Acer Aspire 5940G 15.6in notebook
Review If you’re after a well-crafted machine, adorned with a range of features from a media controlling touch panel to the old favourites eSATA and ExpressCard/54, then Acer’s Aspire 5940G could well fit the bill. There’s even a fingerprint reader, a 4-pin FireWire 400 port and a whopping sub-woofer.
Home entertainer: Acer's Aspire 5940G
Being a 15.6in model, the 5940G has a surprisingly large footprint of 382mm x 274mm for this screen size. With a scant 11mm width difference over the likes of Apple’s 17in MacBook Pro, one might have expected Acer to ditch the 1366 x 768, 16:9 panel for at least a 1440 x 900 16:10 screen – this is a £1000 laptop, after all.
This is not to say Acer has fitted a bad LCD at all. The colours are vibrant and the glossy finish helps pictures to really stand out. Whilst all this is fairly good for a screen with a pixel density of 100ppi, I found the glossy finish to be too reflective, even with the brightness maxed out. I can touch type just fine, I don’t need to see a reflection of my hands in the monitor.
And talking of typing, despite their flat surface, the keys have a good tactile response with reasonable spacing. The presence of the cluster of media controls shows that at least one part of the design team was making good use of the 5940G's large frame.
Underneath all of this, you will find a quad core Intel Core i7 720QM clocked at 1.6GHz, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, an ATI Radeon HD 4650 packing 1GB of GDDR5 and one of Toshiba’s 500GB MK5055GSX hard disks. The configuration I have here is the AS5940G-724G50MN, the cheapest version weighing in at £999. Its bigger brother swaps the DVD±RW drive for a BD±RW drive in the AS5940G-724G50WN configuration and is about £1300 but, as always, shop around.
The dedicated media control keys (right) take advantage of the unit's large frame
Of course it’s nice to have four cores to carry around with you, but running a mobile CPU with a TDP of 45W comes at a great cost; Acer has only managed to squeeze a maximum of 3 hours of battery life out of the Aspire 5940G. I found that two and a half hours is a pretty realistic battery life with the “Powersmart Mode” enabled. Running PCMark Vantage in standard power mode, the machine held up for an hour and ten minutes.
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Re: ACER - forget them - warranty not honoured
Rubber feet fall off hot laptops. There are plenty of replacements you can buy in kitchen shops and the like without needing to trouble manufacturers for official parts.
ACER - forget them - warranty not honoured
ACER cannot be trusted to honour it's warranty, by personal experience, and even for a commercial customer. And we were dealing with a countries corporate office not through a dealer.
Their 'extended' warranty - something most laptop users should have - has so many exclusions to make it nigh on worthless.
A rubber foot fell off, my country typically has summer days reaching 35-40C. Do they have spares? NO! You have to buy a whole new base cover - hardly a reasonable thing to do. (Rubber feet are excluded from any warranty coverage).
Given that they glue aircraft together you would have thought ACER could make feet permanent attachments.
ASUS, however, do replace feet which is why the corporate office now has 163 ASUS computers.
Because regular chips aren't much higher
Compared to the 840 (the only one likely to ever reach 45W) the 860S isn't really much higher. And if you lock it to a certain maximum, either in the BIOS or with one of a number of multiplier-tweaking tools for Windows or Linux, you get the same power output. By locking a 970 even lower, you get even more out of it at the same TDP, but those are insanely expensive and the power savings will never add up to the cost difference. Once the 32nm parts come downlevel just a little more, they would make much more sense for servers than mobile parts.
iirc, the boards for Dothan or Merom were only being made up until Conroe was widely available, since Conroe could likewise be equivalently clocked down.
Here. have some fecking letters and/or digits
"mobile CPU with a TDP of 45W comes at a great cost"
This is true, but it is a great TDP for a low to midrange server though. Why is it so hard to find a motherboard with a mobile cpu these days? You used to be able to get them a few years back but they seem to have dried up. All I want is a box with a lowish thermal footprint that I can run 24/7 without creating an excitingly high power bill at the end of the month. It doesn't need to be super grunty but does need to have VT extensions and support more than 2G RAM
I currently run an Atom 330 box but it doesn't have VT and is artificially limited to 2GB by those knob ends at intel. Honestly, why bother adding 64Bit instructions to a CPU which you won't allow to be paired with any more than 2Gb RAM anyway?
WTF is the point of that?
A job for trading standards
You have an automatic right to assume that electronic equipment will work for at least 6 months from getting it, and in some cases your reasonable expectation that equipment will work extends for about 5 years after purchase; a year is probably reasonable for a laptop. If anything fails in this period you have a prettty automatic right to a repair or replacement, and if not given you should be talking to Trading Standards.