Today I am looking at a notebook from Acer called the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165. This machine has one very unique feature -- it is 3D capable. This is the first notebook from Acer to offer 3D and one of the first on the market to support 3D from the factory.
If you are a big movie and casual game fan, the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 may be something you want to check out. The notebook turns plain ol' movies and content into 3D without any drama or extra steps. The coolness of the 3D feature aside, will the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 stack up?
The machine is at its core a multimedia notebook with specs putting it in the mid-range of the segment. The hardware and features make this a rather unique notebook in the multimedia and mainstream segment. Read on for all of the details on the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165.
Specifications, Availability, and Pricing
Acer 's Aspire 5738DG-6165 I am reviewing today is only available in one configuration and can be found online for around $760 on Amazon.com. Click on the image below to see the specifications:
The Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165
The lid of the notebook is dark blue and very glossy. It will be covered in smudges and fingerprints before you know it.
The back of the notebook has nothing to see but cooling vents and the hinges for the screen.
The right side of the notebook has the audio ports, AC adapter port, Ethernet, HDMI out, VGA out and two USB ports.
The left side of the notebook has the optical drive, two USB ports, Kensington lock port, and the modem jack.
The front edge of the notebook has the unlocking mechanism for the screen, cooling grates and the memory card reader.
The keyboard is a full-size chicklet keyboard with a number pad. You can also see the multi touch gesture supporting track pad here.
The 3D screen is great, but has lots of glare.
The bottom of the notebook has the doors that cover the hard drive and memory among other things.
The notebook ships with one pair of 3D glasses and a set of glasses designed to clip to normal glasses.
Benchmarks - Battery Life, Audio/Video Encoding, Vantage & Crysis
To test the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 I will be using my iTunes encoding test, Windows Media Encoder and Battery Eater Pro. The first test up is Battery Eater Pro.
Battery Eater Pro
Version and / or Patch Used: 2.70
Developer Homepage: http://batteryeater.com/development.html
Product Homepage: http://batteryeater.com
Battery Eater is very rough on batteries and your mileage in the real world will vary. For the high performance test, I turned off all power saving features and ran the screen at 100% brightness. For the power saving run time I used the same settings and turned the screen brightness to 50%. Check out the chart below for the results.
Version and / or Patch Used: 220.127.116.11
Developer Homepage: http://www.apple.com
Product Homepage: http://www.apple.com/itunes
The next test up is my iTunes encoding test. For this test, I take an MP3 version of the Stone Temple Pilots Core CD and turn it into AAC format using iTunes. Check out the chart below for the test results.
Version and / or Patch Used: 9
Developer Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com
Product Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx
The final benchmark is my Windows Media Encoder test where I take the 1080p HD Magic of Flight video from Microsoft and use WME to change the video to DVD quality video with CD quality audio. Check out the chart below to see how well the Acer notebook performed.
Hands on Use
After the benchmarks and the dust has settled, it's time to get into the hands on portion of the review. The thing that will draw most users to the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 is the notebooks 3D screen. The coolest part about the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 is that normal 2D video and images can be turned into 3D video and images on the fly. The 3D effects are very cool and while not as good as you will see in theaters, they are eons better than the early at home 3D content we saw in games and on movies. This is actually real 3D and the effects are very enjoyable. The screen is very glossy so glare is an issue in many instances.
The keyboard on the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 is a chicklet style keyboard that has good typing feel and a good layout. The keys are full size and everything is where it is supposed to be. The keyboard sports a full number pad as well, which is important if you work with lots of spreadsheets. The track pad is a multi touch unit that supports gestures. With the track pad a single finger moves the cursor, two fingers acts as scroll and you can zoom in and out with pinch gestures.
The notebook has a decent sound system with Dolby technology built in. There is not a huge amount of bass, but plenty of volume for listening to movies and music without headphones on is available. If you are a gamer, you can play some 3D games on this computer and thanks to the TriDef 3D screen, those games can be turned into 3D fun. You can't expect to play the highest end titles with all of the visual goodies turned on, but the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 can play most games at lower settings. The machine is portable, but portability is not the notebooks main feature. Battery life is not that great, but for a desktop replacement the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 is a very good machine.
In the end, the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 is more suited to being a desktop replacement that occasionally makes a trip between the home and office than a full on take me everywhere notebook.
You can use the notebook to carry around with you each day going to and from work or classes at school, but the notebook is heavy for those that travel a lot.
This machine makes a fantastic multimedia notebook at a very good price with 3D features that are still very rare. Over all the Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 is a very nice notebook for the media fan looking for something a little different in the under $800 price range.
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