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Acer Aspire 7740-334G50Mn review

Acer Aspire 7740-334G50Mn 17.3in laptop
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £600
inc VAT

Despite the fast new Core i3 processor and large screen, the 7740 is let down by a poor keyboard and touchpad.


17.3 in 1,600×900 display, 3.2kg, 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Acer’s 7740 has a 17.3in screen and a new Core i3 processor, and yet costs less than some 15in notebooks. It’s an ideal laptop for those who work with large spreadsheets, as the wide display will let you see more data on-screen at one time, and the fast processor will help crunch through complex calculations.

Although this appears to be an amazing deal, it’s worth noting the corners that Acer has cut to achieve this aggressive pricing. The most obvious thing it lacks is a dedicated graphics card: the 7740 makes do with the Core i3’s integrated graphics chip, which is capable of playing back HD video content, but not much else.

It doesn’t support full-screen anti-aliasing, which means that it failed our Call of Duty 4 benchmark, and even with anti-aliasing turned off and the resolution set to 1,024×768, it only scored 11.7fps. It might be able to play older games, but you’ll have to turn off advanced settings and lower the resolution to get playable frame rates.

Fortunately, performance in Windows is impressive. The 2.13GHz processor and 4GB of RAM are a powerful combination, as the overall score of 75 shows. Simply put, this laptop will cope with any job you want to throw at it.

The power and size of the laptop come at the expense of battery life, and the 7740 lasted for two hours 47 minutes in our tests. This is enough for using the laptop around the home; at 3.2kg it’s unlikely that you’d want to travel with this computer, anyway.

Its large screen, with a resolution of 1,600×900, and an HD-capable graphics chip should mean a big movie experience but, as usual, it’s the sound that lets the 7740 down. The internal speakers are clear and have a good sense of space thanks to Dolby Home Theater, but they simply aren’t loud enough and don’t have enough bass – even at full volume we were unimpressed. Thankfully, you can either attach the 7740 to a home cinema system via the HDMI port, or if you just want to attach external speakers, you can use the S/PDIF digital audio port.

The 7740 uses Acer’s Gemstone design, a combination of a glossy lid and a textured, dark grey keyboard panel. It’s quite a minimalist design, and lacks the gaudy LED-lit control panels that you’d find on other Acer models. The screen is bright, but the backlight is uneven and there’s a blue cast that makes the image feel cold and dulls reds. It’s hard to adjust the screen vertically to get a good viewing angle, especially as the glossy finish on the screen reflects overhead lights,

The keyboard has flat-topped keys with enough space between them so you don’t accidentally hit neighbouring keys. The action is stiff however, and with limited travel there wasn’t enough feedback. At least the layout is standard, with large Enter and Shift keys on the right side. A numberpad is also included, with four columns of large keys. The touchpad is quite wide and has a large seesaw button, but this is set flush with the case and has little travel, and we found it hard to locate by touch.

While Acer has done remarkably well to bring a 17in Core i3 laptop out for only £600, we found too many niggles and compromises for us to recommend it. Dell’s 1764 is more powerful and better built, while Samsung’s R780 has superb build quality plus a powerful graphics card.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core i3-330M
Processor clock speed 2.13GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 45x411x274mm
Weight 3.2kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 17.3 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Intel GMA HD
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 128MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST GT30N
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 4
Bluetooth no
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Modem Yes
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other ports minijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack audio input, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option backup and recovery software
Software included Microsoft Works 9, NTI Media Maker
Optional extras Extra battery, £100; Trend Messenger Laptop Bag £30

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £600

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