The Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G is more of a stay-at-home machine than a travel companion. Swapping performance for portability, it's more suited to static use.

Acer certainly hasn't skimped when it comes to the Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G, including a speedy 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor and generous 2GB of RAM. Running it through the WorldBench 6 test resulted in a decent real-world score of 71.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

The inclusion of an nVidia GeForce 8400M graphics adapter also meant the Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G could have a stab at gaming and it managed to achieve a result of 13 frames per second (fps) running our challenging gaming benchmark tests.

While it can hold its own in the performance stakes, the Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G is a little lacking in the battery department, managing to last only 85 minutes. However, given its bulk it's unlikely to spend that much time away from a mains power socket.

The Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G's 17in screen has a glossy finish that increases the colour vibrancy. The trade-off, of course, is that the high-gloss results in increased reflectivity. Another point to note is that the 1,440x900 resolution falls short of the 1,920x1,080 resolution necessary for displaying 1,080p HD (high definition) content in full detail.

This is a particular shame since Acer has included an HD-DVD drive (which also double as a dual-format DVD writer), so you won't be able to get the most out of HD discs unless you hook up the Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G to an external display.

Acer has taken advantage of the extra space available to include a numeric keypad to the right of the keyboard. In addition, the Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G features not one, but two 160GB hard drives providing a total of 320GB of internal storage. You also get four USB ports, sensibly split with two each side.

As with the smaller Acer Aspire 2920, the Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G uses the company’s new Gemstone chassis design. The curves may well appeal to some, but we found it gave the 7720G a rather plasticky, Fisher Price-type effect.

Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G: Specs

  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, SpeedStep
  • 4 USB ports, 1 FireWire port
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 404x298x43mm
  • 802.11b/g
  • Ethernet
  • 17in, 1,440x900 display
  • nVidia GeForce 8400M, 256MB
  • flash memory drive
  • 1x8x8x8x4x4x5x (HD DVD/DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • 24x24x16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 320GB hard drive (2x160GB)
  • 3.6kg
  • SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro
  • CyberLink PowerDVD, NTI CD-Maker
  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, SpeedStep
  • 4 USB ports, 1 FireWire port
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 404x298x43mm
  • 802.11b/g
  • Ethernet
  • 17in, 1,440x900 display
  • nVidia GeForce 8400M, 256MB
  • flash memory drive
  • 1x8x8x8x4x4x5x (HD DVD/DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • 24x24x16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 320GB hard drive (2x160GB)
  • 3.6kg
  • SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro
  • CyberLink PowerDVD, NTI CD-Maker

OUR VERDICT

The Acer Aspire Gemstone 7720G is a bit of brute to look at, but it's powerful and can even do a little bit of gaming. The inclusion of an HD DVD drive in this price range is impressive, although it's a shame the screen resolution doesn't allow you to make the most of it.

Find the best price