The 15.6-inch Acer Aspire 5755G isn't the sort of laptop that likes to brag. Instead, it conceals its powerful components beneath a modest-looking chassis. Our model packed a quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM processor clocked at 2.0GHz, paired with 8GB RAM. It's available now from SaveOnLaptops and other vendors for around £875.
The 5755G is a rather understated affair. The only apparent interruption on its deep black lid is the chrome-effect Acer logo. When you get close up, though, you'll notice that there's a subtle grain effect on the lid. It's barely noticeable but it's just enough to turn an otherwise dull-looking machine into something slightly more sophisticated. The shiny plastic Acer has used to construct the lid is a total fingerprint trap, though, so keep a cleaning cloth handy if you're taking it anywhere posh.
The shell flexed slightly under our fingers but not enough to make us worry. The laptop feels generally well built so we were quite happy hauling it to events all over town, and we think it could withstand a few beatings on the road.
At 381 by 28 by 254mm, the 5755G won't win any awards for portability, but it's not so big that you can't fit it into most backpacks. At 2.5kg, you can sling it over your shoulder quite comfortably while you trot off on your next big adventure.
The 15.6-inch screen has a 1,366x768-pixel native resolution. We'd prefer to see a screen that supports the higher 1080p resolution, but you still have the option of outputting any high-definition video to a massive TV via the HDMI port.
The display is fairly bright and offers decent colour reproduction. It doesn't have the deepest blacks we've ever treated our eyeballs to, but it's quite adequate for watching streamed content and TV shows. If you really want to melt your retinas with gorgeous content, hook the laptop up to a TV like the stunning 55-inch Panasonic Viera VT30 and settle back with a brew and a biscuit. That telly may cost £2,500 but your eyes will thank you.
Keyboard, trackpad and speakers
The keyboard, including a separate numeric keypad, is a really good size, using up all the available horizontal space. The slightly rounded, isolated keys are well spaced out and offer a very comfortable typing experience even when touch typing at high speeds.
The keyboard isn't backlit, sadly, so you won't have an easy time of typing in the dark unless you whack the screen brightness up high enough to illuminate the keys, or go the old-fashioned route and just turn on a light.
The trackpad isn't huge, so those who spend loads of time scrolling may find it rather restrictive. It supports multi-touch gestures, though, such as two-fingered scrolling, which makes life slightly easier. The buttons are connected at the middle to form one big rocker. We found pressing it to be very pleasing.
Like most laptop speakers, the 5755G's aren't anything to shout about. They do an adequate job if you're just watching TV shows or the odd YouTube clip of cats on treadmills but they won't be happy if you ask for anything more. At higher volume levels, you'll notice a fair amount of distortion. If 'mad beats' and intense movie soundtracks are on your agenda, you'll really need to hook this laptop up to some good speakers or get yourself a decent pair of headphones.
Along with a DVD drive, you'll also find an HDMI port, VGA output, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, and headphone out/audio in jacks.
Powering our 5755G was a 2GHz, quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM processor, paired with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. These specs helped the laptop to deliver some very pleasing results in our series of benchmark tests.
In PCMark05, the 5755G delivered a healthy score of 9,049. With a score like that, you can rest assured this guy will happily munch through demanding multitasking and high-definition video streaming.
We also threw Geekbench at the laptop and were presented with a score of 11,391. By way of comparison, our 11-inch Apple MacBook Air packs a dual-core, 1.8GHz Core i7 and returned a far lower score of 6,285 in this test. We were still very impressed with the Air's nippy performance.
The laptop handled video encoding well, managing to encode our 11-minute 1080p video into 24-frames-per-second H.264 in a very quick time of 10 minutes, matching MSI's GT680 powerhouse gaming machine.
The 5755G will confidently turn its hand to some photo or video editing without shouting in protest, but don't expect it to run quite so smoothly if you're editing multi-layered raw images or chopping up high-definition video with a host of effects applied. If you do need some extra juice, a turbo boost function is available that overclocks the processor to 2.9GHz -- just make sure the fans can get to all the cool air they need to stop the processor from overheating.
Along with the powerful Core i7 processor, there's also an Nvidia GeForce GT 540M with 2GB of VRAM. This GPU managed to achieve a score of 8,962 in the 3DMark06 graphics benchmark test. The 5755G may not run the latest, most demanding games brilliantly, but slightly older titles should be fine.
We took Dirt 3 for a spin and were very pleased with its smoothness. The frame rate never dropped below around 35fps.
The 5755G's battery isn't exactly impressive, managing to last 59 minutes in our test. This test runs the CPU at a constant 100 per cent until the battery conks out, though, so you'll get a better time with less punishing usage. Acer reckons you can get up to 4.5 hours of use out of the machine, but we still wouldn't recommend straying too far from a power socket.
The Acer Aspire 5755G is no beauty, but it does offer impressive performance. If you're looking for a beefy laptop that will plough through your work, but isn't the type to shout about it, the 5755G is definitely worth a look.
Edited by Charles Kloet