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I have now owned my Aspire 5741 for just over a year, and it has managed everything i have asked it too with ease. I am an undergraduate student so my demands on my laptop include heavy word processing and internet researching, and therefore good multitasking capabilities, good music and video playback, a strong wireless receiver for those times on campus when signal is fading, and the ability to play the odd computer game or two. In all of these categories it stands up very well, with the Intel Core i3 processor making this model substantially faster than most of the 4gb RAM models in the same price range. This is evident when using heavier programs such as ArcGIS, SPSS Statistics and Idrisi Taiga, which are necessary for my course, which all run as well as the University desktops, which i was not expecting from a budget laptop. The processor is also powerful enough to run many games, however if you are a serious gamer this is not for you as the graphics card will not meet the top requirements for the latest graphics heavy games. This laptop benefits over many due to its large 15.6" HD screen, which is very good, especially when it comes to watching films and other HD content on this laptop. Despite this there is only a DVD/RW drive, so unfortunately no viewing of Blu-Ray discs. Whilst this is a larger laptop, due to the screen and large keyboard (which includes dedicated number keys) it isn't bulky, and i rarely have problems transporting this to campus and back. The Sound quality from the inbuilt speakers is as you would expect, and surprisingly un-tinny for a laptop provided you don't have the volume too high. It is absolutely fine for personal video use or music listening. The in built webcam provides good quality photos and videos, and as a regular skype user it has been more than adequate for this function. As for Windows 7 it is a definite improvement on Vista, both in terms of performance and user friendliness. The battery life remains strong over a year after purchase, with it exceeding three hours whilst windows is in "power saver" mode. The laptop has three usb ports, more than enopugh for the average user for a mouse and any external storage requirements, ethernet, screen output, 3.5mm jack input and output and HDMI output. My only gripe with this laptop is one that I, and thousands of other Acer users have had problems with in the past. The catch to the low price of this very impressive laptop is in the build quality, which whilst not immediately obvious in this attractive looking model on the outside, resulted in my hard drive malfunctioning eight months in. All credit to Acer they repaired my Laptop and returned it to me withing a week, however I do worry whether this will happen again now i am no longer in warranty. Unfortunately this means a lower score, but provided your get a bug free model, this laptop would be the way to go for an affordable fast machine, with excellent multitasking and multimedia capabilities.
My old laptop died and I had to buy a new one a short notice as I need a computer at home for work and home life. I found the Acer Aspire 5741 at under £500 and have been really please with it in the 6 months that I've had it.
I use it for browsing the web, Email, MS Office, watching video - all the usual stuff. I've found it to be fast - I never have to wait while the rest of a video clip downloads - and really reliable. The screen is a great size; it is easy to see and easy to work with for hours on end. I found my old netbook too small and it caused headaches. With this Acer, I have had no headaches at all.
The build quality feels robust. My 3 children all use this computer and they can been less careful than I would like (they are 10-16 year old) but, so far, I've had no problems with bits falling off, as I've had in the past with other machines. While the laptop is solid, it is still possible to hold it in one hand and certainly it tucks under one arm easily. The battery life is not bad, although I'd be happier with a few more hours of juice in the battery. The WiFi is strong and I have never had it drop the signal.
Ok, so it's not the snazziest machine out there, in terms of looks, but it does everything I need and it does it well. I'd happily buy another one.
I've been using this laptop at uni and over the summer for about 4 months now, so heres my review of it so far:
Layout and ease of use:
Of all the laptops i've seen around lately, this is definitely one of my favourites. It's sleek, light, with a nice design cross hatch design on the front. The speaker grill is nicely placed above the keyboard right across the width of the laptop. Although not anything significant, the power button is also easy to locate and looks great.
The keyboard has got to be it's highlight, with keys that look like they're suspended above the case, they look and feel great. Typing on this laptop is a delight. Personally I've bought a £5 USB mouse because i prefer using it, but the track pad on the laptop is fine to use. The only issue being the multi gesture pinch to zoom function that I accidently use on occasions, and the scroll track at the side of the pad that is easy to move into and scroll inadvertently up and down pages. This isn't a particular troublesome issue however.
