Lately, when speaking of Acer we have reviewed their gaming beasts like the Acer Predator 17X or the behemoth Acer Predator 21X which runs two GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI. But today we are taking a step down from the gaming gear and shifting our look to the budget business area. Business notebooks tend to emphasize on features rather than raw performance and the Acer TravelMate P4 isn’t a different story. TravelMate P4 is not only low in price it’s also compact with its 14-inch size which makes it perfect for people that are constantly on the go or the other group of users that benefit from small size and functionality – students.
There are some models out there that fall in the budget business notebook segment and offer good features for the price but what makes the TravelMate P4 stand out? Most of these notebooks have a 15.6-inch screen which makes them not so portable as the smaller ones. If you want to go for a more compact 14-inch device you will soon find that most models with this form factor are more expensive. TravelMate P4 falls into the category of the HP ProBook 440 and becomes a good alternative to it.
You can check price and availability here: http://amzn.to/2pWAvBd
What’s in the box?
Apart from the notebook itself inside the box, we find a standard AC adapter (with a 19V output), charging cable, and a few things to read – warranty card, quick start guide, and a resource DVD disk which you can’t just use because the notebook does not have an optical drive.
Design and construction
The TravelMate P4 does not surprise us with its design or build quality. The build quality is just about average with an all-plastic construction. The hinges are sturdy and opening the notebook with one hand is virtually impossible. The only thing that we could complain about is the fact that when you put minimum pressure on the lid it starts to wobble especially in the center.
In terms of looks, it isn’t an eye catcher, it won’t make anyone turn their head and ask you which model is it but it’s still a good looking device. The complete plastic construction has a matte finish all over the body – both inside and outside. This allows for a firm grip when holding the device but unfortunately becomes a major fingerprint magnet that makes them look prominent.
The design is rather simple and minimalistic. On the lid, we only have an Acer logo in the bottom left corner. When we turn the laptop upside down we see the two loudspeakers, exhaust vents, and two lids that lead to the RAM and storage department. The device is quite portable with its 14-inch form factor and weight of 1.80 kg which does not make it the lightest 14-inch device on the market but is still light enough to carry it with ease.
Connectivity-wise TravelMate P4 has all the necessary ports. On the left side we have a Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) port, standard VGA out, full-size HDMI, one USB 3.0 and one USB Type-C port, and a 3.5 mm combo jack. Moving to the front we see two indication LED lights – one that lights up when the notebook is working and the other when it is charging. On the right side is where things start to become all businessy. We have an SD and SC card slot (something not found in an ordinary notebook), three USB 2.0 ports (that makes a total of five USB ports so connecting external memory or peripheral devices like keyboards and mice at once won’t be a problem), Kensington lock, and the charging port. The back side is plain with only one exhaust vent.
Time to take a look at the interior. The keyboard is “island” type with good key travel and spacing which makes typing easy and comfortable. There is also a backlight which isn’t the brightest but helps at night and at least it’s there – we can’t expect more from the price. Overall the typing experience is pleasant so hats off to Acer for including a nice keyboard because a proper business laptop is nothing without a proper keyboard.
The touchpad isn’t anything special though. It gets the job done so we can’t complain. There are physical mouse keys and multi-touch gestures work well. The only major drawback of both the keyboard and touchpad is that similar to the matte finish they attract a whole lot of fingerprints so you will have to clean them regularly if you want to keep things tidy. On the right side of the touchpad, we also have a fingerprint sensor – another feature that makes this a good business notebook. Above the top right edge of the keyboard, there are two LED lights indicating when Caps or Num lock is activated.
Disassembly, maintenance and upgrade options
The laptop is easy to disassemble and requires only a screwdriver and a thin plastic tool so you can pry up the bottom plate. You can easily the hard drive and RAM compartment by opening the service covers.
