Acer Aspire 5741 review

Price when reviewed

Ever since the arrival of Intel’s Core i3 processor, budget laptops have gone from strength to strength. But although the unassuming exterior of Acer’s Aspire 5741 might look much like any of the other Intel-powered laptops on the market, it boasts one crucial difference: it costs just £391.

Reassuringly, closer inspection reveals that there hasn’t been a great deal in the way of corner-cutting. There’s the same Core i3-330M processor found in many of the laptops at this price, a 15.6in display with a 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution and a well-built chassis.

At just 2.46kg, the Acer is one of the lighter full-sized laptops on the market, so the good build quality comes as a pleasant surprise. While the textured silver lid looks a little cheap and is a touch more flexible than we’d like, the rest of the Aspire 5741 is well up to par.

The interior is both functional and smart. The fake brushed-aluminium keyboard surround looks good and, better still, it’s matched with good ergonomics. The keyboard is by no means the best – the keys feel a little too lightweight and lack travel – but it’s a solid offering.

The keyboard layout is spacious, uncluttered and comfortable to use, and has a smooth-feeling touchpad beneath. We much prefer this to the current fad of patterned, textured finishes.

The display has a tendency to leave colours looking less rich and saturated than some of the best budget screens, but it’s a dependable all-round panel. Colour reproduction is generally well judged, despite erring on the side of neutrality, and only a slight lack of brightness leaves any room for improvement.

The final feather in the Acer’s cap is its combination of power and stamina. The mere 2GB of memory alongside the Core i3-330M puts it a little behind similarly specified machines in our benchmarks, scoring 1.18 overall, but it confidently leads the field in the battery life stakes, managing 5hrs 20mins of light usage.

In short, it’s a fantastic package at a bargain price. The Aspire 5741 is the only Core i3 laptop we’ve seen break the five-hour battery life barrier, and that, combined with such solid all-round performance, makes it a simply unassailable budget buy.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions381 x 253 x 34mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.9kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i3-330M
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM55
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free1
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD graphics
Graphics card RAMN/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity233GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskHitachi HTS545025B9A300
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveTSSTcorp TS-L633C
Battery capacity4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readeryes
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use5hr 20min
Overall application benchmark score1.18
Office application benchmark score0.96
2D graphics application benchmark score1.27
Encoding application benchmark score1.17
Multitasking application benchmark score1.31
3D performance (crysis) low settings19fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition

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