This laptop review takes a look at the Acer Aspire AS7741Z-4643 and the Sony VAIO Y Series VPC-Y218FX computers.
The Acer Aspire AS7741Z-464 is a 17.3-inch desktop replacement laptop that can be found in retail stores. It doesn't have powerhouse performance or a flashy design, but it has just enough features to make it worthy of a look for those in need of a cheap, large laptop. The Aspire AS7741Z-464 is available for $498, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
The Aspire AS7741Z-464 is powered by a 2.0GHz Intel Pentium P6100 processor with 3MB of L3 cache. The processor does have dual cores, which help when you want to run more than one application at a time. Still, it gives the laptop performance that is not as impressive as other more expensive laptops that come loaded with Core i3 or i5 processors. You should be able to run common programs without trouble but do not expect top notch performance at this price point. Common users should find the AS7741Z-464's speed to be just fine, however. Extra multitasking boost comes from 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM.
The Aspire AS7741Z-464's graphics are supported by an Intel HD graphics card. Storage capacity on the laptop is 320GB, which is not a ton of storage, but it should be good enough for most users. Considering the large size of the AS7741Z-464, it's not really a laptop meant for frequent traveling. Similarly, it should not be expected to offer lengthy battery life, and it doesn't. The included six-cell battery offers around three hours of battery life on a full charge. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit comes pre-installed as the operating system.
Additional features of the AS7741Z-464 begin with its internet connectivity, which is supplied by integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi. The laptop has a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera and microphone that can be used for video chatting with others. If you want to enjoy DVDs or CDs, there is a DVD drive. A 5-in-1 memory card reader is also onboard for quick data transfers with other devices such as digital cameras.
Since it is essentially a desktop replacement laptop, the Aspire AS7741Z-464 is quite large. It's not the most portable laptop you'll find, making it better for stationary in-home use rather than frequent traveling. It weighs 7.3 pounds and measures 16.3 inches wide by 10.8 inches deep by 1.3 inches thick. It is a budget laptop, so don't expect a very premium appearance. Still, the AS7741Z-464 strays from being unattractive. It's brown lid is a nice touch, and the rest of the laptop employs a brushed metal look. The 17.3-inch display is the highlight of the Aspire AS7741Z-464's design, mostly due to its large size. Its 1,600 x 900 resolution provides decent graphics at best, as other laptops in this size range offer better resolutions. The integrated speakers are also decent, but you might want to use headphones if you plan on watching any movies on the laptop.
The AS7741Z-464's large size allows it to have an equally large keyboard. The keys are wide and flat, but are not too stable. They are not impossible to type with, but there are better keyboards on competing systems. It would have been nice to see some dedicated media controls considering the amount of available real estate surrounding the keyboard. The touch pad's size is adequate, but Acer decided to go with a single button for the touch pad. Some users may find it awkward to use. Connectivity is rather standard. The left side of the laptop holds an Ethernet port, a VGA port, a HDMI port, a USB port, and microphone and headphone jacks. The right side holds the DVD drive and two more USB ports. There is no eSATA port included.
The Acer Aspire AS7741Z-464 may not be perfect, but at its price point, it shouldn't have to be. It offers decent performance and features, as well as a large display that makes it a good choice for a budget desktop replacement.
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