The Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) is your ideal budget-desktop replacement laptop, but it comes with some of the latest features including a seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) processor and a good number of ports. It may not stand out, but it’s what you need to have the work done, thanks to its 15-inch Full HD screen, strong performance and excellent battery life.
PROS: The latest 7thGen (Kaby Lake) processor. Good connectivity. Excellent battery life. Strong performance for the budget category.
CONS: Would use wider keys. Slow hard drive.
The Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM), is a basic desktop-replacement laptop, powered by Intel’s seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) processor, with performance that pushes it from average to the top of the class. So far, it probably isn’t what you picture when you think “dream computer,” but as far as desktop-replacement budget laptops go, it will get the job done…and done well. The 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-7100U processor (released in Q3 of 2016), a Full HD 15.6-inch and respectable battery life are more than adequate for everyday tasks (at home, college or office) or enthusiast-level multimedia consumption.
Performance-wise, the Aspire E 15 isn’t a speed demon, but it still is a better performer than much of the competition, offering 4GB memory, a whole terabyte of storage alongside all standard ports you’d expect in a budget laptop. Thanks to these generational improvements and overall solid design, the latest iteration of the Acer Aspire E 15 is our new Editors’ Top Pick for budget desktop-replacement laptops.
The Aspire E 15 is clad in a fashionable cross-hairline top cover that mimics a metallic look, but for the budget category we don’t expect anything metallic; here everything is plastic. The chassis measures roughly 1.19 by 15.02 by 10.2 inches (HWD), and weighs 5.3 pounds. It has a 15.6-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 resolution screen, which should be the main reason you buy the system over any similarly priced laptop.
Its angle viewing is a smidge narrower, if you’re a perfectionist, but the system’s LED backlit screen is certainly bright and clear enough for a viewing session among close friends. If you need to carry it around, you can slide it into the Bonvince 18.4″ Laptop Backpack $58.99 at Amazon , with its nicely placed compartments for the power adapter, mouse and other peripherals.
For a desktop-replacement laptop, the weight is not far from what we expected. It can be carried around to school or to the office and back to the house. During testing, we managed to view 1080p HD trailers, including the new one for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 6, was clean and smooth on the display. Sound is also a strong point: The volume can fill a small to medium-size room without a hint of distortion.
Connectivity is excellent, thanks to all the space on the sides of the system. Here you have all the ports you’d expect of a midrange laptop including; an Ethernet port, an HDMI port with HDCP support, a headset jack, a Kensington lock port, an SD card reader, one USB 3.1 (Type C) port, two USB 3.0 ports (one comes with power-off charging feature) and one USB 2.0 port. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac WiFi+Bluetooth 4.1, alongside a HD Webcam (1280-by-720) and a DVD drive for your old movies and programs.
The extra chassis space adds up to a keyboard deck that is wide and comfortable, albeit non-backlit, but the chiclet-style keyboard has a full numeric keypad. Some will find the keys to be small, but we do expect that from a 15-incher, since they don’t enjoy the luxury of deck space like 17-inchers. Even with the narrow keys, it is still acceptable, and is still better than the Acer Aspire E5-471G-53XG, which lacks the space for a numeric keypad.
There’s 4GB of memory, which is just enough for keeping dozens of tabs open, and the 1TB hard drive is plenty of real estate to store your downloads, movies, pictures and audio files. We do have a point here that the 4GB can be upgraded to a maximum of 32GB, but most will find 8GB ideal for daily computing. Also, if you find the traditional 1TB 5400rpm painfully slow down the road, you can easily swap it with a snappier solid-state-drive (SSD).
The Acer Aspire E 15 has the latest seventh-generation (code-named Kaby Lake) microarchitecture, a 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-7100U processor, 4GB memory with Intel HD Graphics 620, and it’s an average performer. The Kaby Lake processor with an Average CPU Mark of 3504 replaces the sixth-generation processor (Skylake architecture) which we’ve seen in most laptops and desktops throughout the year, with power efficiency on the mobile versions.
We expected the new architecture to be even better when it comes to battery life, which perhaps explains the Aspire E15’s good battery life. All these make the system fine on day-to-day tasks like office document editing, webcam conferencing, and Web browsing. Multimedia editing will be definitely on the lower side of average, but it is still adequate for a general user who won’t be editing photos beyond the occasional color correction and cropping.
For the price range, we didn’t expect anything close to a discrete graphics card. Rather, it uses integrated Intel HD Graphics 620), which is just enough for day-to-day productivity needs and media consumption. For budget hunters who sometimes have the need for dedicated graphic card that will allow them play a few games here-and-there, but don’t want to spend so much on a gaming laptop, the 15-inch Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 $549.99 at Amazon is worth an eye. It features a seventh generation Intel Core i5-7200U Processor, 8GB memory, 256 solid-state-drive (SSD) storage, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX (with 2GB) graphics card and a Full HD (1080p) display.
After all, it is a budget laptop and luxuries like an SSD and dedicated graphics card will only push the price up. Still, you can play some casual games and nothing more. If gaming is really important to you, our Editors’ Choice midrange gaming laptop the Acer Aspire VX 15 suffices for most modern titles at higher resolutions thanks to its Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor and Pascal-based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (with 4GB) graphics card.
Battery life is always a strong point for basic laptops, and the latest energy-efficient Kaby Lake processor makes it even better. It lasted 9 hours 45 minutes on our battery rundown test. That’s good enough to make it through an entire workday or a Netflix binge-watching session. This is way better that the 8 hours 56 minutes we got from the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-575G-53VG), and is almost double the Lenovo Edge 15’s 5 hours 39 minutes.
Bang for the buck
At the end of the day, the Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) $349.99 at Amazon is relatively nondescript budget laptop, with a lot going for it. In fact, it suffices as a satisfactory desktop replacement for the general user/student who simply needs a Windows PC to use traditional programs like MS Office, browse the Internet, watch Netflix and stream YouTube videos in Full HD, for far much less. It’s a good choice if you’re on a tight budget, but if you can spare a few more bucks the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-575G-53VG) $624.99 at Amazon is also worth a long look as you shop around. That said, the newest Acer Aspire E 15 boasts of a Kaby Lake processor, has longer battery life, and performance that’s good enough for daily productivity making it a much better value. All these reasons make the newest Acer Aspire E 15 our new Editors’ Top Pick for budget desktop-replacement laptops.