TravelMate Loaded With Mix of Business, Consumer Software

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-10-13 Print this article Print


It's also worth noting that the 8481T's touchpad is very basic. You can slide your fingers around the pad and control the cursor with ease, but scrolling could be improved.

There is one thing missing from the 8481T: an optical drive. Acer's decision to not include an optical drive is a curious one, and something that could be a deal-breaker for firms that require such a feature to get software and other contents onto the device.

Acer ostensibly ditched the optical drive to ensure the computer stayed thin and lightweight, similar to Apple's own moves with its MacBook Air. And the company may feel the lack of an optical drive isn't necessary, what with the computer's ports. However, an optical drive would have been a nice feature.


From a features perspective, the 8481T is what the average IT decision-maker might expect. The notebook comes with the capable and surprisingly speedy 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2557M processor. With 4GB of on-board memory, employees shouldn't have any problem getting their daily tasks done, as long as they don't try to edit video or use other resource-intensive programs.

On the software side, Windows 7 Professional was running on the version I tested, and was augmented by a host of outstanding security applications from Acer, including ProShield. With the help of Acer ProShield, IT staffs can modify BIOS settings, set up preboot authentication procedures, and add encryption to chosen files and folders. For files or folders that need to be securely removed, ProShield offers a "shredder" function.

Acer offers a host of other packages to users, including a Recovery Management tool and a Backup Manager.

Out of the box, the 8481T boasts the standard C drive, as well as a Data drive, where files can be backed up. All told, the device has 320GB of on-board storage.

For an additional layer of security, Acer's notebook comes with biometric security: Employees can swipe their fingers across the sensor to access the PC. Setting up that function is as simple as swiping at least two fingers across the sensor three times.

With all those enterprise-focused features, Acer is offering a solid showing with its PC. Sure, the applications will need to be augmented by other security solutions, but the bundled applications work exceedingly well. Plus, they give companies at least some security right out of the box. And in today's security-conscious world, that's important.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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