Acer Aspire 5738DZG review

The most affordable 3D laptop you can buy, but usability can be a real headache

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With its 15.6-inch screen striking a nice balance between size and portability, the Acer Aspire 5738DZG is a semi-portable laptop, suitable for home use and basic travel.

Weighing 2.9kg, you can comfortably carry it on short journeys, but the 191-minute battery life means you'll need to carry the AC adapter during the day to charge the battery at least twice a day, making it a machine more suitable for use at home on your desk.

As with most laptops in Acer's entry-level range, the Aspire 5738DZG uses plastic throughout its chassis, with no use of the brushed aluminium and metallic finishes seen on more expensive machines such as the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G.

This creates quite a cheap feel to the Aspire 5738DZG, but the chassis still manages to feel suitably resilient and well made, making it tough enough for frequent use by the whole family.

The user interface of the Aspire 5738DZG incorporates Acer's traditional use of a flat keyboard with all keys raised slightly above the chassis' surface. While the flat keys restrict tactility somewhat, the ample spacing between each key makes it easy to type at speed.

All keys respond smoothly for a reliable typing action. A full numeric keypad is also in place, for quickly and easily inputting data – into spreadsheets for example.

Acer aspire 5738dzg

KEY FEATURE: Acer's unique keyboard design has all keys raised above the chassis' top panel

The Aspire 5738DZG's large touchpad measures 100 x 50mm and perfectly matches the 15.6-inch screen's 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Only the cheaply made mouse buttons let things down slightly, because they lack the quality of the rest of the interface.

A scrollbar on the pad's right-hand side makes it easy to scroll vertically through documents, while a small button can be used to disable the pad entirely, for when using an external USB mouse.

Acer aspire 5738dzg

NO TOUCHING!: A compact button enables you to instantly disable the Acer's huge touchpad

To help keep costs low, the Acer Aspire 5738DZG has been built around an older Intel Pentium T4300 processor running at 2.1GHz, rather than one of Intel's latest entry-level Core i3 or mid-level i5 chips.

Backing up the processor is 4096MB (4GB) of DDR2 memory, again eschewing the use of newer technology – in this case faster DDR3 memory – in order to keep the Aspire 5738DZG as affordable and accessible as possible.

Storage is far more pleasing, with a 500GB hard drive in place spinning at 5400rpm for average data read/write speeds.

Unlike more expensive 3D-capable rivals, such as the Asus G51, that use a Blu-ray optical drive for maximum external disc storage and high-definition multimedia playback, the Acer Aspire 5738DZG has a standard CD/DVD rewriter – fitted on the chassis' right-hand side – for creating your own discs.

Acer aspire 5738dzg

CARD HOLDER: A 5-in-1 card reader provides easy access to popular multimedia card formats

A 5-in-1 card reader at the front of the chassis enables access to the most popular media card formats, making it easy to share files with your smartphone and digital camera. All other ports are spread across the right and left-hand sides of the Acer Aspire 5738DZG.

Two USB 2.0 ports are located on the right, while the left side has two more USB 2.0 ports, alongside VGA and HDMI outs for connecting to external analogue and digital displays.

Acer aspire 5738dzg

HIGH OUTPUT: VGA and HDMI-out ports enable you to connect to analogue and digital HD displays

Impressively for such a low priced machine, the Acer Aspire 5738DZG is well equipped for high-speed network connectivity.

802.11n Wi-Fi allows the fastest possible wireless network connections, while a Gigabit Ethernet port on the chassis' left-hand side allows high-speed network connections via Ethernet cables. Bluetooth support is also in place for wirelessly syncing compatible peripherals.

A mid-level ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics card drives the Acer Aspire 5738DZG's 15.6-inch screen, for basic graphics performance.

The screen's 1366 x 768 pixel resolution enables high-definition 720p video content to be viewed in all its glory, but with no support for sharper 1080p content, the Aspire 5738DZG lacks the full high-definition compatibility of more expensive machines such as the Rock Xtreme 680 and Asus G73.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 4570
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Maximum Battery Run Time3 Hour
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Product FamilyAspire 5738DZG
Processor ModelT4300
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed2.10 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Cache1 MB
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelGM45 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height37 mm
Width383.5 mm
Depth251.5 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series5738DZG
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product Model5738DZG
Product NameAspire 5738DZG Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.PKF02.045
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Get the sure ticket to high-def cinematic fun and powerful mobile performance! With the Aspire 5738DZG Notebook, riveting action, realistic audio and rich visuals play like a true theater. And, complementing the brilliant performance is the dazzling glow of Acer's Gemstone notebook design sure to capture attention wherever you go.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed800 MHz