Work wirelessly away from the mains socket with Acer's latest notebook.
If you've been watching TV lately, you've probably seen the Intel ad that shows people working at their desks on the side of a mountain or inside a football stadium.
The ads are for a technology called Centrino and, if you believe Intel, it's going to open up a whole new world of wire-free working.
Centrino is actually an umbrella term for a number of different technologies that are being built into a new generation of notebook PCs.
These technologies amount to integrated Wi-Fi networking: more efficient, less power-hungry processors and longer battery life.
What they don't amount to is the ability to work in the middle of nowhere - without a Wi-Fi hotspot and mains socket, a Centrino notebook won't be much use for long.
But let's not disparage Centrino too much. It does promise more capable notebook PCs, and the Acer Travelmate 803LCi was the first to enter our offices.
With a desktop footprint of about 30cm x 34cm, the TravelMate is a bit big to cart around but at 2.6kg, at least carrying it won't cause an injury.
It's slim - just under 4cm with the lid closed - and yet still manages to cram in a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive. You don't get a floppy drive of any description, though this isn't a big deal.
From the outside, the Travelmate looks sleek and stylish but pop the silver lid and inside it's austere, grey plastic all round.
The keyboard sits above a wide wrist rest and unusually, has a slight curve to it. This feels completely alien on first use but we'll concede that it probably has ergonomic benefits and, like Microsoft's Natural Keyboard, it's no doubt something that you'll get used to with time.
Otherwise, the keyboard is comfortable to use but we would prefer a larger Enter key.
The Travelmate's screen has the now-standard resolution for all high-end notebooks and at 1400 x 1050, gives as much on-screen space as a 21in CRT monitor. It's crisp and clear too, meaning that the high-resolution isn't too tough on your eyes.
Getting the TravelMate up and running wirelessly is a simple affair, helped in part by the buttons on the front panel that turn the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and on.
Should you find yourself in a 'wireless-less' zone, there are also four USB 2 ports, a mini-FireWire, network and modem ports to get you connected to something.
With its Intel Pentium M 1.6GHz processor, 512MB of memory and 40GB hard disk, the Travelmate turned in a respectable score in our performance tests.
Although 1.6GHz sounds a little lethargic by modern standards, the new Centrino technology means it performs on a par with a 2GHz Pentium 4 in a desktop PC.
The built-in graphics performed admirably too and you should be able to play most 3D games on this notebook, just as if it were a desktop PC.
The final piece of the Centrino jigsaw is battery life and in our tests, the Travelmate squeezed a staggering 4.5 hours from its pack.
There's room for another battery if you are prepared to jettison the disc drive, which means you can manage for well over a working day away from the mains.
As the first Centrino effort we've seen, the TravelMate 803LCi is quite impressive and it's more than up to acting as a desktop-replacement PC, as well as a power-packed portable.
Contact: Acer 0870 900 2237
Fujitsu Siemens Amilo D
A great notebook at a great price.
Good points:Excellent performance.Long battery life.Slim design.Bad points:Dull looks.Keyboard takes some getting used to.Overall:An impressive Centrino debut.
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