349 of 361 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2014
Okay, I just gotta unleash a quick rant based on a few reviews I read on here about this PC:
Be a responsible buyer and READ the description of what's included to make sure you're buying something you really want. Too many complain about "oh, this didn't come with so-and-so, I'm so pissed off". If you read the info about the item, you probably wouldn't have a problem. That's why the seller takes the time to post what you need to know. Second, if you want a laptop that performs like a $10,000 laptop, then go out and BUY a $10,000 laptop rather than buying one for $250 and complaining about it for being cheap in reviews. I mean, common sense seems to be a lost skill in our society, it's a shame.
Now I feel better...moving on to my review!
I'm a college student and was looking for a cheap laptop to help me with school as well as other casual things like watching videos, emailing, and watching Netflix. I just received this recently and I'm already in love with it! The laptop is very lightweight and the perfect size. It's my first time using Windows 8 after years of using XP and Windows 7 so I'm still getting a feel for the software. All I needed was a computer that could handle my daily activities online, nothing fancy or overpriced and this Acer fits all my needs. You can't beat a laptop for under $250, it's a great deal!
A few quick things: There is only one numerical pad at the top, none on the side of the letters like other computers. There's also no CD drive so you'll have to buy an external drive, use a flash drive, or download certain programs you need. Other than that, this laptop is perfect and I'm glad I got it. If you need a standard entry-level laptop for casual to moderate use, you can't go wrong with this one.
BIG TIP as of 8/2/2014: I found a way to make the tiny sound speakers sound better! Go to the audio icon in the right-hand corner. LEFT-CLICK and go to PLAYBACK DEVICES. LEFT-CLICK on SPEAKERS and click on PROPERTIES. Go to ENHANCEMENTS tab and click box next to LOUDNESS EQUALIZATION. That should make the laptop sound much louder and fuller. Enjoy!
244 of 253 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2014
This is a great laptop-especially for the price! While it does not have an optical drive, I can't really say that I miss it (although there is a spot on the side where it looks like their should be one). The screen is nice and bright and the unit is pretty lightweight and is super-thin and the touch pad is very responsive. I had really never heard of a USB 3.0, however, it is really amazing at how fast it is! I transferred 1,700 pictures from an external hard drive and it only took a couple of minutes. I also like the fact that the exterior casing isn't the glossy plastic that shows fingerprints like crazy. The power cord also plugs into the back of the laptop as opposed to the side, which I consider a plus. Overall I am very happy with this purchase and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable computer.
103 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2014
Just a few words for this review. I have always been impressed with Acer computers. Build quality is an "A". Performance is good for what it is. The price.. nothing out there is better at this price. What I noticed mainly is the battery. The battery is built-in. You do not see it at all and can't change it unless you open up the laptop. Them being lipo batteries now, smaller and lighter, they have a longer life now and wont need changing for years to come. At this price, i'll deal with that. And the run time for this battery is also a mind blowing 6hrs on high performance settings. Most laptops only get 3hrs. Also this laptop is really thin! I love that. It has no optical drive but who really needs that theses days anyway. This saves weight as well as battery life. Just use a USB stick/hard drive to backup your Win8. So far i've found no negatives with this laptop. I love the rear ports as well. Most laptops force you to have everything sticking and poking out the sides. This laptop is perfect for net browsing, movies and light online games. Don't expect a $250 laptop ( my price ) to run full blown max graphic games. So in short, this Acer comes highly recommended by me. Buy it!
130 of 140 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
Tech knowledge? Casual
Price ($250 as of this review)
Quality 15.6 inch screen
The plastic casing doesn't have that glossy fingerprint hungry texture.
Laptop battery isn't exposed (my previous acer laptop had the battery exposed and that eventually cracked)
Good battery life
Powerplug (which plugs in from the back) has tight not remotely lose grip
No DVD drive
Keyboard lacks numberpad (the numbers above the alphabet keys ARE included though)
No keyboard lights (at this price it shouldn't be expected)
Earphone plug located on the back. You get used to it. Losing some wire length and feeling your way around trying to plug it in while in a dark room are slight downsides
Speakers have a muffled sound. Perfectly audible to me though.
I use this as a regular web-browsing laptop and and it works very well for that purpose. No cd drive and no included restoration discs means you might have to find away make your own restoration discs (Anyone more knowledgeable want to comment?)I regularly watch 720p youtube videos without issue. I haven't tried 1080p yet except for the new 60 frames per second videos youtube has had for a few weeks now (regular is 30 fps). 1080p 60 fps made the page unresponsive. Touchpad was difficult at first but you get used to it quick. I haven't played with the touchpad settings yet though I plan to so that I can setup the page scrolling. Lots of pre-installed apps to delete. I'll update this review at some point.
Ask me anything.
