Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S Review

July 16, 2015
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There are a lot of people who don’t fancy a heavy-duty laptop. And if that’s you, one thing is for certain: the notebook you’d want to get is surely a cheap one, just like Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S. The computer in question features Celeron processor and 4GB RAM that are perfectly fine for basic programs such as web browser or Microsoft Office. But is there more this laptop can do or does it slow down too soon and too fast? Below is my take on that.

What programs is it capable of running?

Because Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S runs on Intel Celeron N2840 there are some programs that wouldn’t work fine on this notebook. The CPU in question features two cores, 2.2GHz clock speed (2.6GHz turbo) but fails to get more than ~1000 CPU Mark points. So web browser including YouTube and MS Office would work here, but something like VirtualBox or full programming environments are too much. You’ll get what you pay for, Celeron isn’t bad processor per se, it’s just not meant for taxing use at all.

The notebook has 4GB memory and it’s upgradeable to 8GB. Bear in mind there’s just one memory slot inside and it’s obviously already taken. The storage drive is nothing fancy, just a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, but you have a chance to swap it for solid-state drive if you wish. And as somebody commented, if you’re running out of space, moving data to cloud storage might be a good idea.

Is there any game that works on it?

There are a handful of games that work on Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S. The integrated Intel HD (Bay Trail) graphics chip can run at least browser and Steam based titles without lagging. Fancy types like GTA 5, Battlefield 4 or even Far Cry 3 would have frustratingly low frame rates I’m afraid. If you’re into those demanding games you’d need a more expensive notebook.

Does it have a good display?

Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S has a 15.6″ non-touch display supporting 1366×768 resolution. Usually these cheap laptops have lousy screens, but surprisingly somebody listed the screen as “pro” in his report. Either way, the display will do its job, but don’t expect miracles from it.

What peripherals may I plug in?

Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S houses three USB ports, and one of them is USB 3.0 which you might want to give preference. You can also use this notebook through HD television or another kind of external display thanks to the built-in HDMI output.

Networking happens through 802.11b/g/n WiFi or Gigabit RJ-45 port. The laptop supports Bluetooth 4.0 too, you can connect a mouse or similar to that and save one USB port.

The laptop features a DVD burner and SD card slot for data transfers. A basic, dare I say poor, webcam is available too, nothing is stopping you from having some video chats here.

Are there other things to consider?

Weighing 5.29 pounds, Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96 has similar portability to its 15.6″ competitors. But what is more, the 3-cell battery has been tested to last even more than the advertised run time, 7 hours. It is not a removable one, but if the battery life is 7-8 hours on non-taxing use I’m not whining.

Of course, a laptop this cheap has no backlit keyboard. 10-key pad is still available on the right.

Final thoughts

For people with very simple programs and lightweight games Acer Aspire ES1-512-C96S should be just enough. It can take care of all the daily workload, although doing things simultaneously is not a good idea due to low-level processor and 4GB RAM. The hard drive is also a bit slow one, but complaining isn’t really fair for so inexpensive price. As such, if you don’t demand a high-end computer, this cheap Acer should be all you need.

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