One can often anticipate budget laptops coming out of Acer’s factories, but this time they made something different. They built Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-71WB, a high-end notebook featuring “power user proof” components such as Intel Core i7 processor and a Full HD screen. Without further ado, let me introduce you to this notebook, and tell whether it’s worthy of spending your money on…
It’s a decent processor in Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-71WB, a 6th generation (Skylake architecture) Intel Core i7-6500U with two cores, 2.5GHz clock speed and 3.1GHz turbo. These i7s are generally known as the flagships of Intel, although you must remember the current model is a low-voltage unit. That allows for less heating and energy use than the normal voltage ones, but performance always suffers a bit. The CPU Mark score the processor gets is ~4300, not wonderful, but still enough to call this i7-6500U a chip suitable for power users.
By default, the notebook has 8GB DDR3L memory installed. Unfortunately I can’t tell how it’s distributed (one 8GB or two 4GB), anyway the motherboard has in total 2 memory slots. Thus, the most RAM you can install on this system is 16GB.
It’s not the best storage drive in this Acer, it’s big (1TB) but slow (5400RPM) SATA 3 hard drive. There are no M.2 connectors to add a compact SSD. But there’s a way around this: move the HDD to the empty optical drive slot and install caddy+SSD on the now-free HDD slot. Just keep in mind the situation is not so bad, in fact many people will do fine with such a hard drive – if you haven’t tried a solid-state drive yet, you won’t even notice the current HDD is “slow”.
Gaming in nutshell
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-71WB has some sort of a graphics card, the GeForce 940M with 4GB DDR3 memory. It’s better than processor-integrated ones like Intel HD 5500, but still far from gaming oriented cards such as GTX960M. So in reality, you’re certainly able to play all games on this laptop, but the question is about settings/resolution levels. For example, the popular GTA 5 will give around 50FPS but that will happen with medium settings and 1366×768 resolution. Battlefield 4 on high and 720p would run at around 30FPS. League of Legends, on the other hand, will have +50FPS on very high settings and 1080p.
Ports and connections
It’s pretty average selection of ports in Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-71WB. Three USBs are available, one is USB 2.0 and two are USB 3.0. It’s enough to plug in mouse, printer and another USB device, for example. Audio ports include HDMI and VGA, you can connect an external display (like HDTV) to this machine.
Interfaces for networking are Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45) for cable and A/C-supporting WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card for wireless connections.
There is no optical drive installed, but the empty slot should accommodate one (or even an extra storage drive like SSD/HDD) if you want to install. You can also use external drives that connect to the Acer’s USB 3.0 port.
Memory card reader is installed, it supports the SD format.
HD webcam is available for some video chatting/conferences using Skype or similar software.
Other important things
You see, the display of Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-71WB is a nice one. It offers 1080p (1920×1080) resolution support, a feature often appreciated by power users and digital artists to give more screen estate. The screen is not touch sensitive, but for many people this is alright since Windows 10 Home (64-bit) works good with keyboard and mouse only.
I’d expect the 4-cell battery to last for 4 hours if you’re surfing the web. It seems to be a non-removable type, so be prepared for extensive tinkering if you want to replace the battery.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-71WB would be a good companion for power users. Mostly thanks to the latest generation Intel Core processor, the notebook packs a lot of performance, and runs demanding programs and multitasking without issues. One thing to watch for is the hard drive; if you upgrade it to SSD this laptop should, as they say, fly. But even without the SSD swap this Acer is a noteworthy choice for those who appreciate high performance that doesn’t cost an arm and leg.