Acer Aspire E 14 E5-411G-P717 14-Inch Laptop Review

Acer Aspire E 14 E5-411G-P717 14-Inch Laptop (Pearl White)

The Acer Aspire E 14 E5-411G-P717 14-Inch Laptop is a budget-friendly, entry level model, designed to cope well with everyday computing tasks. Surfing the web, updating social status, email, word processing, HD video playback and even a little casual gaming should all be well within its capabilities, but it might struggle with seriously demanding applications or games.

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At the heart of this system lies an Intel Pentium N3540 Processor. This quad-core processor is specifically designed to offer an excellent balance between price, performance and power consumption in entry level machines. It supports Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, enabling each of the four cores to automatically adjust its own speed from 2.16 GHz up to a maximum of 2.66 GHz depending on the needs of the current software application. Unlike more powerful – and expensive – processors, however, it doesn’t  support Hyper Threading, although this is unlikely to be a serious issue for the kinds of tasks this machine is designed to carry out.

The processor is supported by 8 GB of DDR3 memory. This is generous amount of memory for a machine in this class, and should allow the supplied copy of Windows 8.1 to perform well, multi-tasking your applications with ease.

The machine’s 14-inch, widescreen, CineCrystal, 1366 x 768 pixel, LED backlit display is driven by a dedicated NVIDIA  GeForce 820M graphics card, with 2GB of DDR3 VRAM memory. Although this is an entry-level component, it should still be capable of much better performance than the integrated graphics solutions found on many other machines in this class. It will probably struggle with high-spec games on all but the lowest detail settings, but then again, this is not (and doesn’t claim to be) a gaming laptop – it is an entry level, general purpose machine, designed for routine tasks, and for those purposes the 820M is more than sufficient.

Pros :

  • Good, well equipped, entry level laptop
  • Intel Pentium N3540 Quad-Core 2.16 GHz Processor (2 MB Cache)
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 14-Inch Screen, NVIDIA GeForce 820M
  • Windows 8.1
  • 7-hour battery life

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming

For permanent storage of your documents, music, pictures and movies – along with your application software, of course – the machine is fitted with a 1 TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). As with the system’s memory, this is a generous amount of storage capacity for a machine in this class, and should be more than enough for the needs of most people. Of course, should you find that you need more space, it’s a simple matter to connect an external HDD to one of the machine’s USB ports. The machine also includes a built in DVD / CD optical drive, which, while less important than they once were, is still a useful thing to have, and saves the need to carry an additional external unit for those occasions when you need to install software or watch a DVD from your collection.

Speaking of USB ports, this machine is two standard USB 2.0 ports, as well as one high speed USB 3.0 port. USB devices are (currently) interchangeable, so you should have no problem in connecting a USB 2.0 device to a USB 3.0 port and vice versa. However, to get the best high speed performance you should obviously use a USB 3.0 device with a USB 3.0 port.

The  E 14 E5-411G-P717 features both wired and wireless network connections. For those who want – or need – a wired connection, the machine is fitted with a standard Gigabit Ethernet port, while wireless connectivity is provided by 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Staying with wireless connections for a moment, this laptop also features Bluetooth 4.0, making it easy to connect to wireless devices.

There will inevitably be times – such as when watching a movie – when the machine’s 14-inch screen just isn’t big enough for comfort. For those occasions, the machine is fitted with an HDMI port, allowing you to hook up an HDTV or modern monitor for use as an external display. There is also a legacy VGA port, for those times when you need to connect to an older monitor, TV or projector.

An SD Card reader is also provided, for easy transfer of files and images onto the machine from cameras and other mobile devices. Of course, the machine also features a built in HD (1280 x 720) webcam, and, since the supplied copy of Windows 8.1 includes the popular Skype software, it is video-chat ready right out of the box. Simply sign in to your Skype account, or create a new one, and you’ll be chatting with friends and colleagues in minutes.

Measuring 13.62 x 1.19 x 9.76 inches, and weighing 5.1 pounds, this machine is small and lightweight enough to carry around with easy, and, with a reported battery life of up to 7 hours, you can be sure of getting plenty done wherever you take it.

Overall, the Acer Aspire E 14 E5-411G-P717 14-Inch Laptop is surprisingly well equipped for an entry-level machine. It should be able to handle day-to-day tasks without difficult, and at a price that is quite reasonable considering its features. It will probably struggle with complex games and demanding applications such as video editing, but for routine activities it has a lot to recommend it. This machine is definitely worth a look!

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