3D, if you believe the marketing hype, the future of displays, and so with so many of us sit in front of computer screens for a fair part of the day, why should not they get in on the action too? Acer’s Aspire 5745DG promises 3D performance, and daily potential, thanks to a combination of an Intel Core i5 processor and NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, but is this the notebook to us wearing silly glasses?
Our Aspire 5745DG-3855 review unit is certainly an impressive machine, both physically and in terms of the core specs. Measuring a large 14.9 x 9.8 x 1.25 to 2.27 inches and tipping the scales at 6.6 pounds, it’s heavy for a 15.6-inch notebook and the standard 9-cell laptop battery protrudes considerably from the base. Design-wise, it is consistent with other Acer machines we looked at recently, with decent plastics and a mixture of shiny and matte silver and black.
Inside there is a 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5 450M processor combined with 4GB RAM and a 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive. Graphics are courtesy of NVIDIA GeForce 425 GPU, although no Optimus switch between the onboard Intel HD GPU and the discrete chip, in fact, the Intel graphics are basically disabled because there is no option for anything but the NVIDIA chip use. It powers a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 screen, and although we have liked some extra pixels in there, it’s a decent – and very shiny – panel. Viewing angles are good horizontally, although the combination of slightly reduced vertical angles and the glossy finish can find the ideal position of the lid a little trickier.
The broad width of the Acer Aspire 5745DG has permitted slot in both a full-size keyboard and separate numeric keypad, which the fashionable chiclet-style design follows. It’s a good keyboard, too, with nice little bow and weighted response when typing. Below is a multitouch trackpad, offset to left to fall under the space bar, and Acer is also a button to disable it yourself accidentally hitting.
Connection options available, including WiFi b / g / n, gigabit ethernet, HDMI, four USB 2.0 ports and audio in / out (with S / PDIF), along with a DVD burner and multi-format memory card reader. No Blu-ray, but that seems a bizarre omission in a media-centric device, or eSATA, USB 3.0 and ExpressCard. A webcam above the screen and microphone on the key specs.
In the box there is a range of NVIDIA’s 3D Vision goggles, charged via miniUSB. This advantage of the 5745DG 120Hz display, synchronize with an infrared transmitter built into the ring and flicking the view between the two lenses, while the GPU serves each half of a 3D image alternately. The end result is a 3D image 60Hz.
The Acer Aspire 5745DG runs Windows 7 Home Premium, and when we complained about before the series of trials and pre-loaded bloatware. Some of these are own creation Acer, treatment webcam, registration and driver update, but you also get a taste of Microsoft Office and McAfee Internet Security, Google Toolbar pre-installed, Skype, Norton Online Backup and more. The end result is a system that sluggish feel to the first power-on, and we wonder if Acer – and other manufacturers – will want to see and offer the referral fees from software companies in favor of a favorable first impression for the user.
Acer aspire one a150 battery – Brand New 4400mAh Only AU $ 56.51
Acer aspire 4920g laptop battery – Brand New 4400mAh Only AU $ 60.89
NVIDIA 3D Vision system is currently supported by more than 450 games by the company’s own count, and of course there 3D graphics to think of too. Since there is no Blu-ray drive, that content will likely be downloaded or supplied on a disc, NVIDIA preloads sample media that performs well, but 3D content online is still in its infancy.
With no Blu-ray on this specific SKU, you’d be forgiven for assuming the 5745DG-3855 was aimed at gamers. Unfortunately, the mid-tier GPU constitute a stumbling block for the system-intensive modern titles. We began our benchmarking with Geekbench, a synthetic test of the processor and memory, and as you would expect the CPU i5 put in a decent show. The 2.4 GHz Aspire 4814, scored more or less similar to the HP Envy also reported 14, and about 200 points behind the Gateway ID49C 2.53 GHz.
PCMark unfortunately failed to GeForce 425 GPU to detect, so instead we ran Cinebench. Acer scored 20.67fps in OpenGL and 2.15pts in CPU. In terms of real-world performance, we had no problems with normal daily tasks such as browsing with multiple tabs and windows open, or simultaneous playback of video and audio.
However, recent games like Call of Duty 2 had difficulty with the power to offer only comfortable playing as a knife was taken to the quality settings. It is worth remembering also that 3D games more of a demand on the GPU rather than 2D titles: the NVIDIA chip to the left and right eye to create graphics for each frame, it can be a significant toll on frame rates. Need for Speed: Shift is more successful, with the 3D effect appears impressive.
Ironically, the 120Hz panel really showed his worth during the regular 2D gaming and multimedia, where – as in 120Hz HDTVs – faster content such as sports were smear-Fri Glasses-free 2D representation also avoids the inevitable loss of clarity occurred when playing 3D, which can leave darker movies and games dark and uninspiring.
With a 9-cell laptop computer battery, you would hope that the Aspire 5745DG would top the chance to offer in terms of runtimes, but the i5 Core CPU and GPU always-on chewing their way through a large amount of power. Acer to offer up to 4 hours during normal use of a full charge. The absence of Optimus is a particular frustration, though the GT 425 is able to under clock itself dependent on the activity and the load. Still, it’s not as efficient as Intel HD GPU. With a mix of WiFi and browsing through some media playback, we managed to get 3:30 minutes of runtime. Playing DVD content that constantly undermined down to just under 3 hours.