Acer 2930Z

The laptop is small, quiet, cheap and yet powerful. The keyboard is wonderful to work with (for a 12″) and there is Linux support for all the components. Buy yourself an extra mouse and you’re good to go.

Appearance

It’s a 12″, shiny, black, plastic laptop. The Acer logo shines white when the machine is turned on.

On the left side is the VGA output, dock connector, eth, 1xusb and the Expresscard slot. Why they’re still making things with VGA outputs I don’t understand. Hasn’t DVI been standard for a few years? The dock connector probably connects to an expensive piece of Acer hardware that I have no interest in purchasing.

The right side has 1xusb, a dvd burner, 1xusb, a modem connector and the power connector. Modem? 2009?

The control key is to the far left of the keyboard, as it should be. The keyboard is pleasant and natural to work on. It’s not a fullsized Model-M but good enough for a 12″ laptop.

The only two hotkeys which I understand are the wlan and Bluetooth buttons. The wlan has no on/off indicator. Neither does the Bluetooth but at least Linux detects that it’s either on or off. If you mistakenly switch off the wlan you’ll still see networks but you won’t be able to connect.

The trackpad I avoid as much as possible (as usual) although there is nothing really wrong with it.

Components

Audio

Audio was detected automatically. Output to the speakers, which are of acceptable quality, and headphone jack are controlled separately: the speakers use the front control and the headphones use the surround.

The volume control knob controls the master volume.

wlan

The wlan needed the latest drivers from the kernel wireless site, after which it worked fine.

CPU fan

The fan is rarely ever on and when it is it’s pretty quiet.

Webcam

Works just fine. Can’t figure out why anyone would want one… I used V4L2, via VLC, to view the webcam.

System information

Tested with Ubuntu 8.10.

Linux hostname 2.6.27-11-generic #1 SMP Thu Jan 22 17:22:40 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux

/proc/cpuinfo

processor    : 0
vendor_id    : GenuineIntel
cpu family    : 6
model        : 15
model name    : Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual  CPU  T3200  @ 2.00GHz
stepping    : 13
cpu MHz        : 1000.000
cache size    : 1024 KB
physical id    : 0
siblings    : 2
core id        : 0
cpu cores    : 2
apicid        : 0
initial apicid    : 0
fdiv_bug    : no
hlt_bug        : no
f00f_bug    : no
coma_bug    : no
fpu        : yes
fpu_exception    : yes
cpuid level    : 10
wp        : yes
flags        : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts pni monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr lahf_lm
bogomips    : 3989.93
clflush size    : 64
power management:

lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 07)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 03)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 03)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 5 (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.6 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) Thermal Subsystem (rev 03)
05:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 02)
06:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
07:00.0 System peripheral: JMicron Technologies, Inc. SD/MMC Host Controller
07:00.2 SD Host controller: JMicron Technologies, Inc. Standard SD Host Controller
07:00.3 System peripheral: JMicron Technologies, Inc. MS Host Controller
07:00.4 System peripheral: JMicron Technologies, Inc. xD Host Controller

lspci -v

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 07)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information <?>
    Kernel driver in use: agpgart-intel
    Kernel modules: intel-agp

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
    Memory at 90000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M]
    Memory at 80000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
    I/O ports at 6110 [size=8]
    Capabilities: [90] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
    Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 3

00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Memory at 94500000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
    Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 3

00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 20
    I/O ports at 60e0 [size=32]
    Capabilities: [50] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd
    Kernel modules: uhci-hcd

00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 21
    I/O ports at 60c0 [size=32]
    Capabilities: [50] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd
    Kernel modules: uhci-hcd

00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03) (prog-if 20)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 21
    Memory at 98805c00 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
    Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [58] Debug port: BAR=1 offset=00a0
    Capabilities: [98] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd
    Kernel modules: ehci-hcd

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 22
    Memory at 98800000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
    Capabilities: [70] Express Root Complex Integrated Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [130] Root Complex Link <?>
    Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
    Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=02, sec-latency=0
    I/O behind bridge: 00005000-00005fff
    Memory behind bridge: 97800000-987fffff
    Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000090400000-00000000913fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link <?>
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver
    Kernel modules: shpchp

