Acer TravelMate 5760 review
A robust laptop with strong security features and battery life, but with a few issues that might affect classroom use
Review Date: 1 Mar 2012
Reviewed By: Terry Freedman
Price when reviewed: £391 (£469 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
With its attractive blue cover the Acer has a playful look, but underneath it means serious business. This is reinforced by the preinstalled software, which includes ProShield, designed to prevent unauthorised access, and the Acer Backup Program – a more intuitive option than the standard Windows Backup and Restore tool.
In some respects this is a fine laptop for schools. It starts up in only 55 seconds, and the batteries held up for just over three hours of classroom use, even with the DVD drive in action. The screen can be pushed back flat, and has good hinges, so it should be able to withstand being knocked, while the chassis is both drop- and spill-resistant.
The 15.6in, 1,366 x 768 resolution screen gets solid marks for brightness, contrast and detail, although narrow viewing angles may make it difficult for two pupils to view it at once. The 1.3mp webcam delivers a stronger image than some rivals, and is set at the right angle when the screen is at its optimal position – many budget laptops get this wrong.
Sadly, the Acer is a letdown elsewhere. Staff and students weren’t keen on the placement of the trackpad; it’s too far over to the left, which makes it harder to type. The keys themselves are so flat, with so little travel, that typing feels awkward. Sound is also very tinny and the DVD writer so noisy that it’s impossible to use any DVD-based content without wearing headphones. On a more minor note, shortcuts to eBay and Acer accessories have no place on the desktop of a school’s laptops.
With three USB 2 ports and HDMI and VGA outputs, the Acer has basic connectivity covered, although USB 3 would have been useful. With Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi, it’s network ready, too.
The specification is also impressive. With a Core i3 Sandy Bridge processor and 4GB of RAM the Acer is fine for classroom applications, as shown in a 0.66 PC Pro benchmark score. With dedicated Nvidia graphics, there’s 3D horsepower too.
Despite its problems, this is a well-built, high-spec laptop for the money, but one that’s better suited to teachers and co-ordinators than classroom use.
Author: Terry Freedman
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