- Review Date: 6/2/2014
- Bottom line: The Acer TravelMate TMP645-MG-9419 is an excellent high-performance business ultrabook that emphasizes raw power over mass appeal.
- Pros: Excellent 3D and multimedia performance. 1,920-by-1,080-resolution screen.Discrete graphics. Plenty of I/O ports, including Ethernet, HDMI, and VGA. Biometric reader.
- Cons: Non-removable battery. No touch screen.
The Acer TravelMate TMP645-MG-9419 ($1,299.99) is outfitted with a Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon HD graphics that help it achieve some of the fastest benchmark results we've seen on a business laptop. This ultrabook comes with a few drawbacks, like a sealed battery and screen that doesn't support touch input, but it's still worth considering if you need a fast laptop for work.
Design and Features
The TMP645-MG-9419 adds a few flourishes to an otherwise utilitarian business ultrabook design. The laptop's hinges have a matte-silver finish contrasting with the black chassis. There is also a cutout between the lid and the rest of the chassis, which makes it appear that the screen is floating above the keyboard deck when the laptop is opened.
The chassis measures about 0.8 by 13 by 9.5 inches (HWD), which is pretty amazing considering the plethora of I/O ports. An Ethernet port, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, and a VGA port are all on board, in case you don't have an Acer ProDock docking station. The sealed battery can be a drawback if you regularly run out of juice during all-day meetings, as you can't swap it out for a freshly charged one. The carbon fiber and aluminum-magnesium alloy construction help keep the weight down to 3.41 pounds.
Like the Dell Latitude E7440 Touch, there's a 14-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-resolution (1080p) screen, but that's much lower resolution than the 3,200-by-1,800-resolution display of the Samsung ATIV Book Plus 9 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch (2014), which has a 14-inch, 2,560-by-1,440-resolution screen.
The backlit, chiclet-style keyboard provides a comfortable typing experience. As with other Acer laptops, the keyboard has an oddly shaped Enter key that is flush with the Backslash key. This is so Acer can use the same keyboard deck for U.S. laptops (where the Enter key is rectangular) and for global models (where the Enter key is shaped like a backwards L).
The touchpad is the only way to interact with the cursor; the system doesn't have a pointing stick or a touch screen. Two separate mouse buttons flank a fingerprint reader, which is a plus for users who want to set up a one-touch login.
Windows 7 Professional comes preinstalled, though you can go through the system recovery process to set it up fresh as a Windows 8 Pro system. This is somewhat common on business PCs these days, because many companies still haven't moved over to Windows 8. It's also a good way to purchase a powerful Windows 7 system, since most all consumer systems now come with Windows 8. For example, the Editors' Choice for business ultrabooks, the Dell E7440 Touch, has a Windows 7 downgrade option, while the Samsung ATIV Book Plus 9, our top pick for high-end consumer ultrabooks, comes with Windows 8 only.
There's a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and you get 8GB of system memory. There aren't too many extra programs installed, so you'll have a lot of space left on the drive. For wireless connectivity, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 are integrated, and WiDi is supported, so you don't need to travel with Ethernet and HDMI cables. The system comes with two-year coverage, which is better than the standard one-year warranty on consumer systems, but less than the three years you get with a more corporate-oriented PC.
The Intel Core i7-4500U processor and discrete AMD Radeon HD 8750M graphics help the TravelMate TMP645-MG-9419 garner some of the best benchmark results we've seen on a business ultrabook. It topped other business systems on the Handbrake (0:46) and Adobe Photoshop CS6 (2:53) multimedia tests. Other recent business systems lagged behind on these tests, including the Dell e7440 Touch, the Toshiba R30-A1302, and the Lenovo X1 Carbon.
Likewise, AMD Radeon HD graphics yielded class-leading 3D benchmark scores across the board. You'll be able to view 3D architectural models smoothly and have enough power to play the occasional AAA game.
Battery performance isn't bad, but not class leading. While a score of 7 hours 50 minutes on our rundown test is nothing to sneer at, the Samsung ATIV Book Plus 9 did a bit better at 8:15, and the Toshiba Portege R30-A1302 scored 9:20.
The Acer TravelMate TMP645-MG-9419 is good choice if you need a speedy business ultrabook for tasks like Excel spreadsheet recalculations, database work, and moderate photo and video editing. That said, the Dell Latitude e7440 Touch retains our Editors' Choice since it's a better ultrabook for large organizations and general business users thanks to its rugged construction, removable battery, touch screen, and dual pointing devices.
This review is in partnership with PCMag.com.