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Widescreen Notebooks: More Than Just Expensive DVD Players?

Acer TM8103WLMi

Case And Connections

Acer's TM8103WLMi Case Chic Factor

Acer's new Travelmate 8100 series comes in a chic-looking and slender silver-green case. The device's workmanship appears very solid and of high quality. For the test, Acer sent us a TM8103WLMi, which sells for $1900/€2500. This model differs from its big brother, the TM8104WLMi, with its Pentium M 740 processor, which is slower by about 100MHz, and has only half as much memory (512 MB DDR2). The difference in price of the top-of-the-line model costs a whopping $2200/2800€.

The device's battery is found on the back. The majority of connections are thus located on the sides or the front, which turns out to be quite practical for everyday use.

Despite its slim construction, a DVI connection is integrated into the back

On the back, over on the left side there is a docking station connection, while on the right are found the S-Video and DVI outputs.

The two loudspeakers are found on the front, along with an infrared interface and the headphone and microphone plugs

The device has a 5-in-1 card reader on the front, situated on the left side.

The optical drive and three of the four USB 2.0 ports are situated on the right-hand side

The USB ports are placed a tad inconveniently at the front right corner of the case, as this picture shows.

The plug and cables can easily become a nuisance for users working with a mouse.

The LAN, modem, FireWire ports and the fourth USB 2.0 port are found on the outer left edge.

The PC card slot is protected by a cheap dummy card made of plastic. The device does not have an Express card slot. The power supply is small and compact, but does not provide any means of securing the power cable when on the road. Dell and IBM offer solutions that are considerably cleverer in this regard.

The power supply is small and compact, but the cable is clunky and cumbersome.