Review Acer Aspire 7520G-602G40 Notebook
Attractive Multimedia Notebook with enormous Storage Capacity.
In this review the Acer Aspire 7520G, a 17 inch notebook with modern look, proves a good performance. The workmanship of this wide-screen notebook's case is good. Input devices and operational ease of the 7520G leave all in all an entirely positive impression. Gigantic: with a hard-disk capacity of about 400 GByte the Aspire 7520G offers more than enough space for the private video collection.
The 17 inch Acer Aspire 7520G has a refreshing modern appearance. Due to the rounded edges this multimedia notebook with its gigantic measures of 40.1 x 30.0 x 4.3 cm² appears more elegant than you would expect at first. However, the weight of this 17 inch wide-screen notebook remains impressive. The multi-media all-purpose notebook weights 3.7kg.
The enormous lid of the Aspire 7520G is entirely matt black. An exception is the highly glossy trim on the front. In contrast the upper shell together with the keyboard is held in light grey. Asymmetrically designed switches and ornamental elements in neon look make the otherwise grey part look more vivid.
Considering the price range of the Aspire 7520G we really cannot complain about the used plastic material and the stability of the case. Workmanship, stability, and flexural rigidity of the top shell and the bottom shell of the 7520G are all right. Only the palm rest could be a bit more robust, as it can be pushed in a bit under stronger compressive stress. Furthermore, you can here the creaking typical for plastics. However, it stays within an absolutely acceptable range.
Under moderate pressure with a finger on the backside the stability of the top shell does not cause criticism. We did not discover any interference with the sensitive flat screen. The fixing of the enormous LCD is carried out perfectly by the firm hold of the display hinges. They keep the flatscreen securely in the adjusted angle of inclination. The comparatively distinct springing back of the lid should be less disturbing in praxis due to the fact that the 7520G will be used stationary for the most part.
Ports and operation
As a general-purpose multimedia computer the Acer Aspire 7520G offers many communication interfaces. True, the reviewed 7520G model, type version 602G40, has no tv-tuner. But, it is possible to use expansion cards, e.g., a tv-module by inserting it into the Expresscard/54 slot if needed. With the 5 in 1 cardreader (MMC, MSPro, SD, xD) popular flash memory cards of digital cameras, mobiles, and MP-3 players can be used.
Apart from fast Firewire (i.LINK, IEEE1394) the Aspire 7520G is equipped with four USB-2.0-interfaces for the connection of printers and other USB periphery. A DVI-D-D-Port which supports the copy protection HDCP for connection of external high quality digital monitors is also available. Of course standard ports like S-video (tv-out), sound, S/PDIF-support, and VGA are also available. Wired communication is possible by 56K modem, and in addition by fast Gigabit-LAN. Noticeable: Even though Switch and other information dialogues displayed an active GigaBit-LAN connection, the advanced settings of the nForce driver dialogue did not allow to manually set GigaBit options for half and full duplex transmissions. There were only automatic option available.
In addition to wireless-LAN and Bluetooth for wireless communication, a CIR receiver (infra-red) supports remote control of the Acer Aspire 7520G. So, cable spaghetti are avoidable. In order to save energy, Bluetooth and wireless communication can be quickly de-activated respectively activated by two switches. A nice gimmick of the 7520G is a web cam placed in the upper inner LCD-frame and a built-in microphone. So, you are ready for entertaining video chats or video telephony.
Apart from a manual, the usual warranty cards, and the usual power adapter with cable, there are no further accessories provided. The Acer Aspire 7520G neither comes with telephone- and/or video adapter nor with software CDs. So, it's highly recommended to create recovery media at once. Ex factory, Acer does not provide a remote control either.
Back Side: Battery, Power Connector, Fan
Front Side: Line-In, microphone, headphones with S/PDIF, Lock, CIR-receiver
Above the keyboard of the Aspire 7520G there are six hot keys, which make the notebook more user-friendly. The user can quickly launch required system functions: Launch of the default Internet browser, and the multimedia player Arcade, and activation/de-activation of Bluetooth and WLAN are possible at a finger tip.
Acer makes good use of the big size of the Aspire 7520G. A huge keyboard entirely in light grey with 106 keys in desktop size and integrated separate numerical pad is provided. The key heads size is 1.3cm x1.4cm. Furthermore, the keys appear laterally rather stable if you compare them to others of the same class.
The 7520G comes with a standard German desktop-PC-like keyboard layout and a comfortably big two-line enter key. So, typing is really user-friendly and intuitive. Concerning the haptics the key feedback of the main keys is maybe a matter of taste. All in all the keyboard of the Aspire 7520G is quite good. The keys have a comparable strong point of pressure and allowed to user-friendly type this review.
The touch pad of the 7520G, which is about 8.3cm x 4.3cm, works very imprecisely. Sometimes the mouse pointer moved across the screen without control. An adjustment of the sensitivity in the driver dialogue did not lead to any improvement. The loud clicking noise of the two touch pad buttons is annoying. Positive: the 4-way mouse button allows to quickly browse through a document even if it consists of a number of pages. However, you must get used to it first.
