Acer Aspire 5536

The Acer Aspire 5536 is a little light on battery, but it's a good all-rounder for anyone seeking an affordable laptop with a big screen and keyboard.


7.5
CNET Rating
8.1
User Rating

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Good looks

The Acer Aspire 5536 is an attractive unit, with a glossy blue lid and rounded edges. Its 15.6-inch screen makes it a mid-weight laptop at 2.8kg — not too bad, but still not something you want to lug around all day.

A full-size keyboard with a separate numeric keypad is the order of the day. The low-profile keys are similar to the "chiclet" style favoured by Apple and Sony, but the wide, flat key tops sit above the keyboard tray rather than poking through holes in it. Fluff, crumbs and other desktop detritus will probably accumulate in the empty space beneath the keys, but the design looks great and works well. The keys have a solid, positive action, without a hint of flex.

Unfortunately, the 5536's trackpad has an irksome design — it's simply a shallow area in the wrist rest with nothing to separate the touch-sensitive area from the flush-sitting buttons. As a result, it's easy for a button-pressing finger to stray onto the trackpad, leading to the mouse cursor jumping around. It's not a huge problem, but it's an annoying one, nonetheless.

Bright screen

The 5536's 1366x768 native resolution screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio, rather than the more common widescreen-laptop aspect ratio of 16:10. The supposed benefit is that this eliminates the black borders when watching widescreen movies. It's important to note, however, that this only applies to movies presented in a 16:9 aspect ratio. Many movies are presented in the even wider 2.20:1 aspect ratio, and these will still have black borders at both the top and bottom. The 5536's screen is bright and clear, though, and the LED backlight means that it's evenly lit. It is glossy, however, so it can be overly reflective in certain conditions and won't suit everyone.

The Dolby Home Theater branding might suggest that the 5536 would offer excellent audio, but the sound quality is little better than on any other laptop we've reviewed. There's no bass-enhancing tube at the rear of the 5536, and so the speakers sound rather tinny, although they're fine for the odd spot of music.

Decent performance

Purring under the hood of the laptop is a 2.1GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 QL-64 CPU, 3GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 3200 GPU, with a 320GB hard drive. This lead to a PCMark05 benchmark score of 3906, indicating that the Aspire 5536 can ably cope with the kind of programs that home users are likely to run, from word-processing to video-editing apps.

The 3DMark06 score of 1299 means it's only good for 3D gaming if you keep resolutions and detail settings low.

Battery life doesn't differ much between the laptops either. The 5536-643G50Mn lasted for 59 minutes in Battery Eater's intensive Classic test and three hours and 14 minutes in the less-demanding Reader's test. This should equate to over two hours of typical use with Wi-Fi enabled. That's not great, but it's enough for catching up on some work in the garden without reaching for the mains extension lead.

Conclusion

The Acer Aspire 5536 is a little light on battery, but it's a good all-rounder for anyone seeking an affordable laptop with a big screen and keyboard.

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NUCLEAR UNICORN
9
Rating
 

"Cheap and wonderful, if you have the charger in!"

NUCLEAR UNICORN posted a review   

The Good:quick dedicated graphics cheap.

The Bad:short battery life

got it for $600 at JB-HIFI in a clearance section and it is my 1st laptop, so far nothing has gone wrong at all, had it for a year and a half now and has never let me down once. i am very happy with it. BTW i am writing this reveiw on it!

Laptop
9
Rating
 

Laptop posted a review   

The Good:Everything

The Bad:Noisy, bad battery life

Brought it for around $800 nearly a year ago because it was on display and therefore had a $100 discount. Works great. No crashes, reboots or anything like that. No overheating (but I use it only for word documents and internet browsing). Very noisy though and has a horrible battery life. It doesn't have bluetooth though. I've got no problems with it although laptops have a history of crashing (my last one lasted me five months) so we shall see...

todd
8
Rating
 

todd posted a review   

The Good:Nice performance, pretty good keyboard, screen is nice

The Bad:overheats quick if playing 3D games, dirt under keys

Got mines a few months back. I upgraded to Windows 7 and it works wonders. Great performance. Nice keyboard and good for any games or movies. Sound could be enhanced. Only minor things are over heating(common in most laptops) and dirt getting under keyboard. Great overall i say 8/10

Cheo
7
Rating
 

Cheo posted a review   

The Good:Nice Keyboard and speed

The Bad:Poor sound

I bought one year ago, just love the keyboard. The camera is also good.
Not very good sound considering that says "Virtual Surround sound".
Very good graphics, battery doesn't last long while connected to the wireless internet. Sometimes is on 24 hours with no problems or crashes.

jamesss
10
Rating
 

jamesss posted a review   

The Good:gamein

The Bad:battrey life and dirt under keys

i love it atm dnt have any problems except for stuff getting suck under the keys butfor some reason i can tipe soo fast on this computer and mine came with 4gig of ramand ati graphichs doesent ever lagg when playing 3D gamess

lou
9
Rating
 

lou posted a review   

i never had had problems with this computer i bought it a year ago in canada for 400 bucks and never had any problem with it.i love this laptop. its just getting hot very fast.

Karger
1
Rating
 

Karger posted a review   

The Good:Nothing

The Bad:Everything

I bought this computer in January for my son on his birthday, it has crashed 4 times and has been restored o factory settings 9 times, yet it still does it,it has been sent to acer twice and all they say is restore it back to factory settings, DO NOT ACER! They can't make computers and the computers that they make are $h!t, especially this model!


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User Reviews / Comments  Acer Aspire 5536

  • NUCLEAR UNICORN

    NUCLEAR UNICORN

    Rating9

    "got it for $600 at JB-HIFI in a clearance section and it is my 1st laptop, so far nothing has gone wrong at all, had it for a year and a half now and has never let me down once. i am very happy wit..."

  • Laptop

    Laptop

    Rating9

    "Brought it for around $800 nearly a year ago because it was on display and therefore had a $100 discount. Works great. No crashes, reboots or anything like that. No overheating (but I use it only f..."

  • todd

    todd

    Rating8

    "Got mines a few months back. I upgraded to Windows 7 and it works wonders. Great performance. Nice keyboard and good for any games or movies. Sound could be enhanced. Only minor things are over hea..."

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