Laptop Spotlight: The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 from Acer is a budget laptop that is meant for the everyday PC user that wants a nice amount of computing power for tasks such as web browsing, light gaming, spreadsheets, and more.
You ought not to expect to get 60+ fps on the latest AAA gaming titles with this 15.6" laptop because that would require you to fork out some serious cash!
While there are many more costly options out there- ask yourself, what are you going to be using your laptop for, 95% of the time? Should you spend 1000 dollars instead and be future proof for say, the next 2-3 decades?
Well, here is the deal; notebooks are inherently behind the curve when it comes to future proofing and upgradability, so if these are your most important concerns, then even a 2000 dollar machine from Alienware, Gigabyte or MSI won't help out in that respect.
Laptops are designed to be convenient and portable- but sadly not upgradeable. Yes, the disk drive/SSD could be updated, but that's about it.
So before getting into the nitty-gritty details, let's take a look at the core specifications, battery size and price range of the Acer Aspire E-15 E5.
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4
Regarding processing power; do you need a Core i7 to surf web pages or to play games such as Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, or League? The answer is NO. The i5 is a much better choice for multitasking, but laptop core i5's are different to the desktop counterparts, in the sense that Intel package fewer cores, but these have hyperthreading.
Therefore they are good at processing multiple threads or instruction sets at the same time in spite of the physical core count constraints (in comparison to a non-hyper threaded CPU). So, if you were eyeing another notebook with an AMD APU or A-series processing unit indoors, consider this:
This Acer Aspire sports an Intel 6th generation Skylake Core i5-6200U CPU with two physical cores, four threads, and a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz that can turbo boost all the way up to 2.8 GHz if an application demands it.
This processor is quite simply put, among the best mobile CPU's which you will see in the mobile i5 CPU series from Intel, and it runs on more than enough horsepower to run a game, a few of browser windows in the background, and an antivirus scan.
And all of this at all at the same time, thanks to its turbo boost and hyperthreading capabilities. We will discuss this laptop's particular aspects in the sections below, so take a look.
Well, nothing exceptional here. The lid of the laptop may look like brushed metal but is plastic with a beautiful finish. The same is true for the remaining portion of the body, including the base, it's all plastic.
But surprisingly, the body does not seem flimsy or weak, unlike some cheaper HP and Dell machines that have a bit of flex in their lids the screens.
Have you seen the finishes on some of the older HP Pavilion notebooks? Well, that was cheap bodies. No problems with our Acer over here: the hinges are thick and feel heavy, the panel around the keyboard is made of thick plastic and feels like it survives and can take a hit once in a while. The base has four large rubber pads so the laptop won't slip around on a desk or some other smooth surface.
The battery pack is slim and relatively easy to remove, while the access panels on the bottom can be taken apart by unscrewing two screws so that storage and RAM upgrades are easy so long as you have a simple screwdriver. Cooling vents are large, and the components consist of a single USB 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.1 type C ports, an HDMI port, a VGA output (handy for linking some old projectors), and a Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) port. Wi-Fi is 802.11 a/c, so you're getting the latest and greatest when it comes to wireless connectivity.
This is your average TN panel 1080 p laptop screen. The angles are nothing spectacular, as you'd expect, and the color gamut is not nearly as great. We were happy to see that Acer included a full HD display in this laptop.
It's a good 15.6" display, with enough brightness that you use it out of the buildings on your college campus, but don't try that right beneath the sun since the brightness isn't nearly as much as a typical IPS panel or even a good TN panel.
While refresh rate is the 60 Hz response times are all around the four-to-five-millisecond mark. Viewing angles remain limited, and the image will appear skewed if you see it on the sides or the bottom. You'll find the screen more than sufficient to watch an occasional movie or play some games, and it will do fine that you captured on digital camera or your smartphone.
The surface of the display packs a microphone and a 720p HD webcam for Skype and live video chats that are similar.
The Sound System
The audio on this Acer E-15 may not be the best but is still pretty good for a budget laptop. This notebook does not come with any fancy speakers but Altec Lansing and Dolby Digital did a good job on this little Acer with the speaker setup. While the lows are flat it sounds snappy, with rich and well-defined mid-ranges.
The highs sound clear enough- not the best for listening to instrumentals or symphonies, but are good for this film session with your friends from the college dorm room. You aren't going to get a bunch of bass, and the jack amplifier that is inbuilt isn't very powerful but still manages to drive range headphones.
