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.


Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 381 x 253 x 34mm (WDH)
Weight 2.460kg
Travelling weight 2.9kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-330M
Motherboard chipset Intel HM55
RAM capacity 2.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 1
SODIMM sockets total 2

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
Graphics card RAM N/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0


Capacity 250GB
Hard disk usable capacity 233GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Hitachi HTS545025B9A300
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive TSSTcorp TS-L633C
Battery capacity 4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0


Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 5hr 20min
Overall application benchmark score 1.18
Office application benchmark score 0.96
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.27
Encoding application benchmark score 1.17
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.31
3D performance (crysis) low settings 19fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partition

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