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Best-selling laptop on Amazon right now at $350

The Acer Aspire E15 happens to be the best-selling laptop on Amazon right now at $350. For $350, what are you actually getting?

At first glance, it doesn’t look all that special. So, for $350 you’re getting plastic on plastic with a side of plastic. Nowhere is this more obvious than the screen, which flexes a ton with just a little bit of pressure. However, if you can look past a few nitpicks, you’ll find that this is actually a surprisingly solid laptop. What really makes this laptop stand out is the level of specs and features you are getting for the price.

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop

Specifications

Inside you’re getting a 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U, 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of storage. Definitely, the slowest part is going to be the hard drive. It’s 2018, and you know, SSDs are a thing. What really helps to save this laptop is the Core i3.

Storage upgrade

This is going to be a lot more powerful than pretty much any other laptop at this price point. Luckily, it’s really easy to upgrade. Remove 3 screws on the bottom of the laptop. You get access to not only your hard drive but also your memory and also as to install a full m.2 SSD. For about $45 you can get an ADATA 128GB drive, which once you install into this, is going to make a huge difference.

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Motherboard

 

If you’ve never installed an m.2 drive before, it’s about as easy as it gets. Simply remove the single holder screw and put it in place and screw it back down; that’s it. While 128GB may not sound that impressive, the idea here is that this is going to be enough to install Windows and a few games and apps, and you still have your full 1TB hard drive, and that means you’re going to have over a TB of capacity inside your machine. If you wanted more you can replace the optical drive for another drive as well.

Memory upgrade

For another $40 you can pick up another 4GB of RAM. It is OK as it comes, but especially if you want to get into anything like gaming, or if you just want more than 4GB of RAM, it’s worth the value added. So, within 10 minutes of upgrading, you now have a $440 laptop.

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Gaming

Gaming ability

With these upgrades, you are ready for a bit of gaming. With Intel Integrated graphics you shouldn’t expect too much, but you running on low settings at 900p you can expect about 50-80 fps on games like CS: GO. Don’t get me wrong, this is not now a gaming laptop. However, with that Core i3 and that dual-channel memory, it’s not going to be too bad as long as you keep your expectations in check. Lighter titles are definitely going to be playable. On most light titles that scale well you’re going to have a pretty decent experience, or at least not a bad one. When you consider just how cheap this laptop is, even with the upgrades, you should be mildly impressed with how much it doesn’t suck.

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Display

Display

Since this laptop isn’t built for gaming it’s definitely more useful for other things. It’s rocking a 15.6″ 1080p panel. It is a TN panel so you will be sacrificing some viewing angles and some color, but when you consider it cost $350 stock, this screen is much, much better than you usually get. There are laptops out there that cost more and have worse screens; we see it all of the time.

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Optical Drive

Optical drive

Something you don’t see very often these days on laptops is an optical drive, but this does have one in addition to a USB 2.0 port. More importantly on the other side, you’re going to be getting two more USB 3.0s, HDMI, a VGA port, as well as Ethernet and a USB-C.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard is classic Acer Aspire, and that’s a good thing for the most part. You’re getting a pretty standard layout with a couple of odd additions, you get a number pad and also a backlit keyboard. Granted, it’s not a very bright backlight, but it’s not something you usually see on budget laptops like this.

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Keyboard

You’re also going to be getting a Windows Precision trackpad. It’s pretty solid. You’re getting full support for the multi-touch gestures, and thankfully like all of these precision trackpads, it does actually track much more accurately than a lot of the third-party options.

It’s almost like there are a lot of things on this laptop that is shared with more expensive laptop options.

Battery

Battery life is going to be pretty solid, especially thanks to that Core i3 inside, you should expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 hours of light use on a charge, and if you upgrade with an SSD and install Windows, that’ll probably make things even better.

So, for $350, and maybe $85 more in upgrades, is the Acer Aspire E15 worth it? I say yes, What do you say?

Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Back

 

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