Review Acer Aspire 5750G-2354G50Mnkk Notebook
The new entry level. Acer doesn't dare making any extensive experiments on the Aspire 5750G. Rather than installing a GeForce GT 520M or GT 540M, a GeForce 610M, respectively GT 630M is now found under the hood. Will the time-proven 15 inch case nevertheless still be attractive in 2012?
We quickly notice that Acer only concentrated on the innards when comparing the Aspire 5750G, which we tested about a year ago, with the new models.
Thus, the manufacturer uses the latest product range from Intel, respectively Nvidia. All models that we know of are equipped with a cutting edge dual core processor. That is the Core i3-2350M (2.3 GHz) or the Core i5-2450M (2.5-3.1 GHz), to be more precise. In return, the GeForce 610M or the considerably faster GeForce GT 630M is responsible for graphic calculations. The working memory is usually a four GB DDR3 RAM; the hard disk offers a capacity of 500 or 750 GB. The screen is the same in both models. Acer uses a glossy HD model (1366x768). A DVD burner and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit won't be much of a surprise either.
We grabbed one of the lower-priced alternatives with the Aspire 5750G-2354G50Mnkk for our review. The multimedia notebook goes over the (virtual) counter for starting at EUR 500.
The case has only undergone minor changes since our last check (see interfaces). The plastic surfaces, adorned with an attractive texture, make an acceptable quality impression.
Since the surfaces - with exception of the display bezel and the areas above the speakers - are matt, smudging remains within acceptable limits. There is no comparison to the sensitive high-gloss finish of other laptops. To pep up the looks, Acer gives the otherwise black 15 incher a silver-gray keyboard bezel. The workmanship is acceptable for EUR 500; slightly irregular edges can also be found among the competition.
It's not possible to make a general statement about stability. While the bottom is fairly rigid and the top only yields under higher pressure (particularly in the battery's area and in the center of the wrist rest), the lid proves to be quite wobbly. Another shortcoming: Our test device emitted a slight creaking noise on the level of the little status lights.
The hinges aren't perfect either. Although the laptop can be opened with only one hand (the base unit lifts up marginally), surface vibrations allow the screen to teeter back and forth evidently. The weight (2.5 kilograms) and dimensions (381 x 253 x 34 millimeters) are average in the meantime - the multimedia device can be transported comfortably.
Users hoping for good connectivity will regrettably be disappointed. Not only that the device lacks an ExpressCard slot, eSATA and FireWire port, Acer has also omitted the USB 3.0 port found in former models (compare review) to add to existing woes. A Kensington lock, two audio jacks, three USB 2.0 ports, a card reader (five formats) and a VGA, respectively HDMI out are rather meager. However, you will rarely get much more in this price range.
The distribution of the interfaces will likely not meet everyone's taste either. The majority of ports are placed on the case's front half, which could have an adverse effect on the room at the sides. Connected cables prevent using a mouse more often than not.
Accessing the Internet is possible either cabled, via RJ-45 Gigabit LAN (Broadcom NetLink), or wireless via wifi (Atheros AR5B97). Bluetooth is not integrated.
As usual, Acer only allows the user to access the wireless module, hard disk and RAM. Two screws have to be removed before taking off the maintenance cover.
Following old company tradition, the manufacturer installs a lot of software. But that isn't inevitably to be seen as praise. There is a lot of superfluous software to be found among the adware and trial programs. Nevertheless, it doesn't affect the system speed too heavily.
Scope of delivery
You should by no means expect a miracle in terms of accessories at a price of EUR 500. So, it's not surprising that Acer is content with a quick start guide and a warranty booklet. Of course, a power adapter (90 watts, 500 grams incl. cable) and a battery (6 cells, 300 grams) are also included.
The manufacturer takes care of the device for two years after purchase (bring-in service). The warranty is valid for 12 months internationally.
In our opinion, the keyboard isn't a big hit. Although Acer has opted for a free-standing design, typos are frequent in practical use. The reason: the wobbly keys aren't lowered at the edge area and quickly tilt away to the side. The typing feel isn't motivating either - it lacks a decent feedback. Moreover, the keyboard sometimes makes an unpleasant crackling noise.
On the other hand, the dedicated number pad, the good layout and the proper key size (16 x 16 millimeters) are advantages. Only the arrow keys prove to be extremely tiny. The cleverly placed FN functions can only compensate for this flaw to an extent.
