A little more upmarket than itsappearance, the Aspire 5745G ditches the plastic kickplate design for a glossy line etched lid, and plastic faux brushed aluminium interior, reminding us of a cheaper, yet still attractive version of 80s hi-fi equipment.
Its floating keyboard is back, and as a virtue of its size it contains a numpad as well. Above this is a user customisable hot button, as well as something we're used to seeing on Macs — an eject button for the DVD+-RW drive. Thankfully Acer includes a tray drive rather than slot, and so retains the emergency push hole should things ever become stuck in the drive. Slot users aren't so lucky.
Equipped with a 1366x768, 15.6-inch LED backlit screen, a muscle bound Core i7 740QM, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD and a GeForce GT 330M, the 5745G is powerful without getting cocky. Even though it could use a higher resolution screen, we think those needing to do content creation work will appreciate its capability.
Ports include VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, an extremely generous four USB ports, SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks. While all of this is offered at a decent AU$1499, the lack of Bluetooth and 5GHz 802.11n is surprising.
The included Dolby Home Theatre speakers have better tonality than usual, but still flange and distort, offering a muffled sound instead of the clarity we're looking for.