Pros: The very stable Acer E5-575G-57A4 laptop looks nice and packs plenty of punch for its price point. As well as being very sturdy It comes with 8 GBs of DDR4 system RAM with 2 GBs of dedicated DDR5 VRAM. Also packed inside is a 7th Gen CORE i5-7200u coupled with a Geforce GTX 950m which runs my games very well from the 256 GB SSD which is also included. There is a 1 TB HDD and a 1080p HD display along with USB 3.1 which includes 3 full size ports and 1 type C connector. There is also an HDMI out port which works great when hooked up to my TV for watching videos and web surfing. The battery is impressive with average of 10 hours per charge with maximum energy saving settings enabled and just watching videos and surfing the web, and between 2-4 hours while gaming depending on the game being played. Plays Skyrim SE on high settings very well with no issues at all. Boot times are very quick for a laptop with it taking 14 seconds to the login screen and 22 seconds to the desktop. The fans are very quiet even while gaming and it does put out quite a bit of heat so I know they're working. The keyboard is good sized and feels sturdy.
Cons: The screen is my biggest complaint by far with this laptop. It does the job but it has poor contrast and the viewing angle leaves much to be desired.
Overall Review: For what it cost I couldn't bring myself to take an egg off for the screen although if it cost much more it would have cost it one. I've enjoyed playing SkyrimSE on high settings with absolutely no problems other than it initially trying to launch the game using the integrated intel GPU, but that was a simple fix by changing a setting in the NVIDIA control panel. I was able to play on battery power on high settings for almost 2 hours nonstop before being prompted when the battery reached 8% to charge it. I decided to compare that time with Portal 2 on max settings and almost made it to 3 hours playing it before being prompted to recharge. I was also able to play ESO with med-high settings and Diablo III on max settings. Recharge time is almost 2 hours while in sleep mode from 7%.
After some long gaming sessions on it I never felt that the system was getting hot or ever heard the fan get loud at all. The keyboard stayed cool to the touch along with the rest of the top side although you can feel the heat from the bottom of it while it is sitting on your lap.
After shopping around and looking at other systems I have to say this one is the best deal out there right now.
Pros: While right out of the box this notebook is very fast, there is plenty of room for upgrades to beef it up more if needed!
8GB of Kingston DDR4 2133 260-Pin installed. The 2 RAM slots will support up to 32GB RAM. Since it has Windows 10 Home 64-Bit, 32GB of RAM will be recognized by the OS if using two 16GB bars of RAM.
2.4MHz and 5.8MHz wireless capability, 802.11ac with MU-MIMO technology. While not everyone may have a MU-MIMO router yet, this feature assures that when you do get one you will be able to utilize this feature. LAN jack supports 10/100/1000Mbps for those that prefer to be hardwired, or when wireless is not available. Built in Bluetooth 4.1, which is also backwards compatible with older Bluetooth devices.
Some bloatware, and this notebook can always be wiped and loaded with Win 10 from scratch. Or just sort through all the extra programs and remove what you do not want. Just be sure to utilize the Acer Recovery Management program first to create a Factory Default Backup on a USB stick in case you want to go back to the Acer Factory Image.
Even if you choose not to remove the extra programs, there is still plenty of space on the SSD drive to install a few of your favorite games to maximize the speed/performance of your game play. After running disk cleanup and removing some programs I still have 97GB free on the SSD. For heavy graphic dependent games you can tweak out the NVidia GTX 950M 2GB video with the NVidia control panel!
The 128GB SSD drive is a Form Factor M.2 2280 by LITEON model # CV1-8B128 with Sequential Read/Write speeds of 520/160 MB/s. While it is a fast SSD drive it can always be upgraded to something that has a larger capacity and a much faster read/write rate. Just be sure that whatever you replace it with is the same form factor or you will have problems! ALWAYS do your homework before attempting any upgrade!
While the 1TB drive is only 5400RPM it will produce less heat than a faster platter drive. It can also be upgraded to an SSD drive for increased performance since it has an SATA interface. The 1TB drive is a Seagate model# ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB/AC2 with 8MB Cache.
Cons: For what it offers in this price range I really could not find any cons that are worth mentioning!
Overall Review: Give some of the Acer Apps a try, some are very good! For instance, Acer Quick Access allows you to charge a device on a designated USB port even if the notebook is off or in hibernate mode. Bluelight Shield reduces screen bluelight to help protect your eyes. Acer even gives you cloud space for your data if your into those kind of storage options.
For the price this notebook gives you some bang for the buck! And as I mentioned there are few upgrade options to increase the overall performance and speed!
Latest system bios firmware is version 1.12 released on 08/23/2016
Pros: - The laptop arrived quickly from Newegg.
- The laptop is powered by Core i5-6200U CPU at 2.3 GHz. This is a dual core CPU (4 threads).