The manufacturer doesn't blunder as much with the touchpad. We'll start with the positive features: Use is very pleasant thanks to the smooth surface. In contrast to many contenders, the fingers aren't slowed down. Its multi-touch capability is another strong point. It's usually possible to rotate, zoom and scroll pictures and text documents reliably with two fingers. The vertical scroll area on the touchpad's right edge has also been marked. The size is rather midfield with a width of 86 millimeters and a height of 45 millimeters.
On the negative side, we have to mention the two mouse keys that - depending on where they are pressed - require a different amount of force and don't make an especially defined impression. Acer should have preferably used two separate keys rather than one continuous bar.
As mentioned at the beginning, the 15.6 inch glare screen has a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. A higher resolution would be better for multi-window operating (e. g. 1600 x 900), but the graphics card would also quickly comes to its limits in 3D applications with this resolution. An aspect ratio of 16:9 and a LED backlight are standard in notebooks nowadays.
The built-in LG Philips screen (LP156WH4-TLA1) unfortunately only renders a moderate image quality. One of the biggest points of criticism here is the black value: 1.5 cd/m2 let dark movie and game scenes look fairly gray (especially at night). The rate would have to be below 0.4 cd/m2 for a saturated black.
The contrast also falls short of the possibilities. While high-end screens occasionally scrape the 1000 mark, the Aspire 5750G only manages 163:1. The colors aren't exactly a hit either - the one or other non-glare screen makes a stronger impression here. The screen only earns praise for the fairly good brightness of averagely 233 cd/m2.
Despite the good brightness, the notebook isn't much fun to use outdoors. As expected, the glossy surface reflects intensely; the eyes are extremely strained depending on the intensity of daylight. Reflections also turn up frequently indoors. If you would like to work a lot outdoors, you should definitely choose a notebook with a matt screen.
The following picture makes one thing very evident: The viewing angles are pretty lousy. The brightness changes quickly in particular when looking up and down from the sides. The screen doesn't make a good impression on the horizontal plane either. However, most contenders don't do a much better job here.
Processor: Intel Core i3-2350M
A look at the GeForce graphics card's performance shows that a dual core from Intel's Core i3 range is absolutely sufficient. The i3-2350M, manufactured in a 32 nm process, contains a three MB L3 cache and clocks with a maximum of 2.3 GHz (no Turbo). Like the other dual core models, the midrange CPU can process up to four threads at the same time (Hyper Threading technology simulates two virtual cores).
Another highlight is the integrated graphics chip. Intel's HD Graphics 3000 can only cope with older and/or less demanding games, but is perfect for energy saving purposes in return. Acer relies on Nvidia's popular Optimus technology, which dynamically switches between the dedicated and the integrated graphics card. An example: While office and Internet activities are performed by the HD Graphics 3000, the GeForce 610M is additionally enabled in 3D applications. Logically, the battery runtime is increased because of the reduced power requirement.
The Core i3-2350M gave a more than satisfying presentation in the CPU benchmarks. Almost all AMD contenders (A4, A6 & A8) would lose in a direct comparison. In return, Intel's own Core i5 and i7 models partly take a clear lead. Thus, the Core i5-2450M, installed in several Aspire 5750G models, calculates almost 24% faster in Cinebench R10's multi core rendering (10317 vs. 8303 points). Single core rendering even shows a plus of 29% (4856 vs. 3756 points).3756 points). However, a significant difference won't usually be noticed during practical use.
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 610M
The "6" in the name might indicate a new generation, but the GeForce 610M is still based on the Fermi architecture of the old GeForce GT 520M. Thus, the entry level graphics card, manufactured in a 40 nm process, is equipped with 48 shader units and a 1024 MB DDR3 VRAM (64 bit interface).
To make things even more confusing, Nvidia offers the graphics card (once again) in two different versions. While the GF119 version runs with up to 900/900/1800 MHz (core/memory/shader), the GF108 counterpart only clocks with 672/800/1344 MHz and is consequently slower than a standard GT 520M (740/800/1480 MHz). Unfortunately, Acer has opted for the weaker model, which partly becomes very evident in the benchmarks.
