A plain-looking notebook with many great features
The Acer Aspire 5735 is disappointingly plain compared to other more sparkly laptops: its black glossy case is nondescript and makes it look like any other computer.
This, plus the bulk and weight, make for an unimpressive first impression.
One distinguishing feature is that it has one of the new breed of laptops screens in the same aspect ratio as widescreen televisions.
Older screens are in the 4:3 aspect ratio, while widescreen televisions have a 16:9 ratio. Computer screens tend to be 16:10, leading to distortion or black bars when used to view a film.
The new shape on the 5735's 15.6in screen removes that problem, and the screen on the 5735 was suitably impressive, although like many modern screens it lacks anti-glare protection.
This improves the contrast – black shades looked suitably deep – but at the expense of reflection: under bright lights the screen was hard to use.
This Intel Core Duo T5800 processor is not particularly fast, but it comes with 3GB of memory, which is important when using the power-hungry Windows Vista operating system with which the computer is supplied.
While it will not have any trouble with internet usage, office tasks or photo editing, the more intensive video editing will cause problems. And the 5735 is not a gaming computer.
The relatively poor graphics processor means that while the computer can easily handle the above tasks, recent big-name games will cause it problems unless quality levels are turned right down.
The keyboard, however, was another story, and one of the laptop’s best features. Its size was around two-thirds of a standard desktop keyboard and it was easy to use, with nicely spaced keys and a good action, both of which meant we were able to type on it quickly and easily.
The rest of the chassis is made up of a speaker that spans the width of the laptop at the top of the keyboard, and a trackpad that, like many nowadays, supports multi-touch gestures.
These are actions made with more than one finger on the pad, such as a pinching motion to zoom into a picture on screen, or a rotating motion (one finger moving around the other in a circle) to rotate an image.
The left and right-click buttons were buried too deeply into the chassis, though, making them difficult to use.
Along the top of the chassis are controls for the volume and for the Bluetooth and wireless network connections. There is also a special Acer button which allows users to easily access power management settings, view system information, encrypt specific folders or files and make a backup.
The laptop comes with the Windows Vista Home Basic operating system – that is less powerful than the more common Home Premium – and a 160GB hard disk, along with a DVD writer and three USB ports.
The reasonable £379 price tag puts the Aspire 5735 very close to the realm of mini-notebooks, the cut-down, cut-price computers that don’t do much more than internet tasks.
Clearly Acer is hoping for people to consider the more powerful Aspire 5735 rather than those computers, for just a few pounds more, and on this basis that looks like a good choice for those who need that little bit more power.
If you’re after a low-priced notebook, the Acer 5735 provides more power than a mini-notebook and is not much more expensive Good points Good clear screen and keyboard; lots of ports and sockets Bad points Cheap looking; not easily portable; poor graphics performance
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