Acer's TravelMate 8481 purports to be an ideal companion for professionals who spend a lot of time travelling. The 8481 combines a slim and light design with a fairly powerful set of components, and offers a number of business-oriented features which should prove appealing to the road warriors at which it's targeted.
The TravelMate 8481's 14in display has a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution, which is less than some notebooks in the same size-range offer, but not terrible. Intel Core-series processors are coupled with 8GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, which can be paired with a 64GB SSD offering a fast boot partition and a decent amount of storage.
Graphics from nVidia use its Optimus technology to enable automatic switching between a dedicated GPU and the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip. Of particular note is the Intel graphics' provision of Wireless Display technology, which enables the TravelMate 8481 to connect to a compatible projector or monitor without needing to be directly wired into it.
Connectivity comes from the standard suite of Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There's also a USB 3.0 port, in addition to 'Power-Off USB Charging,' which enables exactly what its name suggests. The 8481 offers "up-to" nine hours of battery life, which is good, although how frugally it has to be used to achieve that is unknown.
The TravelMate 8481 has a magnesium-aluminium chassis, aimed to make it more resilient to knocks and bumps and features metal hinges - a common weak point of laptop design. The 8481 also has an anti-shock hard drive enclosure, and an anti-dust system, aimed at keeping the cooling systems clear and effective.
The TravelMate 8481 will be available in August with prices starting from £699 ex-VAT.