Thursday, July 21, 2011

Acer Aspire 3750-2314G50MNkk

TestIT2011!, the fifth Handy, long battery life, good input devices and inexpensive on top. These traits could boost the 580 euro 13 incher to success. Find out why the Aspire 3750 doesn't exploit this potential in this review.

Update: Now a reader could also form his own opinion about the tested Aspire 3750 laptop as a part of the Intel TestIT!2011 campaign. In general the laptop under review was equally built, but its Intel Core i5-2410M CPU is slightly more powerful. Apart from a small performance gain the TestIT!2011 should achieve results close to the previously tested i3-model in our measurements (display, temperature, system noise, battery life,...)

The TimelineX-Modell Aspire 3820TG (Arrandale CPU), was Acer's most successful 13.3 incher in 2010 up to the beginning of 2011. The omission of an optical drive made it possible to install two fans which allowed good ergonomics (low waste heat, system noise) despite a Core i5 and Radeon HD 5650/6550M. Thus, it wasn't a surprise that the demand for the strong 13 inchers was, and is, high.

Acer has now transferred the demand for the 13 inchers to the less expensive Aspire range. The handily sized Aspire 3750 comes onto the stage of portability with the looks of a 5750G (Sandy Bridge CPU generation). The Core i3-2310M with an incorporated Intel HD 3000 graphics and a 500 GB hard disk are the performers. There's no doubt whether or not the Core i3 can deal with mobile use. However, uncertainty about the WXGA glare type TFT's practicability creeps in. Is this justified? Find out in this review.

Specifications Acer Aspire 3750-2314G50MNkk :
  • Processor : Intel Core i3 2310M 2.1 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, 2x2048
  • Graphics adapter : Intel HD Graphics 3000, Core: 650 MHz
  • Display : 13.3 inch , 1366x768 pixel, AUO B133XW03 V2, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : WDC WD5000BPVT-22HXZT1, 500GB 5400rpm
  • Soundcard : Realtek ALC269 @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: line out, microphone, Card Reader: SD, MMC, xD, MS, MSPro,
  • Networking : Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR5B97 Wireless Network Adapter (bgn), 3.0+HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : Pioneer DVD-RW DVRTD10RS
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 34 x 327 x 229
  • Weight : 2.068 kg Power Supply: 0.199 kg
  • Battery : 63 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10 .8V 5800mAh
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 1280x1024 1.3MP, 24 Months Warranty
Acer's 13.3 incher is equipped with an Intel Core i3-2310M (2x2.1 GHz). The Core i3 2-core CPU isn't capable of Turbo Boost. It is however capable of Hyper Threading (processing 4 threads). The CPU power consumption is 35 watts according to TDP. Both computer cores need 25 watts from this. 10 watts are for the incorporated Intel HD 3000 graphics solution and the internal DDR3 memory controller.

In contrast to expensive Core i5 models, such as i5-2540M, the i3-2310M doesn't have AES New Instructions support. AES supports applications in decrypting and encrypting (business feature). If the i3 is too weak for you, the 3750-2414G50MNkk could be an alternative: Core i5-2410M (2x2.30 GHz, no AES!) + NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M for a price of 699 euros.

As usual, a 4096 MB DDR3 RAM is installed, whereas the available slots are occupied. A 500 GB HDD from Western Digital (WD5000BPVT-22HXZT1) with 5400 rpm is used as the hard disk.

In Cinebench R10 Single 32bit, the Sandy Bridge Core i3-2310M (2x2.1 GHz) achieves as many points as the considerably higher clocking i3-380M (2x2.5 GHz) from the Arrandale generation in single core processing (2751 points). The big brother, i5-2410M (2.3 GHz, Turbo Boost), achieves a clearly faster score of 4510 points (64bit).

However, multi-threading is more relevant for routine work (Cinebench R10 Multi 64bit). The i3-2310M achieves 7538 points in this exercise, alike an i3-380M (7811). The i5-2410M, respectively i5-2520M, achieve 9451, respectively 10128 points, due to Turbo Boost 2.0. We see that the Sandy Bridge Core i3 is almost on par with its higher clocking Arrandale predecessors in its smallest 2.1 GHz alternative.

PCMark Vantage determines a score of 5317 points. That is on par with older systems like the Core i3-380M (e.g. Samsung RV511: 5432) or i3-370M (Samsung SF510).

3DMark2006, for assessing the gaming suitability, reaches 3798 points. The 2010 Intel HD generation (also incorporated in CPU) only achieves 1500 points on average (depending on CPU +/- 200 points). This indicates an increased gaming suitability. We have comprehensively examined how this turns out in the article "Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics solution". We would also refer to the HD Graphics 3000's spec sheet.

Gaming is possible with the Intel HD 3000 to an extent. The dedicated entry level GPU, Radeon HD 6470M, is only 3% faster (3DMark2006). Less demanding games, such as Fifa 11, even run smoothly in high details. Hardware intensive gaming, like StarCraft2 or Battlefield: Bad Company 2, have to be set back to minimum details or lower resolutions though.

The 500 GB HDD (WDC WD5000BPVT-22HXZT1) from the manufacturer, Western Digital, works fairly fast, although it is a standardly rotating 5400 rpm HDD. It reads with only 60 MB/s in sequential read (HDTune). However, the second test with CrystalDiskMark records 75 MB/s (different test routine than HDTune). PCMark Vantage's HDD score shows a better result with 3562 points (sub score) than HDTune and CrystalDiskMark would let you presume.

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