The Aspire 5745PG combines excellent touch-screen capabilities with solid hardware, an excellent keyboard and great connectivity options. While it's not ideally suited for use on the move due to its size, weight and short battery life, it's definitely a strong contender for anyone wanting a decent laptop with touch-screen input.
Good touch screen, excellent keyboard Cons: Battery life a little short side; weighty
Battery life a little short side; weighty
£ 550 + VAT
Intel 2.26GHz Core i3-350M, 4GB of DDR3 Memory, 320GB hard drive, DVD Super-Multi drive, 1.3-megapixel webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium, 15.6in screen, maximum resolution of 1366 x 768, Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics adapter
Touch screens are everywhere. From tablets to smartphones, we're getting used to the idea of using our fingers to manipulate on-screen controls.
Acer's Aspire 5745PG seeks to capitalise on this growing popularity of touch-screen technology by offering a device that combines the standard input devices of a laptop with the convenience of gesture-based input.
The Aspire's 15.6in touch-screen interface is certainly a neat touch (no pun intended). Its responsiveness and ease-of-use make it an attractive alternative to using the keypad or trackpad. With a 1366 x 768 maximum resolution, images are crisp and clear, and although fingerprints do tend to show up, a frequent wipe of the screen should sort that out.
It's easy to swipe to highlight multiple documents and similarly straightforward to click on and interact with an object. Each touch of the screen is indicated with a small expanding circle animation and a cross-hair like cursor to indicate where you just pressed.
However, using the display to enter text via a soft keyboard is totally pointless, given that the device has a very nice real one.
The 5745PG also comes preloaded with several touch-screen-oriented tools and applications, including Acer's TouchBrowser, TouchMusic, TouchVideo, TouchPhoto applications and Microsoft's SurfaceGlobe, Rebound and Blackboard software.
Whether there's any business need for a touch screen on a laptop is up for debate, but it certainly gives the 5745PG an extra dimension and may entice iPad fans keen to flex their fingers.