00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 03)
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=05, subordinate=05, sec-latency=0
    I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00004fff
    Memory behind bridge: 96800000-977fffff
    Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000091400000-00000000924fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link <?>
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver
    Kernel modules: shpchp

00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 03)
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=06, subordinate=06, sec-latency=0
    I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff
    Memory behind bridge: 95700000-967fffff
    Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000092500000-00000000934fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link <?>
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver
    Kernel modules: shpchp

00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 5 (rev 03)
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=07, subordinate=07, sec-latency=0
    I/O behind bridge: 00001000-00001fff
    Memory behind bridge: 94600000-956fffff
    Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000093500000-00000000944fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [180] Root Complex Link <?>
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport-driver
    Kernel modules: shpchp

00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23
    I/O ports at 60a0 [size=32]
    Capabilities: [50] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd
    Kernel modules: uhci-hcd

00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
    I/O ports at 6080 [size=32]
    Capabilities: [50] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd
    Kernel modules: uhci-hcd

00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 20
    I/O ports at 6060 [size=32]
    Capabilities: [50] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd
    Kernel modules: uhci-hcd

00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18
    I/O ports at 6040 [size=32]
    Capabilities: [50] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd
    Kernel modules: uhci-hcd

00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03) (prog-if 20)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23
    Memory at 98805800 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
    Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [58] Debug port: BAR=1 offset=00a0
    Capabilities: [98] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd
    Kernel modules: ehci-hcd

00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93) (prog-if 01)
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=08, subordinate=08, sec-latency=32
    Capabilities: [50] Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
    Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information <?>

00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 01)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 219
    I/O ports at 6108 [size=8]
    I/O ports at 611c [size=4]
    I/O ports at 6100 [size=8]
    I/O ports at 6118 [size=4]
    I/O ports at 6020 [size=32]
    Memory at 98805000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
    Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/4 Enable+
    Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [a8] SATA HBA <?>
    Capabilities: [b0] PCIe advanced features <?>
    Kernel driver in use: ahci
    Kernel modules: ahci

00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 11
    Memory at 98806000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    I/O ports at 6000 [size=32]
    Kernel modules: i2c-i801

00:1f.6 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) Thermal Subsystem (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: fast devsel, IRQ 11
    Memory at 98804000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3

05:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 218
    I/O ports at 3000 [size=256]
    Memory at 91410000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Memory at 91400000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Expansion ROM at 91420000 [disabled] [size=64K]
    Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [50] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/1 Enable+
    Capabilities: [70] Express Endpoint, MSI 01
    Capabilities: [b0] MSI-X: Enable- Mask- TabSize=2
    Capabilities: [d0] Vital Product Data <?>
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting <?>
    Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
    Kernel driver in use: r8169
    Kernel modules: r8169

06:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
    Subsystem: AMBIT Microsystem Corp. Device 0428
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
    Memory at 95700000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [50] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
    Capabilities: [60] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [90] MSI-X: Enable- Mask- TabSize=1
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting <?>
    Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel <?>
    Kernel driver in use: ath5k
    Kernel modules: ath_pci, ath5k

07:00.0 System peripheral: JMicron Technologies, Inc. SD/MMC Host Controller
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
    Memory at 94600300 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Expansion ROM at 93500000 [disabled] [size=32K]
    Capabilities: [a4] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [94] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
    Kernel driver in use: sdhci-pci
    Kernel modules: sdhci-pci

07:00.2 SD Host controller: JMicron Technologies, Inc. Standard SD Host Controller (prog-if 01)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: fast devsel, IRQ 16
    Memory at 94600200 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities: [a4] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [94] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
    Kernel modules: sdhci-pci

07:00.3 System peripheral: JMicron Technologies, Inc. MS Host Controller
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
    Memory at 94600100 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities: [a4] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [94] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-

07:00.4 System peripheral: JMicron Technologies, Inc. xD Host Controller
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device 0144
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
    Memory at 94600000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities: [a4] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [80] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [94] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-

Summary

The laptop is small, quiet, cheap and yet powerful. The keyboard is wonderful to work with (for a 12″) and there is Linux support for all the components. Buy yourself an extra mouse and you’re good to go.

Highly recommended.

Posted February 6th, 2010 in Reviews. Tagged: , .

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