Aug 30, 2006

Posted by in Gadgets, Mobile, Personal Computing | 18 Comments

Acer Aspire 3628 ANWXCi

Two weeks with my Acer Aspire 3628 ANWXCi and all I can say is : I just love my Aspire 3628! OK, now we know where this post is heading.

acer 3628

I was canvassing for a 40k laptop for my office use; thanks to Angelo, I found out that there was a recent drop in Centrino-Powered Laptop prices; which fit right within my budget. P 39,900 was what it cost me for the unit alone (VAT included).

Initially I was eyeing some lower end laptops with Celeron processors but because of the price drop, owning a Centrino suddenly became more of a reality. I found some Laptop brands which dropped their prices to fit my 40k budget, but the 3628 beat all of them in terms of speed because it had an Intel Centrino 1.7Ghz. The others that I canvassed could give me only 1.5 Ghz of Centrino power at most.

From the Box print:

Intel Centrino® Mobile Technology
Pentium M 735A (1.7Ghz, 2MB, 400FSB)
Intel® 915GM Chipset
256MB DDR2
14.1″ WXGA TFT Crystalbrite LCD, 1280 x 800 pixel resolution
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900
128 MB Shared Memory ( DVMT 3.0 )
40 GB IDE HDD
Built-in Combo Drive
Weight 2.35 kg
Dimension 334 (W) x 243 (D) x 28.6/35.2 (H) mm
Linux Operating System
Built in 56K Modem, Built in 10/100 Mbps LAN
Built-in Intel® PRO/Wireless 2200( 802.11b/g)
PCMCIA 5 in 1 Card Reader
6 Cell Battery, 42W Li-ion battery pack
2.5 hour Battery Life

Definitely what I’m enjoying most about it (aside from 1.7Ghz and 2Mb L2 cache;) is the 1280 x 800 screen (14.1″ Crystalbrite TFT LCD … Sweet!), yep you read that right, 800 and not 768… which means I can place more apps on my desktop when I multi task. My IM program fits well on my desktop without taking much space from my other applications. With my programming cap on I like to have a lot of space on my desktop because I have a lot of references open. Before I used to remember having a book in front of my keyboard when programming, now it’s always me having the browser or adobe reader on.

After using it in some real work-life situations I found out a few things:

1. If you are using Windows XP, the standard 256Mb DDR RAM just won’t cut it. Upgrade to at least 512 by adding an additional Php 1,700 to the unit cost. Since video memory is shared and the minimum allocation is 64 Mb, you have effectively about 192 Mb of RAM available to you. Without the additional 256 I felt that I was in first gear all the time with my gears gnashing as the OS would freeze whenever I loaded additional apps. After about a week of using it; I was already calling the shop; reserving some RAM for an upgrade.

2. The 3638 doesn’t come with the standard Parallel port for the printer, in it’s place are 3 USB ports. I found out the hard way when I had to print to an old Laser Printer outside of our office. Good thing I had my trusty thumb drive to transfer docs between PC’s.

3. It comes with Linux OS, upgrading to Windows XP was a breeze as the driver CD came complete with all it’s drivers. I was up to speed and working in just a few hours (Hence the reason it was also cheap). Next to install for me is Ubuntu 6.06.

4. There is only one PCMCIA slot available and it doesn’t have one of those flip down hinges which cover the slot if you don’t have anything in it. In place of that is a dummy PCMCIA card.

5. Battery endurance came as promised, it lasted for 2.5 hours (I must be so geeky already to actually test that).

6. The combo DVD/CD Burner sure did come in handy when I had to distribute some last minute presentation materials.

7. I’m spoiled using the Wireless 802.11b/g transmitter, the built in 10/100 Mbps LAN is just going to gather dust. Although I did kill an RJ45 jack when it didn’t want to disconnect from the built in LAN.

When I bought it, it came with some freebies; a PCMCIA 5-in-1 card reader, a laptop bag (Acer brand attache case type) and some thumb-drive-memory-compression-thingy that I threw in the back seat of my car because of my lack of faith in compression technologies.

All in all I spent about P41,880: adding the cost of 256 Mb RAM and an optical mouse.

Another funny thing was that 2 shops had lucked out in getting my 40k cold cash by :
1.) Not having the 3628 in stock and not allowing me to place an order for it. Yep, I was willing to wait to purchase from these guys because of corporate reasons. And no these guys wouldn’t give me a discount even for corporate reasons.
2.) Having their one (and only?) technician go out on an 11 AM lunch break while the two other sales ladies weren’t allowed to entertain any of my laptop queries because only the technician can handle the laptops. They wanted me to wait an hour for him to comeback; even when I asked if they could call him because I was in the market to buy immediately.

Just goes to show that sometimes just being at the right place at the right time, with the right thing could net you some money.



  1. Congrats on your new purchase, Marc! I’ve got a new toy, myself: a vintage PowerBook “Pismo”! I think I’m going retro (again!).

  2. Thanks Angel and Goodluck with your “new” toy :D

  3. I’m happy you’re enjoying your new notebook.
    Acer is a great brand, I’m extremely satisfied with my laptop as well (5003WLMi for me)

  4. peachy fernando says:

    hi marc, i just bought an acer 3628 too and its just great. :) i wanted to ask, have you ever tried using the built-in microphone? how is it used?

  5. Thank you for posting this detailed blog. I just got back from the mall with a shortlist of available laptops to look into and am googling each one. It so happens the Acer was my personal favorite due to the slick design. I will definitely get it unless it has been sold out by Saturday. Keep up the good work.

    P.S. Extra thanks for testing the battery life.

  6. hi..i bought aspire 3628 last year (august)..it’s true that the 256mb ram alwizz gimme headache with winxp..upgrade to 512mb ram is better..n another thing make it worse..a wxga wide tft lcd..damn!at that time i don’t realized that the lcd resolution is not as same as crystalbrite..damn!!it’s so blurry..i alwizz think of changing this lcd but i’m not sure it’s worth or not..oh god..

  7. I just bought an acer 3628, it performs GREAT! but uhmm I wouldlike to ask if it has an AGP slot? so that i can upgrade video card.

    Thanks!

  8. im importing bnew macbooks starting at 76k! view the specs and inquire at red716.wordpress.com

  9. Mubashar says:

    My system is AcerAspire 3628 ANWXCi. video controller is not working. if online check available or guide the site to get drivers.

  10. Hi. I’m looking for a working, second-hand unit of this model.

    Please drop me an email if you have one for sale.

  11. I tested this camera for a client. I didn’t have the light running for more than 15 minutes. The battery lasted approximately 6 hours before recharging. The

    LCD, however, had a few dead pixels – never saw this before. Tried returning for exchange and had to put up quite a fight. Anyone else seen this?

    http://www.batterylaptoppower.com

  12. Acer Aspire AS1410-8414 11.6-Inch Sapphire Blue Laptop – 6 Hour Battery Life.Fantastic prices with ease & comfort of Amazon.com! (In stock) 1.4GHz Intel Core2 Solo ULV SU3500 Processor 2048MB DDR2 667MHz Memory, 250GB SATA Hard Drive Acer Crystal Eye Webcam

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