PORTABILITY is the key factor in choosing a notebook personal computer (PC). However light and compact a notebook may be, this feature counts for little when weighed against a list of bulky and indispensable accessories that buyers are often lumbered with. With this in mind, it is perhaps a little surprising that a carry bag appears only as an optional extra for the AcerNote 750c. And, on taking delivery, the buyer will certainly wish he had opted for it considering the number of accessories that come with the machine. The system unit, A/C adaptor, battery pack, diskettes, manuals (user guide, trackball manual, and Windows and MS-DOS 6 guides), power cord and file transfer cable add up to a sizeable package. Acer is, perhaps, assuming the system unit will sell itself in the computer showroom, unencumbered by loads of accessories. It is no doubt right. For once you have negotiated your way through the plethora of cardboard housing the machine, the product is pure quality. The AcerNote 750c is sleek and attractive, and packs a powerful processing punch. The 25-megahertz i486SL-based system boasts four megabytes (MB) of random-access memory (RAM), expandable to 20 MB. It has a true 32-bit 486DX core and built-in eight-kilobyte (KB) cache and co-processor designed to bring optimum 486 performance. The AcerNote 750c has been designed to be flexible and easily upgraded. The system supports the FleX-pand PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) Type III slot. This allows the use of up to two cards or one 1.8-inch hard disk, fax/data modem cards, read-only memory (ROM) cards, flash memory cards, SRAM cards and other devices. The notebook comes with a 3.5-inch, 1.44 MB diskette drive and a removable fixed disk drive of 80 MB, 120 MB or higher. The notebook has a built-in trackball, like a Macintosh's, with the keyboard set back in front of palm rests, which makes prolonged typing less of a strain - an important feature in a notebook PC. The trackball is also removable, although why you would want to remove it I am not quite sure. Having the trackball fixed in a central position, below the keypad and accessible to typing fingers, is preferable to notebooks that use a detachable trackball that plugs into the side. The keyboard is also removable, although I am similarly unclear about why you would want to remove it. Colour is another strong point of the AcerNote 750c. It uses an active-matrix, colour liquid-crystal display (LCD) 24-centimetre screen. The display, with 256 colours in 640 x 480 resolution, is sharp and impressive. Other features of the AcerNote 750c include a 128 KB flash ROM BIOS which, according to Acer, makes BIOS upgrades easy and economical. It means that instead of using a service technician to replace the BIOS chip, you can load new BIOS versions into the flash ROM directly from a diskette. Acer has also included a series of advanced power management features with the model. Automatic LCD and fixed disk power-down, global standby mode and suspend mode enable the computer to run on battery power from four to eight hours on one charge.