The 971096 SKU of the Acer Aspire 5745G is a fast, inexpensive laptop with a 15.6in matt LED-backlit.

But even at this price you'd expect a little more from the Acer Aspire 5745G. You'd be pleased to find a fast processor in the form of the Intel Core i5 450M running at 2.4GHz. The Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 also boasts nVidia’s 512 GeForce 310M GPU providing a fast discrete graphics solution not found in many competing products at this price point.

In fact, the inclusion of the graphics chip alone may be enough to sway you toward the Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 – especially if you’re a bit of a gamer, as it is rare to find a laptop at this price point which can approach some level what we’d call gaming credibility.

While the Core i5 contains enough graphics power and features to provide a rich multimedia experience, you really need more than that if you’re going to spend an enjoyable time playing games. Our test results show that with the nVidia chip, the Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 laptop is around three times faster than any of the competition. More importantly it enables frame-rates high enough to enjoy smooth gameplay.

System build quality is pleasingly high. It's not as stylish as the metallic Packard Bell EasyNote TX86, but is in many other ways quite similar: the Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 features the same lilypad-style floating keys, only this time in a more traditional black finish. It comes with a single tilting button touchpad and a user-programmable function key, although none of the fancy touch-sensitive media transport controls.

As an entertainment laptop, the Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 delivers not only gaming performance but plenty of pre-installed applications, including Acer Arcade Deluxe multimedia software.

Battery life was a little unimpressive on the Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 system. It's fitted with a 48Wh battery – the same capacity used to power the Packard Bell Laptop – but survives less than four hours (228 mins) when running MobileMark 2007.

See also: Group test: what's the best Budget Laptop?

See also: Group test: what's the best laptop?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Acer Aspire 5745G 971096: Specs

  • 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 450M
  • 15.6in matt LED-backlit, 1366x768
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 3GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA 3Gb/s HDD
  • nVidia GeForce 310M with 512MB RAM
  • HDMI, VGA
  • Altec Lansing stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input, spdif
  • 4x USB 2.0
  • Super Multi Dual Layer
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100/1000Mb/s
  • SD/SDHC/MS/xD
  • webcam
  • 48Wh Lithium Ion, removable
  • battery life 228mins (119)
  • WorldBench 6: 108
  • 379.8x255.5x29.9-36.2mm
  • 2.4kg
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 450M
  • 15.6in matt LED-backlit, 1366x768
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 3GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA 3Gb/s HDD
  • nVidia GeForce 310M with 512MB RAM
  • HDMI, VGA
  • Altec Lansing stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input, spdif
  • 4x USB 2.0
  • Super Multi Dual Layer
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100/1000Mb/s
  • SD/SDHC/MS/xD
  • webcam
  • 48Wh Lithium Ion, removable
  • battery life 228mins (119)
  • WorldBench 6: 108
  • 379.8x255.5x29.9-36.2mm
  • 2.4kg

OUR VERDICT

The lower battery life is offset somewhat by the rapid overall system performance. With 108 points scored in WorldBench 6, the Acer Aspire 5745G 971096 takes a convincing lead, however we'd like to see better battery life.

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