Acer Aspire Gemstone 5920G (302G20N)
- Solid performer across all areas
- The eccentric appearance and colour scheme may put off prospective buyers
It may call itself a gemstone, but the 5920G (302G20N) more closely resembles a diamond in the rough. Those who are willing to chip away at the ugly exterior will be pleased by what they find inside.
Price$ 2,099.00 (AUD)
Is it just us, or are notebook vendors getting a tad 'precious' when it comes to naming their offspring lately? In recent years, we've been wooed by the DreamBook, JoyBook, and even the LifeBook (what's next? The BlingBook?). With a grandstanding name like 'Gemstone', Acer certainly seems confident that its flagship notebook range is a cut above the rest. However, while this latest edition is undoubtedly an impressive performer, a few design quirks have taken some of the shine off its sparkly sounding name.
When compared to some of the trendy offerings made by its rivals, Acer's notebooks have consistently failed to strike a good balance between functionality and style. Despite undergoing an exhaustive design process (which apparently involved creative input from BMW Designworks), the 5920G's overall appearance is curiously garish. With its holographic casing, beige plastic interior and array of flashing LED lights, it kind of looks like a 'futuristic' concept device from the 1960s -- presumably not what Acer was going for. Consequently, unless you really dig the spaceship interiors in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, you'll probably find the 5920G to be downright ugly.
Thankfully, there is just enough grunt beneath its eccentric hood to make up for all this retro tackiness. The version we tested came equipped with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 processor built on the latest Centrino Duo platform -- a step up from the previous model's T7100 CPU (Aspire 5920G (102G16H)). The inclusion of 2GB of DDR2 RAM will ensure that the unit zips along in taxing situations, while its dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 8600m GT graphics card should fulfil the majority of your graphical needs; including gaming.
In 3DMark 06, the 5920G (302G20N) achieved a score of 3175. This is an impressive result which should see all but the most graphically intensive titles chug along at an acceptable rate. In Worldbench 6, it landed an overall mark of 78 -- again, this is a very good score. It will easily handle most commonly used programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, as well as video encoding and rendering applications. In other words, while it's not quite a desktop replacement model, it will ably handle the majority of what you can throw at it.
In terms of build quality, the Gemstone 5920G (302G20N) is a fairly solid machine in most of the areas that matter. Its 15.4in widescreen display remained bright and crisp in a variety of environments, though the glossy nature of the screen may cause viewing issues at certain angles. The in-built pair of subwoofer-assisted stereo speakers produced impressively rich audio, although curiously, we did find them a little lacking in the volume department. Meanwhile, media enthusiasts are bound to enjoy the Crystal Eye camera which has been cunningly built into the inside of the lid's latch.
While it lacks a dedicated number pad, the keyboard offers two sets of customisable buttons, media controls for DVD playback, a dedicated sound equaliser and application launch buttons. Typing proved to be a breeze thanks to the responsive, oversized keys and assortment of handy shortcuts.
The 5920G (302G20N) has also been installed with an HDMI output and Acer's 'Arcade' interface, which provides direct access to HD-DVD movies. Unfortunately, the model we tested wasn't equipped with a HD-DVD ROM drive and its screen only offers a maximum resolution of 1280x800, so we can't attest to its high-def capabilities. Apart from the HDMI port, there's plenty of other connectivity including a S-Video and VGA port, four USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader supporting SD, MMC, MS, MS-Pro and xD cards and one mini FireWire port. The unit has Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g and a 56Kbps modem, not to mention gigabit Ethernet
The Aspire also performed well in our battery test. By looping a DVD, which uses the speakers and the optical drive for maximum drain, we managed to run down the battery in 142 minutes; a good result. This test is considered a worst-case scenario, so normal usage will keep the notebook going for longer.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Razer's revamped Blade Pro laptop marries a GeForce GTX 1080 with 4K G-Sync
- Tobii's new eye tracker adds head tracking with an emphasis on PC games
- Apple to announce new Macs at a special event October 27
- HP Omen 17 review: Great gaming performance at a great price
- Acer's swanky Swift 7 launches as the thinnest laptop ever
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBiomedical Project ManagerSA
- FTSolutions ArchitectNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- CCContract IT Assistant (UNIX/Windows) 161028/ITA/003Asia
- FTDirector Data AnalyticsACT
- CCContract Management SpecialistNSW
- FTProduct ManagerVIC
- FTProgram SchedulerNSW
- CCSAP Release & Deployment ManagerNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security/Admin.) 161014/SA/253Asia
- CCSystems Engineer - NetApp, Exchange, ADNSW
- FTInfrastructure Solutions ArchitectACT
- CCSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTIntegration Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCL1 Desktop Support - 3 days a weekNSW
- CCApplications Support Technical OfficerACT
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - PIMAsia
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCContract Programmer (Internet/Intranet) 161019/P/615Asia
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCDemand ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - Managed Service Provider - No two days are the sameNSW