Also a surprise? The clean Windows 10 Pro desktop we found when starting the laptop for the first time. The only desktop icon was the Recycle bin. The Firefox browser was included but already parked on the task bar.
The Start menu wasn't quite as clean, since Windows loads up a variety of junky games even in the Pro versions (Candy Crush Friends Saga and Farm Heroes Saga in this case). Microsoft's Office preload included Access and Publisher, so Acer does know this is the Pro version.
Acer included the Acer Collection 5, which it calls programs to "enhance your experience," such as Netflix, Facebook, Messenger, Hulu, Microsoft Office Online, and a few others. Optional items you can license include Weather Radar Pro, Pandora, some other games, and Microsoft DVD Player ($14.99; remember when it was included in the OS?). Since this laptop, like others in this class, doesn’t have an optical drive, that may not be of interest to anyone.
Included in the application listing are icons for Amazon, Booking.com, Evernote, LinkedIn, and Norton Security. In fact, we got Norton Security Ultra preinstalled with a year's subscription. If your company has its own endpoint protection favorite, you'll have to delete the Norton Ultra. It loads automatically and includes backup and performance-enhancing routines. Someone should tell Norton that disk defrag isn't a good idea on SSDs, because that's the only "performance enhancement" it provides.
We loaded up Chrome and Libre Office 6.0 like we do on other laptops. Everything worked as it should, and the 1920x1080 screen displays most of a document page at one time at a resolution big enough to read comfortably. Two documents side by side work just as well, as do large spreadsheets and large browser pages. Since 1920x1080 remains the corporate standard for desktop displays, everything users see on a desktop they can see on this laptop.
Laptop users get touchy about keyboards. Limited space and short keystroke travel depth mean some laptops are a struggle to type on. Not the Acer TravelMate P6. The keyboard is 11 inches across, as we said, and the keys are close to full size. Key travel isn't deep but feels sure enough that fast typists will be satisfied.
The multitouch trackpad never triggered by accident because of an errant fat thumb brushing it. Scrolling, widening and pinching, and cursor accuracy were good enough that we never gave the trackpad a thought when using the laptop.
Battery life says a maximum of 16 hours. While that seems boastful, we used it for a couple of days at a time before having to recharge.
And though skinny, the body always felt solid.
The Acer TravelMate P6 hits all the markers for a professional-level executive laptop: thin, light, powerful, and a classy look that shows it, and you, belong in important meetings. No workout routine required.
Image: Courtesy of Acer