- Laptop contains 1 stick of 8GB RAM (Kingston 2rx8 pc4-2133p). There is one more empty RAM slot available for memory upgrade. That is pretty good news. No need to replace both sticks of memory in order to upgrade RAM. All you have to do is buy another stick of similar 8 GB Kingston memory.
- Intel HD Graphics 520 (battery saver - lower performance).
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M Graphics (for higher performance).
- The PC will automatically decide when to switch between dedicated graphic or built in graphics card. It’s also possible to manually assign programs to either graphics card through software settings.
- Windows 10 Home 64 bit.
- OS drive - 128 GB of storage - LITE-ON model CV1-8B128 M.2 2280 SATA hard drive. (Sequential read/write max at 520/160 MB/s).
- Data drive 1 TB of storage - Seagate model ST1000LM024.
- No optical drive. Although there is space available to add one.
- Touch pad borrowed some of the functionality from Apple Macs (such as 2 finger scroll, pinch to zoom, 3 finger swipe). Extremely useful. People who are familiar with Macs will appreciate the touchpad.
- The keyboard is comfortable with decent feedback. Typing is easy and pleasant.
- Full HD display (1900x1080). Display is sharp.
- Laptop feels very light.
- The battery is built in (it cannot be replaced without opening the bottom of the laptop). I get about 7 hrs of mixed use on one charge. This includes Minecraft, web browsing and playing of YouTube videos. Full charge from exhausted battery takes about 2 hrs.
- 1 USB type C port available. However, unlike the competitor, this port cannot be used to charge the laptop.
- Good Wi-Fi card. No problem pairing and staying connected to my router.
- Here are some raw Winsat scores for the laptop:
MemoryScore - 7.5
CpuScore - 7.4
CPUSubAggScore - 7.5
VideoEncodeScore - 7.4
GraphicsScore - 5.2
Dx10SubScore - 9.9
GamingScore - 9.9
- One year international warranty.
Cons: - The PC was preloaded with some 3rd party software (Wildtangent Games, some ACER software etc. Several pre-loded desktop icons (auction site, Priceline etc). 30 day McAfee security Software trial was also preloaded and active.
- The display is better that majority of displays found within the price range of this laptop. However, do not expect Mac Book Pro quality display.
- I like the keyboard but I wish it was lit.
Overall Review: - Shipping from Newegg was very fast. There was no fancy or artful packaging. Rather, ACER decided to use money and resources to built a very nice and capable laptop for a very modest price. The setup was uneventful. I did take extra step to get rid of extra software and desktop icons that were preloaded. In the retrospective, I should have reinstalled windows from scratch, it would take less time to it. I then copied .minecraft folder from my aging Dell to my shiny brand new laptop. Before long, I was ready to play a round of Minecraft. The gameplay was smooth, there was no hesitation or jerkiness, even at native resolution. The fans never revved up, ever after a prolonged gameplay. The laptop never got hot, even after prolonged Minecraft gameplay. I then loaded Halo Renegade (a more graphic’s demanding game than Minecraft) from Windows App store and played a few rounds. The left side of laptop got pretty warm from gameplay. The fans were never too loud.
- Eventually, I turned off the laptop and took off 3 screws from the back. I gained access to M.2 SATA OS drive, 2 banks of memory (one of which is still unoccupied) and a standard 2.5 inch Data drive. To gain access to the battery or empty optical drive bay requires unscrewing the back cover (12 more screws). This machine gets kudos not only for performance but also for expandability.
- In the end, this is a great laptop and it is well worth its current price. It is light, performs quite well, hardware is easy to upgrade, and handles Minecraft like a champ at full resolution. You will not find better performance for the price.
Pros: What a Great value! The thin body with a nice feel to the materials this easily upgradeable 15.6” Intel Core i5 6200U 2.30HGz Laptop is a powerhouse. The SSD/1TB HDD combo makes for fast load speeds and performance. Gaming abilities with the GeForce 950M combined with 8GB Memory makes for competitive performance LAN or Wireless.
Impressive Battery Life, Gaming and general use near 8hours was there. The reversible USB 3.1 makes for an easy connect. Full HD LED backlit LCD with 16.9 Widescreen has great viewing angle viewing with a vividly beautiful 1920 X 1080 HD. Acer ExaColor and TrueHarmony give you control to adjust if you desire.
Acer Quick access offers quick access to Mobil Hotspot and USB Charging control, Freedome VPN is a program for extra Hotspot Security. Acer Portal has abPhoto, abFiles, abMusic and abDocs downloads. Dashlane Password, Priceline.com, Acer Store are of the few preloaded features, this is setup for both Home/Office use and on the go.
Multi Featured Touch Pad is easy to use, the sound is great, Gaming, Music with easy to understand ‘Fn’ Keyboard options. This all does make this a Great Value. Acer Support is there if you need it. The 77 page user Manual has answers to most every feature, option or question you might have.
Cons: None. I could not find anything that is a CON. This is Special Package is well thought out.
