If it’s a laptop for heavy-duty software and some gaming you want, and also a low price, here’s an idea for you: Acer Aspire E5-573G-59C3. It’s a capable notebook with Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a dedicated (albeit a low end) GeForce 940M graphics engine. The price is very lucrative, but does it also mean the manufacturer skimped on something important? Might be, let’s take a closer look at the laptop to find that out…
Is it fast enough to run program X?
It’s the Intel Core i5-5200U processor that’s running this system. It is a dual core CPU with 2.2GHz clock speed and up to 2.7GHz turbo. The chip is power user friendly, reaching a solid ~3500 points in CPU Mark. As a reference, many modern i3s found in laptops are somewhere between 2500 and 3000 points. So most programs will definitely work on this processor, and it also has an integrated graphics unit allowing for some gaming – more on that below.
Acer Aspire E5-573G-59C3 has one 8GB DDR3L (1600MHz) memory stick installed. There’s also a free slot where you can place extra chip if you feel the need for RAM upgrade. The storage selection is 1TB hard drive and 8GB SSD hybrid, OS being installed in the latter part to speed the system up. The drive interface is SATA.
How’s the quality of display?
Acer Aspire E5-573G-59C3 has a non-touch, glossy 15.6″ screen with 1366×768 resolution. The quality of display is always a subjective thing, but user reports are not saying negative things about it. Higher resolution wouldn’t hurt, but in this price range Full HD rarely happens.
Any games run on it?
There’s a dedicated GeForce 940M graphics engine in this laptop, that’s true. However, it’s an entry level card, not in the same category with fancier GTX850M and 860M units. However, 940M is still clearly faster than integrated models such as Intel HD 5500. In real life, you should be able to play games like GTA 5 on medium settings and get nice ~50FPS. Grand Theft Auto 5 is indeed a heavy title, less demanding ones such as Sims 4 and World of Warcraft run with any settings and resolution.
How’s the connectivity?
Plugging in your peripherals to Acer Aspire E5-573G-59C3 is not a problem. The laptop features three USB ports of which two are USB 3.0. Connecting TV or monitor also works, the notebook comes with VGA and HDMI outputs.
To play or burn discs, you’d need to use an external drive as there’s no internal DVD drive. However, it looks like there’s space for one, so installing an optical drive (or another hard drive) inside is possible if you know what you’re doing.
Networking interfaces are excellent Gigabit LAN (RJ-45) and 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card.
Other features you might like are SD card slot and 1280×720 webcam.
Something else to keep in mind?
There are no reasons why you couldn’t travel with Acer Aspire E5-573G-59C3. It weighs 5.29 pounds, same than its 15-inch competitors. The 4-cell battery should give a good 5-6 hours operating time, at least that’s what people have been reporting. The battery can’t be easily replaced, you need to remove the bottom to get access to that.
The keyboard has no backlit keys. A dedicated numpad is however installed on the right hand side.
The laptop shell is made out of plastic.
Operating system is Windows 8.1, the 64-bit edition.
Summing it up
I think for the current price Acer Aspire E5-573G-59C3 offers a lot. You’ll receive a speedy and modern i5 CPU, ample 8GB memory and a decent hybrid hard drive. Those things have no problem dealing with a variety of programs, ranging from simple stuff such as web browser to more complex applications like Photoshop. The notebook also includes a dedicated graphics card which is useful for many games, even those from 2015. The missing optical drive might bother some, but other than that I don’t see negatives about this computer. For home and office users it should be money well spent.