Acer is mostly known for their budget laptops, but they are no strangers to some fancier models, either. Acer Aspire E 17 E5-771-74E7 is an upper-mid range notebook, offering a nice Core i7 processor, 8GB memory and 1024GB hard drive space. The display is a big one, measuring at 17.3 inches. But the laptop is not very cheap, so let’s see if its price tag is justified in the first place…
Acer Aspire E 17 E5-771-74E7 is powered by Core i7-5500U, one of the newest processor of Intel’s, a member of the 5th generation CPU line of theirs. The model in question features two cores, a clock speed of 2.4GHz and a turbo boost up to 3.0GHz. Performance increase is ~10% from the previous i7-4500U model of the 4th generation family. In general, i7s are heavy duty processors good for handling most software and uses – be it complex applications or daily tasks such as browsing the web.
The laptop comes with 8GB DDR3L SDRAM. It looks like it’s installed on one module, leaving the other memory slot on the mainboard free. You can add another 8GB chip there if you wish, totaling at 16GB, however I think virtually everybody are happy with the default eight gigabytes. Many cheaper laptops still come with much less, only 4GB RAM, and only some users complain about that.
Storage space is abundant thanks to the 1024GB hard drive. Of course, it’s one of the mechanical drives, so very fast performance can’t be expected. But people have been putting solid-state drives to their laptops to fix that issue. It should be possible on this model too, although you have to remove the hard drive (or the optical drive) first to make space for an SSD.
The laptop runs on Windows 8.1 (64-bit).
Graphics and screen
The display is what really differentiates Acer Aspire E 17 E5-771-74E7 from budget models. It’s 17.3 inches big and unlike low-cost laptops, features a Full HD resolution. Obviously, many see this as an advantage (including me) although the lower 1600×900 resolution wouldn’t be anything to be afraid of, either. It really depends on what kind of screen you’ve been using in the past. Also, keep in mind touch isn’t supported on this model.
The laptop isn’t expensive enough for dedicated graphics. Thus, it relies on an integrated engined called Intel HD 5500. Some might remember the infamous HD 4000 from their previous laptops, giving poor FPS and resulting in untimely deaths on many games. Luckily, situation is somewhat better with the HD 5500. This model should be (at least) 20% percent faster than HD 4000, being able to run games like Battlefield 3/4 with solid +30 FPS on conservative details and resolution. Lightweight titles, such as Fifa 14, Sims 4 and World of Warcraft, will have more frames per second, even if you up the eye candy.
Acer Aspire E 17 E5-771-74E7 is a big computer, as a result there’s room for a variety of ports. Four USBs are included, with two of them being version 3.0. Video connectivity consists of HDMI and VGA outputs.
Networking should be a breeze. The unit has Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45, A/C dual band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 enabled.
The laptop contains a DVD burner, so creating and reading CDs and DVDs work with it. You also have the possibility to upload files from memory cards, for example photos from your digital camera, using the laptop’s SD card slot.
Attending video chats on Skype and similar programs is convenient, the built-in 1280×720 webcam makes sure of that.
What other things to keep in mind?
This might be obvious, but Acer Aspire E 17 E5-771-74E7 isn’t too traveler-friendly choice. It weighs 6.6 pounds, not unbearable thing alone, but add the 17.3″ size and you got quite a bulky laptop at your hands. The 4-cell battery should work for ~4 hours with a single charge, and that’s nothing spectacular either. I suggest getting a smaller subnotebook for your travels.
There are no illuminated keys on this Acer. It’s not something I personally mind, but objectively, for this price a backlit keyboard could’ve very well been included. A numeric keypad is still there, allowing for effortless access to number keys.
Summing it up
People who can benefit from a beefy processor and a lot of RAM are the most obvious targets for Acer Aspire E 17 E5-771-74E7. Those would include power users and professionals working with more demanding software. The notebook could also be a viable choice for everyday computing given its good value: there’s room to grow for casual users so they don’t need to buy a new laptop anytime soon. If this sounds good to you, give the Acer a try. Looking at the specifications and user reports it should be worth your money.