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Acer Aspire E 15 vs. Asus VivoBook S15: Face-Off!

The Acer Aspire E 15 and the Asus VivoBook S15 are both high-quality 15-inch mainstream laptops that are perfect for anyone on a budget. They each pack a powerful 8th Gen Core i5 processor, but the VivoBook has a much more colorful design, while the Aspire is outfitted with a discrete GPU.

It can be hard to judge how much of an advantage one has over the other in terms of the little things when you're staring at an Amazon store page, so we compared the two machines side by side to declare a winner.

Asus VivoBook S15Acer Aspire E 15
Starting Price$699$379
ColorsSilver Blue with Yellow Trim, Gunmetal Grey with Light Grey Trim, Firmament Green with Aquamarine Trim, Starry Grey with Red TrimObsidian Black
CPU8th Gen Core i58th Gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
GPUIntel UHD 620Intel UHD 620, MX150 2GB
Diplay15.6 inches (1920 x 1080)15.6 inches (1920 x 1080)
RAM8GB6GB, 8GB
Storage Drives256GB SSD1TB 5,400-rpm HDD; 256GB SSD
PortsTwo USB 2.0, one USB 3.1, one USB Type-C, HDMI, headphone/mic, microSD slotTwo USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, one USB Type-C HDMI, VGA, RJ45, headphone/mic, SD card slot, security lock slot
Battery Life (hrs:mins)8:239:26
Keyboard Travel1mm1mm
Size14.22 x 9.58 x 0.7 inches15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches
Weight3.67 pounds4.9 pounds

Design

The Acer Aspire E 15 is lathered in a black, faux-aluminum cross-stitching, accompanied by a glossy, silver Acer logo. The interior is more of the same, with silver accents around the touchpad. While it has a somewhat premium aesthetic, the design isn't exciting.

Meanwhile, Asus' VivoBook S15 crashes the party in style, with four distinct colorful designs: Silver Blue with Yellow Trim, Gunmetal Grey with Light Grey Trim, Firmament Green with Aquamarine Trim and Starry Grey with Red Trim. The VivoBook's lid also has a brushed-aluminum design with Asus' logo smack in the middle, while the side of the laptop has a feel-good grainy texture and the interior has a cross-stitching pattern.

MORE: Best Asus Laptops

In terms of size, the VivoBook is lighter and thinner, at 3.7 pounds and 14.2 x 9.6 x 0.7 inches, than the Aspire, which is 4.9 pounds and 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches.

Winner: Asus VivoBook S15

Buy ASUS VivoBook S15 on Amazon.com

Ports

The Acer Aspire E 15's left side features two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a VGA port, an RJ45 port, a security lock slot and a USB Type-C port. On the right, there's an SD card slot, one USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, a DVD-RW double-layer drive and the power jack.

The Asus VivoBook S15 packs two USB 2.0 ports and a microSD card slot on the left side, while the right features one USB 3.1 port, an HDMI port, one USB Type-C port and a headphone jack. This machine also has a fingerprint reader embedded in the touchpad.

Because the Aspire has a wider variety of ports, as well as a DVD drive, it takes this round.

Winner: Acer Aspire E 15

Buy Acer Aspire E 15 on Amazon.com

Display

The Acer Aspire E 15's 15-inch 1080p display didn't impress us much in our lab testing. The panel covered 74 percent of the sRGB color gamut while emitting a measly 200 nits of brightness. And it doesn't help that the laptop's bezels are a bit chunky.

The Asus VivoBook S15 isn't any better in terms of color, hitting a low 68 percent of the sRGB. However, what it lacks in color, it makes up for with a solid 257 nits of brightness, as well as its ultrathin bezels.

Winner: Asus VivoBook S15

Keyboard

The Asus VivoBook S15's thin design doesn't leave much room for a comfy keyboard. We measured just 1 millimeter of travel, which is below our 1.5 to 2.0mm comfort range. But, the keyboard still passed our 60-gram minimum actuation force, with 69 grams.

In this case, being thick put the Acer Aspire E 15 at an advantage, as its keys offer 1.5mm travel and require 71 grams of actuation force.

MORE: Best Acer Laptops

The Aspire's keyboard itself looks bland, while the VivoBook's keyboard has a stylish font and rounder keys that are more well-spaced. Still, you can't beat deeper travel.

Winner: Acer Aspire E 15 

Performance

The Asus VivoBook S15 and Acer Aspire E 15 are outfitted with nearly identical specs, like an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The only difference is that the Aspire is armed with a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB of VRAM, while the VivoBook has integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics.

On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, the VivoBook nailed a score of 12,163, which left the Aspire's 9,278 in the dust (31.1 percent difference). The gap was much smaller on the HandBrake test, as the Aspire took 25 minutes and 15 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, while the VivoBook took 25:38 (1.5 percent difference).

On our Excel test, the VivoBook matched 65,000 names and addresses in 1 minute and 4 seconds, trading blows with the Aspire, as that machine hit a slower 1:30 (40.6 percent difference). When both laptops copied 4.97GB worth of data, the Aspire registered a speed of 150 megabytes per second, beating the VivoBook's 124 MBps (21 percent difference).

Winner: Asus VivoBook S15

Graphics

The Aspire's Nvidia GPU gave it a big leg up in this round. On the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, which measures the overall graphic performance, the Aspire scored 122,144, which is nearly double the VivoBook's 65,313 (87 percent difference). And on the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, the Aspire soared with 3,260, while the VivoBook couldn't break 1,000, scoring 961 (239.2 percent difference).

Winner: Acer Aspire E 15 

Battery Life

On a test that involved continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Asus VivoBook S15 lasted 8 hours and 23 minutes, while the Acer Aspire E 15 endured a longer 9 hours and 26 minutes.

While both laptops could last a full workday, the Aspire has better endurance.

Winner: 

Value and Configurations

The Asus VivoBook S15 ($699) has only one configuration, with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Intel UHD 620 GPU. But you do get the choice of four different colorful designs.

Meanwhile, the Acer Aspire E 15 has multiple configurations. The one we tested in this face-off costs $599 and comes with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2GB of VRAM. We also tested the base model, which costs $379 and drops down to an Intel Core i3-8130U CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 1TB and 5,400-rpm HDD, and an Intel UHD 620 GPU. The most expensive version sells for $799 and comes with an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU.

MORE: The Best Laptops for Business and Productivity

While the VivoBook certainly looks nicer and offers a more petite body, you can get a discrete GPU in the Aspire, and it'll save you $100.

Winner: Acer Aspire E 15

Overall Winner

While it was a tight race in terms of points, the Acer Aspire E 15 beats the Asus VivoBook S15 in this face-off. The Aspire offers more ports, a comfier keyboard, a discrete GPU and longer battery life — all for less than the VivoBook.

Acer Aspire E 15Asus VivoBook S15
Design (10)59
Ports (10)96
Display (15)79
Keyboard and Touchpad (10)86
Performance (10)68
Graphics (10)85
Battery Life (20)1715
Value and Configs (10)86
Overall (100)6864

However, it's hard to ignore the VivoBook's slim design and gorgeous color options, not to mention this laptop's brighter display. The VivoBook S15 also has a faster CPU. Overall, the VivoBook S15 is more portable and attractive, but the Acer delivers more bang for your buck.

Credit: Laptop Mag

As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.