Overall Review: This @ NewEgg Only featured Laptop is more than I expected and a Review I did over a few weeks, in every aspect I could. When I first turned it on, the initial setup and registration couldn’t have been easier. The Load speeds of the SSD and the large storage of the combined 1TB SSD are fast. Using Bench32 the SSD had speeds of up to @ the 2MB Packet size were Write 158000, Read 545000, the HDD also 2MB packets Write 211000, Read 120000. Over the weeks of loading all the programs, Games, Apps and all the files that make it mine have not effected and start or load speeds and I have over 500GB of files on the HDD. You can add Folders to the HDD and limit or control what goes onto the 128GB SDD, helping keep speeds up. My Games on the HDD are running as fast as my hotrod PC.
This is setup for multi-monitor and out to HDTV, the process is basically automatic and easy to use. The Touch Pad is featured loaded, for Gaming if you want a Mouse or need to connect items there are 1X3.1 Type-C, 2X3.0 and 1 2.0 connections, 1 HDMI, a Docking Connector and a Headphone Out Jack. The sound is rich and full with a Hi that makes this a pick for Music and so several can hear. Built in Webcam is 1280 X 720 which supports HDR, others will see a clear nice image from you.
I’d say negative if it fit, but as Special configuration for NewEgg.com to offer I looked at other Laptops and had a hard time finding one like this at the affordable price it’s listed for. This will put a smile on anyone’s face. Great choice for the upcoming holidays or for yourself. I can’t see anyone returning this one. This really is for everyone and any use.
Pros: * The Acer Aspire E 15 575G is a fantastic machine. It’s eye-dazzling design and solid construction makes it look like a high-priced Ultrabook. There are hardly any hardware sacrifices; all the specs are reasonable and tied in symmetrically with each other. It’s not without some flaws, but its positives vastly outweigh the few drawbacks. *
- Aesthetically, the Acer 575G is gorgeous. Its brushed aluminum black is sleek and attractive. It’s relatively thin for a non-Ultrabook, a little shy of 1 inch. It weighs close to 5lbs but isn’t heavy and doesn't bother my thighs over a long period of time on my lap. There’s a noticeable difference from an Ultrabook, but still, being under 5lbs, it is merciful enough to be a lap PC. The LED indicated lights are a soft, understated blue. The silver, metallic border around the touchpad oozes eye-catching elegance.
- Overall, the Acer 575G performs pleasantly well. It is quick and nearly every aspect of use is instant. The i5-6200U is certainly beefy enough to provide no bottleneck for most applications. Acer has done a great job tying together well-performing, mid- to high-end hardware to provide an overall smooth experience. I’m pleased that Acer threw away the gimmicky Hybrid SSHD and implemented a dedicated SSD for boot and apps to drastically improve performance. It’s definitely noticeable. The boot times are extremely fast and apps load snappily. With only 106GB usable, there’s not much space there for all data to benefit from SSD performance, but there’s a plenty large 1TB HDD, as well—for personal data like pictures and videos. With how cheap SSDs are currently, you can easily swap out the 120GB factory SSD for a much more sizable one at a thrifty price. The same goes for the RAM. Though in most cases, the default 8GB should do you fine, Acer only put in one stick, so there’s another one empty and available. You can take this up to 32GB if you’d like. It is DDR4, too!
- The Acer 575G comes with a dedicated Nvidia GTX 950M GPU. In the “Other Thoughts” section, I cover some benchmarks and test results concerning this GPU. The integrated graphics controller is an Intel HD 520, which runs the general purpose use side of computing. The dedicated GTX will kick in when running full-screen applications that require more horsepower. Most MOBA games, World of Warcraft, Mine Craft, and Indie Games will run above 30FPS and won’t suffer much from lag at all. I ran 3DMark’s Sky Diver Benchmark and was pleasantly surprised at how good it looked for a budget, light gaming laptop. The i5 boosted to a 2.8GHz right away and the GTX 950M took over without issue. Though it will handle light gaming, don’t expect to get 60FPS from Triple-A titles or in most cases, to even run. You’ll need to look for a better GPU; at least a GTX 960. Nonetheless, the 575G handles itself really well whether you’re a light gamer, an everyday user, or just someone who needs a modern, fast laptop.
- The 15.6” screen is decent. It isn’t IPS, but for the price you can’t really complain. It is, however, 1080p which makes gaming and general use much better looking. I’m glad Acer also ditched the horrible, ubiquitous 1366x768 resolution. Hopefully, more budget-friendly laptops will adopt the 1080p standard. Since it lacks in-plane switching, the viewing angles aren’t terrific, but aren’t as horrible as a TN, for example. Surprisingly, it does have a great-looking display. I figured without the IPS, the colors would be washed out and the picture wouldn’t pop, but straight on, the screen still is impressive.
- The Acer 575G has a great network card. In areas where Wi-Fi are thin for other devices in my home, the Acer 575G’s Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 WLAN card picked the signal up strongly, both on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz band with AC wireless support. Impressive Wi-Fi performance is a silver-lining with laptops nowadays; it’s essential, and Acer nailed it here. Bluetooth 4.1 and LAN is available as well.
