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Acer Travelmate Pro (TMP645-MG-9419): This mild-mannered case conceals a powerful laptop

Jon L. Jacobi | March 18, 2014
The Travelmate Pro is quite a nice piece of hardware, and it's significantly less expensive than much of its business-oriented competition but it may not be for corporate fleets.

A gigabit ethernet port stands out among ports and connectivity, which are mostly what you'd expect to find on a notebook in this class: Three USB 3.0 ports and VGA and HDMI video outputs, for starters, and separate mic and headphone jacks. Wireless functions include Bluetooth 4, but theWi-Fi adapter tops out at 802.11n--we'd be happier to see 802.11ac.PCWorld favors DisplayPort connectors over HDMI, but you'll need to buy Acer's dock to get that. There's a cheap 0.9-megapixel webcam mounted in the display's bezel, with a single integrated mic

The TravelMate Pro's input ergonomics are very sound. The touchpad is silky and the back-lit, island-style keyboard has full-sized keys with decent tactile feedback. You won't mistake it for a Lenovo, but it's not bad. The notebook is also outfitted with a biometric fingerprint reader and a docking port on its underbelly.

While the TravelMate Pro's Core i7-4500u doesn't include Intel's vPro technology, the laptop does come with a Trusted Platform Module chip and ProShield software to leverage it. Acer offers a slightly different model--the $1099 TMP645-V-6446--that does  have a vPro-enabled processor, but it doesn't have a discrete GPU. Acer promises Travelmate Pro models will remain essentially the same for 12 to 18 months from introduction, and that replacement parts will be available for at least three years.

Acer TravelMate Pro
The TravelMate Pro's battery life won't blow your mind, but it's very good considering it's powering a discrete GPU. Click on graph to enlarge.

The unit comes with a two-year mail-in/carry-in warranty, which can be extended one additional year. On-site and other service options are also available at extra cost. This information is a bit difficult to find, as Acer hides it from anyone whose laptop is not registered.

At $1300, this Travelmate Pro is quite a nice piece of hardware, and it's significantly less expensive than much of its business-oriented competition. But the lack of a 5-year warranty, its shortish lifespan, and niggling details like different-gauge screws will irk the corporate element of its intended audience. The favorable price-to-performance ratio make it a go for independent business users, but for corporate fleets? Probably not.

 

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