15.6″ Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G via Amazon
Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G is an entry level 15.6 inch laptop with a Pentium processor, 7-hour battery life providing great value in terms of performance, design and functions for daily basic needs like internet, social media, checking emails, text editing, viewing photos and videos and limited level of gaming- a robust starter type of notebook at a rather low price, mainly for home use. Acer Aspire comes with the quad core Intel Pentium N3540 at 2.16GHz speed up to 2.66GHz with Intel Burst technology and no hyper threading as the unit comes with 4 cores and you can’t expect such a budget system to run 8 threads in parallel- and adequate as it is, 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM, 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive at 5400 rpm rotating speed that would be enough for majority of computer users while 5400rpm is fine for daily use if you want something faster and if you will be using it for more advanced purposes then replacing this HDD with SSD is the way to go and then you have Acer’s Build Your Own Cloud so Cloud storage will be as big as you wish. Operating system is Windows 8.1 with Bing search and expect this summer and autumn for two releases of the latest Windows 10 which you can download for free.
15.6 inch HD CineCrystal diagonal non-touch widescreen Active Matrix TFT Color LED-backlit display with 1366×768 pixel maximum screen resolution which is not as sharp as FHD display with IPS panel (a bit out of the price level of this computer as both would increase the price significantly), 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio and Intel HD Graphics Bay Trail that will play any of the less demanding older games like CS, Minecraft, Half Life 2 and World of Warcraft at lower resolutions and at 30fps and up but almost none of the latest 2015 titles and if you do the max frame rate per second you’ll reach is 10 to 15. There is a standard high definition webcam (640×480) on top of the display to be able to chat live with people. Two integrated stereo speakers and HD Audio Support allows realistic and immersive sound. Diamond black Acer Aspire ES1-512 has the weight of 5.3 pounds and the dimensions of 15.02 x 10.16 x 1.03 inches and 3-cell 3220 mAh lithium ion battery up to long 7 hour battery life. Connectivity options include the Acer Nplify 802.11bgn wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet with RJ-45, an HDMI output with HDCP support, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, SD Memory Card Reader but no optical drive but ports are located on left and right sides of the machine.
Conclusion: Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G (NX.MRWAA.013) is a low cost, practical, functional and great value laptop with solid performance and good range of connectivity options as part of the Aspire E 15 series. The Intel Pentium N3540 has the Passmark score of around 1758 today placing it in the higher section of the low to mid range CPU list and should be fine for casual daily use like internet browsing, video streaming and not advanced gaming, editing multimedia or anything very demanding. Memory is OK at 4GB and occupies the only memory slot but you can swap it with 8GB to get even better multitasking performance. Keyboard is naturally non-backlit at this price level but at least you have the 10-key numpad and Acer’s functional Precision touchpad. There is no DVD optical drive on this PC and if you will be using DVDs or CDs then you will need to get a low cost external drive. If you’re out and about a lot it is a reasonably portable laptop with also up to 7 hours of long battery life, which should be around 5-6 hours in practice thanks to the very low TDP- Thermal Design Power of 7.5 watts and although it has modest specs it is highly adequate for what most people use the computers for and it works as well and fast as any mid-range computer for that purpose.