Acer Aspire 7745G
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It is 41x26x3.5cm and weights 3250grams. The viewable screen is 38x21.5cm giving the notional 17.3inch diagonal measurement, the resolution is 1600x900. The lid is a pin stripe of grey and black and does not really show fingermarks. Unfortunately the screen and the surround are the normal shiny black reflective that show all the fingermarks.
The area either side and behind the keyboard are also that nasty reflective black but the area in front of the keyboard is a far more sensible grey. There is an 8cm area behind the keyboard that has the on button as well as three LED’s and the speakers. A 9cm area is in front of the keyboard with the 9x6cm trackpad 10cm from the left and 18cm from the right. The keyboard is the same as with most desktop PC’s having a separate numeric keyboard on the right side. All the alpha and numeric keys are full size with only the top line of function keys slightly smaller.
In constant use (no wireless, Ethernet or DVD use) I just crept up to three hours but it was with reasonable screen contrast and brightness. Boot time was fairly consistent at a tad over 40seconds to a working desktop. Shutdown was 15seconds. The recharge time (while off) was around 2hours and 20minutes but longer while on.
The processor is an Intel i5 2.4GHz offering which was responsive throughout my test period. Theversion of Windows 7 supplied is Home Premium (64bit). It comes with 4GB of RAM. The Windows Experience score is an acceptable 5.
When you break the Windows Experience score down it is only the Desktop Graphics which are that low. Processor gives an excellent 6.8 while Gaming Graphics give 6.2, memory 5.9 and hard disc 5.8 so the overall is always the lowest figure hence 5, it might be pertinent to point out the highest possible score is only 7.9.
With all Acer units you get a number of applets and utilities. As with most PC’s you get a 60 day trial of Microsoft Office (should be 2010 if you purchase now), McAfee Internet Security and Norton Online Backup. There is some software for the Crystal Eye Webcam (1.3MP), Microsoft Works 9 as well as two NTI programs one for Backup and the other is Media Maker.
The left side has Kensington Lock Port, VGA out, HDMI out, one USB port and three 3.5mm sockets for audio. The front has a multi card socket. The rear remains clear as the screen opens over it. This leaves the right side that has the DVD multi drive, three well spaced USB ports as well as the Ethernet socket and the D/C input.
I liked the trackpad - I know some people cannot stand them – and I even managed to start to get used to the multi gestures.
If you want a system to use on a desk and are happy to only have 900 vertical area then this could be the unit for you. I see from the official specifications that the claimed battery life is only 2½ hours so my 3 hours of constant use (without Internet) was good. There are of course some notebooks promising 8 or more hours battery.
It is currently available from the first link below for £754.54 and this price includes free weekday delivery. Their site also offers a free full copy of BullGuard Internet security and not the McAfee trial on the unit that I had.
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