The Acer Aspire 5745G is a 15-inch mainstream laptop for home use. The Aspire 5745G has an Intel Core i5-430M processor and switchable nVidia GeForce GT 330M graphics.

Acer Aspire 5745G: Build and Design

Gone is the drab, uninspiring look of past Aspire laptops - the Acer Aspire 5740G, for example - the new Acer Aspire 5745G laptop is almost identical to the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T and Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptops, in terms of looks. Although it may not be as good-looking as the Dell Studio 15, the Acer Aspire 5745G is still a better looking laptop than its predecessors.

The Acer Aspire 5745G laptop has a dark glossy screen lid which attracts fingerprints and gets smudged easily. However, the laptop's plastic palmrest has a brushed metal appearance and feels good. The Aspire 5745G is nicely built and relatively thinner and lighter than the Aspire 5740G laptop it succeeds - the laptop with a six-cell battery weighs just 2.48kg compared to the previous 2.8kg versions.

Acer Aspire 5745G: Usability

The Acer Aspire 5745G laptop has a 15.6-inch glossy widescreen LED-backlit display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366x768 resolution. The laptop's screen isn't the brightest but it's evenly lit and sharp, displaying both text and cinematic visuals well. The Acer Aspire 5745G's screen comes with a 1.3Mp webcam to aid videochats.

The keyboard on the Acer Aspire 5745G laptop is exactly the same as on the newer Aspire TimelineX laptops. The Aspire 5745G's keyboard has a black deck with isolated, flat-top keys which are nice to type on. The keyboard also has a dedicated number pad on the right - something the Dell Studio 15 lacks. Between the Acer Aspire 5745G and Dell Studio 15, still the Studio 15's keyboard is slightly better in terms of feel.

Like previous Acer Aspire laptops, the Aspire 5745G comes with a gesture-enabled touchpad - pinch for zoom, rotate, two-finger scrolling - which works pretty well. The touchpad's surface is nice and responsive and its accompanying single-strip mouse button works well.

Acer Aspire 5745G: Hardware Specs and Features

The Acer Aspire 5745G is a 15-inch mainstream home laptop - and it has the specs to show for it. An Intel Core i5-430M 2.26GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive and nVidia GeForce GT 330M graphics are very good building blocks for the Acer Aspire 5745G laptop. It has a weaker processor compared to the Dell Studio 15 but better graphics.

The Acer Aspire 5745G laptop also has an 8x tray-loading DVD writer. For connectivity options, the laptop has four USB ports, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, card reader slot, HDMI, headphone and microphone jack. Wireless connectivity options like Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 are also supported by the Acer Aspire 5745G. The laptop also comes with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.

The Acer Aspire 5745G laptop doesn't just have discrete nVidia GeForce GT 330M graphics but also onboard Intel GMA HD graphics. The laptop supports switchable graphics - but unlike nVidia Optimus technology, the switch between graphics card is manual. Press the P key above the keyboard to switch between the two graphics mode, depending on your usage and conserve battery on the Acer Aspire 5745G laptop.

Acer Aspire 5745G: Performance & Battery Life

Tested in the PCWorld.in Labs

For an all purpose home laptop, the Acer Aspire 5745G performed admirably well. A WorldBench 6 score of 100 is very good, so are other synthetic benchmark scores on the Acer Aspire 5745G - slightly behind the Dell Studio 15 and Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG. Day-to-day applications will work just fine on the Acer Aspire 5745G, and it won't have trouble coping with multiple processor and memory intensive tasks either.

The Acer Aspire 4745G's onboard sound isn't as good as the Dell Studio 15's but it still does a good job of playing standard and high-definition HD 720p and 1080p videos. Gaming on the Aspire 5745G laptop's nVidia GeForce GT 330M graphics is better than laptops sporting ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics.

In fact, with a 3D Mark 06 score of 7183, the GeForce GT 330M graphics on the Acer Aspire 5745G is nearly as good as the TimelineX 4820TG's ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics. Gaming at the laptop's native resolution with latest games won't be an issue, as long as you don't want to max out all game settings.

Of course, with such high processor and graphics performance, it's no surprise the Acer Aspire 5745G laptop's battery life takes a beating. In our battery test - at full screen brightness and high performance preset - the Acer Aspire 5745G's six-cell battery lasted just over an hour with onboard Intel GMA HD graphics.

This is lesser than Dell Studio 15's battery life and far lesser than the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG's battery life. But expect greater battery life with Acer's PowerSmart Manager enabled. Still the Aspire 5745G isn't a road warrior, don't expect great battery life - for that consider something from Acer's Aspire TimelineX laptop range.

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

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NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Acer Aspire 5745G: Specs

  • Intel Core i5-430M Processor, 2.26GHz
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce G310M graphics processor
  • 15.6in TFT wide screen WXGA 1366x768
  • 500GB SATA
  • DVD-Super Multi DL drive
  • 5-in-1 memory card reader
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • RJ-45 ethernet
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • VGA, HDMI
  • Built-in loudspeakers
  • Webcam
  • Li-ion battery
  • 379x250x25.9-32.9mm
  • 2.6kg
  • Intel Core i5-430M Processor, 2.26GHz
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce G310M graphics processor
  • 15.6in TFT wide screen WXGA 1366x768
  • 500GB SATA
  • DVD-Super Multi DL drive
  • 5-in-1 memory card reader
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • RJ-45 ethernet
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • VGA, HDMI
  • Built-in loudspeakers
  • Webcam
  • Li-ion battery
  • 379x250x25.9-32.9mm
  • 2.6kg

OUR VERDICT

A 15-inch laptop, the Acer Aspire 5745G brings a much-needed facelift to Acer's Aspire laptop line. The laptop comes with switchable Nvidia graphics and is a very good contender for a predominant home laptop. The Acer Aspire 5745G laptop is definitely better looking than previous Aspire laptops and sells for a price of £699. For that price, you get a 15-inch laptop that offers a decent balance between performance and features. The laptop has switchable graphics to conserve battery life as well. Unlike the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG, the Acer Aspire 5745G isn’t the best mainstream laptop for home use, nor does it have the premium feel and extensive features offered by the Dell Studio 15. But the Acer Aspire 5745G is still a pretty good deal and should interest you if you desire better graphics performance than the Dell Studio 15 or a bigger screen than the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG.

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