So, an inexpensive laptop like Acer Aspire E 14 ES1-411-C0LT is enough for your needs? This one comes with a Celeron processor so huge performance can’t be expected. But for a starter computer such an entry-level machine should do well. Let me take a closer look at this laptop and tell more about its features to you.
Acer Aspire E 14 ES1-411-C0LT contains a CPU called Intel Celeron N2840. That processor is very often seen in other notebooks of similar price range. The N2840 model is a recent release, clocking at a maximum 2.58GHz with burst frequency on a dual-core setup. Celerons are the definite low-end processors of Intel’s, having enough computing power for everyday tasks (including video streaming). Mainly power users – you know if you’re one – should choose a faster Core i3 or above. For casual users a Celeron is most probably enough.
There’s just 2GB RAM installed by default. It might be sufficient for lightweight use, but I recommend having four gigabytes these days – especially when the notebook runs on Windows 8.1 (64-bit) which is rather heavy operating system. In the specifications it’s noted that the laptop supports up to 8GB memory, so installing more is indeed possible.
There’s a dime-in-a-dozen 500GB 5400RPM hard drive for storing your data. For most people that’s enough space for music, photos and dozens of games. And if you wanted to increase the speed – make this laptop more modern, some would say – you could remove the hard drive and put a solid-state drive in.
Display and graphics
Acer Aspire E 14 ES1-411-C0LT has a 14″ diagonal non-touch display. That’s a bit smaller than 15.6″ screen, the size of an average laptop’s display. The 1366×768 resolution should be fine for 14 inches, for maximum quality you should probably pick a higher resolution but that would be another laptop with a heftier price tag.
The Celeron processor is a true multifunctional device: it also has a graphics engine integrated. This time it’s called Intel HD (Bay Trail), and as you might expect for the price, it’s a slow graphics chip. It can run games like Minecraft and League of Legends without lag, but problems would arise with newer and fancy titles. For example, Battlefield 3/4 would run with less than 20 frames per second on low settings, which translates to almost unplayable. Skyrim might reach 20FPS, although the little demanding Sims 4 should run smooth +30FPS on lowest settings.
Acer Aspire E 14 ES1-411-C0LT has a connectivity similar to other 14″ laptops. There are two USB ports available: one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. Of course, a HDMI output is there too, which is good if you want to use a bigger external monitor for a chance.
There’s nothing wrong with the networking capabilities. The laptop comes with a Gigabit Ethernet adapter and a 802.11b/g/n WiFi card. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.
Sadly, optical drive isn’t available because of size constraints. If you want to use CDs and DVDs you’ll have to do that with an external DVD drive. The SD media card reader might give some relief, but can’t entirely replace a good old optical drive.
The notebook can be used for video chatting thanks to the webcam and microphone. Resolution for the former is just 640×480 (VGA level, no HD) but should be just good enough.
Other things to keep in mind
Thanks to the smaller screen size, Acer Aspire E 14 ES1-411-C0LT works better for on-the-go computing than bigger 15.6 inchers. The weight of 4.19 pounds is good for portability, and the 4-cell battery should give around four hours operating time.
The keyboard doesn’t feature backlight or 10-key pad on the right. The missing numeric keypad can actually be a good thing if you don’t require access to number keys very often. Because the pad would just be on your way.
There’s no pre-installed software mentioned in the specifications. However, it’s still rather customary for manufacturers to install some bloatware to their cheap models. Of course, user can uninstall these programs whenever he wishes.
Summing it up
Acer Aspire E 14 ES1-411-C0LT is a common budget laptop, good for lightweight use, including web surfing, browser gaming and watching videos on online services. It doesn’t perform well with heavier stuff thanks to the slow Celeron processor and little 2GB RAM. Connectivity-wise, networking options are good, missing DVD drive perhaps not. Carrying the laptop around should be effortless due to low(ish) 4.2lbs weight. In a nutshell, this Acer is a good starter laptop for somebody who doesn’t need huge performance but values low price and decent portability.