i actuly have one of these got it asa present for x mas and holy *@!? its awesome:D

  37. vuke Says:

    hey Chad where to find drivers for Linux on this machine

  38. Mike Says:

    A great machine. Overall, it is a wonderful machine that is described perfectly from the users above. Yes, the support probably sucks, but how about trying support from HP! I have heard they are worse. Remember, there is very few companies that do not outsource there support overseas, so you just have to get used to it.

    As for performance, this machine is quite capable. I have had it for 6 months now and really do feel it is a worthy machine. It is not entirely a gaming machine such as the XPS or ASUS G70, but it can hold its own. I have played LOTRO Online and CALL of DUTY 4 on it and it played great. Of course, you have to play it on high settings with antialiasing off, but it was decent gameplay–especially running it on VERY HIGH details and 1680X1080p. There were small instances of hiccups at that level, but they were very small and still playable.

    The sound card is great. I mean, if you compare it to a full-fledged sound system like BOSE or Yamaha 5.1 Theater Surround for your 46″ LCD Tv, then you will be disappointed. But, hey, this is a LAPTOP! IT won’t have the bass output of a full theater sound system. I played the Dark Knight BLU-RAY DVD and it sounded very nice. Bass and surround filling the room. Easily it is better than those cheap laptops at Best Buy for 600-700 dollars and their 2 speakers across the top.

    I also just read that it is theoretically possible to upgrade the video card to a similar 9700M GT or 9800M GT because of its MXM III architecture. Of course, that is highly debatable considering that your BIOS can support the card and it doesn’t over-heat your machine because of the increased watt usage.

    Hey, this is a great laptop. It boasts many great features and specs, with minimal upgrades.

    The screen itself is just beautiful! You go and look at other screens and you are just speechless.

    NOTE: Most 8920Gs come with Vista 32bit. I upgraded to Vista Ultimate 64 and noticed a huge difference in screen resolution and speed. IT just seemed brighter and sharper compared to the 32bit version. THe drivers must be updated to the latest version from Laptopvideo2go.com though, or you defeat the purpose of the 64bit upgrade.

  39. Lois West Says:

    I spent a lot of money for this Acer Aspire 8920G and have had nothing but problems. I’ve called Technical Suport numerous times (after a serious Web search to actually find the 800 number), reinstalled the Windows Vista Ultimate OS at least twice and the system continues to hang up. I even paid to ship it to Acer repair and they returned it saying they couldn’t duplicate the problem. Not only that, but Windows didn’t even start up properly after they returned it! I’ve been using computers for 30 years and have never had this many problems! I’m buying another Dell next time (unless they’ve become unreliable too)!

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