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Acer Aspire 5745DG - Usability, Screen and Speakers

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Thanks to its large chassis, Acer has managed to fit a full-sized keyboard with number pad on the 5745DG. Layout is spot-on with intelligent shortcut placement, and key feedback is nice and crisp with more travel than you would expect from such a shallow effort. Our only gripe is that the key size and close spacing (with almost no gaps) makes it too easy to hit the wrong key from time to time.

As is pretty much standard these days, the large touchpad supports multi-touch. It's well-delineated, sensitive and pleasantly smooth. Integrated into a single rocker switch, its buttons feature only a small dead zone, and though they're a little on the stiff side they're not unpleasant to use.

The optical drive eject button and Acer's signature, customisable Application Launch button can be found above the keyboard, and are both welcome additions.

We'll get to the display's 3D performance in a bit, but the plain fact of the matter is that with gaming being the only sector in which a large volume of compatible content is available (for now), you'll probably spend most of your time in good old 2D.

Thankfully, the 15.6in, 1,366 x 768 TN panel performs surprisingly well. Most impressive is its contrast, showing all the detail in even the darkest films and games (though inevitably at the expense of white purity). This is one of the more important factors in an entertainment-oriented screen and we're glad Acer got it right.

Colours are decent and sharpness is good, with its LED backlighting reasonably even. Undoubtedly helped by its 120Hz refresh rate, motion is smooth and there's not a hint of ghosting over fast action.

The only fly in the ointment – aside from possible reflections in the screen's glossy coating - is that there is some contrast shift even from the 'ideal' viewing angle, and viewing angles in general aren't a particular strong point. Of course, with 3D you need to be positioned fairly centrally to get the full benefits anyway.

Unfortunately the speakers don't live up to the screen's performance despite their Dolby Home Cinema V3 processing. Mind you, they're by no means poor, with not a hint of distortion and decent clarity at the high end. However, they do lack the maximum volume and punch of better models on similarly-sized machines, such as the Bang & Olufsen-equipped Asus N53JN.

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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