Finding a good old Windows 7 laptop isn’t as self-evident as it used to be. These days Windows 8 is pretty much “the operating system”. But not everybody likes this change and for those people there are still some options left. One of them is Acer Aspire E5-531-C7Y7, a budget laptop powered by Windows 7. Below, we’ll tell you its essential features and how they might benefit you.
Besides Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), the Acer laptop is powered by Intel Celeron 2957U processor. You can right away see it’s ultra-low voltage processor, the U suffix gives that away. This leads to a better battery life but on the other hand also to a worse performance – especially when the processor belongs to the entry-level Celeron family. That being said, the processor is powerful enough for basic home and office use – but using it exclusively for demanding tasks wouldn’t be a good idea.
Acer Aspire E5-531-C7Y7 possesses 4GB DDR3 RAM, which in my opinion is still a good amount these days. However, if you’re not fine with that, you can add more all the way up to 16 GB. Total memory slots are two and as far as I know, the other slot is unoccupied.
There’s a 500GB hard drive installed in the Acer. It runs on basic 5400RPM so you won’t get the quick user experience some SSDs have. However, what you’ll get is a solid half terabyte storage space which houses all of your vacation snapshots (thousands of them) easily.
Display and graphics
The screen of Acer Aspire E5-531-C7Y7 is a cookie-cutter 15.6″ non-touch display. The resolution is unsurprisingly on the low side, a 1366×768, which wouldn’t probably please everybody. For basic use it’s fine, not so much for image or video editing.
The graphics engine is called Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), and if you’re “in the know”, you can see there’s not much gaming performance in this laptop. It’s an integrated chip of subpar performance, and using that Intel HD for fancy 2013-2014 titles (such as Thief, Risen 3 and CoH 2) would probably give less than 15-20 FPS, even on low settings and resolution. With some lightweight titles the situation is better, and games like Fifa 14, World of Warcraft and Minecraft would be fully playable, even on around medium settings.
Connections of Acer Aspire E5-531-C7Y7 include three USB ports, of which one is faster USB 3.0. Besides HDMI output for HDTV connection the laptop also has a VGA port for legacy monitor support.
Accessing Internet is possible through Gigabit Ethernet or regular WiFi. Bluetooth isn’t supported right out of the box – but can be easily installed with a small USB adapter.
Like most 15.6″ inchers also this model features a DVD burner, located on right. For additional file transfer support there’s also a SD media card reader available.
For video calls with Skype the laptop has a microphone and front-facing webcam installed on top of the screen.
Anything else to consider?
Acer Aspire E5-531-C7Y7 weighs a 5.6 pounds, which is roughly the average of same size laptops. The battery life is listed as 7 hours, which is definitely higher than average and would probably please students and people who travel a lot.
Somebody commented the laptop doesn’t come with bloatware. That’s an excellent thing, although in my opinion trial software like antivirus or Office can come handy.
Some people deem Acer a second-class laptop brand. However, after taking a look at the specs, price and user reports of Acer Aspire E5-531-C7Y7 I can’t join that disliking crowd. Indeed, its performance isn’t enough for a power user or a true gamer, but the laptop is a solid pick for simple home or office use, partly because it comes with familiar Windows 7. The connectivity is also enough for most with HDMI, three USBs and wired & WiFi networking. If you like the laptop so far, getting it for less than 400 bucks would constitute a good deal in my opinion.