Acer TravelMate 5760 review

1 Mar 2012

A robust laptop with strong security features and battery life, but with a few issues that might affect classroom use

Acer TravelMate 5760
Price when reviewed: 
469(£469 inc VAT)
4

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.

Acer TravelMate 5760

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £391
Price inc VAT £469
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 4
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 376 x 253 x 34mm (WDH)
Weight 2.500kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-2310M
RAM capacity 3.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 3000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Optical disc technology DVD writer
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 3
3.5mm audio jacks 2
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp

Battery and performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.66

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7