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Widescreen Notebooks: More Than Just Expensive DVD Players?


Realtek's ALC880 provides good sound with the use of equalizer software.

The sound chip's driver software features an equalizer allowing substantial sound-quality improvement. The notebook's decibel output at maximum volume, however, is inadequate. Like the majority of mobile PCs, the TM8103Wlmi also fails to deliver fat bass tones.

When the optical digital output is active, a red light glows from out of the connector port.

The audio chip supports Intel's High Definition mode, allowing playback of DVDs in 7.1 Sound via digital output as well.

Sophisticated Power Management

Acer offers a wide range of power management options for minimizing the device's electricity consumption. Users can set up power schemes according to preference that also factor in display brightness and CPU clock speed.

The 8103Wlmi offers a wide range of power management options.

Hardware components can be turned on and off as needed with a simple click in the quick start tray.

Users can decide for themselves which components they want to activate in both battery and plugged-in modes. The DVD drive is set to shut down again four seconds after accessing data. The notebook's BIOS is also able to take the front side bus down to 110 MHz with a Pentium M 740 in battery mode to save more energy.

At 110MHz instead of 133MHz, the system even lowers the FSB clock speed when necessary.

Practical tip: We recommend TM8103WLMi owners who mainly run office applications and operate in plugged-in mode to configure the graphics card driver's PowerPlay settings so that the graphics processor runs at minimum clock speed. Otherwise the system fan comes on after a few minutes and purrs away. Acer provides only one preconfigured power scheme for plugged-in operation, in which all system components including graphics subsystem run at maximum levels.