First look: Acer Aspire 5745DG Notebook


When it was founded in 1976, Acer’s goal was to ‘break the boundaries between people and technology’. 34 years later Acer most definitely appears to be achieving its aims, as its latest notebook, the Aspire 5745DG, certainly conforms to the PC manufacturing giant’s aspirations to smash the confines that differentiate human beings from the technological creations they produce.

The year 2010 has seen a phenomenal rise in 3D technology stemmed from an urge to blur distinctions between reality and a machine. Being marketed as an ‘advanced 3D entertainment centre’, the Aspire 5745DG, takes 3D technology to new frontiers, enabling users to witness a multitude of multimedia facets with greater depth and excitement.

By incorporating NVIDIA 3D Vision Technology, the Aspire 5745DG facilitates visuals that literally pop out of the screen, thus enabling games and movies to ensconce viewers into the action with a renewed vigour and depth, unachievable by mere 2D computers. Home-made videos, when played with Acer Arcade Deluxe, shuttles users back to the action so they are able to relive special occasions more vividly.

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Coming equipped with Blu-ray Disc drive that plays multi-channel surround sound, sound effects and music are delivered in high-definition and to pinpoint accuracy and with Acer Arcade Deluxe millions of videos, songs, photographs and films can be simplistically managed.

Whilst its large capacity disc drive guarantees plenty of storage space, up to 16GB of DDR3 memory ensures for fast and efficient multitasking. And by integrating Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 Mobile CPU processing power, the Aspire 5745DG has been built to handle the most demanding of workloads. The limitless world of the internet is instantly at your fingertips with the Acer Aspire 5745DG, thanks to a 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED network.

Aesthetically the Aspire 5745DG could not come much more aerodynamically elegant, causing users to astonishingly muse how something so sophisticated, powerful and ‘real’, could be containing within something so streamlined and small.

Our only fear now is that with technology this sophisticated and ‘authentic’, will we be able to regress back to the duller world of the two-dimensional?

Getac B300 Rugged Laptop – Shockingly shock proof

I knew I shouldn’t have done it – popped out of the room leaving my three-year-old alone with my laptop precariously positioning within reach of his inquisitive little fingers. It was therefore no surprise when I returned to find my son standing guiltily next to my precious laptop, lying helpless on the cold, stone floor. My attempts to revive the machine were with no avail as the single black line that now dominated the screen, stubbornly refused to disappear, leaving me angrily cursing, “Why don’t they make these things more shock proof?” Although from this month onwards my prayers have been answered with the release of the Getac B300 – a new rugged laptop that won’t perish in an instant at the mercy of a toddler.


The Getac B300 boasts the usual spec we now expect from modern laptops. The 2GB of RAM means handling applications shouldn’t be a problem, whilst the 250GB SATA hard drive is by far from being the largest hard drive but is reasonable. The Getac B300 also includes a DVD drive, as well as a Gobi 2000 Mobile Broadband Module enabling users to be perpetually connected. The battery life of this laptop is also worth mentioning, as possessing an optional dual-battery pack it can survive for up to 22 hours before it requires electricity.

But where the Getac B300 really stands out from the monotonous splurge of laptops saturating the market at present is its uncanny resistance to being damaged. Whilst your fingers may not be able to function, let alone type at -20 C, the Getac B300 will continue functioning immaculately. And its anti-shock assets have even earned the Getac B300 a couple of certificates, as it has an IP65 certificate for water and dust protection and a MIL-STD-810G certificate for shock.

Fortunately my laptop was pretty ancient and was running slower every day, so its final toddler-induced demise has forced me into buying a new one sooner rather than later. Whilst I am tempted by the Getac B300 ‘ruggedness’ and sublime shock resistance qualities, its $3,799 price tag will probably mean I opt for a cheaper model and just more sensible about where I leave it in the house.

Acer’s HD revolution

Acer launched its summer computer range in Cannes, the home of emerging cinema and what better venue could there be to introduce Acer’s new systems, focussed on powerful visuals and HD resolutions?

Perhaps the most interesting members of the new Acer family are the two netbooks – the Aspire One 521 and Aspire One 721. The new netbooks come in two sizes, 28 cm (10.1”) and 29.5cm (11.6”) and boast ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4225 graphics cards, backed with 4GB of DDR3 RAM. That adds up to a surprisingly powerful, miniature duo.

Not content with being perhaps the most powerful netbooks on the market, the Aspire One range is also interested in taking over the living room. Or at least, it could if it wanted to. This is because the netbooks are equipped with an HDMI-out port to easily connect to HDTV or video-projectors, turning the mobile computers into portal media centres. Perfect for when you tire of watching films on the small, LED-lit screens (although the One 721 can come with an impressive resolution of 1366 x 768).

