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Christmas holidays are coming, and there’s no better time for a gadget update than now. If you decided to spring for a laptop this season, but, unfortunately, you are restricted on a budget there is an option that will either meet your budget and most of your demands, that is Acer Aspire ES 15.

While it won’t meet demands for high-end games, software, and engines, it will still suffice everyone’s day-to-day needs, be suitable for moderate programming, and perfect for writing. We wrote this concise review to highlight its good and its wrongs. Ensure to continue reading, should you search for the balance of a value and useful.

Acer Aspire ES 15 Design and Features

Just like the vast majority of budget-friendly laptops, Aspire ES 15 Sports Black, Plastic build. However, its dark gray lid covered in a matte material makes it look more stunning, compared to the competition. The deck is supposed to mimic brushed aluminum, which makes it look higher priced than it has been originally thought to be. Overall the quality of the build seems solid, you won’t hear any cracking or creaking sounds while opening the lid or typing on the laptop.

The dimensions of Aspire ES 15 are 10.16 x 15.03 x 0.97 inches, while it weighs 5.3 pounds. You will agree that this is quite bulky for a 15.6-inch laptop. Still, most of the laptops within this performance and price range don’t feel much lighter. If you feel confident enough, you shouldn’t experience too much trouble while carrying it through the transport, as it can effortlessly work in cafes, libraries, and other public locations nonetheless.

As about the ports, we were satisfied to see that Acer managed to implement a DVD writer on its budget-friendly laptop, despite many laptop brands deciding to let go of it. The laptop is also equipped with most of the used ports.

Ports

On the left of the laptop, you’ll find

  • an Ethernet port,
  • two USB 3.0 adapters, and
  • an HDMI port. There is also
  • a USB Type-C 3.1 port.

However, unfortunately, you can’t use it to recharge the laptop.

If you’ve been wondering what’s sitting on the right side,

  • there is a DVD drive,
  • USB port, and
  • the 3.5mm audio jack.
  • The laptop boasts an SD card reader as well although it’s sitting on laptop’s front lip.

Display Of Aspire ES 15

Acer Aspire ES 15 - 15.6" HD Widescreen Laptop
View on Amazon $489.99 3.7 out of 5 stars
Acer Aspire ES 15 - 15.6" HD Widescreen Laptop

Displays of inexpensive laptops are known to be dark and not too friendly. However, Acer Aspire ES 15 pleasantly surprised us with its large, 1920×1080 pixel resolution. It fits the wide color gamut and is bright enough that you don’t have to keep its brightness settings at 100%. The 1080p resolution on Acer’s screen is sharp, with vivid and vibrant colors, although not as accurate as screens on other high-end laptops.

The limitations of the screen accuracy are especially seen in poor viewing angles, which is bad, especially if you use the laptop for multimedia or some sort of low-end gaming.

Overall, it’s a really good screen if you put the price into consideration, and although it’s brighter than most of its competition, don’t expose it to the direct sunlight because you will have difficulties seeing, because of the poor viewing angles. Nevertheless, its nice color gamut makes it quite attractive multimedia entry-level.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The low-end laptops, similarly like with screens, usually don’t offer deep and comfortable keyboard enough to suffice user’s need. On the contrary, Acer Aspire ES 15 sports an intriguing design keyboard which offers comfy and reliable typing experience, free of flex. The vertical travel time of the keys is at 1.5mm, while it requires 64 grams of force to be applied to press the key.

You won’t need to be too rough to the keyboard, and will easily reach your regular typing speed because it’s relatively easy to get used to the performance of the keyboard. Hence, if you are a writer, you will be pleased to experience fast, accurate, and convenient typing on

Acer Aspire ES 15 - 15.6" HD Widescreen Laptop
View on Amazon $489.99 3.7 out of 5 stars
Acer Aspire ES 15 - 15.6" HD Widescreen Laptop

ES 15’s keyboard.

The laptop also boasts a 4.2 x 3-inch touchpad without buttons. People don’t like touchpads and generally don’t rely on it. Even so, the one equipped with this laptop will be accurate and responsive. However, if you don’t fancy slippery surfaces, you might find its sensitivity a little challenging to navigate. It also supports multi-touch gestures, so you shouldn’t find any troubles in trying to switch between the apps, using three fingers on the touchpad.

Audio

You won’t like throwing parties on Acer’s speakers. Still, you will find its noise output and sound in particular quite pleasing. The speakers are loud enough to fill your slightly smaller office or the living room, with distortion- and buzz-free sound.

Whether you will use it to watch movies or simply listen to the music, the sound output will be crispy and detailed. If you are a fan of rock music, rest assured you will hear solid difference between drums, guitar, and voices. They are not the best speakers on the market, but they are sufficient within the budget range.

The laptop doesn’t appear to be loud, which is convenient, but also unnecessary to worry about considering it is equipped with powerful speakers. Nevertheless, heating is not an issue with this laptop. It runs pretty cool and doesn’t reach excess temperatures that would compromise its performance.

The streaming of a video resulted in 75 degrees on the touchpad, 84 degrees Fahrenheit on the keyboard, while the bottom of the laptop fixed at 85 degrees. As you may know, that’s not any closer to the upper limit of 95-100 degrees. If you believe you will be performing more demanding tasks on this laptop, we recommend using a cooling pad.

