If you want a Windows laptop that can do it all, you usually have to pay big bucks. However, for $580 ($620 for the Core i7 configuration), Acer's Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 delivers solid features, like a colorful HD 1080p display, Core i5 power and a 256GB solid-state drive. Factor in its nearly 11-hour battery life, DVD drive and variety of ports, and this laptop is more than good enough for your work-and-play needs.
The Aspire E 15's shell is made of plastic, while its semiglossy "obsidian black" lid features a light crosshatched pattern. The deck is sturdy metal, and the bottom has a textured base with rubber grips. Though the notebook is a bit bulky, it feels durable and solid. There was no creaking when I tested this laptop, and the lid opened smoothly.
Measuring 10.2 x 15 x 1.2 inches and weighing 4.97 pounds, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 isn't the most portable 15-incher, but it's a few ounces lighter than the sub-$350 Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (5.06 pounds) and the $650 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Touch (5.4 pounds).
No port is left behind on the Aspire E 15. On the left side of the laptop, you'll find two USB 3.0 connectors (one with power-off charging), a single USB Type-C 3.1 port that accommodates up to 5 Gbps, an Ethernet port, HDMI with HDCP, and a VGA-out port. A 3.5mm headphone jack, DVD drive and USB 2.0 port sit snuggly on its right, while the front lip contains an SD card reader. With so many ports loaded into this device, you'll feel better about its thick stature.
Display: Colorful, but...
Acer's Aspire E 15 has a 15.6-inch screen that outputs impressive color and a sharp 1080p resolution. According to our colorimeter, this notebook reproduced 158.5 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is well above the 93.76 percent category average. It also outperformed the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (72 percent).
The Aspire E 15's color reproduction is fairly accurate, scoring a 0.34 (the closer to 0, the better) on our Delta-E test, again beating the category average of 2.53. And these results were evident when I watched Jessi's "Gucci" music video. Colors were vibrant, and the saturation appeared correct; Jessi's bronze skin and platinum-blond hair really popped on the screen.
Unfortunately, the Aspire E 15 was dimmer than we'd like, registering 211 nits according to our light meter. This reading falls well below the 271-nit category average, but it's close to the numbers from the sub-$350 Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (215 nits) and the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (213 nits). The viewing angles could definitely be better, too, as images inverted at 45 and 135 degrees.
Audio: Pretty good
The Acer Aspire E 15 has a satisfactory sound system. Dual stereo TrueHarmony speakers utilize foam and a "paper cone design" for accurate sound reproduction. Although the speakers are located at the base of the laptop, the E 15's audio reproduction was loud enough to fill a small to medium-size room while producing hardly any distortion. When I listened to NCT 127's "Cherry Bomb," the bass, synth and vocals were crisp and clear.
The Aspire's built-in microphone is located on the left side of the deck, slightly above the touchpad. I recorded a few sound bites to see how well the mic picked up sound, and the playback sounded accurate.
Battery Life: Excellent
By far, the Aspire E 15 has the best battery life for the price. In our Laptop Mag Battery Test, which simulates continuous web browsing, the Aspire E 15 lasted 10 hours and 59 minutes. That time is 2 hours and 43 minutes longer than the runtime from the sub-$350 Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM. The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 lasted less than half as long, at 4 hours and 25 minutes, while the category average is 6 hours and 55 minutes.
Keyboard and Touchpad: All right
The keyboard on the Aspire E 15 offers a decent typing experience. There was minimal flex and shallowness. Personally, I prefer keys that have more depth in vertical travel because I have long nails, and distances above 1.5 millimeters help me mitigate typing errors. On the Key Hero typing test, my average typing speed of 58 words per minute dropped nearly 25 percent. However, the E 15's keyboard would probably be fine for people with shorter nails. The backlighting on the keyboard is also a nice touch.
The Aspire E 15's 4.2 x 3-inch touchpad provided smooth and accurate navigation. Features such as pinch to zoom and three-finger swiping to move between apps were responsive, and I had no issue working on Windows 10.
The Aspire E 15's Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD provided adequate performance for moderate multitasking. With 10 tabs open in Google Chrome -- including streams from YouTube, Pandora and Netflix -- I didn't experience lag or buffering, and I was able to switch among tabs seamlessly.
However, the Aspire E 15 didn't have enough RAM for me to video edit on a robust program such as Avid Media Composer. If you need a laptop that can handle demanding software, you may want to consider upgrading the RAM after purchase or getting a laptop that's designed to edit video.
The Aspire E 15 scored 6,974 on Geekbench 4, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance. That number is better than the score from the sub-$350, Core i3-7100U Acer Aspire (5,408). The Aspire E 15 outperformed the Core i5-7200U Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (6,742), but not by much.
The E 15's 256GB SSD copied a 4.97GB batch of mixed media files at 195.74 megabytes per second. That's slightly below the category average (216.86 MBps), but it's faster than the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (83 MBps) and completely knocks out the sub-$350 Acer Aspire's 1TB hard drive speed (36.6 MBps).
In our spreadsheet test, which involves matching 20,000 names and addresses, the Acer Aspire E 15 took 4 minutes and 6 seconds to complete the task. That's faster than the sub-$350 Acer Aspire (5:14) but slower than the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (2:43).
When it comes to gaming, the Aspire E 15 is pretty good for the price. It comes with an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU that scored 2,037 on the 3DMark Fire Strike test, a synthetic benchmark that measures graphics performance. This mark surpasses the score from the Dell Inspiron (755) and the sub-$350 Acer Aspire (589), but it falls short of the category average (4,705).
Although the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4's graphics aren't on a par with those of more expensive gaming laptops, they're still more than suitable to play casual games like Rocket League and perform better than laptops without a dedicated GPU. In our Dirt 3 racing game test, the Aspire E 15 played the game at 65 frames per second, surpassing our 30-fps playability threshold. The category average is 55.5 fps.
The Acer Aspire E 15 stayed nice and cool in our tests. When we played a full-screen video for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured 81 degrees Fahrenheit, the keyboard was 88 degrees and the bottom registered 94 degrees. All of those temperatures are below our 95-degree comfort threshold.
Webcam: Poor quality
Most laptop webcams don't impress, and the Aspire E 15's shooter is no exception. Its 720p camera takes grainy and off-color photos. I had trouble making out my features in a selfie I took, and colors were very undersaturated, giving my skin a grayish tint. My strawberry-blond hair also appeared on the greener side, rather than orange.
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is available with a Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $580. If you're not pleased with some of those specs, you can upgrade portions with more advanced hardware. On the bottom, there's an easy-to-remove upgrade panel to switch out the RAM and storage drive.
Software and Warranty: Standard
Acer's Aspire E 15 runs Windows 10 and is preloaded with branded software, such as Acer Care Center and Acer Quick Access. Aside from Windows and Acer-specific programs, the Aspire comes with preinstalled apps such as Sling TV, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Twitter.
The Aspire E 15 is backed with Acer's standard one-year limited warranty on parts and labor. For a more detailed review of Acer's laptop warranty guidelines, check out our Best and Worst Brands Report and Tech Support Showdown.
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is a great laptop for everyday use, providing decent performance, excellent battery life and all the ports you need. For $580, the Aspire E 15 is a great value, and its upgradable components let you increase the storage or RAM.
If you have a tighter budget and lesser performance needs, the sub-$350 Aspire E 15 is an even more attractive value. However, if you'd like a moderately priced notebook that can be used for work or casual gaming, the $580 Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is a steal.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/ Laptop Mag