Acer TravelMate P6 Review: Budget-Friendly Business Laptop

Highly valuable for a business laptop with limited budget.
Acer-TravelMate-P6-open

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great price for a business laptop

Cons

  • Blurry keyboard
  • Lacks NPU for future Windows AI features
  • Consumer laptops offer similar specs at lower prices

Our Verdict

The Acer TravelMate P6 offers excellent value for a business laptop, featuring longer battery life, ultra-lightweight design, and more ports compared to typical consumer laptops.

The Acer TravelMate P6 is a thoroughly designed business laptop. It comes with multiple ports, impressive battery life, surprisingly light weight, and a beautiful matte screen designed to avoid glare in typically uncomfortable lighting conditions.

It’s a great and very practical piece of hardware that I’m happy to have in my arsenal for work. With a starting retail price of $1,329, it’s a great deal for a business laptop, especially if you’re buying a bunch for the workplace and can enjoy discounts! However, if you’re just looking for a laptop for personal use, consumer laptops might be a better choice.

Acer TravelMate P6: Specs

The Acer TravelMate P6 is equipped with 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD storage, and an Intel Core i5-1335U CPU. This is one of the 13th generation Raptor Lake CPUs released by Intel in 2023. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The latest Meteor Lake CPUs focus more on efficiency and AI performance.

The latest Meteor Lake CPU may not necessarily be faster, but you miss out on the Neural Processing Units (NPU) found in the latest Meteor Lake CPUs. These would enable you to run more artificial intelligence functions locally on your PC hardware instead of relying on remote cloud servers like Microsoft Copilot does today. There are rumors that Windows will soon better utilize NPUs to provide various AI features. And there’s no NPU here.

Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1335U
  • Memory: 16GB LPDDR5 memory
  • Graphics/GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • Display: 14-inch 1920×1200 display, aspect ratio 16:10, refresh rate 60Hz
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Webcam: 1080p webcam with privacy shutter
  • Connectivity: 2x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 40Gbps, with USB-C DisplayPort, power delivery), 1x USB Type-A (USB 3.2 Gen 1), HDMI 2.1, microSD card reader, headphone jack, Kensington lock slot
  • Networking: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
  • Biometrics: Infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition, fingerprint reader
  • Battery Capacity: 65Wh
  • Dimensions: 12.34 x 8.93 x 0.79 inches
  • Weight: 2.65 pounds
  • Suggested Retail Price: Tested at $1,329

Acer TravelMate P6: Design and build quality

The design of the Acer TravelMate 6 is very simple: black, with square edges slightly rounded at the corners. There’s nothing too crazy or unusual here, just a straightforward laptop, nothing particularly out of the ordinary. It’s a workhorse. The “Acer” name appears in silver at the bottom of the screen, and there’s also a subtle “Acer” badge on the back of the laptop.

Thanks to its magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis, this laptop is exceptionally light. Weighing in at just 2.65 pounds, it’s easy to pick up and slip into a bag. (It’s only a tad heavier than the much more expensive and renowned Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which weighs 2.42 pounds.) The screen and casing have a bit of flex to them, but nothing concerning. In fact, this flexibility might help the laptop withstand the rigors of travel.

Acer heavily touts the durability of the TravelMate 6—it’s been through MIL-STD 810H testing, and Acer says the ports are reinforced with additional metal bracing to prevent wear and tear. It also includes an “Acer Dust Defender” feature that reverses the laptop’s fan every six hours of use to prevent dust buildup. (The Dust Defender won’t interrupt anything when the fan is needed for optimal performance; it waits until later.)

While this laptop might not look particularly exciting in photos, it boasts a classic design with understated elegance, and it’s incredibly light.

The bundled bloatware is a bit disappointing. For instance, the preloaded Dropbox promotion is pinned to the taskbar. One of the benefits of business laptops is that they often come with a suite of streamlined promotional apps, and the bundled software is generally less intrusive for business laptops. Of course, you can easily uninstall it if desired.

Acer TravelMate P6: Keyboard and trackpad

The Acer TravelMate P6 is a business laptop, so it should be designed for some serious typing. On one hand, this machine has a very nice keyboard. I can type quickly and without any issues in terms of accuracy. On the other hand, the key travel feels a bit shallow. This is quite common for laptops designed for portability, as space is limited.

The keyboard also features convenient white backlighting, which is an important feature when typing in low-light environments.

The touchpad feels great. It’s made of Corning Gorilla Glass, responsive, and smooth. It’s large and spacious, taking up a significant amount of space below the keyboard. The clicks also feel good and sturdy.

Acer TravelMate P6: Display and speakers

Acer TravelMate P6 is equipped with a 14-inch 1920×1200 display. This is a 16:10 aspect ratio, providing more vertical space compared to standard 16:9 screens (such as “1080p” or 1920×1080 resolution screens) for increased productivity. However, its vertical screen space is still not as much as screens with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

It is an IPS display, which Acer calls a “ComfyView” display, described as an “anti-glare matte display.” Its performance in bright sunlight is much better compared to glossy displays, which often suffer from glare.

With a refresh rate of only 60Hz, it may not be the most cutting-edge display currently available. Nevertheless, it remains highly practical and looks good for everyday use. In fact, I suspect this display might be one of the secret ingredients contributing to the laptop’s long battery life, as its competitors’ more advanced displays often can’t match it in terms of power efficiency.

The upward-firing speakers are decent. Like laptop speakers in general, they won’t provide much bass – that’s normal. But they sound clear and sufficiently loud. They’re great for video calls or watching some videos, but you’ll need to connect some headphones or external speakers for a proper bass experience.

Acer TravelMate P6: Webcam, Microphone, Biometrics

The Acer TravelMate P6 comes with a 1080p webcam. It’s a pretty standard 1080p webcam and works well for what it is. It’s great for business meetings. I’ve seen much worse used by senior management. The webcam features a convenient privacy shutter so you can block it quickly when needed.

Interestingly, Windows provides Studio Effects for this webcam, such as eye contact features that make you appear as if you’re always making eye contact with the camera, and background blur to blur your background. Microsoft claims this requires a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which this Acer laptop does not have. These effects seem to leverage the processing capabilities of the integrated GPU. While the effects are available (which is nice), this implementation may consume more battery compared to running these effects on a low-power NPU in modern PCs.

The microphone sounds good, clear, and picks up voices well, which is crucial for audio calls, so it’s great to see Acer nail this feature. Acer states that this laptop features “Acer PurifiedVoice AI noise reduction.”

The TravelMate features facial recognition and fingerprint recognition for Windows Hello. The infrared camera for facial recognition works well, just as they usually do, recognizing me when I open the laptop in various lighting conditions. The fingerprint scanner is located in the power button in the top right corner of the keyboard and also performs well for authentication.

Acer TravelMate P6: Conclusion

The Acer TravelMate P6 is a solid laptop. It’s priced at only half the cost of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, yet it’s almost as light. The screen isn’t the highest resolution you’ll find, but that might be one of the secret ingredients helping it achieve longer battery life.

For a business laptop, the starting price of $1,329 for the hardware is very reasonable. On the other hand, if you’re just buying a laptop and are open to consumer-grade hardware, the price gives me pause.

Take the HP Pavilion Plus, for example. It’s not as portable, weighing about half a pound more. But you get the same Intel Core i5-1335U CPU and 1920×1200 resolution display configuration for only $828, the same resolution as the Acer TravelMate P6. That’s $500 cheaper than the TravelMate here. Yes, the TravelMate is lighter and has longer battery life, but is it really worth $500 more?

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