Acer Aspire 5740-6378: Lots of Features at an Affordable Price
The Acer Aspire 5740-6378 parks itself next to most midrange laptops. It feels fast enough for all
common productivity applications; carries a big, 15.6-inch screen; and has nearly all the inputs
and outputs you could want. But it never reaches beyond that middle ground. Its big screen
makes it a good portable movie player, but without a dedicated graphics processor or 1080p
resolution, it balks at gaming and high-end media. If you can get by with only adequate video
performance--and matching audio, trackpad, and battery performance for that matter--the Aspire
achieves its midrange aspirations: It's not too slow and not too fast. Many will want more, but for
some, it will be just right. And at a price around $800, it won't break the bank.
This laptop's case design manages to include a full keyboard--including a number pad--and a
1366-by-768-pixel, 15.6-inch screen without feeling bloated. At 5.8 pounds, it's as comfortable on
a lap as on a desk. We're used to bigger-screen laptops elbowing into everything nearby, but this
system was surprisingly svelte.
The Aspire's basic performance earned it solid scores for its price level. It earned an overall score
of 101 in our WorldBench 6 test suite, putting it on an even footing with many costlier systems.
The 2.27GHz Core i5-430m processor and 4GB of RAM provide that speed. A 64-bit version of
Windows 7 Home Premium comes preinstalled. In real-world use, we easily rifled through dozens
of Firefox windows, worked with Office and other productivity applications, and otherwise used
the system for typical multitasking.
Gamers, however, should consider another system. At low resolutions (and expectations), we
wrung out just enough speed to play Left 4 Dead 2, but nearly every other recent game was too
demanding; as noted, this Aspire lacks a dedicated graphics processor. At least you can fill dull
moments in the college dorm or between business meetings with casual, untaxing games.