What’s the first thing come into mind when talking about Acers? Well, cheap price probably. And excellent value very often, I must add. The company seems to be able to squeeze lots of performance and features in for the money which obviously makes prospective shoppers happy. But is this the case with Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G, their latest budget release, too? Let’s try to find that out here…
The first sign of Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G’s cheap nature is the processor. Called Intel Pentium N3540, the CPU features nice four cores and clock speed varying between 2.2GHz and 2.7GHz (with turbo). Despite these solid specifications, it receives a lowish 1900 points in CPU Mark benchmarks. In comparison, ULV Core i3s regarded as mid-range processors get 2500 points and more. Huge performance can’t be expected, but for daily browsing and YouTube activities this Pentium is a decent choice.
You should expect no less than 4GB memory in a modern Windows 8 powered laptop. Indeed, there’s four gigabytes of DDR3L SDRAM installed in Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G, occupying the only memory slot on mainboard. It supports up to a 8GB chip so you can put a larger RAM in if it’s memory boost you fancy.
As expected, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive is responsible for the storage. It’s not an enormous amount, but if you tend not to download many big files to your computer half a terabyte suffices well. As an example, it’s able to hold around 100,000 images (assuming 5MB JPEG size). The 5400RPM rate is fine for casual users, but if you’re a professional you know the solution: ditch the HDD, put a solid-state drive in.
Display and graphics
The laptop’s display is 15.6 inches diagonal, the average size of notebook screens. The resolution is 1366×768 which shouldn’t be a burden for daily computing. The situation can be different if you’re a power user, but not many techies would get a laptop this simple in the first place. Also, it’s not a touch display, but don’t worry about Windows 8.1 (64-bit). It can be used fine with a normal screen – at least that’s what I do every day.
Probably the worst thing about Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G is the graphics performance. The graphics engine is a Bay Trail based Intel HD unit, integrated to the processor. In general, you won’t be playing many games on this rig. At most, you’ll get only 10-15FPS on heavier titles like Battlefield 4. It’s of course different if you’re happy with old games like WoW, Minecraft and CS:Go, whose frame rates will reach 30 and beyond.
Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G has connections similar to its competitors: three USB ports (one is USB 3.0) and a HDMI output for plugging in a HDTV or PC display. Networking-wise, there are Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapters available.
There’s no optical drive in this laptop, meaning you have to get an external drive if you need access to CDs and DVDs. You may also use the built-in SD card slot if you have data on memory cards.
HD webcam is installed on top of the screen, good for video chatting with friends and other people.
Some other things to keep in mind?
If you’re a road warrior, Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G works as well as any 15 incher. It weighs 5.29 pounds, an average weight for laptops featuring this screen size. The 3-cell battery is advertised as having a whopping 7 hours life. That’s not likely to be true, you’ll probably end up with 4-5 hours with a single charge. It’s still tad better than many competitors with only 3 hours operating time.
The keyboard has no backlight feature – they never do at this price point – however there’s a numeric keypad attached to the keyboard on right hand side.
Summing it up
Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G is a laptop for those whose needs are very basic, mainly web browsing, text editing and perhaps some video streaming off Internet. Only very limited gaming is possible on this laptop, with many 2014-2015 games being practically unplayable thanks to the weak graphics card. Naturally, for this price you can’t expect miracles. If it’s a solid starter laptop you’re after, this Acer should work very well for you.