Display, Audio Quality, Heat and Connectivity
As you’d expect, the Acer Aspire 5551G-4591 includes a TN panel display with a resolution of 1366×768. This display size and resolution is synonymous with mediocrity. The contrast, black levels and white saturation are all about average. Viewing angles are poor, particularly on the vertical axis. Overall image quality is actually good, particularly when playing games and watching movies.
Unfortunately, the Acer’s ability to display movies and games well is offset by the extreme gloss of the display and the insufficient backlight. This Acer is without a doubt the worst laptop I’ve tested in some time when it comes to glare. Using the laptop in a bright sunlit room is a painful experience that forced my eyes into a squint. The glare issue is exacerbated by the play in the laptop’s lid. Any vigorous movement will cause a slight wobble in the display, causing the display’s reflections (and there –WILL- be reflections) to dance.
Audio isn’t the Acer Aspire 5551G-4591’s forte. The included speakers are clear at low volume, but that volume is very low indeed – at half of maximum a podcast can easily be lost in the white noise from a box fan. At maximum volume the speakers can’t reproduce music without straining and crackling in unpleasant ways. The lackluster quality carried over to games, as well, as the Acer is unable to produce even the slightest hint of bass. Gunfire and explosions sound flat as a result.
Heat and Connectivity
Although the Acer Aspire 5551G-4591 is not a small laptop by any measure it does contain a powerful mobile graphics solution. Heat is always a concern when a capable GPU is crammed into a laptop’s chassis.
Idle temperatures were well controlled and generally hovered around 50 degrees Celsius. This is warmer than the recently tested Lenovo Z560, but the Z560’s fan ran with annoying frequency. The Acer Aspire 5551G-4591, by contrast, is a monk sworn to a vow of silence. The bottom of the laptop warms only slightly during light use, making long-term lap usage a comfortable experience.
Gaming kicked the fan volume up and also sent the temperatures skyward, but no sensor reported a reading beyond 58 degrees Celsius. The laptop’s bottom warms significantly during gaming, but the palmrest becomes only slightly hotter.