Acer Aspire 5742G review

  • £498

Plenty of storage and power make for a great family laptop - but at a price

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Product features

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

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For

  • Good performance
  • Battery life
  • Vibrant screen
  • Connectivity
  • Dedicated graphics

Against

  • Some flex in keyboard
  • Keyboard also attracts dust and dirt

Acer aims to balance price with performance and the Aspire series has been its mainstay for many years. With the Aspire 5742G, Acer has put everything you need in a starter laptop and wrapped it up in a great-looking package.

Right out of the box the Aspire has enough processing power to handle everything you want in a starter laptop, but on top of that it's also a pleasure to look at. The textured finish on both the lid and internal chassis feels comfortable and won't pick up the grubby fingerprints that curse more reflective designs.

The keyboard doesn't feel quite as sturdy as some (we noticed an obvious flex in the keyboard during typing), but the keys are well spaced and easy to type on. The Aspire 5742G sports Acer's favoured keyboard where keys appear to float above the chassis. This looks great, but you'll find it quickly traps debris underneath the keys.

Whilst not as comfortable as either the Sony or the Packard Bell, this style is certainly good enough for bashing out longer documents. There is also a full-sized numeric keypad, although no dedicated hotkeys. The touchpad is also comfortable to use.

The Acer is built around Intel's Core i3 processor, which provides plenty of power, and is backed up by the 4096MB of memory.

But what really sets the Aspire 5742G apart is the 1024MB of video memory provided by the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics card. As you can see from our benchmark tests, this laptop will be fine running the current crop of gaming titles and will easily handle photo and HD video editing.

Similarly, the massive 620GB of hard drive storage will provide plenty of space for all the family's data.

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Benchmarks

Battery life: 278 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 228
3DMark 2003: 11,991

Vibrant screen

The 15.5-inch screen provides a great level of detail and colour vibrancy. The screen is bright and watching movies or playing games is an impressive experience. The HDMI, VGA and three USB 2.0 ports mean you can also hook it up to your HD TV for big-screen viewing.

Acer aspire 5742g

We achieved a very respectable 278 minutes from the battery during our benchmark tests and the chassis is sturdy enough to take a few bumps and knocks should you decide to take it on the road.

We liked the Acer Aspire 5742G. The higher asking price is a bit painful to swallow, but we feel it justifies this with the dedicated graphics card, large storage space and great battery life.

It's likely to future-proof better than some of the other laptops and would make for a worthwhile purchase.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity640 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 520M
BluetoothNo
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
Maximum Battery Run Time3 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Product FamilyAspire 5742G
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli3-380M
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed2.53 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.60 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 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 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height34 mm
Width381 mm
Depth253 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Product Series5742G
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAS5742G-384G64Mnkk
Product NameAspire AS5742G-384G64Mnkk Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.RJ002.013
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

The Aspire 5742 meets your daily computing needs with an Intel processor and integrated graphics. HD media playback offers richer entertainment at home or on the road, while boundary free wireless communication keeps you in touch with family and friends. What's more, the Acer FineTip keyboard and multi gesture touchpad provide simple usability for more relaxed computing.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Aspire AS5742G-384G64Mnkk Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter