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Acer Aspire 5942G (5942G-334G32Bn) review

Kat Orphanides
14 Oct 2010
Acer Aspire 5942G (5942G-334G32Bn)
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
914
inc VAT

The Aspire 5942G tries hard to be the perfect entertainment laptop, but it really needs a higher-resolution display to match its Blu-ray drive.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 3.1kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 520M, 4.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With a 15.6in screen, Acer’s Aspire 5942G should weigh around 2.6kg, but it's actually a hefty 3.1kg - what we'd expect a 17in laptop to weigh. We were impressed by its battery life, though: four hours and 49 minutes, which is particularly good for a Core i3 laptop.

The built-in speakers are surprisingly good, with a rich, resonant bass, and clear mid and treble tones; even complex, busy music didn’t sound as muddy as it does on most laptop speakers. This is particularly helpful in a laptop that comes complete with a Blu-ray player and is clearly designed with home entertainment in mind. The screen isn’t exactly ideal, though – the glossy display has a resolution of just 1,366x768, so you won't see all the detail in a 1080p Blu-ray movie.

In an attempt to make the display more cinematic, Acer's 'CineBoost Colour Engine' is intended to make movies look more vibrant. In practice, it just makes everything look oversaturated. We also noticed some strobing effects in some of our static test images when it was enabled. In general, the display itself is bright and clear and we preferred to use it with CineBoost disabled.

There are three USB ports, one combined USB/eSATA port, a mini-FireWire port, VGA and HDMI outputs. You'll also find Gigabit Ethernet and three 3.5mm stereo outputs which can be used to output analogue 5.1 surround sound to a compatible HiFi system.

The keyboard's wide, flat keys and generous spacebar make typing easy, and Acer hasn’t taken up any extra space to force a numeric keypad in. To the right is a multimedia control panel that looks vaguely like something out of an ‘80s sci-fi movie.

While many of the more expensive laptops we’ve seen have focused on sheer processor power, the Aspire instead has a range of very desirable features, including the aforementioned Blu-ray drive, a dual-band 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth and a whopping 640GB hard disk. The 5942G's overall score of 76 in our benchmark tests reflects the slower Core i3 processor (we'd expect a Core i5 at this price) but a Call of Duty 4 frame rate of 38.8fps at 1,280x768 indicates that you’ll be able to play 3D games on it.

The 5942G is clearly aimed at those after an entertainment laptop, and the high price is to some extent justified by the Blu-ray drive and large hard disk. However, a 15.6in screen with a resolution of 1,366x768 isn't quite as good as we'd want at this price - a 17in 1080p screen would have been a much better match. As it is, the 5942G feels overpriced, and won't necessarily appeal to audience Acer hopes it will.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5 520M
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size40x382z274mm
Weight3.1kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory1,024MB

Storage

Total storage capacity640GB
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST BDDVDRW CT21N
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, Memory Stick Pro, MMC
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionburn own restore disc
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9, NTI Backup Now 5, NTI Media Maker 8
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£914
Detailswww.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk