Product Type: Acer laptops
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Acer Aspire 5742: Generally a great Laptop
Acer Aspire 5742
Member Name: owltop420
Acer Aspire 5742
Advantages: Good Processor, RAM, Hard Drive Space
Disadvantages: Average Battery Life, Bad Speakers
I bought this laptop for £449.99, reduced from £549.99, from PC World in May of 2011 and I was immediately impressed. Firstly the price for a laptop of this spec was better than any other laptop around at the time. The most important specs of this laptop are:
- Intel Core i5-450M which is an upgrade from the Intel Core i3 which is what was originally in the 5742, although having used both, there is little difference.
-Windows 7 Home Premium
-4GB DDR3 RAM
-500GB Hard Drive
-15.6" HD LED LCD screen
-6-cell Li-ion Battery
-HDMI and VGA output
I use this as a general home laptop, I watch films, listen to music, surf the internet and do a bit of work on it such as word processing (using Microsoft Office). For these things, it is ideal. The 500GB hard drive allows for plenty of files to be saved, my iTunes has 40GB of music on it at the moment and I have about 40GB worth of films and I've still got plenty of space left. Although I don't tend to keep pictures, the screen is very nice to browse through the phew that I do have so if that is what you like to do, this laptop is still great for you.
The Intel Core i5 is a 2.4GHz Dual Core processor which is very high spec, well at least for when I bought it. They have now introduced the second generation of Intel Core i3/5/7 processors however. The processor is very capable and allows me to do the day to day stuff with ease and without any lags. I did have Adobe Photoshop CS5 installed which ran okay but not brilliantly a a program with of that quality tends to need a bit more juice.
The 4GB of RAM installed is really useful and if you want to you can easily upgrade it as it as two slots so you could put 2x4GB sticks in if you are into upgrading hardware. The 4GB allows me to run loads of programs at the same time with no noticeable change in speed as well as have multiple web pages open. With the processor and the RAM combines, it is a pretty quick computer.
Another feature I really like about this is the HDMI port which I use to plug the laptop into my TV to watch films. There is no loss in quality and the HDMI plays the sound through the TV whereas, VGA does not so if you are looking a laptop with just a VGA output, be aware that it won't play audio through the TV...just in case you didn't know. The need to play the audio through the TV comes from the generally rubbish speakers installed in the laptop. They are only Mono speakers compared to the much more common and higher quality Stereo speakers which you would expect in a laptop of this day an age. Playing music on these speakers alone is not enjoyable and it was the one thing that almost put me off buying the laptop. However I just plug them into my set of Altec Lansing 5.1 speakers and the sound is great so I am not too bother by it. However if you want a laptop with decent speakers, this probably isn't the one for you.
Another minor moan is the battery life which on average is two to three hours if I'm doing some work, surfing the net or listening to some music. If I try and watch film, it the battery tends to drain quite quickly which can get annoying but if fully charged, I can just about watch a short-medium length film.
Another slight moan is the lack of USB ports with only 3 but to be fair they are easily accessible compared to my old laptop which had them on the back, what a pain! I find that typing on this keyboard is very easy also as the keys are evenly spaced and I am so used to typing on a light touch keyboard. Another advantage of the keyboard is the number pad on the right which lots of laptops do not have. The track pad is also great as it doesn't randomly jump when typing and you can scroll with it and when using Firefox you can go back/forward pages by dragging two fingers across the pad, similarly with the Macbook. The clicker is a nice click if you know what I mean? although, it does look a bit worn after 9 months of use, but unlike other Acer models it hasn't stop working, which is a problem they have had in the past. Another high point is the wireless adapter (internal) which I have never had any problems with, connects very easily.
The general design of this laptop is great, comes is red and black, and maybe blue (but that might be the 5742Z...not too sure!). I have the black and it looks nice and sleek! The screen folds down really nicely, and holds down without any clips. It also doesn't rock when typing which is a nice change! The front of the laptop and the keyboard area has some from of texture which adds to how aesthetically pleasing it is.
Some of you might be wondering what this laptop is like for gaming and I can tell you it isn't great. It can less demanding games perfectly well such as GTA San Andreas and Angry Birds, the only two I have tried but it can't do the proper gaming, I tried Crysis 2 and it was just impossible to do anything as it was so laggy.
Overall, this is a great laptop for the home user and can cater for a wide variety of needs, minus gaming! I would definitely recommend it especially to someone who is looking for a well price laptop with a large number of features. I hope this review has been helpful, I have been as detailed as possible and as honest as possible.
Summary: Great all round laptop, especially for home use/entertainment
|Ease of use:|
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