- The IO connectivity sports a decent amount of ports: two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, and a combo 3.5mm jack. However, the most noteworthy port is the USB 3.1 Type-C port. This opens up a load of current and future compatibility with new products utilizing such a port.
- I appreciate the inclusion of a full-sized Numpad. The keyboard is nonetheless roomy and the typing spread is ideal (see Cons). The keys also feel great and most of the sizing is perfect.
- Limited pop-up bloatware, but a good amount of installed bloatware (see Cons).
- Acer claims a 12-hour battery life, and believe it or not, with the Intel Skylake CPU, the battery life can last a long time–as long as you aren’t gaming or something on battery.
- For what you’re getting, the price is very reasonable. The specs don’t lie and this is a well-priced machine whether for gaming or normal use. Though, for normal use, I’d recommend spending slightly less on a laptop without a dedicated GPU and just an integrated Intel or APU.
Cons: - I know laptops continue to strive to be thinner, which I appreciate greatly. What I don’t appreciate is manufacturers’ putting in the room for an optical drive, with a slot and the look, but no optical drive being there. The Acer 575G does this. It’s annoying. Either include one or don’t; nowadays, I prefer one not to be there in the first place.
- I really dislike when a laptop’s power button is on the keyboard, and I’ve seen this frequently with Acer laptops. Please, Acer, go back to the hard power button located separately from the keyboard. This is a real pet peeve of mine. Though the keyboard is responsive and roomy, I never liked the combined up and down arrow.
- Acer PCs of late (I’ve purchased many for clients so I’ve had my hands on a plethora of different E 15s) have too thick of screen bezels. The whole PC looks modern, everything is sleek and elegant, but then your eyes go to the thick (1” on all sides, 1.5” bottom) screen bezel, slightly ruining the streamlined appearance.
- I’m not in love with the touchpad. It has an appealing appearance, but all too often I find my finger encountering too much friction. Occasionally, my finger will lift and misplace the mouse pointer, interrupting the flow and acceleration of the mouse pointer.
- Though there isn’t much pop-up bloatware, besides registration, there is a good amount of third-party and Acer apps installed on the PC. It’s just a nuisance, not a deal-breaker. There are plenty of manufacturers who are far worse than Acer when it comes to Bloatware.
Overall Review: * I really like this laptop. It performs terrifically with light graphic gaming and even mid graphic benchmarking. It’s fast, snappy, and has an SSD with 1TB for data. It has a generous price tag for the specs and remains budget-friendly. It has a USB 3.1 port, a 1080p screen, and an attractive display. The Acer 575G is perfect for a road warrior who likes to play MOBA games and Steam indie games without the burden of carrying a heavy, bulky high-end gaming laptop. Don’t expect amazing gaming performance, but the 575G definitely holds its own due to its GTX 950m. *
_Benchmark for GTX 950M_
=3DMark Sky Diver=
Overall Score: 8719
Graphics Score: 10419
Average FPS for test 1 and 2: 45.7 / 49.6
Physics Score: 4575
Combined Score: 10089 with 41.52 FPS
CPU Temperature: 70 C
GPU Temperature: 77 C
_Benchmark For GTX 950M_
=Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0=
-Medium Graphics Settings - No AA – Tessellation Disabled
Min FPS: 8.1
Max FPS: 68.6
Accessible Components (SSD, HDD, RAM)
Quiet Internal Fans and Drive
Bright Status LEDs on front of Laptop
SSD for OS and Programs
1TB HDD for Storage
GTX 950M with 2G VRAM
SD Card Reader
USB 3.1 Type C
Two USB 3.0 Type A
Speakers are loud and clear
Cons: Power Button On Keyboard
VGA Connector, No DisplayPort
Overall Review: The E5-575G-57A4 laptop by Acer has a textured exterior with metal (possibly aluminum) surrounding the laptop and touchpad. There appears to be an unused optical drive bay, although I did not tear down the laptop far enough to confirm available SATA port for the optical bay. Next to the optical drive bay there is a USB 2.0 Type A jack, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a DC power input. On the front, the laptop has two bright LEDs for On/Sleep and Plugged-in/Charging, and a SD card slot. On the left side, the laptop has two USB 3.0 Type A jacks with one supporting USB device charging when the laptop is powered off, a full sized HDMI output, and VGA port, RJ45 Ethernet, USB 3.1 Type C jack, and an exhaust vent. The touchpad is a single piece with two tangible left and right clicks on the bottom left or right of the single piece touchpad. The keyboard is not backlit and the power button is located near the numpad on the keyboard grid. The bottom of the laptop has a removable panel held in place with 3 screws. Beneath the panel hides the 2.5 inch SATA bay, M.2 SSD slot, and two DDR4 SODIMM slots. These come occupied with a 1TB Toshiba MQ01ABD100 SATA Drive, 256G HFS256G39TND-N210A M.2 Drive, and a single 8GB Kingston 2133Mhz DDR4 SODIMM. Internally, the laptop contains an i5-7200U processor with Hyper-Threading, Intel HD 620 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M with 2G dedicated VRAM, and AC Wireless.
