Acer Aspire 5750G review
With so many lithe and lovely Ultrabooks making their way through PC Pro's Labs, the dull grey of Acer's Aspire 5750G is enough to send anyone crashing back to earth. What Acer's budget 15.6in laptop lacks in looks, however, it more than makes up for with a generous specification: with a Core i3 CPU and a dedicated Nvidia graphics chipset, this £430 Acer crams in a huge amount for the money.
It's a solid, sturdy laptop with a drab, mottled-grey interior and darker grey lid, broken up by a wash of glossy black around the screen and hinge. The large keyboard has well-spaced keys and a solid base beneath its flat-headed keys, and there's a numeric keypad, too. The touchpad is quite small, and the rocker-style buttons feel muffled when clicked, but on the whole it's a comfortable laptop to use for long periods.
Those periods won't be as long as the best here, but a light-use battery life of 6hrs 9mins is still exceedingly good. That's due, in the main, to Nvidia's Optimus technology, which automatically switches to the low-power graphics when appropriate. For more intensive tasks, the discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 540M chip roars into life. In the Crysis test at Medium quality settings, the Acer managed an impressive average of 36fps. It will comfortably play the many less demanding games released since Crysis first arrived to torment graphics cards.
The rest of the specification is perfectly acceptable budget fare. The 2.1GHz Core i3-2310M and 6GB of RAM are powerful enough to earn the Acer a result of 0.55 in our Real World benchmarks, and the 640GB hard disk is a welcome sight, too.
The 15.6in 1,366 x 768 screen is impressively bright, with a maximum brightness level of 261cd/m2 putting it well ahead of most budget laptops. Contrast still isn't particularly strong - the 196:1 contrast ratio is merely average - but colours are pretty accurate and the glossy finish doesn't prove too reflective under normal usage.
Connectivity is ample. There's one USB 3 port on the right edge, and two further USB 2 ports. It has both D-SUB and HDMI outputs on the left-edge. There's a card reader for all the major formats - including the less common xD-picture - on the tapered front edge, and there's a 1.3-megapixel webcam embedded into the display's bezel. Bluetooth is the only major omission.
This Acer doesn't have the fastest processor, and it's battery life isn't quite as good as the very best we've seen. But, for just £430, we'd gladly swap finesse and a little stamina for an almost perfect all-rounder. It isn't flashy in the slightest, but at this price, the Acer Aspire 5750G makes itself worthy of a place on the PC Pro A-List.