Whoa, how cheap laptop! Last time I had a look, it was selling for 200 bucks. Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S is totally a bargain, at least if only the price is considered. But performance usually goes hand in hand with the price. That said, prejudging isn’t something we do here at Tech For Pennies. So, let’s examine this dirt cheap Acer and figure out if you could get a solid product for peanuts!
The main things
You would be surprised to find a powerful processor in Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S. As it is, this laptop features Intel Celeron N2840, a cookie-cutter CPU made for budget notebooks. It has 2.16GHz clock speed, although burst frequency takes it up to 2.58GHz. The core amount is two. It’s one of the later processors in Intel Celeron family, good for home and office tasks and insufficient for new games. However, for a dirt-cheap laptop, this Celeron is perfectly justified choice.
The memory of Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S is barely enough. At 2GB, there might be times when you wish you had more. Two gigabytes is fine for simple browsing, text editing and such, but if you want boost in performance having at least the standard 4GB would be good idea. With this Acer, upgrading the memory all the way to 8 gigabytes is possible. However, there are no free memory slots available – you’d have to remove the old 2GB chip first in order to install more.
Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S has different storage from an average laptop. It’s not a traditional hard drive. Rather, it’s a modern solid-state drive that’s responsible for hosting your files on this Acer. The size is not comparable to hard drives. 32GB is just fine for lightweight use, but you can forget downloading lots of stuff from Internet. In the era of streaming media this might not be an issue, however keep in mind the space limitations this SSD has. On the bright side, it weighs hardly anything and operates very, very quickly. You’ll probably notice a difference to older computers with big and sluggish hard drives.
Display & Graphics
The screen size of Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S is 11.6 inches. It has a typical resolution of 1366×768. That screen is obvious choice for a lightweight notebook like this Acer. There’s nothing extraordinarily good or bad about it, just keep in mind that Windows 8.1 (64-bit) won’t have its touch features activated since this 11.6″ display is not a touch screen.
The graphics are powered by an older Intel HD Graphics which makes sense for this laptop. As it is, that graphics chip has performance only adequate for basic stuff and handful of older games. However, the low-end Intel HD helps keep the laptop price down, and as long as you’re not hardcore gamer you’ll be just fine with it.
Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S has two USB ports, one of them being USB 3.0. That’s not a great amount if you have lots of peripherals, but one can’t expect too many ports from a subnotebook. There’s, however, the obligatory HDMI output so you can use the Acer through a HDTV at least. Memory card reader supporting SD format is also installed.
Network connectivity is better with this notebook. It has all the useful three: a Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support out of the box.
Other things to keep in mind
Portability is where Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S really shines. It weighs mere 2.8 pounds, an excellent amount for somebody keen on traveling. The battery life at 5 hours isn’t bad either, although going for full 8 hours in work or school isn’t possible without recharging.
The Acer features non-backlit, full-size keyboard without 10-key numeric pad on right. This kind of configuration has its proponents and opponents. I belong to the former group, in my opinion the numeric pad is unnecessary. Thus points are given to the Acer’s keyboard but your mileage may vary.
There is a front-facing HD webcam and microphone installed for video phone calls on Skype and such.
Wrapping it up
Subnotebooks are always a compromise in a way or another. Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S has excellent portability, so somebody on the go might enjoy it more than he would a bulky laptop with larger screen. Granted, those larger screen laptops usually boast more performance which is sadly not a strong side of this Acer. It can handle simple home, student and office programs well, but gaming or resource-intensive work is off limits for it.
With all this said, a laptop of this price and size can’t realistically work for everybody. If you’d rather want portable than powerful laptop, buying Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C40S might be an excellent idea. It does its job of running lightweight stuff well, and for 200 bucks offers excellent value.