Of course, Acer knows that heavyweight computer users need more power than a humble netbook, and so are offering the Aspire M5400 desktop. The computer uses “VISION Technology – Black”, a combination of the latest AMD Phenom™ II X4 processors, DirectX® 11 compliant ATI Radeon™ graphics and AMD 8-Series chipsets capable of HD gaming and running multi-threaded applications.

The desktop comes with a Blu-ray Disc player, as well as a HDMI port to connect to the latest high-definition monitors, television or projectors. It also includes a digital and analog hybrid TV-tuner for watching and recording television.

Other interesting features include a swappable hard disc bay on the front of the machine gives, as well as 12 USB ports and ATI Eyefinity technology, which enables support for up to six independent displays simultaneously.

Acer’s newest laptop is the Aspire 7552G, which also features the VISION Technology, with a AMD Phenom II Quad-Core Mobile processor and an ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD graphics card.

Screen sizes come in at 14.1”, 15.6” and 17.3” varieties at a 16:9 aspect ratio. They are all LED-backlit, meaning longer battery life and a more even brightness level. The laptops also boast a Blu-ray player as well as a HDMI port for connecting to TVs and projectors in full HD.

Satellite Pro of Love: Toshiba launches new business laptop range

Toshiba has announced a new range of Satellite Pro business laptops that will be hitting retailers this summer. Aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses, the three new models offer high-speed processing and a range of features to suit professionals.

Acting as a desktop replacement, the 17.3” Satellite Pro L670 provides a high-performance solution to office users on a budget. Its baby sister, the L650 has similar features and a more compact 15.6” screen, making it a portable option for workers on the go, and the C650 offers a reliable and speedy performance without breaking the bank.
The L650 and L670 come with up to 500GB storage and Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, while dedicated graphics processors provide top quality visuals. The Intel Turbo Boost Technology and a generous 4GB of DDR3 RAM mean that you can multi-task without your PC grinding to a halt.

The Satellite Pro C650 offers a choice of AMD or Intel processors and up to 320GB storage. With the same multi-tasking abilities as the larger models, the C650 also comes with an integrated DVD drive, a 15.6” screen, webcam and microphone.

All models have the latest wireless connectivity, optional USB docking solutions and ergonomic keyboards. A touchpad with multi-touch control allows users to pinch, swipe and zoom through documents, presentations and images, while the HD screen and integrated HDMI connectivity means you’ll be able to display crisp visuals and graphics.

Available with Windows 7 Professional or Home Premium, each laptop comes with Toshiba LifeSpace, which allows you to organise meetings, personal appointments and keep track of important notes. The ‘Bulletin Board’ and ‘ReelTime’ functions also allow users to organise their virtual work space more efficiently.

Coming to stores by early June, each computer comes with Toshiba Eco Utility software, which allows manual control of the machine’s power consumption, potentially enabling users to save energy, help the environment and prolong battery life.

Move over knickers, M&S launches web book

Marks & Spencer is probably one of the most trusted and respected of all the retail giants, and have now branched into the computer industry with the launch of its first own brand laptop, entitled the MSNB-2009, a 10” netbook. Stylishly designed by M&S, the retailer has partnered with manufacturers Elonex to produce the laptop.

The MSNB-2009 is a perfect example of how retailers are extending their product lines and looking at current demands which seems to be highly related to the increasing need for small and lightweight laptops – at budget friendly prices.

So what does the new M&S netbook have to offer in terms of function, power and performance and does it measure up to the more tech-orientated competitors out there? Boasting an Intel® Atom™ Processor with 1GB of RAM, the MSNB-2009 has a 6 Hour battery life which means it is ideal for use on the go. The laptop also has a160GB hard drive allowing you to store a substantial collection of music, films and photos. It also features a Windows operating system and a PC output (VGA) which is ideal for preparing documents or presentations and them delivering them via an external monitor, TV or projector. The net-book also of course, has wireless capability in addition to a full QWERTY keyboard and 10” WXGA screen resolution meaning that you can browse the internet clearly and avoid distorted or overly compressed images.

The MSNB-2009 has a 10 inch screen and weighs a dinky 1.3 kilos, making it the ideal laptop to throw in your bag and take anywhere on a daily basis for work or personal use.

So how does the netbook measure up in the style factor? Well, Marks & Spencer of course have incorporated their own unique style flair from an aesthetic perspective and the laptops are noted to be sleek, streamlined and sophisticated in appearance. Catering for all style preferences the net-books are available in Midnight Navy, Shocking Pink and Jet Black.

From a female perspective, I’m sure the MSNB-2009 is a product which will appeal more to women than men as with its high-gloss finish, unique seamless touchpad and a vibrant LED-backlit display, this gadget definitely seems to be geared towards the modern and tech savvy woman who likes quick and easy access to the internet and the ability to work on the go – in style. However it does seem that the MSNB-2009 boasts all the necessary functions and capabilities to suggest that it is more than just a pretty face.

The MSNB-2009 10” laptop is available exclusively instore and online at Marks & Spencer for £279.