While we recently got our hands on the Aspire AS5738 3D laptop and loved the effects, Acer has also rolled out a sister machine with touch screen skills. Does it makes us go wow or ho-hum – delve into our Acer Aspire 5738PG review to find out.
If you’re not already familiar with the 3D version, the Acer Aspire 5738PG is a very masculine styled laptop with a gunmetal blue lid and a chic black and grey keypad and work surface. A tour round the outside reveals a host of useful ports including four USB 2.0 inputs, HDMI and VGA, a 5-in-1 memory card reader, an Ethernet connection and DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive (or you can opt for a 4x Blu-ray player instead).
Things look even more optimistic when you learn that the Acer Aspire 5738PG has a 15.6″ high definition, high brightness backlit LCD screen with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and much vaunted touch screen functions. No problem with storage capacity either, as we were supplied with the maximum 500 GB and the CPU was a more than adequate Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 running at 2.53GHz which could handle multiple operations smoothly.
However, the problem – as we discovered with the 3D version – was that the power of the processor in the Acer Aspire 5738PG wasn’t matched by the power of the graphics card which is the sadly underwhelming ATI Radeon HD 4570. So if you’re looking to buy a good gameplaying machine, this isn’t it – it struggles to keep up with the higher spec games.
Which brings us on to the main reason why you’d expect the Acer Aspire 5738PG to stand out from the crowd: the touchscreen. And to be fair, it does deliver what it promises. You can perform the kind of scrolling, side-swiping and pinch-zoom tricks you can do on an iPhone. You can also have fun writing sticky notes using the handwriting recognition software, an on-screen keyboard lets you tap your messages using the QWERTY layout and Acer’s TouchPortal software lets you tap-play various media such as videos and music.
Yet it still all feels like a laptop trying to be a tablet, so in the end you have to ask yourself why you’d be willing to pay the rather steep £700 price tag on the Acer Aspire 5738PG for a gimmick which works so much more efficiently on an iPad or iPhone?