ACER EXTENSA EX2508-C3QZ
£280 inc VAT • acer.co.uk
Acer’s Extensa EX2508-C3QZ is a basic budget business laptop, although its no-nonsense values may appeal to anyone looking for a cheap Windows laptop. It has an equally basic Intel Celeron processor and low-grade 15in display, although a 1TB hard disk, DVD drive and 8GB of memory may help distract from other shortcomings.
Build and design
The all-plastic case is matt plastic from top to bottom, with a light texturing to help with purchase when handling. Weighing 2.2kg and just over 26mm thick, it’s a chunkier mass than today’s popular ultraportables, but about average for the traditional class of 15inscreen general-purpose laptops.
Most of the ports are ranged along the back below the screen hinge – power inlet, audio headset, HDMI and ethernet, plus one each USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
On the left side is an SD card slot and another USB 2.0, while the right side is host to the increasingly rare tray-load DVD drive. Like most such mechanisms today, it can write to dual-layer DVD RW discs. For Wi-Fi, the Acer has a rudimentary single-stream 11n adaptor.
The Extensa is simply built, which is evident from the solid underside that offers no easy way in to upgrade memory or even change battery. Any upgrade work would require removing 18 screws to strip down. The keyboard and numberpad stretch across the top deck of the Extensa, with deeply-sprung tiled keys that proved excellent for easy typing. The trackpad was, however, nearly unusable due to a broken right-click button that clunked on each press. It’s a large component at 106x78mm, and buttonless to follow the current
Build Features Performance
fashion even if real buttons work better on low-grade trackpads fitted to cheaper laptops. If this unit had been a personal purchase, it would have been hastily returned as defective.
Screen quality was average for the category, which is to say rather poor. The resolution is coarse at just 100ppi, the colour quality lousy with only 57 percent coverage of sRGB, and the contrast ratio is low at just 80:1. Viewing angles are also limited by the budget TN technology, if not as bad as the worst we’ve seen.
In the Geekbench 3 test, it scored 1053- and 1850 points for single- and multi-core modes, low scores roundly bested by even a two-year old iPhone 5s (1415- and 2550 points). Looking at the complete system rather than just CPU and RAM, PCMark 8 Home scored the Acer with just 1239 points in its Accelerated test.
Neither bored business types nor home users should get ideas about any gaming from the Extensa 15’s integrated Intel graphics. In our starter test with Batman: Arkham City at native screen resolution of 1366x768 and Low detail, it managed only 12fps. Dropping down to 1280x720 brought the average up to a still unplayable 14fps.
The battery life was more satisfactory though, at over seven hours in our standard streaming-video test. VERDICT: Beware of quality-control issues on an otherwise just about serviceable Windows laptop. The Extensa keeps the price and performance low with its cheap components and free Windows operating system, but at just £280 it should prove popular.