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Acer Aspire 5745DG - Connectivity, Design and Build

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Connectivity on the Aspire 5745DG is mediocre. Those for whom the 320GB of internal storage isn't enough won't be pleased by the lack of eSATA or USB 3.0, and there's no ExpressCard slot either, so you can't add these on. Otherwise it's business as usual, with VGA and HDMI (of the 3D-compatible 1.4 variety) for video, 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks for audio, and four fairly well-spaced USB 2.0 ports for data.

For networking you have the choice between Gigabit Ethernet or Wi-Fi N, though Bluetooth doesn't make the cut. A memory card reader takes the usual suspects (SD/HC, MMC, MS Pro/Duo) and finally a DVD-Rewriter is on hand for optical media.

While it might have been necessary to keep the price down, the lack of a Blu-ray drive means that most (legal) stereoscopic 3D movies are off the menu. Of course you can still play these if you buy an external Blu-ray drive, but we can only imagine there will be quite a few consumers frustrated with this Acer's inability to play commercial high definition 3D discs 'out of the box'.

Getting to design, when closed the 5745DG presents a glossy black lid with a subtle pinstripe pattern and even subtler silver sparkles. While it doesn't help much with disguising all those nasty fingerprints the laptop will doubtless accumulate in no time at all, it's certainly not unattractive.

Opening the machine up reveals a more sensible interior, for though the screen's bezel is glossy (with the 1.3 megapixel webcam and Nvidia receiver neatly integrated), the palm rest area sports a thin veneer of brushed aluminium. The gunmetal grey colour works quite well with the matte black keyboard and its piano black surround, offset by blue power and status LEDs.

However, what you're most likely to notice – and indeed one of the 5745DG's distinguishing features, though not necessarily in a good way – is its huge nine-cell battery, which protrudes enough at the bottom to put the laptop at quite an angle. Some might prefer this for typing, but it does make it very difficult to fit the machine in a bag or sleeve with the battery attached.

Build quality throughout is very good, with no unwanted flex, creak or poor fittings, and solid hinge action. The laptop generally stays very quiet in use, and even under load emits only a light hum that shouldn't distract too much.

Runadumb

December 9, 2010, 3:16 pm

"The biggest disadvantage to 3D in the case of Acer's 5745DG is that its GT 425 graphics card simply can't cope with running intensive games in stereoscopic mode"


That was the first thing I thought when I seen this. Why even bother putting 3D on it? As 3D is so demanding I wouldn't want to be doing it on anything less than a high-end desktop card let along a cut done laptop version. As you said there isn't even a blue-ray drive to take advantage of 3D films so I would rather take that added expense and either pocket it or beef up the specs. Bizzare.





I find the Crysis on medium a "compromise to far" is a big elitist :). At medium that game holds it's own against any console game today. I know it's an old title but it was built to last and boy is it still a stunning game maxed out but it still looks great on medium. Playing that on 15inch screen is little "compromise"

Runadumb

December 9, 2010, 3:39 pm

Oh forgot to add you can switch between 3D and 2D while gaming. Can't remember what the short-cut but it's something like ALT+T. Tells you in the control panel.

Denis iii

December 9, 2010, 4:28 pm

are you not adding spec lists anymore?


do they do a version with NO 3D but a higher res d or same resolution display?





@Runadumb


agreed

MrGodfrey

December 9, 2010, 11:09 pm

Why even bother putting 3D on it? I guess because they think enough of us are stupid enough to fall for the gimmick. And sadly, the power of marketing is such that there will always be plenty of people willing to ignore all logic and believe a chocolate teapot is the way forward ;)

TechVegan

December 13, 2010, 4:03 pm

@Runadumb:


Have you seen the lack of water detail on Medium?! :O


(okay, so I'm elitist ;)





@Denis iii:


All the specs are in the review.


As to a no 3D version, not AFAIK - at least not with otherwise identical specs.





@MrGodfrey:


To be fair, undemanding titles in 3D can still be genuinely fun, and if you add an external Blu-ray drive it does a decent job of 3D movies, so chocolate teapot might be a bit harsh. Also don't forget the screen's 120Hz advantage for regular (i.e. non-3D) gaming.

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