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By Mike Joubert 6 March 2009

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Being all about the business the Acer Travelmate is in no way a flashy PC. It is a bit like John over in accounts – he might not be as sleek and loud as the sales guys, but he is dependable, gets the job done, and frankly without him the company takes a dive. 

Onboard you’ll find an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor (2.4 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB, 3MB L2 cache), and, much to our liking, 4GB of DDR3 RAM (although it can access only 3-3.5GB according to Acer). With this amount of memory ­available you’ll be able to pretty much have all your Office ­applications open, while surfing the Net, while checking your mail, while reading a PDF, while... well you get the point. ­Storage space is also not a problem thanks to a massive 320GB of hard disk space and as expected the 6493 comes loaded with Windows Vista Business.

Connectivity is the name of the game with this Travelmate. You’ll be able to connect via Wi-Fi, or make use of Bluetooth or Infrared. But the real clincher is the built-in 3G. Simply slip your SIM card into the slot next to the battery, install the Globetrotter software and you’re off. We connected via the MTN network and received a good 1669 kbps download speed with 963 kbps upload. One downside was that Globetrotter does not provide any data management info, so it’s difficult to tell when you’ve reached your data limit.

Security measures include a biometric fingerprint reader, while your hard drive is protected with Acer’s Disk Anti-Shock Protection System (DASP). But we missed the anti-theft alarm found on some other Acer notebooks. Video conferencing is catered for via their Crystal Eye webcam that is specifically optimised for low-light conditions. We also like the inclusion of a 5-in-1 memory card reader – it makes transferring photos just so much easier. Although this is not a multimedia notebook the sound quality when playing movies was good, while no fault can be found with the 14.1" LCD screen. In the age of netbooks any notebook bigger than a paperback novel looks, and feels, gigantic. The same is true for the 6493, but there is no way that you can match the performance with something smaller. Well not yet anyways.

So there you go. The Acer Travelmate 6493 takes care of business thanks to massive storage space, enough memory to take on the most complex multi-tasking, and connectivity options galore. It might not have the looks, but taking care of business it surely does.

The series starts from R18 499. Call Acer Africa on 0861-223-772 for more info.

PROS
Massive storage, enough memory, good connectivity with built-in 3G
CONS
A tad big, boring.
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