Review Price £887.87
The Aspire Ethos 5951G's battery hangs in for a surprisingly long time considering its desktop replacement ambitions. This is due to its use of a large-capacity eight-cell battery, which gave us a solid four and a half hour running time – though this was with screen brightness turned down and wireless radios disabled.
Regardless of load you should get well over three hours, long enough to watch the longest film around and to cover most trips or commutes. Naturally, this measurement uses the laptop's integrated graphics, so gaming or graphics-accelerated apps will decrease time away from a socket.
One thing to also note is that this isn't the quietest laptop around, and it produces an audible, if not unpleasant, hum even when not under heavy load. However, it's certainly nothing drastic enough to count as a negative.
Overall then, how does Acer's nifty multimedia laptop hold up? It's a real shame that the screen is merely average, for otherwise it would be a solid choice for those not looking to get Blu-ray. However, at a price point of close to £880 there is plenty of competition. For example, a similarly configured Dell XPS 15 will set you back £890, and pack in a faster hard drive and double the graphics memory for that £10 extra. Of course, you won't get Acer's neat little touchpad remote, but that's hardly a must-have gadget.
With this in mind, entrants like the Asus N53SV will throw in slightly lesser specs but similar system performance with a Blu-ray drive for under £700. And there's the crux of the matter: if you like the idea of the removable touchpad, don't mind its lack of a Blu-ray drive and moderate gaming interest you, the Ethos 5951G is an interesting proposition. Otherwise not even its remarkable pad makes it worth the outlay.
A nicely-designed, metal-clad multimedia powerhouse, the Ethos 5951G packs generous specifications, excellent connectivity and plenty of features for its price, not least of which is a unique and innovative removable touchpad that makes using the machine when hooked up to your TV or stereo a lot easier. If this feature appeals and you want to run some games, it's worth checking out – despite its lack of a Blu-ray drive and somewhat mediocre screen. Otherwise, these omissions combined with its slight premium means cheaper alternatives might be a better bet.
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