Acer, a manufacturer I personally like. But do you? Some think they produce poor notebooks, some find their laptops have excellent value. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-571-58CG is one of their latest models, sporting a new 5th generation Intel processor and a spacious 1024GB hard drive. And a true Acer, there’s no “premium” in the price, so it seems you get a lot for your money. Well, let’s try to find out more about that…
So, the 5th generation Intels are becoming a new standard in many laptops cheap and pricey. In Acer Aspire E 15 E5-571-58CG, the CPU is called Intel Core i5-5200U. Its specifications include 2.2GHz base speed, 2.7GHz turbo speed and a dual core configuration. Many professional benchmarks say good things about these new Intels in their tests, with the new i5-5200U model beating its predecessor i5-4200U with ~15% better performance. Core i5s are often referred as power user friendly CPUs, and considering the good grades the i5-5200U gets in benchmarks, it should be an excellent choice for someone running heavy applications often.
The laptop has 6GB DDR3L SDRAM installed. There are 2GB and 4GB chips put to the two memory slots on mainboard. No slots are free, but you can of course take out the old chips and install bigger ones if you want more memory. The maximum supported RAM is 16GB.
There’s a hard drive with 1024GB space. Not all laptops with similar price have a terabyte drive, so this Acer gets an upper hand. If you divide the 1024GB by 4.7GB, a size of a DVD, you can see that over 200 high quality movies could be stored on that drive. But many are after speed rather than huge storage, for which you should do the swap for an SSD. The current drive sports a 5400RPM speed which doesn’t satisfy those who want a very smooth user experience.
Screen and graphics
The display size, 15.6″, is the most common one among laptops. It’s alright for all uses, although not particularly excellent for any. Same goes for the 1366×768 resolution, which works fine for everyday computing, but a professional would be better off with a Full HD screen. The display doesn’t have touch features either, so you’ll get to use Windows 8.1 the old school way – which in my opinion is very easy to do.
Intel HD Graphics 5500 is the upgraded graphics engine of Acer Aspire E 15 E5-571-58CG. It’s said to have better performance than most older Intel HDs, and many benchmarks indeed back this up. It’s faster than the HD 4400 model, although HD 4600 still seems to do a bit better. Nonetheless, there should be enough oomph for most games on low settings. For example the popular benchmark Battlefield 4 should reach easily over 30 frames per second. The notoriously heavy Thief gets +20FPS, which is still quite playable indeed.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-571-58CG has three USB ports like most other notebooks. Also, two of those are USB 2.0 so only one USB 3.0 is available. It would be better the other way around, especially if you have USB 3.0 peripherals.
The laptop can be connected to external monitors. There are HDMI and VGA outputs installed, so new and old displays work with the Acer.
Networking seems to be excellent. There’s a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port and also a dual-band WiFi for wireless. Bluetooth 4.0 is likewise built-in so there’s no need to use valuable USB slots for an USB Bluetooth dongle.
So getting Internet access might be easy, but working with discs is not. Because there’s no optical drive. You must get an external DVD drive for that, although you can also download a lot of essential programs off Internet. And if you have software on memory cards, you can access it through the laptop’s SD card reader. So it might actually be that you don’t need a DVD drive at all.
The notebook has a 1280×720 webcam, so video chats on Skype work.
Is there anything else to remember?
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-571-58CG weighs 5.51 pounds, perhaps couple of ounces more than a typical 15.6″ laptop. The 6-cell battery is a solid one, with advertised 7 hours operating time. You won’t probably reach that, but around 5-6 hours battery life on web browsing should be possible.
The laptop is not fancy enough to feature a backlit keyboard. But a numeric keypad is available, good for those who’re used to type number keys through that dedicated pad on right.
Summing it up
I can’t help but say mostly positive stuff about Acer Aspire E 15 E5-571-58CG. There’s a new Core i5 processor, plenty of RAM and a huge 1024GB hard drive in it. This is a setting even a power user would appreciate. Gaming also works for most titles, but you must keep settings low(ish). Dual-band WiFi and long battery life are also good things about this notebook. The missing DVD drive is questionable, but I can’t say it’s a 100% bad thing because many people don’t really need one in this Internet era. Anyway, this all costs a very reasonable 550 bucks, so going for this Acer means you’ll get good value for your money.