Acer TravelMate P6 First Impressions

Posted on July 19, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 4 Comments

Announced at [email protected] 2021 in late May, the TravelMate P6 is Acer’s answer to the hybrid work reality of the post-pandemic world. It’s a thin, light, powerful, and beautiful business-class ultra-portable laptop.

So let’s start there. Like the ASUS ExpertBook that I’m also evaluating now, the Acer TravelMate P6 provides a unique hinge that really differentiates it from other premium ultra-portable laptops. This hinge creates a shelf-like area behind the display lid when closed, but it also helps to minimize the height of the display when opened while allowing the bottom display deck to be deeper, with a larger, more accommodating wrist rest area. Smart.

Also smart is the TravelMate’s 16:10 display, an aspect ratio that Acer calls “the golden ratio” because of its Goldilocks-like dimensions that offer more viewing area than a traditional 16:9 display without being too tall like 3:2 displays.

This color-accurate IPS panel offers a Full HD+ resolution of 1920 x 1200 with 400 nits of brightness and an optional Acer PrivacyPanel feature that lets you restrict the viewing angle for privacy when out in the world. And it’s surrounded by very small bezels, especially on the left and right sides.

And despite this large 14-inch display panel, the TravelMate is just 2.2 pounds, thanks in part to its aluminum-magnesium alloy body. Acer says that the PC’s MIL-STD 810H durability certification, combined with its spill-resistant keyboard and touchpad ideally position it for the coming transition to hybrid work, where users will be asked to split time between an office and home or other remote locations.

Speaking of which, the TravelMate is also optimized for video conference calls with dual upward-firing speakers with DTS Audio, a dual-microphone array, AI-powered noise reduction technology, and a webcam shutter.

It offers instant-wake capabilities, a claimed 20 hours of battery life, and fast charging to 80 percent in just 60 minutes. Factor in its optional 4G/5G capabilities in addition to Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and it appears to be the total package.

The internal components are predictably modern, with a choice of quad-core 11th-generation Intel Core processors with Intel Iris X3 graphics, up to 32 GB of RAM, and up to 1 TB of M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSD storage. The TravelMate is Intel Evo-certified, as you might expect, and offers vPro capabilities for enterprise management.

The TravelMate’s expansion capabilities are surprisingly diverse given its 0.66-inch thinness. You’ll find two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, a full-sized HDMI port, and a full-sized USB-A port on the left.

And then a combo audio jack, a micro-SD card slot, a nano-SIM slot, and a lock slot on the right.

The Acer TravelMate P6 is available now for as little as $999 if you buy direct from Acer, which is less expensive than usual in this space. The review unit is pretty much maxed out, but I don’t see an equivalent model for sale right now. You can find slightly less impressive models for $1199 to $1299, however.

More soon.

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Acer TravelMate P6 First Impressions”

  1. Jorge Garcia

    A dream machine that checks all the boxes. My next machine CANNOT be 16:9 ever again. Too bad that since I don't (fully) depend on my laptop for my livelihood, I am never able to justify more than a $700-800 purchase on one. So I know I'm going to be waiting a looong time for my non-16:9/SIM-Card-accepting machine to appear in that price range (although Acer is getting close with some models).

    • Paul Thurrott

      Yep. I'm really coming around to 16:10 for laptops, too. 3:2 does seem a bit too tall, 16:9 too short.

      • thewarragulman

        I never understood why 16:10 ever went away, most laptops from about 12-15 years ago all had 16:10 displays but that changed for some reason and we've been stuck with 16:9 ever since which is horrible for getting work done, especially on the smaller machines, I like the 3:2 display in my Surface Laptop but 16:10 is my sweet spot and I'm totally not drooling over the new Dell XPS 15 & 17 with the 16:10 displays. Glad it's making a comeback.

  2. jkchan83

    I, too, will stick with 16:10 screens going forward, so I was interested in this laptop. I just looked at Acer's site for the P6. While the advertising part of the P6 site proudly declares 16:10 as the golden ratio, if you click through to the models for sale, they are both 16:9 (1920x1080). What gives?