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Acer Aspire 5740G

Jayesh Shinde 2010-06-01
80 Very Good
Price: Rs 37,999

Full Review

A 15.6-inch laptop, the Acer Aspire 5740G-334G32Mn is Acer's mainstream home laptop offering based on Intel's "Arrandale" platform. Some of its highlights include a dedicated ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics card, good build quality, a full-sized keyboard, and very good overall performance.

Design

In essence, there is absolutely no difference between the Acer Aspire 5740G and the Acer Aspire 5740 laptop -- at least from the outside. Both 15-inch laptops look exactly the same. Like the Aspire 5740, the Acer Aspire 5740G also is a larger version of the 14-inch Acer Aspire 4740 laptop. And like previous Acer Aspire laptops--the 5542G, 5738, 5738G, and 5738DG--the Aspire 5740G continues to wrap itself in a dull monotone. The Aspire 5740G laptop's screen lid comprises of glossy blue, and rest of the unit is bathed in a drab gray. Not the best looking laptop out there, the Aspire 5740G -- compared to the likes of Dell Inspiron 14R, Dell Studio 14 Artist Edition, or the Sony VAIO E -- if you ask me but the laptop's design is functional. The Acer Aspire 5740G's 16-inch form factor is quite heavy at 2.8-kg with a six-cell battery pack, but it doesn't compromise on build quality. It has a slider-lock to fasten the screen to the rest of the chassis when the laptop's folded and tucked inside a bag. Port placement is also well thought out on the Acer Aspire 5740G.

Port placement is also well thought out on the Acer Aspire 5740G.


Usability
Like the Acer Aspire 5740, the Aspire 5740G-334G32Mn laptop has a 15.6-inch glossy LED-backlit screen which supports a 16:9 aspect ratio. The LED-backlit screen has good horizontal viewing angles, and displays both text and multimedia content pretty well. There's a 1.3-megapixel webcam recessed on the Aspire 5740G's top screen bezel and it's good for occasional video chats. One of the most noteworthy features of the Acer Aspire 5740G is its full-sized keyboard with a dedicated number pad on the right--not many 15-inch laptops can boast of this and they are non-existent on 14-inch laptops like the Dell Inspiron 14R and MSI CX420. Like previous Acer laptops, the Acer Aspire 5740G laptop's keyboard sports isolated keys that are well laid out and good to type on, no problems whatsoever. The laptop's touchpad is nice and big, with multi-gesture support which works well -- pinch for zooming in and panning out, rotate images, flick to scroll, etc. The mouse button strip doesn't have separate left and right buttons and this can take a little time getting used to -- but it works well. There's a nifty button next to the touchpad to turn it off. Just above the keyboard, there are quick-launch keys to turn on Bluetooth or Acer's backup manager. There's also one dedicated button on the right which can be used to launch any frequently used program. No problems whatsoever with the Acer Aspire 5740G's usability.

Features
The Acer Aspire 5740G comes with the new Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz processor -- part of Intel's Arrandale platform of 32nm chips for laptops. The processor has 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and a dedicated ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics for company. Apart from four USB ports, DVD writer, multicard reader, VGA and audio ports, the Acer Aspire 5740G also integrates Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth connectivity. There's also an HDMI-out port on the Aspire 5740 in order to hook it up to an LCD TV or projector to play HD content directly off it. To fully utilize the accompanying 4GB of RAM, Acer bundles in 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system on the Aspire 5740G laptop. It omits a few desirable extras -- like an online backup service (that Dell Inspiron 14R offers) or VeriFace (offered by Lenovo Ideapad Y550); it may not be the best but the Acer Aspire 5740 has pretty much all bases covered in terms of features for a fully-functional home laptop.

Performance
In our slew of benchmarks, the Acer Aspire 5740G did pretty well -- in line with other Core i3 based laptops in our Top 5 Mainstream Laptops list. It scored 93 on WorldBench 6, and PC Mark 05, 3D Mark 06, and PC Mark Vantage numbers are also pretty good. The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop feels fast enough for all the common productivity applications, browsing the Web, listening to music and watching DVD movies -- it multitasks well. A noteworthy performance boost over the Acer Aspire 5740 is the Aspire 5740G's dedicated graphics department -- a 3D Mark 06 score of 3715 compared to 1752 on the Aspire 5740, for example. This means the Aspire 5740G is good for casual gaming -- FarCry 2 on Medium settings was playable on the laptop's ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics card. The Acer Aspire 5740G also did a good job of playing both 720p and 1080p HD videos without any stutter. Audio from the onboard speakers was good, but not as great as the Lenovo Ideapad Y550 or the Dell Studio 14 Artist Edition. But the audio-visual experience on the Acer Aspire 5740G is pretty good.

Battery performance is one area where the Acer Aspire 5740G flounders badly. It logged a time of 58 minutes in our synthetic benchmark, at full-screen brightness and high-performance battery preset. We managed to extract just over 2 hours while browsing the Web over Wi-Fi -- this is not the best and just about okay. However, this shouldn't matter a lot if you are predominantly going to use the Aspire 5740G in home -- seeing how it weighs close to 3-kg, the Aspire 5740G laptop isn't exactly ideal for use while on the go. Other mainstream 15-inch laptops like MSI CX420 and Dell Studio 14 Artist Edition offer better battery life compared to the Aspire 5740G.

Bottom Line

The Acer Aspire 5740G-334G32Mn sells for Rs. 43,500. Reasons why you should think about buying the Acer Aspire 5740G laptop are many -- the laptop offers a good screen, very good performance and features, nice build quality, full-keyboard and a gesture-enabled touchpad. However, the laptop's quite heavy and doesn't have a great battery life. If you want a nice, big laptop for home usage and casual gaming, and if you don't care much about its mediocre battery life, the Acer Aspire 5740G should hold you in good stead.

Updated price on July 29, 2010

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