Thanks to a successful year of releases, Acer has become the top-selling manufacturer in Europe, and the Aspire 5745DG-374G32Mnks is its second foray into the world of 3D.

Whereas the first Acer 3D laptop, the Aspire 5738DZG, used passive screen technology, this laptop uses Nvidia's active 3D Vision product, producing great results.

The system is easy to set up, thanks to an intuitive wizard, and matters are helped by the fact that the infrared module used to connect the glasses wirelessly to the Acer has been integrated into the laptop, making the process a lot less fiddly.

Once set up, we found the technology produced both positives and negatives. On the positive side, there's no doubt the 3D effect enhances the gaming experience. Images pop out at you and there's a great sense of depth to games, so we found the experience extremely immersive. Sadly, the effect varied between products.

For example, while some official 3D Vision games look fantastic, some disappointed, with a large amount of colour washout and low brightness.

When not in 3D mode the laptop works as any other. The 15.6-inch screen is clear and colourful, but not as bright as we would expect and those who work in bright conditions might suffer as a result.

The simple brushed-aluminium design is very effective, both looking great and proving very easy to keep clean from dust and dirt. The lid is made of shiny plastics, however, and quickly attracts smudges.

Numeric keypad

The keyboard spreads the width of the chassis and features large keys with room for a dedicated numeric keypad – which will suit those who regularly input data into spreadsheets and make calculations.

The Intel Core i3 processor will easily provide more than enough power for the everyday user looking to run a few office applications while listening to music and browsing the internet. Those looking to run the most resource-intensive multimedia applications may find the laptop displays signs of lag at times, however.

Nevertheless, the dedicated Nvidia graphics card uses an impressive 1024MB of dedicated memory and so has little problem running the latest games.

The Acer features a large battery which makes it a bit bulky to carry around, and contributes to the 2.9kg weight, but the 333 minutes you get between charges is quite impressive for this type of laptop.

The Acer Aspire 5745DG-374G32Mnks is a decent multimedia performer, and you won't find Nvidia 3D Vision much cheaper at the moment. But the technology is still in its infancy and not without its hitches, so aim to try out the 3D feature in-store before you buy if possible.

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