The Hynix 256GB M.2 SSD Drive returned average speeds of 555.9MB/s Read and 257.5MB/s Write. And the Toshiba 1TB HDD returned average speeds of 113.2MB/s Read and 111.6MB/s Write. The single 8G SODIMM runs at 2133Mhz, a second SODIMM can be installed but during my testing I did not exceed 80% memory used. Although the i5-7200U processor is a dual core, thanks to hyperthreading, Windows utilizes 4 processors. The AC Wireless card established a connection speed of 433Mbps and when copying data it reached 310Mbps, but averaged around 280Mbps.
The laptop had no issue connecting both an external 3440x1440 UltraWide monitor over HDMI and an external 1920x1080 monitor VGA along with the 1920x1080 built-in display. The laptop had no problems running the 3 monitors while streaming video, running multiple programs and with several open connections to servers while programming. I was able to confirm the USB 3.1 Type C connector does not support ThunderBolt display connections. I would like to have seen a DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort instead of the VGA port so I could utilize 2 or more high resolution external displays. The laptop has a 720P webcam which I found very clear when used locally. However, when using the webcam with Skype the video quality blurred a bit. For me it was comparable to the Facetime camera on an iPad Air. The built in speakers and microphone were clear during gaming, watching videos, and Skype.
While stress testing the laptop for several hours, the hottest external temperature was 132F (55C) which was near the side exhaust vent. The hottest internal temperature maxed out at 142F (61C) but the keyboard only reached 91F (32C). To test the battery life I disabled screen and sleep timers then streamed video over AC wireless. This test resulted in the laptop lasting 10 hours and 19 minutes.
The E5-575G-57A4 laptop is advertised as a gaming laptop so I tested a few games at the highest settings on the 1920x1080 built-in display and an 3440x1440 UltraWide External Display. My tests found this laptop excelled with top down strategy games like StarCraft 2 or DOTA 2. Games like StarWars Battlefront and Dirt Rally were playable on the built-in display, but unplayable on the external UltraWide. Below are some of the average frames per second I recorded when playing these 4 games:
1920x1080 - 78FPS
3440x1440 - 52FPS
1920x1080 - 71FPS
3440x1440 - 49FPS
1920x1080 - 32FPS
3440x1440 - 14FPS
1920x1080 - 22FPS
3440x1440 - Unplayable
Overall I think this laptop is a great value with the included hardware.
Pros: Have you considered wanting a gaming laptop? If you have, have you considered the cost of a typical setup? They tend to cost a fair amount of money, and are typically underwhelming when compared to the money that could be allocated to a gaming desktop.
(**) See this section (in other) about optimal utilization, and suggested application for this, or any laptop really.
Take into consideration before buying: what do you want to be able to accomplish with your gaming laptop? Will it be used for more than gaming? Will it be something you actually take places with you? Do you travel a lot, or work somewhere that permits you to have, and operate one in your down time? (I say that because I have a friend who worked at plant who used to live the night shift life with me and play games from his laptop with me while he was at work (It was one of those jobs that has a person on duty in case an alarm goes off… lots of boring down time).
So while those are some examples of useful applications, most of us know that gaming on a laptop isn’t the most enjoyable experience to do as PC gamers. A lot of companies have come up with excellent ideas and implementations (like embedded mechanical keyboardscomfortably placed in the very front, true desktop graphics cards in lieu of integrated mobile GPUs, better cooling solutions with the downside of bulkier laptop builds, so on…) The fancier we get, of course the more expensive it becomes. When you think gaming laptop you’re probably thinking $1k+ usually, and on the low side when you’re thinking budget bare minimum gaming laptop, you’re thinking $750+ (at least I do and I keep my eye out on the market for game changers for the budget oriented).
INTRODUCING Acer Aspire E5 series. When I was contacted to choose yay or nay for a review on this laptop I of course took my first look. Seeing the price tag ($574 at the time of this review) I assumed it was just a laptop with nothing fancy, and I continued to browse through the hardware list on the specifications sheet, and this is what I saw:
This gaming laptop features all of the necessary outputs to appropriately qualify it; HDMI out x1, USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x1, USB 3.1 (type C) x1, and headphone jack.
-GTX 950M 2GB GDDR5
-Core i5 6200U (U is for ultra-low power, this is important to keep the CPU cool in its confinement but still very effective at its job… Also note i5-6200 is a dual core i5, not quad, it’s an incredible processor though so don’t let that throw you.)
-1x 8GB Kingston DDR4, with two accessible slots. Upgrade with matching Kingston DDR4 or replace with dual kit later, it supports up to 32GB DDR4. running at up to 2133MHz (If you find a deal on something like 2400MHz, just note the ram will down clock to make it 2133MHz.)