Battery life

If you spring for Acer’s laptop, the battery life should be the last thing to be concerned about. Acer’s ES 15 from the Aspire series is no exception. You will appreciate that the laptop was capable of lasting around 8 hours in a test we conducted. The test consisted of streaming videos while continuously surfing the web, connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Compared to the other laptops in competition, Acer Aspire ES 15 won the competition. Eight hours of continuous use is more than enough to last you a whole day if you prefer using the laptop for work or studying. If you are to take the laptop out in a café, you won’t need to be looking for a spare power socket in fear your stunning laptop will run out of juice.

It is a good deal, considering that the laptops with strong batteries are difficult to find, especially for this size.

Performance Of Aspire ES 15

Acer Aspire ES 15 won’t reach the performance of more high-end laptops. Additionally, its modest composition doesn’t make it eligible for any sort of gaming, but browser games and some less-demanding, more outdated titles.

When it comes to power, the laptop is equipped with Intel’s 6th generation processor. The Core i3-6100U chipset with 2.3GHz and the 3MB cache is powerful enough to support moderate multitasking, switching between the tabs on Chrome, streaming 1080p videos and alike.

However, it won’t withstand over-threading or throwing on it more than it can actually swallow. For example, you will have difficulties running programs like Microsoft Office Word, a bunch of Google Chrome tabs, and some additional software respectively.

We were hoping to see 8GB of RAM or at least 6GB. Still, 4GB of DDR3 RAM is more than sufficient for some light usage. Teamed up with the processor, they should make a good processing team, and can even support programming novices who are looking for a simple, affordable notebook they can use to practice their coding skills.

Acer Aspire ES 15 - 15.6" HD Widescreen Laptop
View on Amazon $489.99 3.7 out of 5 stars

To ensure you won’t be playing Destiny 2, Witcher 3 or Mass Effect: Andromeda, there is an integrated Intel HD 520 to warn you not to compromise its power. Integrated graphics is discreet graphics that can handle sharper and more motive graphics. Nevertheless, you should be able to run older games on medium settings, if you like to play games in your spare time. For example, you can play The Sims 4 on medium settings if it is something you prefer in your free time.

The laptop boasts plenty of storage. It is equipped with a 1TB mechanical hard-drive, which, unfortunately, comes with the very limited speed of 5400RPM. Windows usually take longer to boot, and rendering, loading, and installing/updating of the apps generally takes longer than with 7200 RPM drive or even better, a solid-state drive with great transfer speeds.

If you find your laptop not exactly to be what you want it to be, Acer encourages customers of its laptop to perform upgrades on them when they outdate. This is good because most of the manufacturers warn that touching the insides of your laptop can void the warranty, which is not the case with Acer. The company encourages users to remove the bottom panel without an effort to access the components you might want to upgrade easily.

Upgrade Options

While you won’t be able to change the processor, you will be able to add more RAM or storage, without spending too much money in the process. If you are not satisfied with, frankly, modest 4GB of RAM, Acer’s ES 15 allows up to 32GB of DDR4 memory. More importantly, you can ditch the slow 1TB storage for any type of 2.5-inch SATA solid-state drive (SSD), which would make the laptop much more effective when it comes to the booting times, installing of programs, and loading, if playing games.

It doesn’t hurt to mention that Acer Aspire ES 15 comes equipped with a lot of handful features along the original Windows 10 Home, which like its name suggests is intended for general, yet practical day-to-day use. Unfortunately, some of the apps pre-installed from Acer already exist on Windows 10, and we often don’t find the point in using those apps.

For example, Care Center performs tests on system’s health, but also checks for updates for Windows 10. There is also a completely useless Acer Power Button which can turn the computer off, sleep, hibernate, or turn off the display. Nevertheless, you can already find these on Control Panel. Acer Quick Access, though, allows you to activate Blue light-reduction mode to make screen more eye-friendly, given that the Blue color usually causes headaches or makes us tired.

Pros and Cons of Acer ES 15

Despite ES 15 coming loaded with various, useful features, just like every budget-friendly laptops, it comes with limitations that make it unappealing to the customers, who would rather invest more money to get a better laptop.

Pros

  • Vivid display
  • Solid Audio
  • Decent performance
  • Great Battery Life

Cons

  • The laptop comes loaded with bloatware which is already a duplicate of some crucial Windows 10 features.
  • The laptop has disappointing viewing angles, even though it sports a vivid and good-looking display, with decent resolution.

Value for the price

If we decide to ignore some flaws, we will agree that Acer Aspire ES 15 is nowhere near a bad laptop.

  • If you have a child to pursue the first laptop,
  • you are looking for a fast replacement because your laptop died, or
  • you are looking for an affordable laptop to accompany you on the go, as you can’t carry your desktop

Acer Aspire ES 15 is a great option, with solid looks and build and reliable performance.

Final Verdict

Modest build and design beyond its class is what describes Acer Aspire ES 15. The 6th generation of Intel’s i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, extendable up to 32GB along with a possible SSD upgrade make this laptop a modest powerhouse which will handle most of the tasks you will throw on it, while remaining relatively cool.

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