Acer 5738z review

Last weekend, my friend wanted to purchase a new laptop and his requirement was:

•Budget: 30k maximum
•Usage: internet surfing, SAS and movie playback
•Brand preference: Dell, Lenovo and Acer
•Display size: at the max 15.6”
•HDD: the more the better
•Processor: No preference
•OS: no OS as he already has windows xp license to use.

The options that we had in mind were:
1) Acer Aspire 5738z
2) Lenovo G550-2958G7Qv
3) Dell Inspiron 15
4) Acer Aspire 5738G

While I stayed back at home going through different options, my friend went to stores like e-zone and Croma to check the build quality and usability of these models. After some thought, he decided to go for Acer 5738Z.

The payment was paid at Acer’s showroom at BDA Complex, HSR Layout, Bengalooru. And the delivery was promised to be done by 6pm the same day. He went to pick up the laptop at 6pm.
You can check the specifications of each of these models from the respective companies website.

For now, I will be concentrating on Acer Aspire 5738. First the specifications for the laptop:

• Intel® Pentium® dual-core mobile processor T4200 with up to 1 MB L2 Cache, supporting Intel® 64 architecture
• Mobile Intel® GL40 Express Chipset
• 320 GB HDD S-ATA hard disc drive
• 8X DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive
• 5-in-1 card reader
• 15.6″ HD 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, high-brightness (220-nit) Acer CineCrystal™ LED-backlit TFT LCD, supporting simultaneous multi-window viewing via Acer GridVista™
• Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M (Intel® GMA 4500M) with up to 1759 MB of Intel® Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0 (64 MB of dedicated video memory, up to 1695 MB of shared system memory*), supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 10
• Dolby®-optimized surround sound system with two built-in stereo speakers
• Acer InviLink™ 802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED® network connection, supporting Acer SignalUp™ wireless technology
• 56K ITU V.92 modem with PTT approval; Wake-on-Ring ready
• Gigabit Ethernet; Wake-on-LAN ready
• Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
• 4x USB 2.0 ports
• HDMI™ port with HDCP support
• 1x external display (VGA) port
• 1x Headphone/speaker/line-out jack with S/PDIF support
• 1x Microphone-in jack
• 1x Line-in jack
• 1x Modem (RJ-11) port
• 1x Ethernet (RJ-45) port
• 1x DC-in jack for AC adapter
• 48.8 W (6-cell) Li-ion battery pack
• 103-/104-/107-key keyboard, with inverted “T” cursor layout, 1.8 mm (minimum) key travel
• Multi-gesture touchpad pointing device, supporting:
• Circular-motion scrolling
• Pinch-action zoom
• Page flip
• Acer Bio-Protection fingerprint reader
• Easy-launch keys: Acer Backup, WLAN, volume up/down, touchpad
• 383 (W) x 250 (D) x 26/37 (H) mm (15.1 x 9.9 x 1.03/1.5 inches)
• 2.8 kg (6.16 lbs.) with 6-cell battery pack
• One-year International Travellers Warranty (ITW)


From 2009-12-19 d

5738z comes with Acer gemstone style dark blue glossy lid which is a fingerprint magnet. My friend decided to keep the protective cover for some more time as it doesn’t obstruct anything. At the center is Acer logo. The top view definitely looks good, pretty solid for a 27k laptop.

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The left side has power connector, LAN, HDMI, VGA, two USB, 3 audio ports (line in, line out, S/PDIF).

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Front side is very clean with only the latch to open the lid.Also the bottom part of the laptop curves up making the laptop look thinner.

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On the right side, we have a kensington lock port, RJ-45, optical drive and two USB drives.

Keypad and touchpad:

This is where 5738z really shines. Thanks to a 16:9, the laptop had to be extra wide and Acer cleverly managed to put in a full sized keypad.

From 2009-12-19 d

yes, this one comes with Num Pad too. The keys are flat and are very comfortable to type. The only downside with the keypad is really really tiny arrow keys.

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There are few extra keys:
1) turn wi-fi on/off
2) turn bluetooth on/off
3) volume rocker
4) Low power mode
5) one key am not sure what it does.

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From 200912A0

The power on/off button looks really cool with cool blue led strip.