We've created a small chart for a better overview:
|Graphics card (chip)||Clock: core/memory/shader||Memory interface||memory type|
|GeForce GT 520MX (GF119)||900 / 900 / 1800 MHz||64 Bit||DDR3|
|GeForce 610M (GF119)||900 / 900 / 1800 MHz (max.)||64 Bit||DDR3|
|GeForce GT 520M (GF119)||740 / 800 / 1480 MHz||64 Bit||DDR3|
|GeForce 610M (GF108)||672 / 800 / 1344 MHz||64 Bit||DDR3|
|GeForce GT 520M (GF108)||600 / 900 / 1200 MHz||128 Bit||DDR3|
Apart from 3D Vision, the low-end graphics card supports all important features of the more expensive models. Besides the obligatory DirectX 11 support, we have the video decoder called VP5, for example. When you connect the notebook via HDMI to your home cinema, you'll likely be pleased about the bitstream transmission of HD audio (Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD). The graphics cards are rarely fast enough for the PhysX technology (hardware-based physics acceleration). Great: The manufacturer installs an untouched driver with the ForceWare 285.64.
Modern DirectX 11 benchmarks stutter extremely on the GeForce 610M. In 3DMark 11 (1280 x 720, Performance preset), the notebook managed a GPU score of just only 457 points. Despite its high age, the normal GT 520M spurts past it by nearly 10% (497 points @ Dell XPS 14z). The Nvidia GPU doesn't stand a chance against typical midrange models. This circumstance not least becomes evident in the Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark (1280 x 1024): 7.2 fps are almost 50% below that of the new GeForce GT 630M (13.3 fps @ Acer Aspire 5755G-2678G1TMtks).
|3DMark 03 Standard||11880 points|
|3DMark 05 Standard||8313 points|
|3DMark 06 Standard||4333 points|
|3DMark Vantage P Result||1947 points|
|3DMark 11 Performance||527 points|
Acer has opted for a 500 GB HDD from Western Digital (5400 rpm). With an average transfer rate of 65 MB/s, the WD5000BPVT-22HXZT1 doesn't exactly belong to the fastest of its kind. The determined access speed (~21 ms) is also weak. A good 7200 rpm HDD or a solid state drive would speed up the Windows routine noticeably.
The combination of entry level and midrange hardware ensures a feasible system performance. The 15 incher doesn't have any problems with normal tasks, such as Office, Internet or videos. Simple 3D programs are also rendered smoothly. PCMark Vantage underpins this statement: 5529 points are common for a low-priced multimedia device. The Asus P43SJ-VO006X (5452 points) and the Medion Akoya P6631 (5602 points) achieved a similar result in the test. A PCMark 11 score of 1573 points is also good.
|PCMark Vantage Result||5529 points|
|PCMark 7 Score||1573 points|
The graphics power is at most sufficient for casual gamers. The GeForce 610M can only deal with current highlights, like Anno 2070 or Skyrim, in medium or low details. A few first person shooters (e. g. Crysis 2 or Battlefield 3) are a no-go to start with. The graphics card also doesn't have enough reserves for anti-aliasing. The frame rate is either on a par or a bit below the GeForce GT 520M depending on the game. Praiseworthy: We didn't observe bugs, crashes or graphical errors in any of the 14 games that we tested.
Since the GeForce GT 630M calculates a lot faster, gaming-interested users should definitely invest a few Euros more and take another Aspire 5750G model. We are nevertheless curious about the capabilities of the higher clocked GeForce 610M.
|Metro 2033 (2010)||24.9||14.4||fps|
|StarCraft 2 (2010)||136.7||24.1||16.1||fps|
|Mafia 2 (2010)||33.2||24.8||20.4||fps|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)||63.5||40.3||30.4||fps|
|Crysis 2 (2011)||29.7||20.4||14.6||fps|
|Dirt 3 (2011)||86||34.6||22||fps|
|Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011)||52||20||fps|
|F1 2011 (2011)||75||38||21||fps|
|Fifa 12 (2011)||167.8||81.7||56.9||fps|
|Battlefield 3 (2011)||19||12.5||fps|
|CoD: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)||85.5||34.4||19.9||fps|
|The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)||25.5||16.9||11.1||fps|
|Anno 2070 (2011)||41.4||16.1||10.1||fps|
|Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)||42.6||12.1||fps|
In contrast to many other multimedia laptops, the 15 incher doesn't get unpleasantly loud during 3D applications. The fan whirs along at an acceptable noise level so that games can also be enjoyed without a headphone. We couldn't measure more than 41 dB (A) during full load at a distance of 15 centimeters. In comparison: Some contenders achieve more than 45 dB (A) in the stress test.