For anyone new to windows 8 you should follow the advise that other people told me. "just treat it like it's a new thing and try to give it a chance". This video put me at ease:
104 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2014
I've tried one or two Window 8 laptops without touchscreen, and the touch interface is definitely the key to a great Windows 8 experience. The specs are great for the price, and it's definitely a enjoyable overall experience. I just wish the screen was touchscreen, but for the price it's definitely worth it..
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2014
Okay. Here is the jist of it:
-Great laptop for the price. Super fast compared to my other laptop I bought at Wal-Mart for more money.
-Solid construction. Feels real sturdy. Not as flimsy as some HPs that I've had recently and in the past. The keyboard is more solid than most laptop keyboards.
-HDMI port. Enough said.
-The touchpad is not very good. I prefer the two buttons at the bottom. It can be very touchy. There is a fine line between the primary click function, and the right-click. If you don't hit it just right, it'll right click... or primary click, depending on what you're trying to do. The touchpad isn't good if you need speedy results. Use an external mouse.
-The battery isn't user replaceable. If your battery dies or gets weak, and you require portability, then I guess you'll need a new computer.
Note: This laptop doesn't have a disk drive, but I knew that when I bought it. Buy an external, it'll still be cheaper than most laptops at these specs. This laptop was purchased because I needed one overnight because I was in a serious bind for school.
Note II: This review in no way reflects on the seller. They've done an outstanding job. I bought from Quality.Seller.
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2014
Aside from people who rated poorly due to their disappointment over their own lack of research, this laptop is beyond expectations for the money I paid. This is an excellent all purpose laptop. I use it for writing papers, watching videos, researching on the internet, and I play games occasionally, such as World of Warcraft- with ease. This is a SOLID product, with a beautiful display, a highly responsive touchpad, a solid keyboard, and a VERY lightweight and sturdy design.
I have zero complaints about this product, I am highly satisfied with it's performance and capabilities for the money i spent.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2014
At first, I didn't pay much attention into this and thought it was just another Chromebook. A few minutes have passed and I was still deciding which one to get to replace my 2-year-old 10-inch netbook. Then, my adrenaline was shot through the roof when I learned that this laptop was loaded with Windows 8.1. After looking at the specs, I went ahead and placed the order on July 5th. Amazon indicated that they were not able to ship until July 17th. Okay fine, I could wait. Two days later, the laptop was sitting on my front door.
After removing all the bloatwares and making a system image on an external hard drive, I have to mention that this is the best budget entry-level laptop I have ever bought. It handles my daily computing needs perfectly from online banking to Netflixing. To extend the battery life, I only switch to high performance when necessary such as installing programs and performing virus scanning, etc. I'm able to get at least 7 hours of battery life by lowering the brightness of the screen and switching to power saving mode.
The screen looks really sharp and it weighs lighter than my daughter's $600 15-inch Asus. Like other reviewers pointed out, optical drive and keypad are indeed missing from this laptop. The only concern I have is that the battery is not removable and extensive drainage is the reason causing battery to fail. I still have a 6-year-old Sony and the battery still holds 4-5 hours of charge. For $250, I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much. The pre-installed Windows alone worth $100 right there. If you are not a hardcore gamer or a video editing enthusiast, this laptop will suit you well.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2014
My old HP laptop is currently about six years old and it was on its last legs, so I needed a new laptop in an affordable price range. As a college student, I definitely can't afford a Mac or even anything above $300 or so. I researched many laptops in the $250-$300 price range and this came out on top in terms of features and product reviews.
I don't do heavy gaming or a lot of other heavy work on my laptop (such as sound mixing or whatever which would require a fairly specialized computer), but I wanted something that had a large enough screen, was light and pretty thin, and would meet my basic everyday needs such as internet browsing, netflix, light presentation work, light graphic work, and so on. This computer definitely meets all of that! It's large but not too heavy and was super easy to set up. Seriously - SUPER EASY.
Windows 8 definitely isn't as bad as people say it is. I kind of like it - and there's the choice to work from your desktop instead of going from the windows 8 screen. Microsoft is doing a new "app" thing, but honestly I don't even really use it that much. I kept the Spotify app which came upon set up, added a couple others, and removed some with ease. I removed a few things from the windows 8 screen and it was very simple. The computer also doesn't come with a lot of junkwear installed so I didn't have to get rid of that much upon set up.
I gave it four stars because of a couple reasons:
-the sound is fine with headphones, but is a little muffled without.
-The backspace key is pretty slow (not a big deal, but annoying to me)
-The mouse can be touchy at times and it takes some getting used to but it's not terrible (but it's also not totally amazing)
-Microsoft asked for an outlook account upon startup which I do not have, but there is the option to sign in with another email and to set up your own password.
-No CD/DVD drive
What I like about this computer is:
-It's big but not too heavy
-Windows 8 is pretty streamlined
-Battery life is as expected, about four hours.
-The keypad is compact and easy to type with
-The ports are in the back - this might be an issue for some, but I like it and think it's pretty unique.
-The apps are pretty interesting, and there's the option to use them or not. I like that Microsoft gave choices.
-Setup was simple and easy (and the computer came almost fully charged).
