Laptops pitched at the professional crowd rarely do all that much to stand out visually. They're meant to be all about business, not having flashy visual style. It doesn't hurt to have a few frills, however, and Acer's attractive but still businesslike Travelmate 5760G manages that. The review sample submitted to CNET Australia had a regular-looking black internal design, with a subtle lined pattern running through the wrist rest and a dark-blue lined lid. It's not flashy or gaudy, but it does look good in a subtle, understated way.
The model we tested did have one ungainly feature, however, albeit a minor one. We tested the AU$1899 model of the TravelMate 5760G, and to give it its full name, it's the ...
Deep breath ...
Acer Travelmate TM5760G-2414G50Mibk (LX.V3X03.001). Can anyone reasonably be expected to remember that long name if they're looking for this model on a retail shop floor? We doubt it.
The TravelMate 5760G that we tested sported an Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB 5200RPM SATA drive. Graphics are courtesy of an Nvidia GeForce GT540M graphics adaptor powering the 15.6-inch 16:9 WXGA display panel. The TravelMate 5760G has a DVD writer, a five-in-one memory card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA and Gigabit Ethernet ports. The keyboard is fully sized with a number pad, although the cursor keys are slightly shrunk to allow space for dedicated dollar and euro symbol keys, again underlying this system's business roots.
On the software side, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition is pre-installed. Acer's website suggests that the included other software only runs to Microsoft Office Starter Edition, Bing Bar and Windows Live Essentials. On the crapware scale, that's a pretty low burden to remove, although our review unit also had a trial version of McAfee Internet Security Suite, as well; we can't say for sure if that's standard or not.
The TravelMate 5760G feels solidly built, and for basic business tasks it's a very solid performer with a good keyboard. It did take us some time to adjust to the touchpad being slightly off-centre; in order to accommodate the number pad, but to have the touchpad in the middle of the regular keyboard layout, it sits slightly to the left rather than in the true centre of the laptop body.
The TravelMate 5760G's benchmark scores were solid, but not exceptional, scoring 7133 in PCMark05 and 8803 in 3DMark06; probably more than a business system may need.
Desktop replacement systems are rarely the hardiest of creatures when it comes to battery testing, but it's still nice to be able to take them mobile every once in a while. Here, the TravelMate 5760G disappointed us. Running our standard tough battery test, disabling all battery-saving features and running full-screen video to the point of battery exhaustion, the TravelMate 5760G managed a meagre two hours and 16 minutes before petering out. Again, a system of this size will most likely spend its life number crunching on a desk somewhere, but if you were looking for a professionally pitched system with great battery life, this isn't it.
The TravelMate 5760G is a solidly built system that works quite well within the market that it's pitched for, but the less-than-optimal battery life gives us pause for thought. At this price point, you could buy a system of similar dimensions with much better battery life.