Words “affordable” and “Acer” go well together. Products from that Taiwanese electronics company are often cheap, making them desirable objects for budget hunters. Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU is one of those inexpensive notebooks of theirs, sporting a Pentium processor and two gigabytes RAM. But is it powerful enough for you, and more importantly good value? That’s something we’ll answer in the below review.
The performance of Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU is typical for a budget laptop. The Intel Pentium N3540 processor has four cores and 2.2GHz clock frequency (up to 2.7GHz turbo). Nice specifications on the paper, yes, but in benchmark tests its true nature is shown – for example, the famous PassMark software rates it at around 1800 points, falling behind Core i3s boasting a grade of ~2500. However, it’s still considerably faster than Celeron N2840 (only 1000 points). There’s nothing the Pentium couldn’t do for casual users, but those guys and gals with demanding applications or games should seek a more powerful processor.
The laptop has 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM installed. That’s on the low side, especially considering Windows 8.1 (64-bit) likes to eat up memory. For basic web browsing the current RAM can be just fine. To make the notebook a lot faster without paying too much, you could swap the installed memory for 4 or 8 GB chip. The mainboard has just one memory slot, so adding more without replacing the old module isn’t possible.
Hard drive is a very basic 250 GB one – something you used to see years ago, not really in 2015 anymore. These days most laptops sport at least a 500 GB drive. So compared to other models, the Acer has little storage. In general terms, though, 250 GB isn’t that small – it can still store data equivalent to around 50 DVDs. But I can definitely understand your desire to swap it for bigger/faster one. People have been installing solid state drives in this model with no issues.
Display and graphics
Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU has 11.6 inches anti-glare screen, so it’s much smaller than an average laptop (15.6″). The 1366×768 resolution allows for comfortable use on so little monitor. As the notebook is cheap, don’t expect great picture quality and viewing angles, although the screen should work well for everyday computing anyway.
There’s a Bay Trail -based Intel HD Graphics engine integrated to the CPU. It’s quite limited in performance. Games without high-end graphics, such as League of Legends, should give you around 30FPS. However, you can forget about fancy first person shooters (Battlefield 4 to name one). Those would yield FPS no more than 10, which is totally unplayable for that kind of fast-paced games.
Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU has ports set common for a small subnotebook. There are two USB ports available, the other being USB 3.0. Hooking up a HDTV is possible through the laptop’s HDMI output. Funny thing, all of those ports are in the back, not on sides as usually.
You can connect the computer to Internet with cable (Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45) or without one (802.11b/g/n WiFi). The laptop should also support Bluetooth 4.0.
Needless to say, there is no DVD drive in unit this small. So either download your stuff from Internet, plug in an external drive or utilize the laptop’s built-in SD card reader for data transfers.
Webcam, microphone and speakers are integrated so you can video chat with your friends on Skype.
Any other things to keep in mind?
A great thing for travelers, Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU is very compact. The 11.6″ screen size means only 2.84 pounds – a lot less than 15 inch laptop’s five pounds weight. There’s a 3-cell battery which should give around 4 hours of use on WiFi browsing.
Keys on this model are not illuminated. There is no numeric keypad either due to size limitations.
Like most cheap laptops, also Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU suffers from pre-installed bloatware. Combine that with resource-hungry Windows 8.1 and 2GB RAM, and you get a sluggish system at your hands. I definitely recommend uninstalling the crapware through Control Panel.
Many don’t keep their expectations high about Acers. Some people see them as inferior quality. But after years with an Acer laptop, I don’t agree on that. They can be useful and durable – and that’s how I see Acer Aspire E 11 ES1-111M-P2YU as well, after making an upgrade or two. Because at the current 2GB RAM and 250GB 5400RPM drive the system may start to feel frustratingly slow. If you install more RAM and perhaps even a bigger hard drive or solid state drive, the performance will get a lot better – for example, lagging with multitab browsing will go away.
Other things in Acer are decent: the Pentium processor is excellent for lightweight use, and together with Intel HD graphics can even play some less demanding games from the past. Having USB 3.0 is useful for folks with peripherals. So going for this Acer makes sense, although only after the aforementioned upgrades you can see its true potential. Those extras of course cost money, but I’d say its worth that, because you have otherwise excellent netbook at your hands.