-128GB M.2 (LITE-ON) SSD (This houses the OS and immediate applications you may use, such as Adobe suite stuff, or the games you currently play.)
-1TB Mechanical HDD (5400RPM) ideal storage, in most cases for most of us. Every non immediate game, program, file stored on the hybrid setup.
– 802.11ac wireless connectivity, it should be a given at this point, but yay anyways.
-USB Type C… They got my hopes up, and I should have known better, but I tested it anyways. In theory the Type-C connector will be the USB cable to rule them all one day. The potential capabilities are pretty impressive. In higher end scenarios it has the ability to stream display, transfer data (currently at a blazing 10gbs as USB 3.1) as well as charge the device. So, while in the case of this laptop it is no more than a transfer port 3.1 USB, one day it will be an all in one (hopefully).
-The LCD screen is comfortable to look at and is all around great. It isn’t a mind blowing stellar display (after all it is only 1080p) but it is very nice for the price point. Seeing as this is Acer after all, a company I know for producing trustworthy displays, I expect nothing less.
-Excellent sound from the built in speakers with a decent range for laptop grade speakers. They can be quite loud, and don’t sound horribly low quality (I mean they aren’t Bose, or Sonos, or Harmon Karmon good) but they do the trick better than the sound I hear from most laptops.
Now, are you wondering if the GTX 950M is a capable mobile GPU for the price? I can say it is. While some beautiful over the top titles may need to be tweaked or best gaming performance it runs great Triple-A titles beautifully. Consider that you will be playing these games at 1080p, and the 950M handles business as expected.
Under load the laptop remains quiet, no screaming fans. An impressive feat for a seemingly typical blower fan.
This laptop is everything it can be for the price, and in all honesty, you get more than what you pay for in my opinion. It is easy to be dissuaded by some things, because when we think ‘gaming’ we expect a certain visual aesthetic that screams ‘this laptop is worth money.'
Cons: Things we give up for the price are reasonable compromises and I feel that Acer hit the nail on the head with ‘what is important’ vs ‘what is cool’ and ‘how do we manufacture a model that extends in to the lower tier, the heavily untapped, but still all the same deserving community of budget gamers.’
Here is what we don’t have, but why it is not a deal breaker:
-We don’t have a flashy case with LED lights all over it. Instead it’s a sleek, and at first glance ‘typical every day bland’ laptop look. This is one reason I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking at. This is a cost saving option by Acer for us (the consumers).
-We do not have a backlit keyboard, no fancy RGB patterns nothing that makes it gaming-centric at first glance. To state again, I view this as a cost saving option, the fancier we get, the more it costs. Little things add up and drive the cost up.
-The keyboard is non mechanical, squishy and simple laptop membrane feel. So why isn’t it bad? Because see the (**) section.
-The bezel and design is as it appears. A typical design, no fancy re-enforced heavy duty feel to it, yet durable enough for normal use.
-We get a disgusting Windows 10 HOME edition which comes loaded with a lot of pre-run garbage that will take a (worth it) but annoying amount of time to clean up… If you are like me a clean re-install of Windows 10 Pro is the best way to go, but not necessary at all.
-A really lazy Up and Down arrow that has merged to be the size of a single key… a small thing to dislike, but I dislike it. That’s something I refuse to see as a cost saving option, that’s just silly on any keyboard. It’s a full keyboard with a 10-key, yet you couldn’t possibly keep the up, and down arrows separate in to their own keys?
-Heat is borderline worrisome, invest in an after-market cooler for prolonged use. While this laptop can truck through the heat it produces, it does produce a lot of heat, and I cannot decide if I find the temperatures unacceptable, or just barely within tolerance. (This is a common issue with gaming laptops, whatever you get will likely encounter heat/cooling issues, aftermarket cooling is never a bad investment to make).
-The web cam is nice, a nice addition to the laptop in general. But it lacks in quality for what can be obtained else where. I would have liked to see a slightly better web cam that could tackle low light (or even medium light for that matter) just a little better. Ultimately I think 1080p isn’t asking much either.
Overall Review: (**) THIS IS A ONE SOLUTION IDEAL SETUP (**)
This laptop makes a formidable desktop AND on the go solution. Some of you may be thinking ‘I already know where he is going with this’ while others may not have considered this, and instead it will introduce a new perspective of use.
I (like you) fully understand there is no 100% equivocal replacement for a desktop setup, but this is worth a penny pincher’s read who looks to maximize their PC lifestyle.
I set the laptop (via Windows) to disable screen (on the laptop) while lid is closed, but to continue active as if the lid was open, and upright in front of you.
Next, I bought a cheap 4 dollar plate holder (look it up, old ladies use them to show off their plates from different countries). I set the laptop in the plate holder to save desk space and set it upright securely. The concept is like that of Mac’s BookArc used for MacBook laptops.
