Performance and Benchmarks
With its 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, and Intel GMA HD graphics, system performance was very good. In our tests, one factor holding back the notebook was its rather slow Toshiba 5400RPM hard drive. The hard drive also appeared to have an over-active power management setting that power cycled the drive more times than we have heard from other notebooks. The Core i3 processor easily decoded 720P or 1080P video and played HD Flash movies on YouTube. Gaming performance was weak with the Intel GMA HD integrated graphics, but still a step up from the older Intel GMA X4500MHD. Startup and shutdown times were fine though we feel there's room for improvement with a faster hard drive.
Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
Thermal performance of this notebook was very good given its size and relatively low-end hardware. The 7740 barely broke a sweat during its benchmarking runs, and during normal use it stayed in very comfortable temperature ranges. Fan noise at idle is low with it only turning on for short bursts. If the load on the system is raised, the fan turns on with higher frequency but is still fairly quiet.
Acer configured the Aspire 7740 with a 6-cell battery with a rated capacity of 48Wh. In our tests, the system used between 14 to 16 watts of power at idle. With the screen brightness lowered to 70%, Windows set to the balanced profile, and wireless active, the 7740 stayed on for two hours and 51 minutes. With battery life coming up under three hours, the notebook wouldn't be the best travel companion, but as a desktop replacement, it's more than adequate.
The Acer Aspire 7740 is an affordable multimedia notebook with solid performance and a good appearance. While some budget notebooks might only offer resolutions of 1366 x 768, Acer went with a 1600 x 900 resolution for its 17.3-inch screen. System performance was very good for its price, reaching close to 5,000 in both PCMark05 and PCMark Vantage. We were also impressed that the system included a Blu-ray drive, but disappointed when it lacked decoding software. Overall, if you are looking for a midrange desktop-replacement notebook and don't want to spend more than $800, the Acer Aspire 7740 is worth checking out.
Software & Support
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
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