Acer Aspire 5741-434G50Mn notebook
An inexpensive Acer laptop that can tackle many different tasks
- Inexpensive, good speed for office tasks and media encoding, doesn't feel heavy
- Screen has poor vertical viewing angles, no eSATA, keyboard keys a little stiff
Acer's Aspire 5741 comes in many guises, but the Aspire 5741-434G50Mn model that we reviewed is perfect for anyone who wants an affordable laptop that can be used for almost any task except serious gaming. It's a 15.6in notebook with a full-sized keyboard and a number pad and it feels comfortable to use on your lap. We just wish its screen was better.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
Acer's Aspire 5741-434G50Mn is a 15.6in, Intel Core i5–based notebook that's inexpensive yet stylish, well-featured and suitable for any task except serious gaming. It feels reasonably well constructed and at 2.6kg, it's not overly heavy. It makes for an adequate desktop replacement, but it can also be taken to and from the office or classroom without putting too much strain on your shoulders (assuming you're not carrying much more than your laptop).
Aspire 5741: Performance and specifications
Its Intel Core i5-430M CPU runs at 2.26GHz and has two cores in addition to Hyper-Threading. It's perfect for multitasking and it will also be quick enough to rip DVDs and encode videos so that you can stream them to your TV, for example. In our Blender 3D rendering and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, the Aspire 5741 recorded times of 59sec and 1min 05sec, respectively. These results are almost exactly the same as the Dell Inspiron 15R N5010, which uses the same CPU — the Acer was 1sec faster in the Blender test.
The 500GB hard drive in the Aspire 5741 has a 5400rpm spin speed. It recorded a relatively tame transfer speed of 26.51 megabytes per second in our tests, which is about 3MBps slower than the larger 640GB drive in the Dell Inspiron 15R.
In our video encoding test, in which we use AutoGordianKnot to encode a ripped DVD file to a 1.5GB Xvid file, the Aspire 5741 recorded a time of 1hr 15min, which is not a bad time, but it's a little slower than we expected. For example, the Inspiron 15R completed this test in 1hr 10min. Nevertheless, you can easily use this notebook to encode videos and rip DVDs, and you can even perform those tasks in the background while you do some real work.
You won't want to consider this laptop if you have aspirations of being a serious gamer, as the Intel HD graphics adapter achieved a low score of 1926 in 3Dmark06. It will be fine when running games with relatively simple graphics (such as the preinstalled trial games), but it will struggle with first-person shooters and any games that require complex 3D scenes to be rendered at a fast rate.
Aspire 5741: User comfort
Overall the notebook is comfortable to use, thanks to an ample palm rest depth of 80mm and a touchpad that measures 47x80mm. It doesn't get overly warm, so you can type while resting the notebook on your lap. The keyboard has a chiclet-style layout in which the keys are spaced about 2mm apart, and it includes a number pad. We found the keyboard to be very comfortable to use, but we did have to get used to it. We found its keys to be a little too stiff for our liking, and until we got used to them, we made many typos in which we either missed letters or typed double letters.
Aspire 5741: Screen quality
The 15.6in screen has a native resolution of 1366x768 and its quality is not great. In particular, we found its vertical viewing angles to be too narrow and we found ourselves constantly changing the angle of the screen to make the colours look right. However, it does have plenty of brightness and despite being a glossy screen it's actually relatively easy to view documents while you're outdoors on a bright day. You'll still see your silhouette (as well as fingerprint marks) on the screen while you type a document, but the brightness of the screen is high enough to make almost all elements of the screen visible. However, you won't want to use it for a long period of time while out in the sun; as with all things black, the notebook's bezel will end up getting very hot.
Around the sides of the Aspire 5741's base you'll find a DVD burner, an SD card slot, VGA, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, microphone and headphone ports. There are three USB 2.0 ports, which we think is one too few for a notebook of this size. Furthermore, you don't get eSATA or an ExpressCard slot, so external storage options are limited to USB 2.0 and Ethernet. You do get Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a webcam.
Aspire 5741: Battery life
The six cell battery in the Aspire 5741 provides a good amount of longevity while away from an outlet. In our rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise the screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the laptop lasted 2hr 46min. This is an expected result for a 15.6in notebook with an integrated Intel graphics adapter.
Considering it only costs $1099, the Acer Aspire 5741 is a bargain. You get a quick CPU and a good supporting cast of components, and it will be fast enough for any task except high-end gaming.
Acer environmental policy
Acer is committed to planting one million trees within the next two years and for selected products it will plant between one and five trees. Unfortunately, the Aspire 5741 isn't one of those products; only commercial TravelMate notebooks and Veriton PCs are included in the tree planting initiative. For more information, see Acer's environmental policy.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony finally back in the black (but not thanks to PlayStation)
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- TPPHP DeveloperVIC
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack PHP Developer - Focus on Front EndQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)QLD
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXVIC
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXWA
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Database AdministratorVIC
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - Wealth AdviceNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCData Centre Design Engineer - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- CCSystems Engineer (Infra)NSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service Desk OfficerQLD