The $599 Acer Aspire 5755-6647 is out to prove that you don't need to fork over a bundle for a good multimedia experience. With its rich 15.6-inch LED display, Core i5 processor and 6GB of RAM, this has the power to handle everyday tasks as well as entertain. But does this Aspire have what it takes to win your hard-earned dollar?
Click to EnlargeThe Aspire 5755-6647 has a low-key, but handsome, look. The glossy black plastic lid reveals a subtle striped pattern that shimmers in the light along with a chrome Acer insignia logo. The interior uses has a slate gray deck with a long black speaker grille that runs above the keyboard. A brushed metal power button sits in the upper left corner. Black strips run along each side of the deck, giving the Aspire 5755 a nice two-tone look.
Although the 15 x 10 x 1.3 inch Aspire 5755-6647 is slightly wider than the 15 x 9.9 x 0.9-1.3-inch Gateway NV55S05u, they both weigh in at 5.6 pounds. The 5.2-pound HP Pavilion g6-1c77nr is slightly smaller than both notebooks at 14.7 x 9.7 x 1.4 inches, but it lacks a dedicated number pad.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Click to EnlargeThe Aspire 5755-6647's black matte island-style keyboard is large with a full number pad and plenty of space between the keys. Typing on the flat keys made for a fairly comfortable experience with firm feedback. However, we did notice that the left Tab, Caps Lock and Shift keys were undersized in comparison to the extra-long right Shift key. Still, we were able to achieve our normal 50 words per minute with a 1 percent error rate on the Ten Thumbs Typing Test.
The 3.4 x 1.8-inch gray matte touchpad was smooth to the touch, allowing our fingers to glide effortlessly. While there's no three- or four-finger multitouch gestures, we found two-finger scrolling, rotating, pinch-zoom and swiping to be quick and responsive. Highlighting text in documents or websites was reasonably accurate, as was navigating through pages.
Users might take issue with the slim bar in the place of two discrete mouse buttons. If you hit it in the right spot, you'll get springy, responsive feedback. But if you get closer to the middle, the bar gets stiff.
Display and Audio
The glossy 15.6-inch LED-backlit 1366 x 768 widescreen on the Aspire 5755 delivered vibrant color and wide viewing angles. When we watched the 1080p YouTube trailer of "The Hunger Games," we saw bold bright colors including jade green leaves set against a clear blue sky. The reds were the most impressive as witnessed with Katniss Everdeen's stunning candy apple red gown.
At 154 lux, this panel isn't as bright as the Pavilion g6-1c77nr's 203 lux display, though. The Gateway NV55C54U notched 167 lux.
Thanks to the Dolby-enhanced speakers, the Aspire 5755-6647 offers fairly good audio. At maximum volume, the notebook could just about fill a small room. We liked the Dolby Advanced Audio control panel that allowed us to switch between three preset audio modes (Music, Movies, Game) for the optimal listening experience. On Alanis Morissette's "Forgiven," we heard a clear, almost ethereal guitar holding its own against Morissette's gritty yodel.
After streaming a full-screen Hulu video for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured 89 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider anything above 95 degrees to be uncomfortable. The space between the G and H keys and the underside of the notebook were noticeably cooler at 84 degrees.
Ports and Webcam
Click to EnlargeA USB 3.0 port as well as a USB 2.0 port, a tray-loading DVD burner and a Kensington secure lock line the Aspire 5755-6647's right side. An additional USB 2.0 port sits on the left along with a headphone jack, a microphone jack, HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet and a power jack. A 4-in-1 card reader rests along the left front lip of the notebook.
The 1.3-megapixel HD webcam can capture stills and video in 1280 x 1024. While images were noticeably grainy, we saw rich colors under florescent and natural light. During a Skype call, our caller reported loud audio with a grainy image plagued with lag. However, audio came through loud and clear.
