Acer TravelMate Delivers 8-Hour Battery Life
But Acer did make an odd move with its 8481T: It bundled Netflix with the software. As mentioned, Acer has been doing a satisfactory job of appealing to consumers but has been missing out in the enterprise. The fact that the company would include Netflix streaming on a corporate-focused device is a somewhat odd decision. After all, companies care about productivity, and providing employees with a way to watch movies and TV shows at work might not be the best idea.Performance When evaluating the performance of a Windows PC, it's difficult to get a good feel for how it will work for everyone. After all, Acer shipped me a brand-new PC, but it hasn't been bogged down by extra software and months of use. Out of the box, just about any employee who has been using an outdated Windows XP notebook will be happy to get their hands on the 8481T. Startup times are quite fast and, in my testing, the notebook came close to hitting Acer's reported 8-hour battery life. (I got about seven-and-a-half hours on a single charge.) Back to the touchpad: As mentioned, it could be better, but thanks to the USB ports on the right side of the notebook, I was able to plug in a mouse to overcome that issue. Acer is quite pleased with the quality of the 8481T's 14-inch display, and for good reason. Viewing high-quality video on the PC was a treat, and even after prolonged use, employees shouldn't have too many problems sitting in front of the computer. Although some companies like to provide employees with bigger displays, the 14-inch option in the 8481T seemed perfect for everyday tasks like working in Microsoft Office and answering email. Simply put, the 8481T delivers what many would expect: a solid experience. Conclusion In the enterprise, most IT managers have decided that the best all-around PC options come from HP, Lenovo and Dell, while Acer has remained on the sidelines. Although the TravelMate Timeline 8481T likely won't change that, the notebook is a fine option for any company looking to break from the stranglehold of old-time favorites. With a host of security solutions, the 8481T seems to fully deliver the feature set enterprise users are looking for. Should the 8481T have come with an optical drive? Sure. Does it need Netflix built-in? No. But aside from that, the $999 notebook is a solid choice and one that few IT decision-makers would be displeased to have running in their operations.
Luckily, Microsoft bailed Acer out. Thanks to the 8481T's installation of Windows 7 Professional, employees will find Windows XP Mode. That service, which runs a virtual version of XP inside Windows 7, works quite well on the 8481T.