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Acer Aspire 5560G review

Poor performance and battery life from this mid-ranger

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good graphics power
  • Sturdy build quality
  • 8GB or RAM

Against

  • Battery life
  • Office performance
  • Sound quality

Acer may seemingly release a new laptop model every eight seconds, but the majority offer excellent value for money, with strong specs for the asking price. We were therefore disappointed by the performance of the Aspire 5560G, despite its strong graphical abilities.

At first glance, this is standard Acer fare. The plastic body looks smart with its dark grey finish, covering the lid and the interior. It isn't exactly a gorgeous machine, but you won't be carrying it around in a brown paper bag either.

Build quality is typically strong, with no troublesome flex in any area. Acer's usual isolation-style keyboard is in place, and as comfortable to use as ever. By stretching the full width of the chassis, the board is a great size with spacious keys and even fits in a numeric keypad, which number-crunchers will love.

The only irritants are the tiny arrow keys, which have been crushed into a single row. Keys are firmly mounted, giving a solid typing action.

Stilted performance

Unfortunately, once you delve into the Aspire 5560G's innards, the fairytale ends. Many of Acer's laptops feature Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, which are powerful enough to run all manner of software, even at the same time. However, this device uses a less powerful AMD processor instead, and the results are unsurprising.

Compared with other Acer laptops which cost over £200 less, the Aspire 5560G just can't keep up. It runs the latest office applications perfectly, and wirelessly browsing the web is a smooth experience thanks to the 802.11n Wi-Fi support. However, if you try to do too much at once you'll notice the occasional annoying lag.

You do get a generous 8GB of memory, which helps when multi-tasking, but it feels wasted on a processor this clunky.

The main selling point of this laptop is the graphics card, again provided by AMD. This GPU is actually a combination of integrated and dedicated GPUs, which work together to render images. It's a peculiar arrangement but we had no trouble playing recent games, while photo and video editing software also ran smoothly.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 125 minutes
Cinebench: 6793
3DMark 2006: N/A

The widescreen 15.6-inch display is a reasonably bright screen with sharp contrast and deep blacks, and photos look pleasingly colourful. Be prepared to fork out for some dedicated speakers if you want to enjoy music and movies at home, though, as the built-in pair are underpowered.

At least you can store your entire media collection on the 750GB hard drive, without resorting to external storage.

If you're looking for a laptop to keep you productive away from home, the Aspire 5560G isn't ideal. The 2.6kg chassis isn't too hefty to lug around, but the mediocre battery life is limiting. We managed around four hours of life if we confined ourselves to basic tasks. You'll be similarly confined to watching short movies; a far from perfect scenario.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity750 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6650M
BluetoothNo
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyAspire 5560G
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelA8-3500M
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeA-Series
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.60 kg
Cache4 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height33.2 mm
Width381.6 mm
Depth253 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series5560G
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAS5560G-8358G75Mnkk
Product NameAspire AS5560G-8358G75Mnkk Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.RNZ02.049
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Acer's Aspire Series offers a diverse range of notebooks with the performance, graphics and communication tools to maximize your digital entertainment, complete your daily tasks, and keep you in touch with friends and family, whether you're at home or on the go.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Aspire AS5560G-8358G75Mnkk Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year