Get an Acer Aspire 5 w/ 256GB SSD for $549

Acer is no stranger to budget laptops. In fact, its Aspire E 15 is our favorite value laptop packing an impressive amount of performance for just $349.  

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But if you need a machine that offers a little more muscle than the Core i3-powered E 15, Amazon currently has the Acer Aspire 5 for $549.99.

Traditionally priced at $600, the Aspire 5 packs the extra horsepower that the cheaper E15 lacks, thanks in part to its newer 1.6-GHz Core i5-8250U quad-core processor. Acer also fitted its machine with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. While it's possible to find a few $499 to $549 laptops with Intel's Core i5-8250U CPU, most of them rely on a 1TB 5,400rpm HDD.

This Aspire 5, for instance, costs $544 at Newegg, but features a 1TB HDD. By comparison, the Aspire 5 configuration at Amazon packs a speedy 256GB SSD. 

Other features include a 1080p 15.6-inch LCD and USB Type-C, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI connectivity. Its predecessor's battery lasted about 7.5 hours with a Core i5-7200U CPU inside, but the updated Aspire 5 should be able to endure for a little longer thanks to its newer CPU, which in some of our benchmarks has offered better battery life.

Whether you're a student on a strict budget or just looking for an all-purpose laptop that won't break the bank, the $549 Acer Aspire 5 is sure to satisfy.