The Acer Aspire E 15 is a decent entry-level gaming laptop with good internals and great battery life but sadly, it doesn’t stack up well against the competition today, as there are better laptops available for the same amount of money.
- Powerful CPU
- Solid GPU for eSports and entry-level gaming
- The snappy SSD system drive
- Good battery life
- The clean and inconspicuous design
- Mediocre display
- Limited internal storage
- Will struggle running most newer games
- Dubious value in 2021
Whenever the term “gaming laptop” is mentioned, chances are it will conjure images of blocky, gaudy laptops with striking red highlights or a completely over-the-top product like the Acer Predator 21X. However, if you look at the lower end of the price spectrum, you’ll find something completely different.
The Acer Aspire E 15 is a budget-friendly gaming laptop – if we can even call it that and not just a laptop that happens to be adequate for playing some less demanding games. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at it, all the things it does right, and some things it does wrong.
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The Aspire E 15 is a fairly unremarkable laptop. It boasts a simple matte black exterior with the only standout detail being the textured back.
Needless to say, this makes the laptop quite unnoticeable, which is how most people like it. Colored highlights and flashing LED lights can look good if done right, but this particular laptop doesn’t bother with any of that. So, if you like your gaming devices and peripherals aggressive and angular, then the E 15 will leave you disappointed.
Finally, weighing in at about 5.27 pounds (2.39 kg), the Aspire E 15 weights about as much as your average laptop, and the same goes for its proportions, as it isn’t either overly bulky or ultra-thin.
The Acer Aspire E 15 won’t impress anyone with its exterior design, that’s for sure. But what about the internals?
Well, this particular model comes equipped with the i5-8250U, a solid 8th generation Intel Core CPU which has four physical cores and a total of eight threads. Its base clock speed is an underwhelming 1.6 GHz, but it can go as high as 3.4 GHz – of course, it goes without saying that pushing the CPU too hard without a proper cooling pad will lead to it heating up rather quickly.
As for the GPU, we have the Nvidia GeForce MX150, a basic but reliable mobile GPU. Though it is an entry-level solution, this Pascal GPU is quite decent when it comes to 1080p or 720p gaming. It’s about as powerful as the desktop GT 1030, so it won’t do any wonders, but it will be capable of handling eSports and older games. Anything else, however, will require some serious settings drops if it is to run at acceptable framerates.
Then, on the memory front, we have 8 GB of DDR3L RAM, which is quite sufficient for the games that this laptop can run, though some may find the lack of DDR4 in 2020 a bit off-putting – not that it makes much of a difference here, but it’s still worth noting.
As for storage, the laptop is equipped with a 256 GB NAND SSD. This is quite good considering the price tag, though it can fill up quite quickly based on what you use it for. In any case, it should be sufficient as a system drive for a laptop of this kind, and storage is easy enough to expand with the help of an external HDD or even an external SSD.
The display found here is nothing spectacular and is probably what you’d expect to find at this price point: a 15-inch 1080p IPS display. Of course, this means that the response time is the usual 4ms, while the refresh rate is also the usual 60 Hz.
Again, considering the price and that 144 Hz panels are relatively new among gaming laptops (and also considering the entry-level graphics), we can’t rightly hold anything against the E 15’s display as far as performance is concerned.
When it comes to the visuals, they aren’t as great as you’d expect, considering that this is an IPS panel we’re talking about. The viewing angles are narrow, the color reproduction is underwhelming (62% sRGB), and the brightness definitely leaves something to be desired as the display maxes out at about 230 nits, making it quite dim and unfit for use outside or in brightly lit environments.
|CPU Model||Intel Core i5-8250H|
|CPU Core Count||4|
|CPU Thread Count||8|
|CPU Base Clock||1.6 GHz|
|CPU Boost Clock||3.4 GHz|
|GPU Model||Nvidia GeForce MX150|
|RAM||8 GB DDR3L|
|Storage||256 GB SSD|
|Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Battery Capacity||2800 mAh|
|Ports and Connectors||1x HDMI|
1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
1x USB 3.1 Gen1
1x Ethernet port
1x SD card reader
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||1.2x15x10.2in (3×38.1×25.9cm)|
|Weight||5.27lb (2.39 kg)|
At the end of the day, the Acer Aspire E 15 is hardly a perfect example of a proper gaming laptop, but as an entry-level solution, it just might be worth the money.
As mentioned, the CPU is quite powerful and can handle both single-core and multi-core tasks well with its many threads. The GPU will be a great fit for eSports and older games, the RAM is more than enough, considering the rest of the internals, and the 256 GB SSD makes for a good balance of price, storage, and performance. On top of that, the battery life is quite good, as the laptop can easily last a whole day of casual use – one of the perks of power-efficient hardware.
When it comes to the laptop itself, our only real issue with it is the not-so-stellar display, though the SSD may be a bit too small for some users, as we’ve mentioned already. But of course, storage is easy enough to expand while the display is not something that can be improved with a relatively small investment on the side. Other than that, the speakers aren’t phenomenal, nor is the 720p webcam, but that is unsurprising for a laptop such as this one.
Now, considering the state of the market in 2021, we’d say that there are better solutions for entry-level gaming available. For example, the HP Pavilion which we’ve included in our gaming laptop buying guide costs roughly as much as this Aspire E 15 model, all the while boasting a significantly better GPU (GTX 1050 Ti), DDR4 RAM, a slightly more powerful CPU, a better display, plus the build quality and design philosophy that make it feel like a higher-quality product.
That said, we think that the Aspire E 15 is still a good entry-level gaming laptop in itself, though it doesn’t hold up well against the competition in 2021, which is why we’d have a hard time recommending it as a primary choice right now unless you can catch it at a discount or you just really prefer the cleaner and more inconspicuous design.