Storage upgrades – 2.5-inch HDD/SSD, M.2 SSD
You have plenty of storage options for your device. The notebook supports the standard 2.5-inch HDDs and SSDs as well as M.2 SSDs. The 2.5-inch slot SATA slot can be easily reached by opening the service cover. The drive (Seagate) itself is protected by a rubbery outline. What’s interesting is that the M.2 slot supports NVMe drives.
When the other service cover is opened we see a free RAM slot which means that the main memory is soldered to the motherboard. However, this also means easy upgrade.
The Wi-Fi module is located near the cooling fan with small black tape covering the screw that’s holding the card.
The battery pack is placed between the screen hinges and it’s rated at 48.9Wh.
The hardware doesn’t require any extreme cooling nor it’s demanding. The cooling design consists of just one small heat pipe and a cooling fan.
Acer TravelMate P4 has an WXGA TN panel with model number INNOLUX N140BGA-EA3. The diagonal is 14 inches while the resolution is 1366 x 768 which results in a pixel density of 112 ppi. In other words, you can’t see the different pixels when viewing from a distance greater than 80 cm. The display ratio is 16:9 and the pixel pitch is 0.227 х 0.227 mm.
The viewing angles aren’t comfortable. You can see how the colors shift when viewed from a 45 degrees angle.
We recorded a maximum brightness of 256 cd/m2 in the center of the screen and 242 cd/m2 as an average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 16% in the bottom right corner. The color temperature on a white screen (100% RGB) is 8300K and is colder than the standard 6500K (in sRGB). The contrast ratio is low – 380:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
Acer TravelMate P4’s screen covers 52% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Below you will see practically the same image but with the color circles representing the reference colors and the white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation inside the sRGB gamut pre and post calibration.
We’ve created a profile with 140 cd/m2 luminance, D65(6500K) white point.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the Office & Web Design profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the Gaming & Movie Nights profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse Width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Unfortunately, the display uses PWM for regulating screen brightness across all levels except 100% and the frequency is quite low – 200 MHz.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SDP) graph.
To sum things up we can say that this is by no means a good display but it will get the job done. It can’t shine with a big gamut coverage or high ratio, nor excellent viewing angles but it is just about average for the price range.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for Acer TravelMate P4 TMP449 configurations with 14.0″ Innolux N140BGA-EA3 (HD, 1366 × 768) TN, which can be found on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pWAvBd
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office work / Web design
If your field is office work or web design, or you just want your monitor's color set to be as accurate as possible for the Internet color space, this profile will prove to be useful.
Gaming or Movie nights
We developed this profile especially for occasions on which you spend a lot of time in front of your monitor with some games or watching movies – it will be easier for you to discern fine nuances in the dark.
This profile reduces the negative impact of pulsation and the blue spectrum, securing your eyes and body. You still get a pitch-perfect color image, albeit slightly warmer.
Acer TravelMate P4 (TMP449) has good stereo speakers and sound is clear throughout the diapason from low to high frequencies.
The specs listed below are for this particular unit and may differ depending on your region
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7200U (2-core, 2.50 – 3.10 GHz, 3MB cache)|
|RAM||4GB (1x 4096MB) – DDR4, 2133 MHz|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|HDD/SSD||1TB HDD (5400 rpm)|
|Display||14-inch – HD (1366×768) , matte|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac/bgn, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Weight||1.80 kg (3.97 lbs)|
Our model came with a distribution of Linux called Linpus which had no GUI (graphical user interface). All tests were performed using Windows 10 Home.
The 48.9Wh 4-cell battery on the TravelMate P4 did surprisingly well in our battery tests. We guess that the small screen with low resolution and ULV chip are responsible but some good optimization by Acer must have been done. We can say that you won’t run into battery problems with this little bad boy.
Of course, all tests were performed using the same configuration as always – wi-fi turned on, windows battery saving feature switched on and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2.
For our Video playback test, we use a 720p HD film.
The results were just amazing we got 615 minutes (10 hours and 15 minutes) out of the battery. So if you want to make a movie marathon outside your home this notebook is for you.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
In the web surfing test, we got a great result again. Slightly lower than the video playback but still the amazing 536 minutes (8 hours and 56 minutes).
