Acer Aspire 5749 budget 15in laptop
How much performance does 400 quid get you?
Review Acer’s Aspire line has become synonymous with affordable computing power, providing an air of quality even towards the lowest end of the pricing scale. With an asking price of £399, the 15.6in Aspire 5749 isn’t going to break the bank and it certainly won’t be shattering records, but can so little money buy reasonable performance?
Bargain basement parts on board?
For your that kind of price, you might think Acer scraped the bottom of the parts bin and came up with a Celeron chip and a copy of Windows Vista. But fear not, you get a 2.2GHz Core i3-2330M, 4GB of DDR 3 Ram, a 750GB hard drive and Windows 7 Home Premium.
The 5749 isn't graced with a discrete graphics chip, so the task of rendering is left to the Core i3’s on-die Intel GMA HD 3000 graphics core. The result is very good 1080p video playback, but absolutely no serious gaming ability.
As far as integrated accessories go, you get a standard DVD±RW optical drive, an SD card reader and Acer’s own 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi card. There’s also a webcam built into the usual spot along the top edge of the monitor bezel that surrounds the 15.6in glossy screen.
The screen is glossy, the resolution only 1366 x 768
I’m not a fan of 16:9 displays on notebooks - call me old-fashioned, but 16:10 makes much better use of the available area - so it’s no surprise that I didn’t take too well to the 1366 x 768 resolution.
To give the 5749 its due, though, its screen is a rather vibrant one that produces a pleasing picture. The viewing angles are reasonable but nothing to really write home about, and you’ll be glad for the large range of travel the hinges provide if you’re viewing from an awkward position.
Should you decide to bypass the screen, video output can be routed through either VGA or HDMI to bring the picture to the big screen.
Next page: Solid build, uninspiring looks
Can somebody come up with an after-market screen-unglossifier?
Some sort of an etching compound that achieves the silky screen finish found on all the good old laptops that we don't seem to get any more.
And no I don't want royalties for my brilliant idea. Just send me a free tin of the stuff once you'e done, to compensate me fro my brilliant idea. Thank you.
16:10 screens rule
I agree too on 16:10. 16:9 is only any use for watching the output of the film studios. And even then it doesn't matter if you've got a 16:10 screen showing a black bar at top and bottom whilst you watch a film does it? Because the reverse - using a movie-resolution 16:9 screen for actual computing just doesn't work - I can't display my extra vertical lines on parts of the screen that don't exist...
As an aside, my old 1920x1200 resolution laptop needs replacing, and I can't find any for sale at all. There's a few 1920x1080 (16:9) around, but I really need the missing 10% vertical resolution. Can anyone tell me of any? Apart from whatever Mac it is that currently has such a screen as I'm just not a mactard.
"I’m not a fan of 16:9 displays on notebooks - call me old-fashioned, but 16:10 makes much better use of the available area - so it’s no surprise that I didn’t take too well to the 1366 x 768 resolution."
I'm with you on that one, unfortunately I really struggle getting a monitor or laptop at 16:10 ratio, do they exist anymore?
I like my 1600x1200 screen. Sad the rest of the laptop is getting old :-(.
How is the wifi likely to outperform 10/100 wired ethernet?
Higher bandwidth, better reliability and lower latency, all at the same time?