The Keyboard and Touchpad
This is like any other budget laptop keyboard that you'll find on mid-range laptop from just about any business (except Lenovo of course, their island style laptop keyboards are exceptionally good for the price).
However, you have an white backlight underneath all keys- something that a lot of budget laptops will not offer. This is something that lineup of notebooks is pretty much dead at this time, although which Sony Vaio laptops used to have, even on their versions.
The backlight is super easy because you might find it helpful while working at night, and it gives a nice look to the machine when lit up. Due to the imitation brushed metal finish and completely backlit keyboard looks premium. And this is a full-size keyboard and includes a keypad unlike some Dell Inspiron models in this price range that come with trimmed down keyboards.
The touchpad is responsive and large enough that navigating around the 15.6 inch display remains comfortable. However, both keyboard and touchpad can get quite hot resource intensive tasks such as gaming.
With a core i5-6200U and 8 gigabytes of DDR4 clocked at 2133 MHz, you're pretty much capable of running most productivity suites and even some CAD software, so long as you set expectations that are realistic.
The Intel CPU inside this machine can process four threads simultaneously-better than a dual-core, not like a and packs two cores.
But it's still miles ahead of AMD APU's regarding CPU performance. The RAM can be upgraded to 16 GB, and you'll discover that the 256 GB SSD in this notebook to be pretty handy while booting up or loading your favorite games.
Honestly, that's the single best aspect of the budget notebook- the inclusion of a 256 GB M.2 SSD. One thing to notice is the fact that a dedicated NVIDIA GPU is soldered onto the laptop's motherboard. It packs a generous quantity of graphics horsepower along with two gigs of GDDR5 VRAM and is the GTX 940MX. Not the best-dedicated graphics solution in town, but miles better than an Intel graphics solution. And we have to add in the fact that it is possible to upgrade the storage with the addition of a 2nd 2.5" SSD or HDD by taking away the natural access panel on the bottom of the laptop.
This isn't a gaming machine, nor should you expect it to run demanding games at acceptable framerates. If you wish framerates some AAA titles can run by compromising on graphics quality. Upgrade the RAM to 16 GB and throw in a massive HDD for storing all your favorite games, movies, songs, etc. and you have yourself a huge portable light-gaming/multimedia laptop.
Games such as LOL, World of CS GO Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Dota 2 should run at a native resolution of 1080p and 60 fps with medium settings. If you proceed to recent AAA titles such as GTA V, COD, Battlefield, Hitman, etc., you can get the games to operate by turning down the graphics quality to low, albeit at slightly less than optimum frame rates (30-40 fps).
The NVIDIA 940MX GPU will zip along with ease when playing 1080 p movies or videos, and you can attach an external USB DAC or soundcard if you wish to connect any larger speakers to this notebook, or if you would like to use your high-end headphones with it.
You can use the HDMI port to hook this computer up to your HD TV from the bedroom/living room, and suddenly you've got yourself a solid bed or couch based home theater setup. This laptop will be fantastic as a mobile HTPC (home theater PC), and you can stream online content when watching videos and downloading songs at the exact same time, thanks to the multithreaded functionality of the Intel Core i5 6200U.
While Acer claims that the six-cell Li-Ion battery on this notebook will last for 12-hours, we cannot verify or confirm that statement since we don't know what software they were using, what software they were running, or what power state/ brightness levels they employed.
So this is a more realistic forecast- 9 or 8 hours working on spreadsheets or MS Word or while performing tasks like browsing the web. 5-6 hours while watching movies and listening while browsing the internet.
Sadly only 1 hour if you are running something set to more brightness that was 75% and maximum efficiency.
We assumed brightness to be at 50 percent while browsing the web or watching movies, and we also did not account for background processes such as antivirus, VPN, Skype, upgrades, and more.
Keep in mind that the battery will drain with the following things turned on- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.
Expect a 5-10 % drop in battery life if you have just upgraded your E-15 with an extra disk drive and more RAM.
The Verdict: Another mid-range monster from Acer
While being aggressively priced, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 comes with top-end features that are rarely found in competing laptops
With the crisp images and the astoundingly long battery life, backed up with the value in its powerful CPU/GPU combo, there are little to none that can compete under $600. This is once again a value for money offer from Acer, and we thoroughly recommend it to anyone who would want convenience, efficiency and functionality all packed into one.