Finding a good laptop is easy. Market is full of them. However, picking the right laptop is a difficult task – for the very same reason. Here on TechForPennies.com, we’ll try to make your choosing process easier by giving an honest review about certain affordable computers. This time, we’ll tell you about Acer Aspire E 15 E5-521-63AL, a budget Windows 8 laptop with AMD quad core CPU. Enjoy!
The main things
The AMD A6-6310 processor, running on four cores and 1.8GHz clock speed, offers good baseline performance for everyday tasks and some demanding applications alike. It is a 2014 release and in comparison, is roughly as powerful as some 2013 Intel i3 processors. For the price, it’s a logical pick for this laptop, outperforming slower Celeron processors seen in some cheaper laptops.
The memory amount in this computer is four gigabytes. It’s installed on one DDR3L SDRAM chip. The ASUS supports up to 16GB RAM so if you want a performance boost, adding more memory is possible. Also, there’s no need to replace the old chip since one RAM slot on the mainboard should be free.
The hard drive on this model is 1024GB big. It’s a regular 5400RPM one so you won’t get SSD speeds. However, you’ll get the terabyte storage which is plenty for a laptop – most of them coming with storage in the 500GB-750GB range. As an example, a terabyte drive can store hundreds of movies or tens of thousands of music files and holiday photos.
Display and graphics
The non-touch screen offers 15.6″ diagonal with a basic 1366×768 resolution. I’d call that low-end, but for the price it’s quite impossible to find a Full HD screen. You’ll probably do well with such a low resolution unless you’re a serious gamer or a graphics designer – both of which who would want to get a more expensive, professional laptop anyway. Just keep in mind that due to a non-touch display, some of the features that Windows 8.1 (64-bit) offers can’t be used.
It’s possible to play limited selection of games on Acer Aspire E 15 E5-521-63AL. It has an integrated AMD Radeon R4 (Beema), a graphics engine performing slightly better than the popular Intel HD 4000. However, it’s still far from a full-featured gaming card. You’d manage to play less demanding or old titles like LoL, Minecraft or CS:GO on low settings. Same couldn’t be said about heavy 2013-2014 titles, where frame rates would constantly be below 20.
I don’t find much special about the connections of this Acer. It features 3 USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0), a rather standard amount for budget laptops. The only thing that makes it differ from most others is the video port configuration: it has both VGA and HDMI outs, allowing you to use some older external displays as its monitor without a hassle.
The laptop offers both wired (1000Mbps Ethernet) and wireless (802.11b/g/n) means to get Internet access. Bluetooth isn’t available out of the box, for that you might want to get an inexpensive USB dongle.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-521-63AL has a DVD writer for your disc using needs. It also features a memory card reader with at least SD card support.
There are also HD (1280 x 720) webcam and microphone installed on this notebook.
Something else to consider?
The laptop’s weight of 5.5 pounds shouldn’t be too big an obstacle for carrying the computer with you, although it’s still considerably more than with lightweight Chromebooks. Compared to other 15.6 inches notebooks the weight might be a bit above average.
The battery in this laptop is a nice 6-cell one. It’s listed as lasting 8 hours, but you’ll probably end up with around 7 hours on light use which is still exceptional for such an affordable, 15.6″ laptop.
Typical for a notebook of this size, there’s a numeric pad on the non-backlit keyboard.
Summing it up
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-521-63AL has performance adequate for someone who occasionally needs more oomph from their computers than a regular cheap, Celeron-based rig can offer. The quad-core AMD and 4GB make a solid foundation for, say, multitasking or other heavier-than-typical-web-browsing tasks. Another good thing is the battery duration: at 8 hours it’s far more than other, similar priced and sized notebooks have. In another words, somebody on budget requiring solid performance and long battery life would probably get most out of this Acer – which, for the money, is anyway a recommended choice!