Acer TravelMate P6 review: Economy class

Acer TravelMate P6 review: Economy class
Score Details
“The Acer TravelMate P6 is a business laptop held back by a flimsy lid and disappointing battery life.”
Great productivity performance
Nvidia MX250 GPU helps creative apps
Lightweight chassis
Excellent connectivity
Display’s contrast is below average
Lid and keyboard deck are too flexible
Bezels are large for a modern laptop
Acer’s TravelMate P6 is its midrange business-oriented laptop, aimed at the likes of Lenovo’s ThinkPad T490. It’s not sexy, it’s not exciting, but rather it’s made to offer the performance and security that business users are asking for. The 2019 TravelMate P6 is much like its predecessor, only it’s lighter and has up-to-date components – which is really just the ante in today’s competitive laptop scene.
Acer sent us a model with an 8th-gen Whiskey Lake quad-core Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU, and a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display. The price for this configuration is a solidly premium $1,500.
The TravelMate P6 faces some stiff competition, not just from other business-class laptops but from consumer laptops that are increasingly attractive to corporate users. Does Acer offer enough value to be competitive?
Designed to be robust, but doesn’t quite feel like it
The TravelMate P6 joins a number of other business-class laptops, including the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1, in being designed to meet the MIL-STD-810G (and MIL-STD-810F as well in Acer’s case) military standard for durability. These standards cover a wide range of criteria, including handling low and high temperatures, resistance to humidity, and other factors.
But, the TravelMate P6’s lid bends too easily under far too little pressure, and the keyboard deck feels a little flexible as well. That makes us wonder just how much stock to put into these standards – maybe a laptop stands up well to changes in temperature and can handle a drop from a couple of feet. But what good is that if it seems like you might damage the display by bending the lid a little too hard?
Maybe a laptop doesn’t necessarily need to be built like a tank to be durable – assuming those military standards tests are valid. But it’s something we’ll keep in mind as we’re reviewing other laptops, and we’ll say this: We like our laptops to feel as tough as their marketing materials promise. The TravelMate P6 doesn’t quite cut it.
We don’t mean to give too negative an impression, though. The TravelMate P6 feels great when you’re carrying it around, thanks to a soft-touch feel that avoids a shock of cold when you grab the laptop first thing in the morning. The aesthetic is nice to look at as well, with a simple black color scheme that’s broken only by a silver logo in the corner or the lid, dark gray hinges, and blue lettering on the function keys. It’s a simple design without any aspirations for standing out – much like the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 that’s sleek but not flashy – and we think conservative-minded businesspeople will appreciate it.
The TravelMate P6 hasn’t gotten the hint when it comes to its bezels, though. They’re large – up top, on the sides, and the chin is pretty hefty as well. That makes it a larger laptop than, say, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1, which is over an inch shallower and a third of an inch less wide. The Lenovo ThinkPad T490 shares the TravelMate’s larger bezels and is therefore much closer in size.
The lid bends under far too little pressure, and the keyboard deck feels a little flexible as well.
The TravelMate P6 is thin enough at 0.7 inches but won’t win any records. The Latitude 7400 is a 2-in-1 and it’s only 0.59 inches thick, while the ThinkPad T490 is the same as the Acer at 0.7 inches. The TravelMate P6 does well in the weight department at 2.6 pounds, though, which beats the Latitude 7400’s 2.99 pounds and the T490’s 3.35 pounds. In fact, the TravelMate P6’s weight is likely to be one of its most redeeming features for many users.

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