Click to EnlargePowered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-2450M CPU with 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and an Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU with 128MB of VRAM, the Acer Aspire 5755-6647 can handle productivity tasks as well as play casual games. During our testing, we were able to stream music from Spotify while playing "Bastion" in the Chrome Web browser with 6 open tabs in Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
On the PCMark07 benchmark test, which measures overall performance, the Aspire 5755-6647 scored 2,282, barely besting the 2,278 mainstream category average. Still, this showing was miles better than the Gateway NV55S05u and its 1.5-GHz AMD Quad-Core A8 3500M APU (1,612) and the HP Pavilion g6-1c77nr and its 2.4-GHz Intel Core i3-370M CPU (1,332).
The Aspire 5755's 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive booted the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium in 66 seconds, slightly behind the 59-second average. On the File Transfer Test, the Aspire 5755-6647 duplicated 4.97GB of mixed-media files in 3 minutes and 33 seconds, a rate of 24.1 MBps. That's well below the 30.9 MBps mainstream average, but enough to beat both the g6-1c77nr (22.4 MBps) and the NV55S05u (21.3 MBps).
The Aspire 5755-6647 matched 20,000 names to their corresponding addresses in an impressive 5 minutes and 33 seconds on the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Test. That's 53 seconds faster than the 6:29 category average. The g6-1c77nr clocked in with 6:55 while the NV55S05u offered a slothful 10:48.
As with most value-priced notebooks, the Acer Aspire 5755-6647 and its Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU and 128MB of VRAM doesn't have the graphical muscle needed to play anything but casual games. During the 3DMark06 test, the Aspire 5755 notched 4,798. That's 151 points below the 4,949 mainstream category average. This score was more than enough to beat the g6-1c77nr's Intel HD GPU with 256MB of VRAM score of 1,602. However, the Gateway NV55S05u and its AMD Radeon HD 6620G GPU with 512MB of VRAM delivered a higher 5,686.
During the "World of Warcraft" benchmark, the Aspire 5755-6647 delivered a frame rate of 37 fps on autodetect at 1366 x 768. That's 21 points below the 58 fps mainstream average. The NV55S05u continued to impress, scoring 67 fps while the g6-1c77nr notched a dismal 9 fps.
Software and Warranty
Acer bundles the Aspire 5755-6647 with a suite of multimedia software. Bookworms will enjoy Nook for PC, which gives readers access to their Nook accounts and the vast Barnes and Nobles catalog. There's also NewsXpresso, a news reader that can aggregate RSS feeds and presents them in newspaper or magazine format.
Click to EnlargeAupeo!, a music streaming service, was one of our favorite apps. In addition to creating playlists by artist and genre, Aupeo! can also generate playlists according to mood. There's also a desktop shortcut for Netflix for movie buffs.
We lost a few hours of productivity exploring Acer Games' cache of casual titles, including "House of 1,000 Doors: Family Secrets" and "Crazy Chicken Invasion." "Marvel Super Hero Squad Online" quickly became our favorite distraction. Acer also bundled Fooz Kids, a kid-friendly app store for conscientious parents.
Acer-branded programs include Clear.fi, a multimedia management and sharing program and Acer Backup Manager.
Other third-party software includes Evernote, Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, Microsoft Office Starter, Windows Live, Norton Online Backup and McAfee Internet Security Suite.
During the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi), the Acer Aspire 5755-6647 lasted 4 hours and 44 mintues, which is 8 minutes short of the 4:56 mainstream category average. However, this laptop outlasted both the g6-1c77nr and the NV55S05u, which clocked in at 4:39 and 4:26 respectively.
Acer sells the Aspire 5755 in a wide variety of configurations. Our $599 review unit came equipped with a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-2450M CPU with 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive and an Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU with 128MB of VRAM. The $499 Acer Aspire AS5755-6699 has identical specs but dials down the processor to a 2.2GHz i3-2330M CPU.
For $599, the Acer Aspire 5755-6647 is a good choice for bargain-hunters. It delivers solid performance for everyday tasks and a quality 15.6-inch display for enjoying multimedia. Our only issue with the system is it's narrow and somewhat stiff mouse bar. Consumers looking for more graphics oomph should check out the AMD-powered $599 Gateway NV55S05u, but the Acer beats it in most other aspects. Overall, the Acer Aspire 5755-6647 is an attractive value-priced laptop.