Trying to work with most notebooks is a constant give and take. The trade-off for better performance is added weight. A larger screen decreases battery life. More usability equals reduced security, while extra features tend to work against environmental friendliness.
Notebooks that strive in any one area almost always fall short in others. Acer's TravelMate P255 aims to break that cycle. While it doesn't take top marks in any single category, it offers an environmentally friendly package with good security, performance, value and features.
The 5.18-pound device features a clean design and nice 15.6 LED display. Colors are true enough for most presentations. Despite the large screen, the TravelMate ran for more than five hours under normal use. It recharged in just under an hour.
In terms of raw performance, the notebook scored a respectable 1,538 on PassMark Software's PerformanceTest benchmarks with good marks in all areas and no real flaws or shortcomings. That puts it solidly in line with what's expected of serious notebooks. The 64-bit operating system can handle any business-related task with relative ease.
Even when running at full power, playing a movie or crunching away at the benchmarking test, the TravelMate was still eco-friendly. The ultralow voltage processor combined with onboard power-saving features prevented the computer from ever drawing in more than 35 watts during any test. It idled as low as 5 watts in a default state waiting for user input.
Working with the TravelMate P255 is much easier than with most notebooks. Its keyboard has a full-size number pad and arrow key block. Each letter key is 16 square millimeters, and a border between keys prevents typos. The large touchpad is composed of rough material that boosts accuracy compared with smooth plastic. The device even sports a DVD drive, which these days is a luxury in a notebook.
The only odd design choice is the speakers, which face downward on the back of the keyboard. Setting the unit down muffles the sound, making it less suitable as a presentation tool.
The TravelMate P255 offers many reliable features at a good price. While workers who concentrate on tasks such as graphics or presentations will likely want a device specifically designed for those needs, most organizations would be hard-pressed to find a better feature set working together this well in a general-purpose notebook.
You can read how the optional Acer ProShield protection services further secures the TravelMate P255 here.
Processor: Intel i5-4200 Processor
OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
Hard Drive: 500GB
Graphics: Intel HD