As you might expect from its name, the Acer Ferrari 1100, proudly trumpets Acer's association with the Italian car maker, with the famous rearing horse badge on the lid, and a bright red F1 car as the default desktop wallpaper.

Whether you find this tacky or attractive rather depends on your taste. But unlike the Ferraris on the race circuit, the Acer Ferrari 1100 is an expensive underperformer.

At a penny under £1,500 you are certainly being asked to pay top dollar for what's under the Acer Ferrari 1100's hood. This includes a 2.4GHz AMD Turion Dual Core TL66 processor (a relatively rare sighting in the laptop market), 4GB of DDR2 RAM and a 250GB hard drive.

This is a pretty impressive line-up, but it just doesn't deliver when it comes to performance. The Acer Ferrari 1100 notched up a score of only 69 in our Worldbench 6 speed tests, which puts in on a par with laptops that cost £1,000 less. Graphics were even worse and its ATI Radeon X1270 could muster only 6.3 frames per second (fps) at 1024x768 in our Company of Heroes test, and a meagre 5fps in our Fear test at the same resolution.

To be fair to Acer it doesn't claim the Acer Ferrari 1100 is a gamer's dream; it's a business laptop fair and square. To that end it does pack in fancy extras that are conspicuously missing on lower-end laptops.

The first thing you will notice is the generous software bundle that comes pre-loaded on to the Acer Ferrari 1100. There's the Vista Ultimate operating system, plus a copy of Office Professional 2007, Norton Internet Security, PowerDVD and a whole host of Acer utilities that promise to keep your laptop secure and running at top performance.

The Acer Ferrari 1100 also sports a FireWire port, plus the usual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Although this is quite a compact laptop with a 12.1in screen and weighing just 2kg, Acer has still managed to pack in a DVD writer, which is a real bonus.

On the negative side we hated the Acer Ferrari 1100's textured touch pad and sticky control buttons – a good job it comes supplied with a mouse.


The Acer Ferrari 1100 delivers on supercar-style price, but sadly not on performance. If money isn't tight and you want a reliable, fully featured business laptop with a generous software bundle, look no further. But you don't get much bang for our buck with this one.