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Since it does not have a maintenance hatch, the laptop's base tray has to be dismantled for maintenance/upgrade purposes. All screws on the underside have to be released before levering off the base tray with a thin putty knife or spatula. Care is needed because the base tray is fixed with plastic hooks that could break. Two filled memory banks are found inside the laptop. The SSD (M.2 2280) is easy to replace, and it is possible to clean the fan.
It is assumed that a 13.3-inch laptop such as the TravelMate should be suitable for mobile use. Therefore, we do not understand why Acer has equipped the laptop with such a dark (215.7 cd/m²) and low-contrast (461:1) panel. Acer has literally sabotaged its device because this restricts its application fields. Furthermore, the screen installed here does not match the laptop's price range. At least the panel never displays PWM flickering.
A Core i5-6200U (Skylake) dual-core processor clocks inside the TravelMate. This CPU is the latest mid-range model among the ULV processors by Intel. Its performance should more than satisfy the needs of most users. The processor clocks at a base speed of 2.3 GHz, which can be boosted to 2.7 GHz (both cores) and 2.8 GHz (one core only) via Turbo. Turbo is utilized in AC mode. According to our benchmark software, the processor also clocks at full speed in battery mode. The scores of the CPU tests that we performed contradict that. When converting the results into speed, the processor clocks at approximately 1.8 GHz in battery mode.
The Skylake processor delivers approximately 10 to 15% better scores than its direct Broadwell predecessor (Core i5-5200U) when Turbo is fully utilized. This is due to the improved Skylake architecture and the slightly higher clock speeds.
A fast SSD and strong processor ensure a smooth running system. We did not encounter any problems. The PCMark benchmark scores are very good. It is not possible to increase the system performance; Acer has already exhausted everything.
Intel's HD Graphics 520 is responsible for video output. It supports DirectX 12 and clocks at speeds of up to 950 MHz. The working memory that operates in dual-channel mode allows better GPU utilization and delivers higher scores than models that can only utilize a memory in single-channel mode. The 3DMark benchmark outcomes are not far from those of a dedicated graphics card from the lower mid-range.
The TravelMate's fan is often inactive in idle mode, when it is noiseless. The fan does not speed up unduly during load. We measured a noise level of 38.1 dB(A) in the stress test; this rate is acceptable. Unfortunately, the laptop occasionally produces an electronic hiss when a lot of data is moved to the SSD.
The TravelMate can boast big in terms of battery life and thus more than justifies its name. One battery charge kept our practical Wi-Fi test running for 10:08 hours. We simulate the load needed for opening websites using the "Balanced" profile, and a screen brightness of approximately 150 cd/m². We test the video playback time by looping the short movie "Big Buck Bunny" (H.265 encoding, 1920x1080 pixels). The wireless modules are disabled and the screen's brightness is set to roughly 150 cd/m². The TravelMate achieved a runtime of 9:17 hours here. The laptop's maximum possible runtime is 21:30 hours.