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Acer Aspire 4740 Laptop

Jayesh Shinde 2010-05-05
85 Very Good
Price: Rs 34,990

Full Review

Acer's Aspire series of laptops is one of the most value for money segments in the market. Continuing in that tradition, the 14-inch Acer Aspire 4740 is a very good budget laptop to buy. It combines features, performance, and price, unlike any other budget laptop we have seen.

Design
Acer is guilty of being unimaginative in its Aspire laptop lineup and not offering consumers a choice between different color schemes (but one may argue that that is how they cut down expenditure). The Acer Aspire 4740 continues in the long tradition of Aspire laptops (Aspire 4736, Aspire 5738, Aspire 5738G, Aspire 5738DG, Aspire 5542G) that all look pretty much the same. The screen lid is covered in a glossy blue gradient, which looks cool but also attracts fingerprints. The inside of the laptop is a dull monotone of gray, around the area surrounding the keyboard. But looks don't count for all that much, especially . Discounting looks, the Acer Aspire 4740 is very well built: the screen is nice and strongly hinged to the base of the chassis - the chassis doesn't buckle, the screen doesn't bend or twist overmuch. The 14-inch Aspire 4740 weighs 2.35-kg (with a six-cell battery)--lighter than the Acer Aspire 5740, Dell Inspiron 15-1564, and the Asus K52F-SX060D.

Hardware Features

I have to say that the audio visual experience on the Aspire 4740 laptop was one of the best in the category -- it has a nice, bright screen that's optimized for HD viewing and a very good pair of onboard speakers that are loud and clear for a small room.

The Acer Aspire 4740 has a 14.1-inch glossy LED-backlit screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366x768 pixel resolution. It comes with an Intel Core i3-330M 2.13-GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, and onboard Intel GMA HD graphics. This is a pretty good hardware configuration in terms of the basics and should hold you in good stead for day-to-day usage without any complaints. The Aspire 4740 has a decent feature set for a budget laptop -- it packs in a DVD writer, three USB ports, three audio ports, multicard reader, and VGA-out along its chassis' edge. Not only that, it also includes Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity -- things the Dell Inspiron 15-1564 misses out on. The Acer Aspire 4740 laptop comes with in-built Bluetooth connectivity and an HDMI port, in case you want to hook the laptop up to an LCD TV. The Aspire 4740 also has a row of shortcut buttons to the right of its keyboard -- a customizable program launcher, Wi-Fi on/off button, Bluetooth on/off, Backup button, Volume up, Volume down. This is very convenient, and I haven't seen such shortcut buttons on any other recently reviewed laptop in this category. There's a 1.3MP webcam and microphone grooved into the Acer Aspire 4740's top screen bezel.

The Acer Aspire 4740 also comes with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, good set of onboard speakers (that are placed along its front edge), and a six-cell battery pack. It also comes with a proprietary backup software that lets you schedule backing up your important data to a different partition on the hard drive or to an external drive. 

A closer look at the Acer Aspire 4740's column of shortcut buttons and the mutigesture touchpad.

Performance
Equipped with a robust set of processor, RAM, and hard drive, it isn't surprising the Aspire 4740 does so well in our string of synthetic benchmarks. A WorldBench 6 score of 89, PC Mark 05 score of 5138, and 3D Mark 06 score of 1469 is one of the best in our
Top 5 Budget Laptops list, currently. Day-to-day tasks like browsing the Web, watching a movie, working on productivity suites, listening to music, etc., went well without any issues. The Aspire 4740 laptop doesn't come with a dedicated graphics card and it isn't really a gaming machine. But watching both 720p and 1080p HD videos was a very good experience -- videos played smoothly without any stutter or flicker. In fact, I have to say that the audio visual experience on the Aspire 4740 laptop was one of the best in the category -- it has a nice, bright screen that's optimized for HD viewing and a very good pair of onboard speakers that are loud and clear for a small room.

The Acer Aspire 4740's keyboard and touchpad are pretty good for daily usage. The keyboard sports isolated, chiclet-styled keys that are great to type on and provide just the right amount of tactile feedback. The multi-gesture touchpad works like a breeze -- zoom into images, scroll through pages, etc., everything works smoothly. The single strip mouse button below the touchpad takes a small amount of time getting used to, and is pretty good to use.

Battery Life
The Acer Aspire 4740 has the longest lasting six-cell battery among all the laptops in our Top 5, currently. It recorded a time of 1 hour 30 minutes in our benchmarks (at full-screen brightness, high-performance mode). You should easily expect over 3 hours 30 minutes of browsing the Web over Wi-Fi on a single charge on the Acer Aspire 4740, which is very good for a budget laptop.

Bottom Line

For Rs. 35,000, the Acer Aspire 4740 is the best budget laptop to buy right now. It gives you the best of both worlds -- features and performance, at a very good price point. However, if you want a 15-inch laptop and don't want to spend as much, look at the Dell Inspiron 15-1564

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