Acer Extensa 4630Z

Jayesh Shinde 2009-11-01
78 Good
Price: Rs 32,350

Full Review

The Extensa series is part of Acer's business laptop offering, out of which the Extensa 4630Z is a 14-inch budget business laptop. 

Features and Design
Like the Lenovo Thinkpad X301, it is a no-nonsense machine which tries to keep things simple on the outside. The laptop is colored in a shade of dull metallic gray--screen lid, bezel, palmrest, keyboard, and touchpad. It doesn't have a hint of gloss, therefore minimizing on fingerprint smudges. The 14.1-inch (1280x800 pixel resolution) screen is non-glossy (or matte) in nature, ideal for reading text--not so good for watching movies, but that's alright as it's a business machine. The screen is nice and evenly lit and provides good horizontal viewing angles, but poor vertical viewing angles. For a budget business laptop, the Acer Extensa 4630Z is pretty well built. A 1.3-megapixel webcam accompanies a microphone on the top screen bezel. The whole unit with standard battery pack weighs 2.4-kg, which is alright for a 14-inch laptop. Build quality isn't quite in the league of the Lenovo Thinkpads or Dell Latitudes, but good for an entry-level business laptop. Also, it's screen lid has a sliding lock to unlock it before it can be propped open, a good feature to have in a laptop while it's tucked away in a travel bag. 

Hardware Specs
Equipped with an Intel DualCore T4300 2.1-GHz processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 250GB hard drive, and onboard Intel graphics, the Acer Extensa 4630Z looks like a mid-range performer. Not too great, but not too bad either--average and good. We like that it includes both Gigabit Ethernet and Draft-N Wi-Fi, faster connectivity standards that a self-respecting business laptop can't do without. A DVD writer and ExpressCard slot, along with a multicard reader, are other essential components the Extensa 4630Z includes--but we find its inclusion of just two USB ports inadequate, most laptops these days have three USB ports.

The Acer Extensa 4630Z also has some well-thought out port placement. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggle buttons are placed below the touchpad, on the front edge, and so are the audio ports--very convenient to turn on Wi-Fi or plug in a headphone. There's also a row of buttons between the central hinge and keyboard which are useful for multimedia and other applications. It comes with Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit operating system, with the option of choosing Windows Vista Business instead.

For the kind of hardware it has, the Extensa 4630Z's performance is quite good. A WorldBench 6 score of 80 is good for its class: it means most business applications will run fine, as you surf the Web and work on productivity suites. Don't even consider gaming on the onboard graphics, it isn't meant for it, but DVD movies will play fine. Acer allows you to plug in a dedicated GPU on to the Extensa 4630Z--choose it if you're interested in watching high-def movies or casual gaming. Onboard sound is average, and we recommend headphones. The keyboard is slightly curved and actually aids typing once you are tuned to it, and we also like the touchpad--smooth and responsive.

Bottom Line

Not quite the HP ProBook, but at a price tag of Rs. 32,350, the Acer Extensa 4630Z is clearly a budget laptop. It doesn't come in with a fingerprint reader or extra business-tuned applications, but gets the basics right. A matte screen, good build quality are other advantages. A well-priced laptop, and a good machine to equip the sales or marketing force with in a company.

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