Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Acer Ferrari 3400

CNet has an article about the Acer Ferrari 3400 notebook which has just been released. Although it’s a laptop it still manages to pack an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor in it, and it also looks quite nice. As you might be able to guess from the name, it’s also got the Ferrari logo on it.
That said, a brief word of warning. A friend of mine in the year below me on my course bought the Ferrari 3200, its older brother with an Athlon 64 2800+ processor in it, and within a week it had to go back to have a new HD as it would no longer boot. From the sounds of things it wasn’t a physical failure since the data was quite easily recoverable, but it’s not really what you expect from a brand new machine.
incidentally the 3200 is being offered as part of the university’s “UByou” notebook ‘promotion’, where you get a choice of Acer notebooks with 3 year warranties and on campus support that come pre-loaded with the university’s site licensed software (basically enterprise versions of McAfee VirusScan and Personal Firewall) and are configured to access the university facilities.
Which sounds good, but the basic model – a 1.5GHz Celeron Mobile with 256MB of RAM, 40GB HD, wireless, carrying case and DVD/CD-RW drive comes in at almost £800. To put that into context, my Toshiba Satellite Pro A10, which, admittedly needed a new HD after 10 months, cost £650 a year ago and came with a much faster processor. It only has a 20GB HD, can’t write CDs and needed an add-on card for wifi, but I still don’t see how that justifies the £150 price difference. And this was a year ago – today this same machine bought new would be even less.
Sure, having the software installed and the computer ‘campus-ready’ would help a novice get up and running quicker but even a student with intermediate knowledge of computers could probably get it ready in less than an hour. It seems like a real ripoff to me, and I’m a little saddened that the student union appears to have endorsed the ‘promotion’ too.
incidentally the Acer Ferrari 3200 is £1500 via the university scheme, but its RRP is only £1269 and is on sale in a number of places for £1300. Hmmm.

One Comment

  1. Yeah I’ve got meself a lovely Acer (can’t remember the actual product code) with a 64Bit Athlon 3000. To be honest its a very nice lappy (still cheaper than a Sony which are way over priced IMO) altho the HD did have to be quite heavily ‘pushed in’ cos it wasn’t connected properly on first opening. Was about to send it back but then with a little bit of heavy handedness (scarily heavy) it was sorted 😛 Your mate could have had the same problem…