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Acer Aspire E 15 ES1-512-C88M, a fresh laptop release from the Taiwanese electronics giant. It costs less than 300 bucks and comes with Celeron processor and 15 inches screen. The brand Acer and budget price together might mean many things to you, but here at Tech For Pennies we carefully review products of any origin and affordable price point!
It’s obvious that cheap laptop won’t contain top-level components. Briefly noted above, the heart of this Acer is indeed Intel Celeron CPU. If you’ve been following the computer world for a while you probably know the performance struggles Celerons have. If you’re getting your laptop only for home or similar lightweight use, there is nothing this Celeron N2840 on two cores and 2.16GHz (2.6GHz turbo) speed couldn’t handle.
How about other main specs of Acer Aspire E 15 ES1-512-C88M? Starting with RAM, it has respectable amount of 4 gigabytes installed. That’s expandable all the way to 8GB, although the only memory slot is already taken by the 4GB chip. If you wanted to add more, you’d have to buy a 6 or 8 gigabytes module.
For storage you’ll get the cookie-cutter 500GB 5400RPM hard drive. It’s a lot if you don’t like to store lots and lots of movies and other big files on the drive. At any rate, such half a terabyte hard drive would be able to hold around 100 DVD movies. The 5400RPM speed is not the fastest available but once again, suffices for everyday use.
Graphics & Screen
The graphics of budget laptops are dictated by the processor. The processors contain a special chip that takes care of the graphics. This gives savings in power consumption, size and price, but comes at the expense of performance. Intel Celeron N2840, the CPU of this Acer, has an integrated chip called Intel HD Graphics. Its overall performance is poor, believe me, but there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you’re not an avid gamer. Games with high-end graphics will lag on this processor, but titles easy on eye candy like Sims 4 and Fifa 14 will run at least with 30FPS if you can accept low resolution and settings.
The display itself is basic 15.6″ widescreen non-touch display. To disappoint all the techies, resolution is the usual 1366×768. It’s indeed not Full HD but it’s next to impossible to find laptop sporting 1920×1080 resolution for this price. Don’t worry, the Acer will surely play Full HD movies – it will just downscale them to fit the resolution this display supports. In my opinion the Full HD vs lower resolution debate is not relevant for laptops at this price point anyway.
Acer Aspire E 15 ES1-512-C88M has 3 USB ports in total. If you have newer USB devices you’ll like that one of the ports is USB 3.0.
As expected from even budget laptop, a HDMI port is located on the side. You can use a HDTV as display of this laptop.
There are both 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet to connect you to Internet. For Bluetooth, you have to use USB dongle because it’s not supported out of the box.
A media card reader is installed on this Acer. Webcam and microphone are also available.
Anything else to consider?
One of the best things in Acer Aspire E 15 ES1-512-C88M is (besides the price) the battery life. The manufacturer promises whopping 7 hours battery, almost lasting a full day at work or school. However in reality it’s probably not exactly 7 hours, but getting solid 5-6 hours should be very possible.
The weight is 5.29lbs which can be considered average. It could be much less if you’re looking for excellent portability, but having laptop of similar weight myself I can say it’s quite effortless to carry anyway.
The Acer does not have a DVD drive. You must use an external one that connects to USB if you want to read and/or write optical media.
Operating system is Windows 8.1 64-bit. The display is not a touchscreen, so you can’t use touch features Windows 8 offers.
Acer Aspire E 15 ES1-512-C88M characteristics are cheap price, budget performance and long battery life. It certainly has enough power for any tasks you might do at home, school or office. Especially for students, also the excellent battery life would be an advantage. The laptop is however not a true workhorse, and heavy programs (like video editing) and newer games won’t work on it. So moral of the story? Can’t get a killer laptop for 250 bucks. But a solid pick for everyday computing for sure. Get this Acer if your performance requirements are not big.