CPU – Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel’s Core i7-7200U is part of the 7th Generation Kaby Lake CPUs and it’s the direct successor of the Core i5-6200U (Skylake). It’s also based on the same architecture as the aforementioned chip with little differences that should bring a small performance increase and a bump in power consumption. However, the new CPU is clocked at 2.5 GHz and its Turbo Boost frequency is 3.1 GHz opposed to the 2.3 – 2.8 GHz clocks on the previous Core i5-6200U.
Anyway, we still have the 2/4 core/thread count, 3MB last level cache, and a TDP of 15W, which includes the iGPU and the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. Speaking of the former, the chip integrates the newer generation Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics chip clocked at 300 – 1000 MHz.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i5-7200u/
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
GPU – Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel’s HD Graphics 620 is a direct successor to the integrated HD Graphics 520. The latter is found in ULV (ultra-low voltage) processors from the 6th Generation (Skylake) of chips while the former is in the 7th (Kaby Lake) generation of CPUs.
Intel’s HD Graphics 620 uses the GT2 version of the graphics chip with 24 EUs (Execution Units) reaching as high as 1050 MHz and it has a base frequency of 300 MHz. However, the maximum operating frequency depends on the CPU, whether it’s the Core i3-7100U or the Core i5-7200U or the Core i7-7500U. Since the iGPU doesn’t have a dedicated memory – or eDRAM for that matter – it uses the available RAM on the system which is 2x 64-bit DDR3 or DDR4.
The TDP depends on the CPU model but it’s usually equipped with a SoC rated at 15W including the memory controller. Its performance should be enough for multimedia activities, light applications and gaming on really low resolution and minimum graphics settings.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook with this GPU that we’ve tested: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/intel-hd-graphics-620/
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 768p, Low (Check settings)||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||37 fps||25 fps||11 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||HD, Low (Check settings)||HD, Medium (Check settings)||HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||20 fps||9 fps||4 fps|
The usual stress tests that we perform take things to the extreme and thus we cannot compare it to real-life use. The average user won’t be able to reach 100% CPU load + 100% GPU load for such long periods of time, but it’s still a good way to assess the overall stability of the system and the effectiveness of the cooling design. We are happy to say that the TravelMate P4 manages to keep temperatures low even in these extreme conditions though clock speeds are sacrificed.We started off with 100% CPU load for an hour and the notebook was able to utilize the full performance of the chip at 3.1GHz with occasional drops to 3.0GHz and low temperatures – around 60-65 °C.
However, after turning on the GPU stress test as well, clock speeds started to go down. At the beginning, the CPU clock speed dropped to 2.6-2.7GHz which is still in the Turbo Boost range and what was interesting is that temperatures also fell to around 55-60 °C. After about an hour, the frequency went down to the base clock of 2.5GHz with occasional drops to 2.4GHz. The GPU was running under 1000MHz which is just 50MHz below the noted maximum. Temperatures were normal.
Temperatures on the surface around the keyboard were comfortably low.
To sum things up we can say that TravelMate P4 TMP449 is a good entry-level business notebook. You get nice input devices and excellent connectivity options. It is lightweight and portable with its 14-inch form factor. Battery life is also above average. The hardware isn’t anything special and you can’t expect high performance for it. However, the Core i5 and the integrated graphics are just enough to run some modest games or even applications like Photoshop.
What we don’t particularly like is the built and display quality but there are OK for such an affordable device. We think that if you want a small portable yet capable machine to do some office work on-the-go or just an average everyday notebook to enjoy multimedia on you won’t go wrong with this one.
You can check price and availability here: http://amzn.to/2pWAvBd
- Fingerprint reader
- Excellent connectivity and upgrade options
- Good battery life
- Supports M.2 SATA SSDs (NVMe too)
- Affordable price
- We expected more from the display
- PWM from 0 to 99% brightness (our Health-Guard profile fixes that)