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Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G

"The laptops in the Acer’s Ethos range are heavy on memory storage, sound and video playback - not to mention heavy on price."
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Overview

Almost a year ago to the day, Acer’s new Ethos range was unveiled. Its two flagship models, the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G and the 5943G, are both blessed with improbably glossy design and beefed-up processing power, and differ mainly in size and storage.

What we like best

On the surface, these laptops seem to exist for one reason only: to entertain you until your senses of sight and sound beg for mercy. The 8943G is the more sizable version of the two – it comes with an 18.4inch screen, a hard drive of frankly outlandish proportions (1TB, made up of two hard drives installed next to each other), a Blu-ray disc drive and 8Gb RAM.

It’s the LED-lit HD screen that sets the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G apart from its smaller (and cheaper) competitors. The pictures are gloriously sharp, the colours well-defined and lively, and the contrast is well-balanced. Combine this with the Blu-ray drive and the (for a laptop) fantastic speakers, and you have a stunning piece of home equipment. There is also the option of hooking the 8943G up to a HD TV set.

The 8943G’s little brother, the Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G, looks just as slick – there are the same cool black and silver colours, and the no-nonsense, hyper-responsive keyboard.

Its speakers, while less powerful than the 8943G’s, still pack an aural punch, and its 640Gb memory should be enough even for the biggest data hoarders. Similarly, in terms of sheer muscle, it leaves little to be desired – its Intel Core i7-740QM processor makes sure there are no hic-ups while you are working away at your desk, steam rising from your ears as you produce spreadsheets or edit your audio podcast.

What we like least

You wouldn’t expect an entertainment monster such as this to be feather light, would you? Damn right you wouldn’t. The Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G weighs a whopping 4Kg, and the 5943G isn’t much lighter – it comes in at 3.3Kg. However, you’ll be tempted to make use of the laptops’ 5.1 surround sound systems sitting in your armchair rather than on the train, so mobility isn’t that great a factor here.

Also, considering that video playback is the main USP of the Ethos range, there is a surprising lack of display resolution with the 5943G model – instead of going all the way and giving us a full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution, it plumps for the more conventional 1366×768 combination.

The verdict

The laptops in the Acer’s Ethos range are heavyweights – heavy on memory storage, heavy on sound and video playback, not to mention heavy on price. The Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G can cost you up to £1400, and the 8943G, if you opt for the best of the best in terms of processor, can set you back up to £1800. If you do decide to shell out these sums, you will get a very impressive entertainment package as well as a powerful home computer to use as a desktop replacement. Just don’t try and move it around – the battery life isn’t all that great, either.

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Specifications

Processor Speed

Up to 2.53GHz

Processor

Intel Core i5-460M
or
Intel Core i7-740QM

RAM

Up to 4 Gb

Screen Size

15.6 inch

Graphics

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

Hard Drive Storage

Up to 640 Gb

Battery

8-cell battery

Multimedia

WebcamIDual-layer DVD re-writer with 4x speed Blu-ray disc drive
6-in-1 card reader
Dolby-optimised soundsystem with two in-built speakers and subwooferIMicrophone jack

Ports

3 x USB
1 x HDMI
1 x VGA
1 x RJ45 (LAN)

Weight & Size

328mm (W) x 24mm (H) x 269mm (D)
3.3Kg

Connectivity

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Product Description

The Acer Aspire Ethos range of Acer laptops is aptly named – it certainly aspires to entertain you. The Acer Ethos range has two equally smart laptops, the Acer Ethos Aspire 8943G and the slightly smaller 5943G.

Acer Aspire Ethos Range

The graphics are superb, as are the storage specifications, so there is plenty of room for maneuvre for film lovers and data hoarders. The Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G’s LED-lit screen offers incredibly sharp visuals, vivid colours and contrast.

Both the Acer Aspire Ethos laptops come with powerful in-built speakers to go with the stunning graphics, and the storage facilities (1Tb and 640Gb, respectively) are sure to be able to hold even the largest music collection.

Then there is the processing power – an Intel Core i5-460M powers the Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G, an Intel Core i7-740QM is responsible for the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G, so the user will seldomly experience slow computing.

To read more about the features of the Acer Aspire Ethos range, check out or review of both the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G and the 5943G.

User Reviews

"Looks and feels like a top end product for sure. Great design and fast too, really like it. Could do with a backlit keyboard and some better speakers, but the screen is fantastic on Blu-Ray and I definitely prefer it to my old Dell Inspiron. Comfortable keys, nice touchpad and feels well-made. "

 

Kath 14 February 2012

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