I am a college student studying physical therapy, and having a good working laptop is essential to my success. I’ve used many computers over the years, but an HP Pavilion G6 was one of my first personal laptop purchases—and I still use it today. It worked fine for the first six months, but it went quickly downhill as apps and bloat crept in and the once fast interface soon gave way to slow, stuttering web page and application opens. Another one of the key problems it had was its tendency to become hot to the touch—which led to overheating. The truth is, I’ve been allowing it to cripple along for some time now—far too long if you ask me. Within a couple years of owning it, I had to buy a laptop fan for it to sit on—simply so that I could use it without it turning off on me (or burning my lap). Additional problems surfaced since I downloaded Windows 10, and now it even gives me the infamous black screen of death. When I had the opportunity to review the new Acer Aspire E5 laptop, well, it didn’t take much coaxing to get me to agree.
Acer Aspire E5 Features
I was quite impressed with the Acer Aspire E5 right off the bat. The screen size matches that of my Pavilion G6, but the bezel on the Acer is more condensed, making it a lot lighter! This is a big plus if you need to transport it in a school bag every day as I do. The screen also has a light matte finish, so any lights hitting git from a lamp or a window don’t reflect harshly off the screen. This significantly reduces glare—with the Pavilion G6 I would find myself constantly adjusting the tilt of the screen just to see what I was working on. The Acer also gives crisp and clear images, which makes working on it for long stretches of time easier on the eyes.
Acer Aspire E5 Specs
- Model reviewed: Aspire E5-573G-56RG
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Processor: Intel Core i5-5200U Processor 2.2GHz
- Screen: 15.6″ HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 LED backlit
- Memory: 8 GB DDR3L RAM
- Storage: 1 TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
- Video: NVIDIA GeForce 940M with 4 GB of DDR3 VRAM
- Bluetooth: v4.0
- Battery: 4-cell Li-Ion (2500 mAh)
The 4-cell 2500mAh battery on the Acer Aspire E5 laptop is rated to last 7 hours. I’ve tested this, and it seems to approach those claims provided I’m not cranking up music or setting the display past 50% brightness. It’s nice to know that I can go anywhere with a full battery and do work without needing to find an outlet to charge the laptop an hour or two later. I’ve found that I can truly use this laptop at school all day long. The cord for the charger is long enough to get me to any outlet within 6 feet, and the charging port is conveniently mounted where you’d expect—out of the way on the upper right side of laptop.
The outside of the laptop has a textured crosshatch surface, which gives it a natural protection and makes it hard to scratch. The inner surface also has a lightly raised diagonal texture. This allows for a “non-sticky” and comfortable movement over the surface when typing or using the touchpad.
The keyboard layout is one of my favorite parts about the Acer Aspire E5 laptop. It features a full keyboard with a condensed numeric keypad on the right side. It’s like the best of both worlds—both compact and feature-rich. The keys each protrude through their own individual space on the chassis, which allows for smoother and quicker typing. The character markings on the keys are white, and any secondary functions are marked in blue. The keys are not backlit, and that’s a shame and one of the few downsides to this laptop.
The precision touchpad has a very fine matte finish that lets your fingers move easily over the surface. This makes for easy scrolling with smooth, consistent, movements. There is no lag in moving the curser, and the accuracy of the curser is spot on. Left and right click buttons are at the bottom of the touchpad, and you can configure these settings (including sensitivity) in Windows as needed.
Acer Aspire E5 Laptop Ports and Conclusion
The Acer Aspire E5 laptop is equipped with three USB ports (2 x 3.0), an HDMI output, VGA output, and a headphone port. The ports are located on the left-hand side of the laptop, with the exception of one USB port on the right side. There is also a built-in Webcam up above the center of the LED screen, and a microphone id built-in just to the right of the touchpad. For those of you who need to quickly recharge your smartphone, Acer gives you a USB 3.0 port with “Power off charging”. That mens you can use your laptop like a giant portable battery to top you off—all without having to boot it up or wake it from sleep.
Acer also has a Bluelight Shield application. For a college student such as myself, this is a nice app. I can now work on my projects right until I go to bed without it affecting my sleep. The Acer Bluelight Shield app basically filters the screen, removing the blue light used to make “white” and giving you warmer screen cast that’s less strain in your eyes. Too much blue light causes your brain to stay super alert and can lead to sleeping problems. If you ever wondered why all of those offices switched over to blue florescent lamps so quickly—now you know!
Overall, I love the Acer Aspire E5 laptop. It’s a solid performer with a great mix of value and performance. Priced at $650 the Acer E5 is right there for anyone looking for a top performer that’s head and shoulders above Chromebooks or netbooks, and yet not super expensive like a solid state drive solution with an i7 processor. This might be one of the best value notebooks you can get your hands on right now.