Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6″ Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory


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Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6″ Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H

Fast Value Laptop with Washed Out Screen

SUMMARY

The E 15 is a fast computer with plenty of ports and great battery life, but the washed out screen holds it back.

DESIGN

With a bevy of ports including VGA and a DVD drive, plus its heavy weight, the E 15 screams “work computer!” This isn’t a bad thing, because it also feels substantial, including the monitor hinge. Many laptops in this price range feel like they need to be babied to survive long. There is a physical Ethernet port, an HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, and up to date 802.11ac WiFi. One nice touch is that the matte plastic has that brushed look, giving it a bit more traction and style. More importantly, and unlike many modern laptops, it is easy to service or upgrade.

PERFORMANCE

The 8th gen Core i3 2.2 Ghz CPU and 6 GB memory combine to give swift performance for most common tasks like word processing, web browsing in many tabs, and streaming video. One shocking thing to me is how well it handled running its own 1080p screen, a second 1080p screen over USB 3.0, and a third 2560×1440 screen all at once without issue. I was running multiple HD video streams and web browsing at the time on different screens. My previous laptop that cost much more and had a dedicated GPU dropped a lot of frames in this configuration.

I only notice the weaker CPU compared to my more expensive laptop with CPU intensive or heavy 3D tasks. If you are running those, including things like gaming beyond the basics or rendering video, this may not be the right choice. With that said, at this price, there is no great solution.

I see another review talking about how slow the computer is, which makes me wonder if Windows was still installing updates. Any new computer is going to be slow while all that happens in the background. The network is being pushed, the hard drive is being run heavily, and the CPU is periodically busy. The only thing noticeably slow is startup. An SSD upgrade would speed things up substantially.

SOFTWARE

While I have to use Mac OS and Linux for work, Windows 10 is my favorite OS. It is flexible and easy to work with, with the most support for hardware and usually no headaches installing new devices. This version of Windows 10 is almost clean, but includes a few things that I would delete. Namely, Norton Antivirus, which can cause issues and slowdown. It is easy to delete and Windows 10 has an antivirus built in.

DISPLAY

It is obvious where costs were cut to get the low price when you see the monitor in action. It has a large bezel, which is not such a big deal. However, the colors are washed out and even more washed out when not looking directly at it. It is one of the worst screens I have seen in a long time, and the main reason for dropping my score. It is passable, but I would personally spend a little more for a screen with better blacks and sharper details if I was going to do a lot of writing on it. While people rarely use laptops outside, the screen is also not bright enough for that. As someone who usually cranks down the brightness to save my eyes, that aspect is fine with me.

If you are going to be docking it and using standalone monitors, it supports higher resolutions well.

INTERFACE

There is no touch screen, which I surprisingly miss because touch controls are so good in Windows 10. But, they aren’t critical. The keyboard has nice travel and a proper full layout. The trackpad isn’t as responsive as a high end laptop and the clicks aren’t as snappy, but it works properly and I haven’t had to fight with it.

BATTERY

Wow, the long battery life is so much better than my previous laptop, whichcould last through a movie and then be done for. This is likely due to the newest Intel CPUs being built for low power consumption in combination with Acer’s lack of concern over a big heavy battery. The result is that, as long as I charge it at night, battery life just isn’t a concern. There is even a charging port for phones or tablets that is functional with the laptop off, making this a replacement for USB batteries.

The charging itself could be improved, with a relatively large power brick. I was hoping they allowed charging over USB, but I don’t think that is available. I could be missing how to do it.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the bright blue light that stays on when it is charging and shut down. It is very annoying to have it in my bedroom. A bit of electrical tape fixes it, but I wish it wasn’t there to begin with.

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