I haven't installed other things on it such as microsoft office, light computer games, etc, but it seems like it will hold up well. All in all this is a very solid computer. It isn't specialized, but it's good for everyday general use.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Acer has a pretty solid presence on the low-end laptop market. That isn't to say their stuff is all cheap or weak (they produce high-end hardware too) but it does mean that a lot of people, myself included, know them primarily for budget hardware. The ES1-511 (sometimes marketed as the Aspire E-15) is no exception- it's an inexpensive model with basic features and functionality.
I actually picked up the even lower-specced sub-model -COM4, which is identical to this one save that it is cheaper, has 2 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hard drive. I had a free 4GB DDR3-1600 stick and a 320 GB HDD is plenty for my needs, so I figured I'd save a bit and upgrade it myself. I got the machine on sale for $190 after tax, which is pretty darn cheap any way you look at it. However, after performing the RAM upgrade I do NOT recommend anyone try this unless you really know what you're doing (more on that later).
The machine itself is actually very decent for a budget laptop. Among other things it has the following pros:
- Very good battery life of about 6 hrs on medium screen brightness performing typical tasks. This is superb for a budget laptop- in fact it's as good as some ultrabooks.
- Nice crisp screen. It is glossy, not matte, so won't work well outdoors- but has good brightness, viewing angle, and decent resolution.
- HDMI out, also quite rare for such machines (most have VGA).
- Celeron N2830 is a pretty decent CPU for a machine of this cost. Most others have low-end E1 chips or the likes, which are awful.
- Bluetooth. Once again, most other budget laptops do not have this.
- Decent form factor. Not huge or ridiculously thick, or heavy.
- Very large trackpad that works well in general.
There are, of course, some cons:
- Battery is not swappable. Many other cheap laptops have a detachable battery pack, so you can replace it if it starts to go bad or carry spares around for extra juice. This one is internal and not easy to get to (see below).
- No optical drive. There's a slot for it, but nothing but a spacer inside. Most laptops this size have an optical drive, even in budget models.
- Headphone jack and USB 3.0 port (and one USB 2.0) are located in the rear. This is a bit awkward- it would have been much better on the side. I would have at least liked the single side USB port to be the 3.0.
- The keyboard layout is a bit unconventional. There's enough space on this machine that they could have fit a extended keyboard, but instead they chose to center it and leave a lot of space on the sides. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as it keeps things less crowded... but they decided to kind of go halfway and made the last row of keys del/home/pg up/pg down/end. I am not used to this and keep hitting them on accident, though I suppose I could get used to it.
Okay, about that upgrade- this is one of those machines that is 'technically' upgradeable, but is not designed to be user-upgradeable. What this basically means is it's a huge pain in the rear to do any upgrades yourself. On some machines designed to be modular (i.e. the Lenovo ThinkPad series) you can swap out HDDs and RAM without even opening the chassis, which takes all of a few seconds. The extra RAM stick was in my Gigabyte P34 which has a memory door with one screw in it- it took me about 10 seconds to take it out.
To upgrade the RAM in this Acer machine you have to:
1. Remove all 18 screws from the baseplate.
2. Sit the laptop in the open position and pry off the snaps on the keyboard half of the cover... slowly and carefully.
3. While holding the keyboard half up slightly, disconnect the ribbon cables attaching the keyboard, trackpad, and speakers. This is difficult because you have about 3" of room to work with or risk tearing the cables.
4. Disconnect the battery connectors (the battery, by the way, is a pack of cells that appears cemented to the chassis).
5. Unscrew and disconnect the hard drive from the left side of the motherboard. It slots directly into the mobo- no cable.
6. Unscrew and disconnect the cooling fan, and disconnect the WiFi/BT module from the side of the motherboard.
7. Unscrew the motherboard and lift it at an angle to access the single RAM slot on the bottom.
8. Congrats... you can now pop off the RAM module (which thankfully, isn't soldered on) and put your new stick in.
9. Now, put it all back together and if you didn't make any mistakes you're good to go.
As you can see, it's not a trivial matter to even upgrade the HDD, which is normally a very easy thing to do. As such, if you don't know your way around a laptop or aren't confident with a lot of fine work, you had better be satisfied with this machine as it is. I've replaced parts and performed repairs on many other machines including ultrabooks and several other cheap Acer models, and this is definitely the most difficult one to service. By the same line of reasoning, you had better take good care of this guy because self-repairs are going to be tough.
Overall, this is a good laptop for the money and is a surprisingly solid performer with a lot of features that most other machines in this price range do not have. With the big one footnote that it's not easy to tinker with, I would not hesitate to recommend this to those looking for a budget machine.
Note 11/18/14- I found a pretty bizarre quirk with this machine. If you try to boot from a USB stick inserted into the 3.0 slot, you'll get duplicate keystrokes IF the power adapter is plugged in. I have no idea why this happens, but if anyone experiences the issue the solution is simple: unplug the thing.