Acer Aspire 5750 £399
20th Mar 2012 | 16:00
A budget laptop that belies its meagre price tag
Acer Aspire 5750
The won't win any awards for design or craftsmanship, but with the power and performance on offer, it's hard to ignore for anyone looking for a decent laptop on a budget.
Low cost laptops are notoriously bland-looking, but the Aspire 5750 at least does a good job of adding a little personality and fun.
The body is an attractive electric blue colour, which looks classy and appealing, and there's a 15.6-inch screen which is a perfect size for home tasks.
The quality look isn't necessarily matched by a quality build, and the plastic body does flex under pressure.
The keyboard is the standard Acer array, with isolated black plastic keys, which are comfortable to type on, but are lacking in quality. They don't feel very robust under your fingers, as if one angry YouTube comment could dislodge one from the laptop once and for all.
Aside from the outward facing design, the quality of components on the inside is as good as you'll find for under £400.
There's an Intel Core i3 2310M processor, which is the entry-level model of the newest Sandy Bridge range of chips. The processor handles all of your demands that aren't graphics related, and Sandy Bridge processors are the best you can buy, for now at least. They offer good power, decent battery life for a good price and while Core i3 is the most basic processor in the line-up, you'll often find much older chips on models in this price range.
In our lab tests, the processor proved to be extremely good for a laptop of this price, making it suitable for most day-to-day tasks. This means you'll be able to run multiple programs, like running a web browser, while simultaneously listening to music and viewing your pictures, without your whole system grinding to a halt.
Elsewhere you'll find 6GB of RAM, which is above average for most systems. This also helps to keep the system responsive.
Aside from the processor scores in the labs, using the Acer Aspire 5750 was always a pleasure, with the system starting up in under a minute, and responsive when using programs and loading documents and pictures. It may sound basic, but at this low price point, the basics can often be overlooked.
Acer has cut its reputation for offering more for less, and as usual, Acer has managed to keep cost down and offer something extra to that of its competitors. The Acer Aspire 5750 also managed an above average result in our graphics tests.
In high-end laptops there's a component inside dedicated to the whizzy colours and graphics, from games down to the way your desktop looks in Windows. The processor is left to handle it in this case, which can mean abysmal performance, but here, there's enough punch to watch high-definition movies and even edit pictures.
If you're a gaming enthusiast, however, you will need to look elsewhere. Old titles and casual web games will be about this budget Acer's limit.
Short battery life
Despite what you may think, laptops are not always designed to be portable, and this is especially true in the budget market. It's not uncommon for low-cost machines to be back-breakingly heavy, and marred by short battery life.
The Acer Aspire scored an uninspiring 145 mins in our tests, which would equate to around three hours of light use. Not bad for a £399 machine, but if you need longevity, we'd suggest spending a bit more cash.
Battery Eater '05: 145 minutes
3DMark 2006: 4367
Weight is also a key consideration when talking about portability, and while the Aspire is no monster, at 2.5kg, it's not exactly something you'd want to carry around all day, every day. However, it's light and compact enough to be carried around if you really need to, whether that's to the university library or on a weekend away.
If you are thinking of using your laptop away for media and entertainment, the Acer Aspire isn't a bad travel companion. The 15.6-inch screen is clear and bright, which is good for watching movies, but viewing angles are poor, so two people might struggle to get a good view at the same time.
There's a glossy coating, which is popular on low-end laptops, which does serve to make the screen look more attractive, but the problem is that it's extremely reflective. If you're watching in direct sunlight it's almost impossible to see what's going on.
The speakers, however, are awful. On maximum volume our movie was tinny and distorted and wasn't even audible. If you're planning on using the built-in speakers, we'd certainly avoid the Acer, but this is a problem that's solved with a cheap pair of external speakers, which is far more pocket friendly than buying a mid-range laptop.
The Acer Aspire 5750 is a decent family laptop, for anyone looking to do the basics of computing on a budget. We were big fans of the style and colour, but when you dig deeper, you'll find that corners have been cut in the materials and build quality.
Gripes aside, in terms of performance, you won't find better in this price range, and if you really can't stretch to a mid-range machine, the Acer Aspire 5750 will serve you well.
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