Named Acer Aspire CrystalBrite this notebook is equipped with a huge 17 inch WXGA+ display. Unfortunately it reflects heavily. In return the mirror display provides subjectivly a bit richer colours when you are watching videos. In addition the 17 inch giant offers a comfortable resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels in 16:10 wide-screen format.
The 17 inch flatscreen of the 7520G reached during the measures an illumination density of 165.3cd/m² in mains operation and 163.0 cd/m² in battery operation. The basic brightness should be easily sufficient for enjoying multimedia at home. With a measured minimal brightness (black value) of 0.9 cd/m² and an established maximum brightness of 197.5 cd/m² the contrast relation is just under 220:1 - not an excellent high value for the CristalBite display.
Regarding evenness of brightness distribution the CrystalBite screen could also be better. In mains operation the luminance differs by 29%, whereas the brightest area is in the centre of the screen (197.5 cd/m²) and the darkest area is the left bottom corner (140.4 cd/m²). Battery-powered the deviation of brightness of almost 34 percents is even more unfavourable.
Subjectively we had a better impression of the Acer Aspire 7520G's display. With an homogeneous picture background the two lower picture corners attract attention through their substantial lower brightness compared to the rest of the display. But, if you watch fast changing picture sequences like of a movie, the difference of brightness is much less obvious.
Looking at the reference pictures, the Aspire 7520G can also compensate for the measured values. If directly visually compared to our reference display, the 20 inch MVA-LCD Viewsonic VP2030b, we really can not find faults at the representation of the colours of the 7520G's LCD. The colour representation of portraits is alright, and the colours of colourful motion pictures are brilliant. The contrast of the picture is good, if the viewing angles are ideal. The horizontal and vertical viewing angles are also good average compared to similar shiny panels.
The Aspire 7520G is equipped with a Turion 64 X2 Mobile TL-64, a core duo processor by AMD, the competitor of Intel. The TL-64 AMD runs at a clock rate of 2.2 GHz and each of the two processor cores can access to 512 KB L2-Cache (together 1 MB). The 7520G is based on the nForce 610M by Nvidia. True, the Windows Vista performance index confirms the TL-64 after all at least 4.9 points. But, the synthetic benchmarks CrystaBite 204 and PCMark05 uncover that the double-core CPU by AMD is clearly outperformed by the, a bit lower clocked, T7300 (2 GHz) by Intel.
The Aspire 7520G comes with 2.048 MByte RAM, which is sufficient for running the very demanding Windows-XP successor, Vista Home Premium. In our 7520G there are already two DDR2-667-memory modules (PC2-5300) with one Gigabyte capacity each ex factory. So, if you want to upgrade RAM capacity, you unfortunately need to replace one of the RAM-modules. According to Acer the 7520G supports up to four Gigabyte RAM.
CPU-Z-Informations about the Acer Aspire 7520G-602G40
The reviewed notebook is equipped with a Geforce 8400M G (G86M) video card by Nvidia. The 8400M G which is equipped 256 MB dedicated video memory. Up to 768 MB more of RAM can be utilized by this video card via TurboCache. The performance of this video solution is often not sufficient for smoothly running current computer games. This is also true, if you reduce resolution and number of details.
Crysis remains unplayable, even with a resolution of 800x600 and lowest graphic settings. With T.E.A.R. we also get at best more or less fluently frame rates at a resolution of 1.024x768 pixels and medium graphic details. Whoever wants to play with the 7520G from time to time should choose a model equipped with Geforce 8600M GS from the start. But, the graphic performance of the 8400M G manages to play multimedia sequences and DVD pictures without jerking.
Benchmarks and GPU-Info of the Acer Aspire 7520G-602G40: GPU-Z, Crystalmark2004 and Vista performance index.
|Crysis - CPU Benchmark|
|1440x900||Low, 0xAA, 0xAF||6 fps|
|1280x800||Low, 0xAA, 0xAF||7.3 fps|
|Crysis - GPU Benchmark|
|1440x900||Low, 0xAA, 0xAF||7.9 fps|
|1280x800||Low, 0xAA, 0xAF||8.4 fps|
Computer max. | Grafik med.:
1024x768 | 0xAA/00xAF | min. 18 fps | avg. 26 fps | max. 33 fps | less than 25 fps: 37 %
The hard disk capacity of Aspire 7520G is hugs. Its total capacity is about 400 GByte provided by two(!) SATA hard disks, both of them MK2035GSS by Toshiba. However, their revolution speed is only 4.200 rpm. So, it is no wonder that the HDDs "only" reached a poor data-transfer rate of 30.5 MB/s. That explains why big applications start only slowly and transferring big amounts of data takes time. In comparison, the reference hard disk, a ST910021A by Seagate with 7.200 rpm has an average transfer rate of 38.0 MB/s, which is about 20% higher.
