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Acer Aspire 5741Z review

Stunning value from this smart and surprisingly powerful laptop

Our Verdict

A great budget option if you want a powerful, portable laptop with good graphics and quick processing

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Powerful processor for the price
  • Strong graphics
  • Smart design
  • Decent battery life
  • More storage than most rivals

Against

  • Some flex on palmrests
  • Not everyone will like the flat keyboard
  • Crumbs fall between keys easily
  • Reflections on screen
  • Touchpad may be too sensitive

Acer is one of the most prolific laptop manufacturers and its Aspire range boasts everything from budget portables to the most powerful multimedia monsters. The Aspire 5741Z is the former, a smart and surprisingly powerful entry-level laptop.

Budget machines make some tough compromises to cut costs, and one of the first casualties is often performance. However, while the Acer's Pentium P6000 processor has been around a while, it's extremely powerful. We found we could browse the web, play music and run various applications all at once, with only the occasional slowdown.

The Acer Aspire 5741Z also scored highly in our graphical benchmark tests. There's no dedicated graphics card, with the processor handling images instead, but we were highly impressed to find we could watch Full HD video and run complex photo editing suites. At this price point, that's quite a feat.

We also like the Acer's design, which is undoubtedly smarter than rivals such as the HP Compaq Presario CQ62-220SA and eMachines G627-202G25Mi. The brushed metal interior is resistant to fingerprints and belies the low cost, although we did notice some flex when you press on the palmrests.

You can comfortably carry the slim 2.5kg chassis if you need something to occupy you on commutes or long trips, while 250 minutes of battery life between charges is an impressive result.

Acer aspire 5741z

An important feature that should never be compromised, no matter what the price, is usability. Thankfully, the Acer Aspire 5741Z's keyboard is typically excellent.

The board fills the chassis with well-sized keys, although not everyone will like the flat design and it's easy for crumbs to slip between the gaps. A separate numeric keypad can be used to enter data.

Tech labs

Benchmarks

Battery life: 250 minutes
Mobilemark 2007: 195
3Dmark 2003: 3200

Responsive touchpad

The Acer's touchpad is smooth and sensitive, with a scrollbar along the right edge that allows you to skip through documents and web pages. Unfortunately, we kept brushing it while typing.

While the 15.6-inch screen isn't as bright as some, we found our photos were colourfully reproduced. Bear in mind that the Super-TFT finish makes the panel reflective, so you'll struggle to see anything when outdoors. You also get an HDMI port to attach external monitors.

Other laptops at this price point, such as the HP Compaq Presario CQ62-220SA and eMachines G627-202G25Mi, come with 250GB of storage, but the Acer Aspire 5741Z has a 320GB hard drive, adding extra value. However, you'll still struggle for space if you have a large collection of music and movies.

If you want to get online, the Acer's networking abilities are fantastic.

Verdict

If your budget is slender, but you need a powerful and portable machine, the Aspire 5741Z is your best option by far.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Maximum Battery Run Time4 Hour
WebcamYes
Product FamilyAspire 5741Z
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelP6000
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1.86 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Standard Memory3 GB
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height34 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series5741Z
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAS5741Z-P603G32Mn
Product NameAspire AS5741Z-P603G32Mn Notebook
Product LineAspire
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.PZF02.005
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Aspire AS5741Z-P603G32Mn Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter