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Acer Aspire 7715z review

Kat Orphanides
11 May 2010
Acer Aspire 7715z
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
439
inc VAT

This chunky big-screened laptop has a great battery life but cuts a few too many corners on its features and specification.

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Acer's Aspire 7715Z isn't much to look at - its textured black lid and grey and black interior are distinctive, but unlikely to win any style awards. Typically for a desktop replacement laptop, it's rather chunky but feels tough.

Its 17.3in widescreen display means that there's plenty of room to work on and we found it comfortable to use for an extended period. The flat keyboard is excellent and we found that we could type fast and accurately. The numeric keypad is a little smaller than on most laptops this size, but it means that the main keyboard has larger keys. The touchpad is comfortably positioned below the space bar, well away from any risk that it'll be accidentally knocked. Our one minor complaint is that the wrist wrest gets a little warm after prolonged use.

Fitted with a 2.2GHz Pentium Dual Core T4400 and 3GB of RAM, this laptop got an overall score of 58. It's not bad for the price and shows that this laptop should be able to cope with most tasks well. A 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium is installed, so you can upgrade the laptop to 4GB and use all of its memory. As you'd expect at this price, graphics are powered by an integrated Intel GMA 4500M processor, so 3D gaming is out.

The 17.3in display has a high resolution of 1,600x900. We were very pleased with its quality. It's bright and evenly lit with decent viewing angles. Although colours tend to be a little warm, whites were still pure. As with most modern laptops, the screen has a glossy coating, which helps improve contrast but picks up more reflections.

Although the screen's excellent we were a little surprised to find that there's only a VGA output for connecting to an external display. We'd really have expected at least an HDMI output on a modern laptop.

Sound from the built-in speakers is undistorted but rather tinny and lacks bass and warmth. The 250GB hard disk is small by today's standards and we were disappointed to find just two USB ports and no eSATA port, limiting both the amount of external storage and the number of USB peripherals that can be added.

The 10/100 Ethernet port is fine, but we were surprised to see a slow 802.11b/g wireless adaptor. With no 802.11n wireless support this laptop could be quite slow at file sharing when you're at home. The remaining elements of the specification are fairly standard - a DVD-RW drive, memory card reader and VGA webcam.

Its battery life is astonishingly good for such a large laptop, at a minute over four hours. Although the 2.8kg weight means that you're unlikely to want to carry this laptop far, the long battery life's good news for use around the home or in the garden.

Considering the low price, the Aspire 7715Z is a decent laptop with a great screen. However, the fairly small hard disk and use of older components, means that there are better deals to be had. Samsung's R730 has a better screen and is more comfortable to use. It's the better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Pentium Dual Core T4400
Processor clock speed2.2GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size40x411x268mm
Weight2.8kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size17.3 in
Native resolution1,600x900
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelTSST TS-L633C
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports2
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, Memory Stick PRO, MMC, xD
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionbackup and recovery software
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9, NTI Backup Now 5, NTI Media Maker 8
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£439
Detailswww.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk

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