We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Acer Aspire 5740G review

£719 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Acer

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop offers very good performance, but substandard audio and a lack of Bluetooth may limit its appeal.

The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop offers very good performance, but substandard audio and a lack of Bluetooth may limit its appeal.

New laptops based on Intel's Core i5 CPUs are rolling in like a swarm of summer grasshoppers. The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop falls squarely in the conservative middle of these units, stuffing a next-generation Core i5-430M processor and ATI Radeon Mobility 5650 graphics hardware into a bulky, last-generation laptop chassis.

Although the case is an attractive cobalt blue, the unit screams "average" when you factor in its 1.5in thickness and 2.8kg weight. The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop is a tight fit in our LowePro FastPack 250 backpack - the power brick needed to go into a separate compartment.

The Acer Aspire 5740G's performance is pretty standard for a laptop in this class, earning a slightly better than average WorldBench 6 score. Gaming results were also acceptable, with the Acer achieving 30fps in Far Cry 2 with optimal settings in DirectX 10 mode, while the more-demanding Stalker: Call of Pripyat needed to be set at moderate settings to hit over 30fps (but that included enabling DirectX 11.0 tessellation).

The display resolution is a middling 1366x768. While it is bright and saturated, the 60 percent colour gamut means that you wouldn't want to do a lot of heavy video or photo editing. DVD upscaling looked good, especially after we enabled the additional 'Theater' preset in the ATI Catalyst Control Panel. The 1080p files we viewed in Windows Media Player also looked good, even though the resolution was scaled down. The real drawback of the Acer Aspire 5740G laptop's LCD screen, however, was the vertical viewing angle; even a slight vertical tilt resulted in a muddy, posterised mess of an image.

While the display mostly impressed us, audio playback was awful. The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop's soundstage was muddy, with the stereo image vague at best. The overall tonal quality was too bright, midrange was lost in the mix and bass was utterly lacking. Our advice: use good in-ear or full-size headphones for listening to music.

The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop is a mixed bag when it comes to input/output ports, too. It delivers four USB 2.0 ports, but none are of the combo USB/eSATA variety. The system offers no USB 3.0 support either. The laptop does conveniently place two USB ports on either side, though. The five-in-one flash card reader is mounted in the front of the chassis. Two display outputs (HDMI and VGA), plus analog audio ports and a gigabit ethernet jack, reside on the left side.

Connectivity is average. In addition to the previously mentioned gigabit ethernet jack, an Atheros 802.11n chip is included for fast Wi-Fi connections. However, the Acer Aspire 5740G laptop lacks Bluetooth, a strange omission in today's smartphone world. Also missing is any option for embedded wireless broadband.

Bundled software is limited to trialware (Microsoft Office, Norton online backup, McAfee Internet Security), plus Microsoft Works, NTI backup and some Acer-supplied utilities for Webcam and interface management. Also included are Acer Arcade (actually a media-playback app) and NTI Media Maker for editing. The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop's printed documentation is limited to a quick-reference guide; the online PDF manuals are generic.

The touchpad seemed a little laggy, but it was also too sensitive to perceived pressure, changing modes when we thought we were just moving the pointer. A convenient physical button adjacent to the touchpad lets you easily disable it if you've attached a mouse. The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop's keyboard offers a very good feel, along with a discrete numeric keypad - something that spreadsheet fans will love. The keyboard layout is also quite good for touch typists; if we have a complaint, it's about the half-size directional keys, which seem out of place on an otherwise nearly full-size keyboard.


More laptop reviews

Laptop Advisor

PC World

Acer Aspire 5740G Expert Verdict »

Acer Aspire 5740G-434G50Mn Scores 8.7 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
2.26GHz Intel Core i5 430M
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
4GB DDR3 1066 RAM
2 x 320GB SATA
15.6in (1366x768) LED-backlit LCD screen
512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470
802.11a/b/g/n
ethernet
4 x USB 2.0
DVD burner
five-in-one card reader
webcam
VGA
HDMI
Kensington lock slot
one-year collect-and-return warranty
2.8kg
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Acer Aspire 5740G laptop offers great performance at a good price. The inclusion of a DirectX 11.0-class discrete graphics chip is another plus, providing good gaming performance and video playback. If you're in the market for an affordable laptop with the latest features, and you don't mind the deficient audio playback and the lack of Bluetooth support, this 'average' machine may be just right.

  • Acer Aspire 5740-333G32Mn review

    Acer Aspire 5740-333G32Mn

    The Acer Aspire 5740-333G32Mn comes in at the weightier end of the budget laptop spectrum.

  • Acer Aspire 5745G review

    Acer Aspire 5745G

    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 5740 review

    Acer Aspire 5740

    The Acer Aspire 5740 parks itself next to most midrange laptops. It feels fast enough for all common productivity applications; carries a big, 15.6-inch screen; and has nearly all the inputs and outputs you could want.

  • Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T review

    Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T

    The new Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T is a 14-inch slim, lightweight mainstream laptop based on Intel's "Arrandale" Core i3-330M processor. It packs the performance of a mainstream laptop in a thin, compact form factor, and also gives better-than-average battery life - ideal for a 14-inch laptop for people on the go.

  • Acer Aspire 5920G laptop PC

    Acer Aspire 5920G laptop PC

    Armed with a fast processor and solid speakers, the £799 inc VAT Acer Aspire 5920G is great for both work and entertainment.


IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: A better deal than the Z3 and most smartphones

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Framestore recreates ancient China for Mr Bean's martial arts misadventure

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests and more