With its eye-catching raspberry-red paint job, the $500 Aspire E5-471-59RT stands out in a sea of drab black and gray budget laptops. You also get pretty beefy specs for the price, including a Core i5 processor and 500GB hard drive, though you're limited to 4GB of RAM out of the box. Overall, this Acer is an attractive value for those who don't need a touch screen.
The first thing you notice about the Acer Aspire E5-471-59RT is its raspberry-red paint job enhanced by a subtle silver pattern. While the shiny clear coat doesn't really resist fingerprints, they are much less noticeable on top of the metallic patterning. The display bezel and bottom of the unit are made of a matte black plastic, giving the whole system an attractive two-tone appearance.
At 13.6 x 9.8 x 1.2 inches, the Aspire E5-471-59RT is similar in size to other 14-inch systems such as the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (13.5 x 9.7 x 0.9) and the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (13.7 x 9.5 x 1). Weighing 4.6 pounds, the Acer is a bit heavier than the 4.4-pound Dell Inspiron 14 5000, but lighter than the 4.8-pound ASUS VivoBook V451LA.
Keyboard and Touchpad
For mouse control and scrolling, the Aspire E5-471-59RT features a 4.1 x 2.5-inch clickpad. The clickpad has a smooth matte surface and generally responded well to both mouse movements and gestures like pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling.
My impressions were backed up by our lab tests, as the Acer could only display 55.3 percent of the sRGB spectrum, barely better than the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (52 percent) but behind the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (63 percent) and the thin-and-light average of 77 percent.
At least the screen is decently bright. The panel registered 207 nits on our light meter, which is higher than the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (173 nits) and on a par with the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (209 nits).
The Aspire E5-471-59RT features stereo speakers located on the two front bottom corners of the laptop. The laptop produces plenty of volume, but it comes somewhat at the expense of quality. When I listened to Cut Copy's "Hearts on Fire," highs had a metallic sound and the bass lacked oomph.
The E5-471-59RT produced 93 decibels of sound measured from 23 inches away. This is better than the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (84 dB), ASUS VivoBook V451LA (74 dB) and the thin-and-light category average (82 dB).
Ports and Webcam
Ports are also pretty standard, with two USB 2.0 ports on the right side, and an SD Card reader up front. The left side holds the majority of ports and connections starting with a headset jack, lone USB 3.0 port, HDMI, Ethernet and VGA jacks.
On PCMark 7, the Aspire E5-471-59RT scored 2,394. That's good, but behind more expensive competition from the $669 ASUS VivoBook V451LA (2,782 with 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-4200U and 4GB of RAM), $650 Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (2,734, with 1.7-GHz Intel Core i5-4210U CPU and 8GB of RAM) and the thin-and-light average of 4,121.
The E14 copied 4.97GB of mixed-media files in 2 minutes and 54 seconds for a transfer rate of 29.2 MBps. This is faster than the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (23 MBps) but behind the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (31.6 MBps) and the thin-and-light average of 99.8 MBps (which includes systems with SSDs).
On the Laptop Mag Open Office test, the Aspire-E5-59RT matched 20,000 names and addresses in 5 minutes and 15 seconds. This is faster than the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (5:18), Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (5:58) and the thin-and-light average of 6:47.
Trying to play a newer game such as Blizzard's Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls was barely manageable. Frame rates hovered near 30 frames per second at the notebook's native resolution, but I had to keep the settings on low.
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In World of Warcraft, the E5-471-59RT managed a playable 35.7 fps at 1366 x 768 and auto settings. This wasn't far behind the more expensive Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (37 fps), but below the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (42 fps).
The Aspire E14 boasts prodigious battery life. On the Laptop Mag battery test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits), the system lasted 8 hours and 10 minutes. This was more than an hour longer than competitors such as the ASUS VivoBook V451LA (6:54), Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (5:48) and 45 minutes longer than the thin-and-light average of 7:24.
Software and Warranty
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Useful preinstalled software include trials for Microsoft Office and McAfee Internet Security Suite, as well as full versions of Skype, Netflix, Hulu, Acer Cloud and Amazon Kindle.
|CPU||1.7 GHz Intel Core-i5-4210U|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1|
|RAM Upgradable to|
|Hard Drive Size||500GB|
|Hard Drive Speed||5,400rpm|
|Hard Drive Type||Serial ATA|
|Secondary Hard Drive Size|
|Secondary Hard Drive Speed|
|Secondary Hard Drive Type|
|Optical Drive Speed|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Touchpad Size||4.1 x 2.5 inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||SD card slot|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headset|
|Ports (excluding USB)||HDMI|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Ethernet|
|Ports (excluding USB)||VGA|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 2.0|
|Card Slots||SD memory reader|
|Warranty/Support||One-year International Travelers Limited Warranty|
|Size||18.7 x 12.05 x 2.56 inches|