Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G review

  • £936

A powerful and feature-packed entertainment laptop at a great price

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great performance
  • Battery life
  • Build quality
  • Blu-ray drive

Against

  • Not Full HD screen
  • Quite heavy

We're huge fans of Acer's Aspire Ethos entertainment laptops, which boast incredible amounts of power and some excellent features, but it does have a steep price tag.

The Aspire Ethos 5943G-5464G50Bnss aims to bring the range to the masses with a cost under a £1000 and, despite some sacrifices, we're still highly impressed.

While the previous Ethos model we reviewed had an Intel Core i7 processor and a staggering 16,384MB of memory, this model opts for a Core i5 CPU and 4096MB of memory. Despite this, our benchmarking tests came out with a near identical score. We found we could run several resource-intensive applications at once with no visible slowing at all.

Decent graphics

Graphical performance is also impressive, with the dedicated ATi Radeon HD 5650 graphics card capable of most multimedia tasks. Video editing is a breeze, while gamers can run the latest titles smoothly.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 381 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 257
3D Mark 2003: 21,171

Acer has also included a Blu-ray drive for watching both Blu-ray discs and DVDs, and the built-in speakers do a commendable job, although we would still recommend a separate pair.

Unfortunately, one of the sacrifices made to reduce costs is a lower display resolution. Previous models wowed us with HD images, but this model only manages a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, so those Blu-ray films don't appear as sharp as they could. Thankfully, you can connect an external display via the VGA or HDMI ports.

The Ethos is a sturdy beast and our only issue is a little flex in the centre of the lid. The strong build quality makes for impressive usability, with a firm isolation style keyboard proving a delight to type on.

We also enjoyed the smooth and generously sized touchpad, which rather slickly converts to a media control panel at the touch of a button, for playing, pausing and skipping through your music and video.

At almost 3kg, this is definitely a desktop replacement machine and not a laptop for taking on the road often. However, 381 minutes of battery life defied our expectations and provides extra freedom when needed.

A fingerprint scanner is built into the palmrest, giving you an extra layer of security and eliminating the need to remember login passwords. You also get a 5-in-1 memory card reader, an eSATA port for attaching an external hard drive, and even a mini FireWire port.

Although Acer has cut back the specification of the Aspire Ethos 5943G-5464G50Bnss to trim the price, we were still highly impressed. Performance hasn't suffered at all and build quality is just as strong, although we were disappointed by the sharpness of the screen.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 5650
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Reader
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
Maximum Battery Run Time3.40 Hour
Finger Print ReaderYes
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyAspire 5943G
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-460M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed2.53 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)3.30 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Optical Media SupportedBD-ROM/DVD±R/±RW
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Height39.4 mm
Width382 mm
Depth269 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Product Series5943G
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAS5943G-5464G50Bnss
Product NameAspire 5943G AS5943G-5464G50Bnss Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.PWG02.039
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

The awesome 15.6" Aspire 5943 puts you in the director's chair with Intel Core processing power, discrete ATI graphics, and the creative tools you need to turn your multimedia dreams into reality anywhere, anytime.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Aspire 5943G AS5943G-5464G50Bnss Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter