Acer Aspire E1-531-2686 15.6″ Laptop Review

Acer Aspire E1-531-2686 15.6

The Acer Aspire E1-531-2686 15.6″ Laptop is an entry-level machine designed to handle everyday computing tasks without breaking the bank. It should have no difficulty with email, social media updates, surfing the web, productivity software, playing music and videos and the countless other relatively undemanding chores that most computers are used for most of the time.

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This machine is driven by a dual-core Intel Celeron 1005M processor, running at 1.9GHz. Although it is based on Intel’s third generation Ivy Bridge architecture, many of the features of that product line – including the efficiency enhancing Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading – are disabled in this entry level part. Even so, it should be more than capable of carrying out the day-to-day tasks for which it was designed, although, naturally, it will struggle to compete with more expensive components in which those features are enabled.

Thanks to the machine’s 4GB of DDR3 memory, the pre-installed copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit should perform reasonably well, enabling you to switch between your favorite applications with ease. Moreover, the system supports a maximum of 8GB RAM, making it possible to upgrade the available memory without difficulty, should your needs exceed the limitations of the machine’s default configuration.

A 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) provides permanent storage for your documents, music, movies, pictures and, of course, software applications. This should be more than enough storage capacity for most purposes, and is a sensible compromise between greater capacity and increased cost that makes a great deal of sense in this class of laptop. However, should you find that more storage capacity is required, it is an easy matter to connect an external Hard Drive to one of the machine’s USB ports.

Pros :

  • Good entry level machine
  • Intel Celeron 1005M 1.9 GHz dual-core processor
  • 500GB Hard Disk
  • 4GB DDR3 Memory
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming

The 15.6-inch, HD, LED backlit, 1366 x 768 pixel display is driven by an integrated Intel GMA HD graphics controller, which, again, should be perfectly adequate for routine tasks. It will, however, struggle to cope with the demands of more sophisticated games. This is hardly surprising in an entry-level machine, and should not be interpreted as a failure of the E1-531-2686, or its designers; this is not a dedicated gaming machine, and doesn’t claim to be one, but it is worth noting that if you intend to play anything more than casual games this may not be the machine for you.

For those time when you want or need a bigger screen, such as watching a movie streamed from the internet or played from the built-in DVD writer, this machine provides both an HDMI port and a VGA port. The HDMI port makes it easy to connect the laptop to an HDTV or monitor, while the VGA port allows connections to older monitors and projectors.

As you would expect from a modern laptop, the machine supports both wired and wireless networking. An RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port makes high speed connections to compatible wired networks simple to set up, while 802.11 b/g/n WiFi ensures that networking on the move is both simple and reliable.

A built-in webcam and microphone make this machine video-chat ready right out of the box. Simply sign in to your favorite messaging software and you’re ready to chat with friends and colleagues.

Three standard USB 2.0 ports are provided for connecting peripheral devices such as external HDDs, printers and memory sticks, and a built-in memory card reader makes transferring images onto the machine a doddle.

Measuring 15 x 10 x 1.3 inches and weighing 5.5 pounds, this isn’t the smallest or lightest laptop on the market by some considerable margin. Nor, however, is it too large or too heavy to be easily portable, and, with a battery life of up to 4.5 hours, there should be no difficulty in taking this machine around with you.

Overall, the Acer Aspire E1-531-2686 15.6″ Laptop is an attractively priced and relatively capable entry level machine. It should easily cope with routine computing tasks, although more challenging applications – such as demanding games – may prove difficult for it. That said, such tasks are outside its intended range of uses, and it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that it might struggle with them. If you’re looking for a basic laptop to handle email, productivity software and the web – perhaps as a second computer or an introductory machine for a senior or novice – this laptop is well worth considering.

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