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Acer Aspire 5738PZG review: Acer Aspire 5738PZG

The 5738PZG is a solid enough workhorse of a machine at the asking price. Just don't buy it for the touchscreen ability or the battery life.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
2 min read


The 5738PZG is a notebook with a frankly ordinary design. If you don't want flashy or ostentatious, that could be just fine. The only concession to eye-catching design that the 5738PZG goes in for is the highlighted power button, which sits to the top left of the keyboard and glows with a track line that suggests something rather TRON-like is happening within.


Acer Aspire 5738PZG

The Good

Touchscreen. Large comfortable keyboard. Solid performance.

The Bad

Predictably low battery life. TouchPortal is terribly gimmicky.

The Bottom Line

The 5738PZG is a solid enough workhorse of a machine at the asking price. Just don't buy it for the touchscreen ability or the battery life.

The 5738PZG features a 15.6-inch display above a 104-key keyboard, including full number pad. As with most laptops that include a number pad, the cursor keys are crunched down to make space, but not terribly so. The trackpad is multi-touch capable, as is the display screen. A fingerprint sensor sits between the two trackpad buttons at the base.


The processor at the heart of the Acer Aspire 5738PZG is a mid-level Pentium dual-core T4400 2.2GHz chip. Our review sample had 4GB of RAM, a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics chip and a 500GB hard drive. Optical media duties are handled by a 4x Blu-ray/DVD SuperMulti (double layer) drive. Ports include a memory card reader, four USB ports, fingerprint reader, HDMI and VGA out, RJ-11 modem and Ethernet port.

On the software side, Windows 7 Home Premium runs the 5738PZG, along with Acer Arcade Deluxe, Acer Backup Manager, Acer eRecovery Manager, Acer Bio-Protection, Acer Crystal Eye, Acer GridVista, Microsoft Works and NTI Media Maker. Trial versions of McAfee Internet Security Suite and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 are also pre-installed.


The 5738PZG performed very well across 3DMark06 and PCMark05, with scores of 3001 and 4556 respectively, beating out a number of cheaper Core i3 processor-based systems we've tested recently. Its 3DMark score marks it out as being a good choice for gamers.

Big screens always drain power, and like many larger laptops the Acer Aspire 5738PZG's battery life is nothing to write home about. Disabling all power-saving features, whacking the screen brightness up to full and playing back a looped video file drained the battery in one hour and 59 minutes exactly. You could move the Acer Aspire 5738PZG around a little, but not a lot.

The "TouchPortal" touchscreen interface on the Acer Aspire 5738PZG appeared gimmicky to us at first glance, but after extensive testing, we came to the conclusion that we were right on first glance. Yes, it does work for simple multimedia tasks, but in a way that's almost always slower and fiddlier than just using the keyboard and existing Windows interface. It doesn't do any notable harm to the system to have it running, but likewise doesn't enhance its value to us in any appreciable way.


The Acer Aspire 5738PZG isn't pretty, and its battery life isn't the greatest, but beyond that at this price point it offers a decent blend of performance for graphics and everyday tasks alike. Touchscreen on Windows 7 still remains a gimmick rather than a must-have feature for most consumers, however.