I have mixed feelings about the touch pad. It is not clear whether the touchpad will accept gestures or not but it certainly is not good. The main problem with touchpad is that it is recessed into the keypad and then ever you are typing, your palm goes on to the touchpad and suddenly you will be typing somewhere else in the window. This is very frustrating. All that you can do is click on the “touchpad off” button whenever you are going to type and then turn it back on once the typing is over. Also, the touchpad button are totally pathetic. You need to press them really hard and it can be good exercise to your fingers.

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From 200912A0

My suggestion here is to turn off touchpad completely and use a mouse. That will keep you away from constant frustration.

Few photos of the keypad for your reference:

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From 200912A0

Build quality:

At first, by the looks, it looked like this laptop is made out of cheap platic but the build quality is good, especially the frame that supports LCD. Even when I press the side frame, there is no disturbance on the LCD. Good to see Acer going for matte palm rest unlike many manufacturers going for glossy and shiny palm rest. This way, we can keep the palmrest less dirty and also, the build quality is so strong that you fell like you are putting your palm on a strong solid surface and it doesn’t feel like plastic.
The only problem here being the quality of the extra button as I said earlier in the review.


This laptop comes with a 15.6″ display and has 16:9 aspect ratio. Acer says that this is LED backlit display but I do not see any difference between this and Dell Inspiron 1520’s CFL backlit display. Display looks gorgeous, especially when watching movies. No more black bars.
The integrated webcam for this model is “Acer Crystal Eye” webcam. Acer says that this webcam is optmized for night use. I didn’t get time to test this and I don’t think it will be just like those entry level webcams.

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At an odd angle, the display looks darker. When kept beside Dell Inspiron 1520, the display of 5738z looks smaller but is significantly wider due to the 16:9 aspect ratio.

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From 200912A0
From 200912A0
From 200912A0





This laptop has 802.11 b/g/n wifi and bluetooth capability. It’s is really good to see 802.11N in a sub 30k laptop. The problem though is that the wireless antenna’s strength is a bit weak. We were sitting in bed room and were using Dell Inspiron, Acer 4520 and this laptop and there was regular packet loss and slowness on this and Inspiron and 4520 never had any issue with signal strenght and no packet loss.


superPi was the only test that I could run for now on this laptop


1M 27.828
2M 1.10.110

I felt that these are pretty okay values for a Pentium dual core based laptop that is for non-gaming and non-AV-editing usage.

Operating System:

The laptop came with some unknown distribution of linux that was developed in Taiwan. It couldn’t even boot into GUI mode neither could it get to Shell. boot up was stuck at some NFS errors. So, we quickly erased the HDD using fdisk 🙂

Windows XP installation was very fast and the OS too is pretty fast. Soon, we will try the windows 7 RC to check compatibility and driver stability.


Thought there were few issues with this laptop, overall it’s a true VFM laptop and is highly recommended for those who are looking for sub 30k laptop that is only used for multimedia and internet use.

Features: 7/10
Build: 7/10
display: 7/10
performance: 6/10
wireless: 5/10
Value: 9/10

Note: If you want to install windows XP, you have to change the SATA HDD mode to IDE from AHCI or else winxp will give BSOD during installation

This entry was posted in Reviews by bandla. Bookmark the permalink.

About bandla

Blogger,technology enthusiast, gadget freak, big fan of Ferrari and Federer, Bengalurian, writer at mobigyaan and Thinkdigit Forum Moderator and FOOD LOVER.

2 thoughts on “Acer 5738z review

  1. Hey,

    I’m looking to buy a laptop, budget of 30k, and shortlisted it to the Dell Inspiron series 15r( i3-380M, 2gb ram and 512mb ram) or M501( AMD Phenom 2.3 Ghz, 3gb ram and 1 gb graphics), which would be better?
    i’m looking for occasional casual gaming, then for watching movies,etc. most of the reviews i read say that that M501 has bad battery life and is a poor option?
    does the 512mb graphic card that comes on the i15r affect gaming much compared to the M501?

    how much variation is there the battery life? i’m kind of a tech noob, so can’t really understand the difference really. hope you can help soon.


    • Insprion 15z is a very good moel. AMD hasn’t yet perfected their mobile processor so it’s better to stick to Intel for now. (or you can wait for bulldozer based laptops). You should be able to play current gen games at low-medium settings on HD5470 while 550v that comes with 501R lets you play games at medium settings.

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