After some extensive testing with doom 3 and Farcry as well as a whole hell of a lot of installing, I've decided that there is no better mobile laptop available than a travelmate 8100 series. I got my 8103 on monday and it's been with me ever since. The battery life extends to about 4 hours, which is a lot longer than I thought. I am able to play both doom and fc flawlessly. The power management is top notch giving you right click access to turning on and off lan, firewire, wireless, cardbus, and bluetooth. You can also right click in the system tray to adjust between 4 cpu power levels for mobility and 6 screen brightness settings. The wireless card gets great signal that far surpasses the linksys card I had before.
The heat is never really an issue on the 8103, although the fan comes on quite a bit when plugged in, but only in the library do I notice it. I've had the laptop plugged in and in use for 8 hours and the touchpad is merely warm to the touch, even after extensive gaming. The keyboard is really easy to type on and has a very small learning curve. The speakers on this thing even sound decent.
The hard drive is close to the perfomance of a desktop 7200 rpm 80gb drive according to sisoft's sandra benchmark. I have never heard the hard drive once even during large transfers. the dvd-+rw dl drive makes some weird sounds, but I guess that expected.
This screen is bright and handles outdoor conditions well. Farcry looks phenomenal. Acer has really hit a homerun with this one!
Love my 8103 ....... even after getting the bill ($1870 from pcnation)
If you're looking for this laptop, I'd suggest you wait in line there, I place my order on the 2nd and it shipped out on the 5th (I think they bought stock from another company ...perhaps zipzoomfly.. in order to fill the 8103 orders so fast). Gotta love will at pcnation.... he answered every one of my calls and helped me out.
That's my mini-review based on a few days with this laptop. Glad to answer any 8103 specific questions, it's basically the same as the 8104 with one less 512mb stick of ddr2 ram and the intel 750 rather than the 760. Those are the only differences.