It has 3 USB ports that are easy to find. Most connective ports are easy to locate and subtly placed in keeping with the style of the laptop.
The 320GB hardrive is plentiful for myself, and has enough room for plenty of films, music and games. For all those who liek to store a lot more on their laptops may have an issue, and certainly for the price you can get laptops with bigger hardrives. External hardives however are becoming ever cheaper and are great use as a backup.
The DVD drive burns multi layer DVDs and is pretty fast and easy to use.
The Intel Core i3 processor works well and keeps Windows 7 running smoothly for the majority of the time.
With the 3GB windows has been moving at a pretty fast pace since i bought it, so you shouldnt have any issues with that.
Graphics and Gaming:
The Intel HD Graphics card keeps the laptop on top of trivial DVD playing and older games, but seriously struggles when it comes to dealing with newer games. I recently bought Company of Heroes (2006) and had to turn the graphic settings right down to get it running smoothly, similarly a more recent demo of Empire: Total War was just about playable at minimum settings. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 [(2004) a great game!] however runs smoothly on the highest settings.
If your looking for a new age gaming laptop, look elsewhere, but for older games and more casual playing, this laptop fairs well.
N.B. The card supports HDMI out, which means i can my laptop via a HDMI cable to a larger HD TV for watching DVDs or showing off videos etc.
The battery life is decent for a laptop. You can just about watch a 3 hour film before it runs out, maybe longer is you turn all the brightness and various settings down. Less battery intense use could warrant about 5 or 6 hours of battery life, depending on brightness and power settings. I haven't found the battery a problem if I'm using it carefully and plan my use well.
The screen is bright and quite vivid, though i most note the vertical viewing angles are pretty poor. View the screen from slightly above and you really can't see much. This is only really an issue if a few of you are gathered around it and looking at it from different angles. It shouldn't cause any major problems. At the right angle however the laptop is great for watching DVDs or videos.
The laptop comes with Windows 7 Premium, which is a fantastic upgrade from Vista and one i would thoroughly recommend. Everyday tasks such as connecting a printer or connecting to a network could not be simpler.
The laptop comes with trials for Word 2007 and McAfee Internet Suite for 60 days, which are nice while they last. Windows 7 has some premium has some great DVD burning software, and acer provides various bits of software which may come in handy at times, but there's nothing there to shout about.
I've only had this laptop now for just over 3 months now. It has turned out to be one of the best buys I have made and I got it for just under £500. It is perfect and is so easy to use this beast of a laptop. It has a great processor allowing me to do my everyday needs including, work and browsing the internet and the 3gb ram it comes with is a great extra. The hard drive is huge compared to them rubbish 160gb hard drives.
The processor is really fast and great for games that work flawlessly on it. The HD screen is brilliant for watching movies and youtube videos in 720p. Acer aspire is a great make and I have never incountered any problems with it so far. The only negative thing I can think of is the battery life, because for a laptop, 2.5 hours really isn't good enough. But, I would recommend it to anyone wanting a laptop with as higher specs as this one.
This Laptop runs programs including Photoshop and editing programs really smoothly, you can have multiple programs up and running at the same time and it will not get sloppy or slow. I use the laptop mainly for a bit of hard core gaming and using itunes. The games that I play are the newest releases including, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin's Creed 2. They work so well and HD screens just brightens up the graphics. The only thing about it is that I have to have the settings on medium so that it runs smootly, but that is still very good considering that it a Budget Laptop.
In conclusion, all I can give is praise for this Laptop because it performs so well, and comes it very useful especially that is is bundled with so many features that not even computers have for this price and it is portable! I really love this laptop and think it was an excellent buy. I definately recommend this laptop to anyone wanting a top of the range laptop for a really low price and Acer has done wonders for me!!
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