I then did this:
I plugged the charger in to the laptop, and then to the wall. I ran an HDMI from the laptop to the external monitor and plugged both my portable (81 key E-Element Z-88) mechanical keyboard, and G303 mouse in to the available USB ports, and set them on the desk.
Next, I loaded up Steam and enjoyed my simulated desktop gaming experience.
After playing a few games I shut down, reached over, unhooked it and bagged it to take with me with ease. In this situation I find it to be a comparable budget desktop setup, while functioning easily as a grab it and go (something less doable with a tower build.) It’s worth mentioning these setups because if space is an issue, or if maximizing your purchase is important, this is a great way to save space, and get plenty of use from your laptop.
NOW: If the USB Type-C on this model was capable of charging and casting display, this would be an easy minimalist optional setup. Alas, it is not.
If this is not an idea you have ever thought of I hope this opens you up and shines some perspective on optimizing your PC life-style-ness.
I would absolutely recommend this laptop. The pros far outweigh the cons, and the cons are negligible for the cost.
Pros: I reviewed the Acer Aspire E 15 Gaming Laptop. The more I worked with this laptop the more impressed I was by its capabilities and at such a competitive price. I think that Acer has scooped their competition by being one of the first to market with a 7th generation Intel processor. Here are some of its outstanding features:
+ Intel 7th Gen i5-7200U 2.5GHz, 3.1GHz w/Turbo Boost
+ Nvidia Geforce GTX 950M w/2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
+ USB-C 3.1 - Supports reversible plugs
+ WIFI-AC w/MU-MIMO (Ultra-Fast)
+ 8GB DDR4 Memory
+ 256GB SSD Drive & 1TB HDD
+ 15.6" Full HD 1920 x 1080 Non-Glare Screen
+ Average Rated Battery Life of 12 Hours
+ Large Touch Pad, Supports Gesturing
+ Weight = 5LBS
This Acer laptop beats most competitors on features and specs versus cost. All laptops are designed to a particular price point and have some compromises as result, but if given the choice between a 256GB SSD boot drive and a 1TB HDD combo drive setup, versus a single 256GB SSD and a DVD-RW drive for more money? I would go for the combo SSD/HDD drive option any day. There is a drive bay present for an optional optical drive if desired. Otherwise an external USB optical drive could be connected when required. The laptop case seemed sturdy and is textured to help hide finger prints. At 5LBs the Acer gaming laptop is easy to transport. Don’t forget to order a well-padded case to protect it when traveling.
The initial customer experience with this laptop and Windows 10 Home 64-bit went very smoothly. Windows 10 asks you a series of Yes/No questions during the initial customer setup. These include: your time zone, Win10 features to, enable or disable, location sensing, to use or not to use Cortana, key-logging behaviors, privacy features, Etc. I disabled the anti-privacy features. I even went so far as to install Spybot Anti-Beacon to kill-off the remaining hidden Win10 adware/data aggregation features. According to what I have read disabling these settings will tend to help rein-in Windows 10 excessive Internet activity and make it operate closer to Windows 7 levels. Telling Windows 10 that you are on a metered Internet connection will also cut down on the Internet activity, but at the cost of slower update patching.
My initial first impressions of the Acer laptop went something like this: Wow nice sharp LED back-lit, non-glare, wide screen. Nice sounding built-in speakers for a 15" laptop. They produced plenty of sound volume when cranked-up in my den. It sounded excellent when played through my den’s tube amplifier, using a pair of Polk monitor speakers and a subwoofer I got from NewEgg years ago.
The 7th generation Intel i5 Kaby Lake, 14nm processor and the provided Liteon 90 Watt AC charger, both ran very cool while the laptop was in operation, even under heavy use. Speccy indicated the CPU temperature typically hovered in the mid 90°F range. In most usage situations the cooling fan was not even audible. I think Acer had to provide an over-sized charger in order to support the higher power demands of the USB-C 3.1 port and the Nvidia GTX GPU. These USB-C 3.1 ports can supply up to 3 Amps of current to run power-hungry external peripherals.
I ran the Windows 10 Experience Index benchmark and came up with the following scores: CPU=7.5, Memory=7.5, Desktop 2D Graphics 5.1, 3D Gaming Graphics 9.9, SSD=8.1. The only disappointment was the poor 2D graphics score at only 5.1. I blame this on the Intel HD Graphics 620 chipset. I am looking to see if Intel has an upgraded graphics driver. Not being a gamer I was unable to put the built-in Nvidia Geforce GTX 3D GPU through its proper paces. Please note that although the Intel i5-7200U CPU is listed as a dual-core processor, it appeared as a quad-core processor in the Win10 Device Manager and to most Windows programs, due to its Intel hyperthreading technology. I had no issues with the CPU speed on this laptop, it was fully adequate for my applications. Every program I tested on it ran smoothly. The SSD boot drive helps a lot as well.
The Qualcomm Atheros wireless adapter was very stable when connected to my 5GHz Linksys E8350, MU-MIMO enabled, WIFI-AC router. I found when connected via the WIFI-AC and I plugged-in an Ethernet patch cable, the wireless connection was disabled in favor of the faster gigabit Ethernet connection. This behavior is probably due to the installed Windows 10 Home, which is unable to support two simultaneous IP connections. The WIFI-AC speed achieved was 433.3Mbps. A CAT-6 patch cable provided a stable 1.0Gbps Ethernet connection.
Cons: No built-in optical drive. External USB BlueRay and DVD-RW drives are readily available if you require one. Interestingly the case appears to have a blank cover on the right lower clam-shell where a DVD-RW, or BlueRay optical drive could be added. Many Windows games are still sold on both CD and DVD media discs. Acer probably knows that downloadable and online games are quickly surpassing the sales of games sold on media discs, hence the decision to nix the optical drive and lower the overall laptop cost.
The Lithium Ion battery is not removable. I did not remove the entire lower clam-shell cover, so I can’t say if its glued in, or replaceable by a technician. I did not see a battery meter on the tray bar either, although you could probably install a 3rd party battery monitoring App.
The lack of a quad-core processor could be considered to be a con by many advanced gamers, but at the cost of shorter battery life, higher energy use and more heat output. This laptop runs cool enough that you can actually use it while it’s resting on your lap, without getting burned. If you ride a bus or train to work you might want to take this advantage into consideration.
Overall Review: The laptop came with MS-Office 2016 pre-loaded as a trial version. I bought an MS-Office Home & Student license card online and entered in the new license number when prompted. I also had to provide my email address and the password for my existing Microsoft account to activate it. Yes MS got me on that one. MS was then able to quickly determine who I was and display my MS account icon in the upper corner of the MS-Office 2016 applications. After a restart of MS-Word I was up and running a fully licensed copy of MS-Office Home & Student 2016. Pretty painless for an MS-Office installation. Office 365 is also pre-installed if you want to go the software rental route. So no large office downloads are required.
A full system scan using MalwareBytes, turned-up around 45 minor PUP infections, all listed as “Probably Unwanted Programs” or PUPs for short. These were mostly registry entries for Amazon1Button.AppFish. I also removed a McAfee’s Antivirus trial balloon installed by Acer. I plan to install my own preferred free A/V software.
One tip is to click-on a link called “Customize” during the initial Win10 customer setup process that allows you to skip creating, or logging on to an external Microsoft account every time you start your laptop. The link is displayed in a tiny light blue font against a white background. If you don’t watch for it closely you may miss it. I think that is by design ;>). This customization option allows you to limit your Win10 logon to a local administrator’s account, similar to Windows 7, versus an MS online account that pings Microsoft every time you logon to your laptop. Windows 10 also includes the built-in Microsoft cloud-based One Drive. You need a registered MS user account to activate it. Acer also offered an Acer Cloud client, which I have not yet had a chance to test. It has to be activated as well before you can use it.
Although USB-C 3.1 is a relatively new USB interface, I actually had a new Seagate Innov8 USB-C 3.1 external 8TB, 3.5" hard drive on hand from another recent EggExpert test. So I tried plugging it into the Acer’s state-of-the-art USB-C 3.1 port. Unlike most USB ports, a USB-C plug can be plugged-in, in either direction, a long awaited feature. The Innov8 external hard drive which draws too much power for a USB 3.0 port, worked fine on the Acer's USB-C 3.1 port.
Removing three screws allowed the bottom access cover to be easily removed. Visible were an installed DDR4 SODIMM and a second open socket for another optional DDR4 SODIMM card, which were both easily accessible. The Hynix 256GB M.2 SATA SSD card was also easily accessible for future upgrading. The Toshiba 1TB HDD to the left was surrounded by a silicone vibration dampener and appeared to be securely mounted. The HDD can be easily replaced for future upgrading. The wireless card was not accessible from this location. Removing a single screw allows for removal of the plastic blank filling in for an optical drive. An optical drive bay is present along with the SATA socket needed to install an optional DVD-RW drive. I might try installing a BlueRay, or DVD-RW drive later, for viewing movies with.
Acer requested an expedited review on this laptop, so that they could get the results out about these new Gen-7 laptops before Black Friday; the official start of the make-it, or break-it holiday shopping season. I don’t have an issue with that request as this is an excellent laptop based on my brief experience with it so far. I am very impressed with its many outstanding features including: The smooth Windows 10 initial customer experience, minimal crapware cleanup issues, its ease of use and processing speed, its low-glare 1080 HD LED screen, which is both sharp and easy on the eyes, the dual storage drive setup is unique in this price class, its excellent high-speed networking capabilities, inclusion of a USB-C 3.1 port, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, 12-hour extended battery life, large touch pad with active corners and gesturing support, easy upgrade-ability. After working with the Acer E 15 for about a week, I can highly recommend it without any reservations.
This laptop would make a great gift for a college student, or for home, or small office use. If you are a power user on a budget, you should be satisfied with this budget gaming laptop, given its competitive price to performance ratio. Highly recommended.