While you don’t usually see a powerful CPU in cheap notebooks, Acer Aspire E 14 E5-471P-56RF could be different. There’s a nice Core i5 processor in it, so I’d expect solid performance from this model. Also touch display is included for effortless Windows 8.1 use. But not to be to hasty, a fast processor and fancy screen is not all it takes to create a perfect laptop. So let me also introduce you the other features this affordable Acer possesses.
The best part of Acer Aspire E 14 E5-471P-56RF is indeed the CPU. It’s Intel Core i5-4210U, with dual core configuration and 1.7 – 2.7GHz clock speed depending if turbo boost is on. Within the i5 series, it has an average performance, getting a 3400 grade in CPUMark benchmarks. A wide array of applications will run on it, ranging from simple web surfing to occasional heavier use, such as Photoshopping.
The memory amount is 4GB, just the average in a modern laptop. Adding more is possible: there are two memory slots on the mainboard and one is unoccupied. The maximum memory this computer supports is 16GB, so by upgrading you won’t at least run out of RAM.
Now, the storage solution is nothing to brag about. It’s just a basic 500GB 5400RPM Seagate hard drive. For most it’s just fine, offering space for thousands of music pieces and photos. But if it’s better read and write rates you seek, in another words smoother user experience, you need a solid-state drive. It should be possible to replace the current hard drive for an SSD on this model.
Display and graphics
The touch screen of Acer Aspire E 14 E5-471P-56RF is 14 inches diagonal which is tad smaller than the usual 15.6″ laptop. This contributes to a better portability. On the other hand, the screen resolution might not please all the techies as it’s the basic 1366×768. This of course happens with basically every budget notebook, where display resolution is an obvious place to make sacrifices to decrease the total price.
Graphics are handled by the Intel HD 4400 chip. Overall, these integrated units are not best friends for gamers. They lack in pure performance compared to dedicated cards, but that’s not to say they outright suck. Especially this HD 4400 model (and above) can tackle many games just fine, provided that you don’t up the resolution and settings too much. Games like Minecraft, CS:Go and Tomb Raider will have no issues with low frame rates. Situation is tad worse with newer titles, although the famous Battlefield 4 should still reach acceptable 25-30 FPS on low settings.
The number of USB ports is three as expected. One of them is USB 3.0 while the rest are slower USB 2.0. A HDMI output is also offered, so you can plug the laptop to a HDTV and enjoy a big screen.
To start surfing the web, you can connect Acer Aspire E 14 E5-471P-56RF to Internet with either Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) or WiFi adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported so you don’t have to use a USB dongle.
No optical drive is found on this laptop. It’s indeed quite typical for smaller notebooks to come without one. The fix for this would be to use an external DVD drive, which of course costs a bit and takes some space on your table. Another idea would be to move your data to memory cards because this Acer has an SD media card reader.
There’s a microphone and HD webcam with 1280×720 video resolution installed. As such, video calls are possible on this model.
What other things to keep in mind?
Despite having a smaller 14″ screen and form factor, Acer Aspire E 14 E5-471P-56RF’s weight of 5.4 pounds is similar to that of larger 15.6″ notebooks. The battery has a nice 6-cell setup with 56Wh capacity, so you should get better operating times than usually. Probably around 5 hours in real life, with a single charge.
The non-backlit keyboard doesn’t have space for a numeric keypad. That’s probably not a deal breaker for you, but keep that in mind if you need to hit the number keys very often.
There seems to be some bloatware pre-installed which you can uninstall if it becomes a nuisance.
On paper, Acer Aspire E 14 E5-471P-56RF seems to offer great value. For a bit over 400 bucks you get a laptop with Core i5 processor, touch screen and supposedly good battery life. This is certainly not something every notebook of similar price can offer. Of course, there are some obvious budget laptop blunders, such as the low screen resolution and general slowness for high-end games, but for the money I can’t really complain. If you require more than a simple starter laptop that’s only good for text editing, going for this Acer is highly recommended!