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Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G review: Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G

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The Good Fast 3D performance; Speedy processor; Plenty of RAM; Great keyboard; Good. looking design.

The Bad Expensive; Screen isn't Full HD.

The Bottom Line The Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G will make a serious dent in your wallet, but its speedy processor and fast graphics chip deliver top-class performance, although its screen is slightly disappointing.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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The predecessor to the 5943G was about as a visually exciting as a damp Wednesday, but Acer certainly seems to have learned from its mistakes, because this time around it's come up with a much more striking design.

Available for £1,369 from Laptops Direct, among other vendors, the 5943G doesn't half pack in the features, with a Core i7 processor, a massive 8GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive.

Suited and booted

If the 5943G was a suit, its tailoring would be courtesy of Savile Row, as its two-tone black and sliver colour scheme manages to look quite sharp, while maintaining a broadly businesslike aura. You won't find any feminine curves here. It's all masculine angular lines, with dashes of cold harsh chrome to add a touch of flash.

As soon as you open the brushed-aluminium effect lid you can tell this laptop is an entertainment machine. Perched above the keyboard there's a pair of larger than usual speakers hiding behind metallic grilles. These help the laptop to produce fairly meaty sound, with much more bass than most laptops can muster.

Thanks to the isolated keyboard design, there's plenty of space between the keys.

And along with a fat 640GB hard disk, there's also a Blu-ray drive parked on the right-hand edge you can use to watch movies in high definition. Unfortunately, Acer has dropped the ball somewhat when it comes to the screen, as rather than offering a Full HD 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, this one tops out at a modest 1,366x768 pixels.

As a result, you won't experience the full sharpness that movies on Blu-ray have to offer. Unless, that is, you hook the laptop up to an external flatscreen TV via its HDMI output.

Heart of a Terminator

Despite this oversight, beneath the grey and silver exterior a raging heart beats, because the 5943G calls on an Intel Core i7-740QM chip for its processing muscle (a model with an i5 chip is also available for around £1,215). The i7 sits towards the higher end of Intel's quad-core line up. It requires more cooling than most of Intel's other quad-core processors, which is why it's only usually found in larger entertainment laptops like this model.

Twinned with 8GB of RAM, however, it certainly shows what it's capable of here. In the PCMark05 benchmark test it rocketed along to a score of 7,533, so there's more than enough power on tap for serious number-crunching tasks such as HD video editing and gaming.

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