The DVD burner DVR-K17RS by Pioneer is another mass storage device of the 7520G. Besides the DVD-/+Rs and double layer formats, it also supports DVD-RAM, an important format for maintaining backups. Annoying: Besides the usual operating noise, there is a high-frequency noise when searching.
|3DMark 2001SE Standard||7560 points|
|3DMark 03 Standard||2948 points|
|3DMark 05 Standard||1787 points|
|3DMark 06||1545 points|
|PCMark 05 Standard||3420 points|
With Windows Vista and activated energy-saving mode and when the fans stayed inactive and we recorded a minimum noise level of 35.4 dB(A). The small fan was even in idle mode sometimes turned on. Still, the noise level of 38.5 db(A) is rather low. The noise of the hard disks is alright. Their noise emissions of 36.0 dB(A) are hardly audible.
Under full load the Aspire 7520G fan quickly speeds up by two steps and gets clearly audible, whereas we measured a maximum of 41.3 dB(A). But the monotonous, slightly high frequency noise of the system fan remains always on an absolutely bearable level.
While watching DVD motion pictures we measured an average noise level of 41.0 dB(A) for the optical drive, a DVR-K17RS by Pioneer. Even though the DVD drive is clearly audible in an silent environment, we we did not feel that the noise was really unpleasant when watching videos. However, search access is accompanied by an annoying high-frequency bleeping which is clearly audible.
35.1 / 38 / 38.5 dB(A)
||41 / 50.5 dB(A)|
||40.8 / 41.3 dB(A)|
min: , med: , max: (15 cm distance)
Considering surface temperatures the Acer Aspire 7520G is alright. Although we measured a maximum of 40.5°C at the left back area of the top shell with are contact-free infra-red thermometer, whereas the temperature of the environment was 19.0°C, overall the average temperature of 32 °C at the top side of the 7520G is alright.
On the bottom side the average temperature is about 33 °C, so the Aspire rates average regarding this aspect. Depending on the performance demand, only the area next to the cooling system got noticeably warmer. Here we recorded a maximum temperature of as much as 45.7°C.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.5 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 36.6 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.7 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 38.9 °C / 102 F
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.5 °C / 94.1 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29 °C / 84.2 F (-5.5 °C / -9.9 F).
The Acer Aspire comes with a Dolby certified Surround-Sound system with two built in stereo speakers (2 Watt) on the top surface and a small sub-woofer for the basses on its bottom side. The user can user-friendly adjust the volume of the 7520G by a rotary knob on the left side.
Due to the "virtual speaker"-technology the 7520G is able to simulate the stereo sound of a genuine 5.1 channel speaker system with only two speakers. We didn't feel that the sound is extremely good, but overall the sound was alright. To summarize, the sound of the 7520G is better than the one of many other multimedia notebooks.
If your demands on sound quality are even higher, you can use headphones or an external stereo system which you connect to the digital S/PDIF audio out via a proper cable.
The Acer Aspire 7520G is not very modest regarding energy demand. When idling under Windows Vista the 7520G demands at least 30 Watt. When running Crysis this wide-screen notebook demanded 79 Watt. Considering the rather moderate video solution and the mediocre overall performance this is quite a lot.
So, we did not expect an extremely long runtime in comparison to other 17 inch notebooks. Actually the runtime of the 8-cell battery ranged from about one to three hours, depending on the demands.
|Off / Standby||0 / 0 Watt|
|Idle|| 30 / 35 / 42 Watt|
50 / 79 Watt|
Key: min: , med: , max:
In the review the Acer Aspire 7520G turned out to be a 17 inch multimedia notebook with modern look. The workmanship of case of this wide-screen notebook is good. Input devices user-friendliness of the 7520G are alright. Huge storage capacity: With about 400 GByte hard disk capacity the Aspire 7520G offers more than enough space for your private video collection.
In respect to equipment the Aspire 7520G scored by numerous interfaces, including one DVI-D-Port with HDCP support. The 7520G is also well equipped with Wireless LAN and Bluetooth for network and communication. A web cam for entertaining video chats is also included ex factory. Thanks to Dolby technology the sound of the 7520G is also alright.
But, there are not many accessories supplied. The reviewed model comes without tv-tuner, remote control, or useful adapter and video cables. Also driver and software CDs are missing.
The overall performance of the Acer Aspire 7520G is adequate for usual home and multimedia use. But the Geforce 8400M G has not enough 3D-power for demanding top-games. If you want to play demanding games you should at least choose the model with Geforce 8600M GS. Sour note: Although two 200 GByte hard disks provide a lot of storage capacity, their performance is rather low.
The quality of 17 inch WXGA+-display is overall only average. The flat screen reflects very much and the contrast is not extremely good for a panel of this kind. However, the display can score by an average brightness of about 165 cd/m² and by a rather balanced colour reproduction.
To summarize, the Acer Aspire 7520G is a cheap and solid 17 inch notebook for multimedia tasks at home. For this field of operation the performance and the storage capacity of the 7520G is sufficient.