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Acer Aspire E 15 review 3 July 2018 Best Deal 2018

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H comes with these high level specs: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U Processor 2.2GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.4GHz, Windows 10 Home, 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit display, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, 8X DVD Double-Layer Drive RW (M-DISC enabled), Secure Digital (SD) card reader, Acer True Harmony, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring MU-MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.1, HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR), 1 – USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port (up to 5 Gbps), 2 – USB 3.0 ports (one with power-off charging), 1 – USB 2.0 port, 1 – HDMI Port with HDCP support, 6-cell Li-Ion Battery (2800 mAh), Up to 13.5-hours Battery Life, 5.27 lbs. | 2.39 kg (system unit only) (NX.GRYAA.001).

Pros Cons
✓  Premium-like productivity performance ✖  Thick and heavy chassis
✓  Discrete GPU is good for entry-level gaming ✖  Large display bezels
✓  Surprisingly solid battery life ✖  Slow SATA SSD
✓  Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
✓  Case can be opened for expandability

Acer Aspire E 15 review: Price and Availability

The Aspire E 15 is no looker, but at least its price isn’t an eyesore. At $599 (£424, about AU$779), Acer’s jack-of-all-trades device leaves your piggy bank intact.

Key competitors, like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 ($711) and the HP Pavilion 15t ($749) are no wallet-busters either, but they’re still not as cheap as the E 15.

Of the bunch, Dell’s Inspiron is the only device marketed as a true gamer, and its optional GTX 1060 graphics chip backs up that claim. For the E 15 and the Pavilion 15t however, gaming is merely a side-quest: they’re sporting an MX150 and 940MX, respectively.

The E 15 is also highly customizable: models with processors from AMD to the Core i7 can be had, depending on your budget. To no one’s surprise though, Acer is pushing the E 15 configuration that showcases Intel’s 8th generation Core i5.

This processor is the stand-out piece of hardware on an otherwise pedestrian spec sheet, and it helped our review E 15 more than hold its own on our benchmark tests. (The Inspiron 15 7000 and Pavilion benchmark well too, but they’re top-tier configurations have Intel‘s older, 7th gen processors.)

Acer Aspire E 15 review: Design and Display

When you think ‘15-inch laptop,’ ‘fit’ isn’t the typical descriptor that comes to mind. Too often, 15-inchers are bulky, chunky and wonky – not the E 15. Because it’s weight is evenly distributed across the device, the E 15 avoids the paperweight feel that plagues a lot of big laptops. For a big-bodied device, it’s light on its feet.

Unfortunately, a consequence of this ‘light-foot’ design philosophy is flimsiness. The E 15’s panels have a hollow quality – none more so than it’s display. It’s unnervingly flexible. Lift the E 15 by its screen at your peril.

Wide-screen, full HD, decent viewing angles: the E 15 has nearly all the trappings of a great screen. Its one major flaw – and the one that may ultimately keep it out of movie and game night – is its poor color contrast.

Grainy, gray-tinged and rather dark, the E15’s display turns any movie into something out of the French New Wave. Not bad if you’re a cinema buff, but most users will find the experience underwhelming. As much as anything, the E 15’s display makes it a work-first laptop.

Acer Aspire E 15 review: Inputs and Connectivity

The shine isn’t on the E 15’s screen, but rather on its backlit keyboard. Its keys are robust and well-spaced despite having to share with a numpad; and their deep, springy travel is perfect for the professional typer. There’s a lot of real estate available on the E 15, and its keyboard uses it well.

We can gladly say the same for the E 15’s extra-large touchpad. It’s big, but not gratuitous, and leaves plenty of room for resting palms. It supports multi-touch gestures and has great palm rejection as well as smooth scrolling. Its click is also solid if a little uneven – near the top of the touchpad, the action gets stiff.

Further cementing the E 15’s work-first reputation is its excellent selection of both new and legacy ports. USB ports from 2.0 to Type-C, as expected, adorn the left and right sides of its base, along with an HDMI and Ethernet port.

What is perhaps unexpected – and sets the E 15 apart from the Inspiron and Pavilion – is its inclusion of a VGA port and optical drive. While their presence may hurt the E 15’s profile, they certainly add to its appeal, especially for enterprise users and students. Acer’s laptop is one of the few that can accommodate so-called legacy tech, like wired projectors, which many businesses and schools still use.

Acer Aspire E 15 review: Performance

The E 15 isn’t some rattling jalopy (though it may look it); this laptop is a solid performer capable of a few surprises.

Despite its rather pedestrian 8GB of RAM, the E 15 is an able multi-tasker. Our anecdotal stressing of the device – running YouTube with multiple programs and tabs open – backs up its great PCMark 8 Home score: the E 15 stays cool, but never freezes.

Credit has to be given to the E 15’s shiny new Core i5 for its solid scores.

It helped Acer’s worker bee grind out a better Cinebench score than the Inspiron 15 7000, an actual semi-pro gaming device.

The Inspiron 15’s 3DMark scores blow the E 15’s out of the water, but Dell’s 15 inch laptop is built for gaming.

That said, the E 15 is a fine casual gamer (at least from a performance standpoint) and its 10,000-plus Sky Diver score verifies that.

Acer Aspire E 15 review: Battery life

The E 15’s battery achieved 4 hours and 40 minutes of run-time on PCMark 8’s battery test, about average for this class of laptop. Under less strenuous testing conditions though, the battery excelled.

When we played Guardians of the Galaxy on a loop at 50% volume and brightness, the E 15’s battery lasted nearly half a day.

If only the E 15’s screen loved movies as much as its battery does. Regardless, you’ll be able to see this laptop last you on nearly any flight within the continental US, western Europe and Australia.

Acer Aspire E 15 review: Final verdict

The E 15 isn’t destined for coffee house tables or the desks of television newscasters. No one’s buying it for its frame and paint job.The E 15 is a no-nonsense, performance-first laptop that’s easy to upgrade and ready to hook up.
And, non-nonsense, performance-first laptops are perfect for offices and schools. At its price, the E 15 is easy to fit into a given  budget and feature-packed enough to justify. Its bulk and weight may be an issue for folks who need a device for presentations, but as we’ve stated, it feels lighter than it is, and is slim enough to fit into a backpack.

All told, for those who need a portable, reliable, Swiss-Army knife of a laptop should give the Acer Aspire E 15 strong consideration.

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