Acer Aspire notebooks sport stylish looks, are ruggedly built and offer good value for money. The Acer Aspire 5740G is a desktop replacement with all these qualities, and is suitable for a SOHO environment and home entertainment.
Design and build quality
As far as looks and design are concerned, there isn’t anything really new about this laptop, as it sports the usual Acer Aspire-like metallic navy-blue exterior with dark-grey interiors. Nonetheless, it is stylish. The interiors have a matt finish, making the laptop scratch-resistant, except for the lid and screen frame, which are glossy, hence prone to dust and finger prints.
The chiclet keyboard, multi-touch touchpad and the additional feature, the numeric keypad, are all comfortable to use. Typing on the keyboard, with large and well-spaced keys is very convenient and smooth. The keys are properly placed and the Enter and Shift keys are of regular size. Even the physical hotkeys and buttons are aptly located between the keyboard and speaker-grill.
The build quality of the laptop is excellent, a full five-on-five. So basically, there’s nothing to be concerned about in terms of looks, ergonomics and build quality. The one thing that might be slightly daunting is the 2.8 Kg hefty weight, only if you want to carry it around regularly. Not that it is meant for the purpose, but, this laptop is not something you want to lug to work everyday - it won’t be convenient.
There are three variants of this laptop, two of which feature Intel Core i5 processors and the third one an Intel Core i3. The one we tested has an Intel Core i3 330M processor, which is clocked at 2.13 GHz. Though, it is an entry-level processor from Intel’s new line of Core processors, it performs well to effectively replace a mainstream desktop PC, especially because it has 4 GB DD3 RAM. Although the present 320 GB hard drive is sufficient for a SOHO setup and multimedia content, people who have a huge collection of music, videos and games might fall short of space. This brings us to the most striking point of this laptop, the presence of a good discrete graphics chip, the ATI Radeon HD 5470. Now, with all this hardware, this laptop can handle demanding applications, such as designing suites, seamlessly. Our recommendation is to opt for a more powerful processor, the Core i5, and a roomy 500 GB hard drive. This way you will not only have a more powerful desktop replacement, which completes tasks much quicker, but also be able to store more data, if you happen to be a movie buff or gaming fan. Nevertheless, considering the 15.6-inch screen, near-3 Kg weight and the core hardware of this particular machine, we’d say it’s a good entry-level desktop replacement.
When it comes to features, this laptop offers a good blend, in addition to gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi N, the laptop has a dial-up modem. Also, being a multimedia laptop, it has multi-channel audio, and you’ll find a line-in jack next to the headphone and mic jacks. Other plus points include the presence of dedicated volume controls and a numeric keypad. Display options include an HDMI port and a VGA port, and, the screen is glossy with a 16:9 aspect ratio (1366 x 768). There are 3 USB ports, a webcam, a memory card reader, DVD-writer and Kensington lock slot. Finally, the machine is pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and McAfee Internet Security (60-day trial).
Keeping in mind the presence of a good GPU, we ran game benchmarks and got decent scores at lower resolutions, but that doesn’t make this laptop a gaming machine. It is a multimedia laptop which performs as well as a desktop PC, and light gaming is one of its assets.
There are smaller laptops that feature almost the same hardware and performance such as the MSI CX620, which costs about Rs 44,000. It offers the same screen-size and native resolution, has a 500 GB hard drive as opposed to a 320 GB, and is lighter in weight (2.48 Kg). But it doesn’t feature multi-channel sound and a dial-up modem. In any case, at Rs. 37,594, we still recommend you buy this one.
The bottom line
This laptop has a smart mix of features and hardware which not only controls the cost of the unit, but offers exactly what an entry-level home desktop replacement requires. So, we’d say it’s a very good pick!
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 383 x 37 x 250 mm
- Weight: 2.80 Kg
- Processor: Intel Core i3 330M, 2.13 GHz
- Memory: 4 GB DDR3
- Hard disk: 320 GB
- Screen size: 15.6-inch
- Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N
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