Great: The fan often is completely deactivated when idling. However, the notebook is never completely ultra-silent because the HDD's rotation noise is always audible (incl. sporadic clacking). The same is true for the optical drive. Although you can hear a certain hum in the movie, we wouldn't call the DVD burner disturbing or annoying.
33.2 / 33.5 / 33.8 dB(A)
||36.1 / dB(A)|
||36.4 / 40.8 dB(A)|
min: , med: , max: Voltcraft SL-320 (15 cm distance)
The temperature development also doesn't give much reason for complaint. According to the tool, HWMonitor, the Core i3-2350M settles to uncritical 74°C in the stress test (Furmark + Prime). The graphics card is even a bit cooler with 67°C.
However, Acer pays for the moderate temperatures with CPU throttling. The CPU clock dropped 500 MHz to 1.8 GHz after approximately one minute of full load. That is a bit too bad, though not quite as extreme as in other notebooks that occasionally drop below 1000 MHz.
In the meantime, the case's surface temperatures are located in the midfield. The base unit nearly reached 30°C after two hours of idling - an unspectacular rate. The temperature particularly increases in the case's left area during load because the fan is located here. A maximum of 40°C aren't very pleasant over a longer period, but acceptable.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39.9 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.4 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 36.2 °C / 97.2 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-7.1 °C / -12.8 F).
Acer has built-in both speakers underneath a fine grid above the keyboard. As typical for notebooks, the speakers are quite useful but remote from the sound quality of an external system. The 2.0 system could use a bit more volume and precision in addition to a stronger bass.
Acer at least treats the laptop to a number of features. The 15 incher has virtual surround sound and the Dolby Advanced Audio technology, among other things. The latter enhances the sound audibly and offers three practical scenarios with "Music", "Games" and "Movies". Optionally, it's possible to play around in the related software and not only scores with various setting options, but also with personal profiles (see screenshot).
The power consumption is remarkably low especially when idling. Only few devices remain below 10 watts (Intel GPU). The rates aren't as great during load: With around 46 watts (Nvidia GPU), the notebook consumes more energy than the stronger Asus K53SK-SX021V (Core i3-2350M & Radeon HD 7610M) in the 3DMark 06.
|Off / Standby||0.1 / 0.2 Watt|
|Idle|| 6.3 / 9.5 / 10.7 Watt|
45.5 / 71.7 Watt|
Key: min: , med: , max: Voltcraft VC-940
Thanks to the graphics switching and the energy-efficient hardware, the battery runtime is throughout impressive. The lithium ion battery (48 Wh, 4400 mAh) is first drained after about 7.5 hours when the laptop idles along with disabled GeForce and minimum brightness.
The wireless Internet surfing runtime (75% brightness) of about 4.5 hours is also good. Meanwhile, DVD rendering is possible for approx. three hours (maximum brightness). When the notebook is put under extreme demand (enabled GeForce), good 100 minutes are still possible.
It's logical that you shouldn't place too high expectations on notebook quality priced at EUR 500. If you are simply looking for a low-priced multimedia device, you may well be quite satisfied with the Aspire 5750G-2354G50Mnkk.
Except for the weak graphics card (GeForce 610M), Acer has set up a round bundle that equips users with multifarious interests adequately for everyday use. Besides the fair price and good battery life, we especially liked the moderate noise level: The fan didn't mutate to a noise maker in 3D operation.
In the meantime, the case leaves us with mixed feelings. The good touchpad, the acceptable workmanship and the successful design oppose a poor connectivity (no USB 3.0), a wobbly lid and a spongy keyboard.
However, the screen proved to be the biggest shortcoming. No matter if black value, contrast, colors or viewing angles: the reflective screen almost fails all the way down the line. When possible, you should use an external monitor for games or movies. Unfortunately, the majority of contenders have an equally poor screen. The fairly low hardware temperatures and the good speakers can only make up for this flaw to an extent.
Although the 15 incher scores with a good price-performance ratio, we don't give it a purchase recommendation in the end. We deem the only insignificantly more expensive models with a GeForce GT 630M to be a lot more attractive.