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Acer Aspire 5745PG review

Tom Morgan
22 Nov 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
666
inc VAT

Poor software lets down some clever touchscreen technology in an otherwise decent mid-range laptop.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.8kg, 2.26GHz Intel Core i3-350M, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

By adding a touchscreen, Acer's new 5745PG mid-range laptop tries to combine the versatility of a Windows laptop with the simplicity and immediacy of a tablet. The laptop chassis looks sleek with a textured lid and gunmetal grey wrist rest. Despite the additional electronics, the 15in LED-backlit screen is only slightly thicker than the display on a regular laptop. The multi-touch panel hasn't degraded the crispness of images either. Colours were accurate and contrast was balanced; vertical viewing angles were reasonable, but horizontal angles were limited.

Acer Aspire 5745PG

Touch response was fast, but accuracy wasn't pixel perfect; closing windows often required a second attempt. The 5745PG is being sold as a laptop rather than a hybrid tablet, so the touchscreen is designed to be used alongside the traditional mouse and keyboard, but we would still expect better accuracy than this. The keyboard itself was comfortable to use, with well-spaced Chiclet keys that showed very little flex when typing. A good-sized trackpad provides a more traditional alternative to the touchscreen.

Multi-touch interfaces can be intuitive and help increase productivity when used with well-designed software. Unfortunately, most developers have been slow to implement touchscreen support into their software. For example, using the touchscreen simply for Windows navigation quickly became frustrating because of small user interface elements.

Text entry was initially frustrating using the onscreen keyboard. It doesn’t start automatically when clicking in text boxes and obscures the windows below it. Despite this, we could enter text with reasonable speed and accuracy after organising our windows into a split view. However, with a traditional keyboard directly beneath the screen it’s both counter-intuitive and uncomfortable to enter text this way; so you end up switching back forth from screen to keyboard as you work.

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