Budget laptops have certainly gone a pretty long way in terms of performance and key specs. I remember just a couple of years ago when you couldn't get anything even close to decent for less than $500. However, today the landscape has truly changed and one of the companies that's more determined to prove this is Acer.
Acer has spent quite some time developing attractive laptops that cater to both our professional and financial needs, delivering the best price/spec ratio. Today's model is no different, packing an Intel Core i3, a massive 1TB storage capacity and a respectable 6 hour battery life along with an affordable price. We're talking of course about the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW. Wanna know more? Then check our full review right after the break!
Pros: Intel Core i3, 1TB storage, 4GB of (upgradable RAM), WiFi ac connectivity, extremely low price point, Intel HD 520 Graphics card.
Cons: No USB Type C ports, HD display.
Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW Review of an affordable mid level laptop
Overall design and display
We're not gonna sugar coat it, the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW has a standard laptop design that doesn't really scream "innovation" when you look at it. Sure enough, Acer isn't gonna win any design awards with this one.
That said, we do like the sober black design that sets itself apart from many low cost laptops that tend to be wayyy to colorful for our taste.
Weighing slightly above 5 pounds and measuring about an inch of thickness also means this isn't the most portable of laptops. Heck, if you want extreme portability along with many other specs we'd recommend going with the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z we reviewed a few days ago instead.
As for the display, it's a 15.6 inch LED-Backlit display with an HD resolution (1366 by 768) and your typical 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. You guessed it, nothing really groundbreaking here but then again we're talking about a budget laptop not a revolutionary laptop, be happy it's got a pretty solid performance.
Processor, RAM and Graphics chip
As we said previously, this laptop packs some serious heat where it matters; on its internals. To this point, the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW has an Intel Core i3-6100U dual core processor onboard. This is a mid level CPU that clocks in at 2.3GHz with 3MB of cache. Sure enough, it's not as good as an i5 but then again you're not paying for an i5 laptop.
That said, this CPU is pretty good at getting the job done. Anything from watching movies to editing documents and writing the next big app to hit the Play Store can be done comfortably with this 6th generation processor. Overall, you can expect performance of the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW to be pretty solid on all your basic computing tasks.
As for the RAM, as it occurs with most entry level laptops we've got the minimum needed for a fluid performance which in this case is 4GB of DDR3L SDRAM. Again, this would be the minimum necessary RAM to not throw your laptop against the wall when doing some intense multitasking work.
We should point out that you can easily upgrade RAM all the way towards 16GB and personally I'd recommend power users to at least go as far as upgrading towards 8GB which will really make a difference when working with several programs at a time. On the other hand, if you're a more casual user who's not gonna do any serious multitasking on this laptop then you should be fine with the base 4GB.
Finally, the graphics chip is an integrated Intel HD 520 Graphics. This is a pretty good graphics card for stuff like watching movies and editing videos but it's not ideal for blockbuster games.
That said, games like Titanfall 2 and Fifa 17 have proven to do relatively well on this graphics chip so we'd say that casual gaming is definitely an option as long as you play at low settings and don't expect impressive frame rates.
Battery life and storage
We're quite impressed with battery life on the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW. Specifically it packs a 4 cell 3220mAh battery that can deliver up to 6.5 hours of battery life. Even if we where to adjust our expectations towards 5 hours that's still a pretty good starting point.
It's also worth remembering that after about two years you get about half the expected battery life depending on usage so 2.5 to 3 hours of battery life on a budget laptop is pretty respectable.
Storage is a big deal not because it has the latest and greatest SSD storage (which it doesn't and doesn't really give you the option of installing) but because it's got a 1TB capacity working at 5400 rpm. Again, considering that most laptops within this price range pack about half that storage 1TB seems like a pretty sweet deal.
What can I plug in to this laptop?
We simply love this models connectivity, there's just no way around it; we love it. For starters we've got the latest WiFi ac standard featuring MIMO technology with dual band that supports both 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies. If you're not really familiar with WiFi standards we'll tell you that most laptops right now tend to go with a WiFi b/g/n connectivity. So why is this any different? Speed, of course! The ac standard means you can get download speeds up to three times faster through a compatible router.
Moving away from the WiFi standard, we've also got Bluetooth support as well as three USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0. There's also an ethernet port, an HDMI port as well as a DVD super multi drive. Obviously you've got an SD card reader as well as an audio jack, all in all the perfect connectivity combo.
What about the webcam? How's audio?
We're not gonna lie here, the webcam is a tad flimsy and we don't really recommend it all that much. Specifically, the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW has a basic 640 by 480 pixel resolution on the webcam which is a fancy way of saying that videocalls aren't gonna look like they where shot at the back lot of a Warner Brothers movie set.
Audio, on the other hand, is ok thanks to the two built in speakers which don't really deliver a true cinematic experience but they get the job done for the most part.
Wrapping it up!
Time to wrap up this review of the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW and share with you guys our final thoughts and opinions about this interesting laptop. In short; we love it. Don't get us wrong, we're well aware of its shortcomings, most notably the 4GB of RAM which as intensive users we'd definitely upgrade to 8GB in the very near future.
That said, it's got a great processor, 1TB of storage is more than enough space and battery life is pretty good. If you also take into account that this is an extremely cheap laptop then you've got yourself a winner on every category.