Acer E15 E5-553-102Z: Review of A Budget Laptop Built for Power and Speed
I was rather disappointed when I found out my older HP Powerbook was going to require $300 to be repaired, and decided it would be best to purchase the Acer E15 E5-553-102Z. It caught my attention for its powerful 3.4GHz AMD A12 9700P processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM. I’ve had some pleasant experiences with Acer in the past, and some bad experiences as well. Since this particular laptop was one of the newer models (and I have had good experiences with those), I decided to give it a shot.
The Acer E15 E5-553-102Z laptop retails for a ballpark price of $550. Not bad at all considering the specifications. The body of course isn’t the most sturdy, being made of the standard plastic shell that most laptops in this price range are. So this may not be a laptop you want to hit the road with unless you have a good protective case for it. The chiclet keyboard is also standard, without any spill protection, so you may want to consider getting a keyboard cover for it if you are accident prone.
Something amiss in the specifications is that the Acer E15 E5-553-102Z system is loaded up via an SSD drive instead of optical. A rather pleasant surprise! However, very confusing when one goes to look at the system specifications and sees SSD style speeds reported with the optical drive specs.
The default Acer E15 E5-553-102Z desktop configuration definitely needs tweaking. McAfee is not a welcome guest – with 8GB of RAM, it’s still a bit top heavy for this system. I found the Avira Security Suite made an excellent compliment to this system. There also is some bloatware that may possibly be desirable to remove, though it’s not nearly as bad as some other OEMs. Once these changes are made, the system runs smooth as butter.
The webcam is okay and works reasonably well in low light conditions. It’s not high definition but it gets the job done.
The wireless networking card in the Acer E15 E5-553-102Z is great quality and most of my downloads have only taken a few seconds to complete with cable internet and a wireless AC router. There have been absolutely no intermittency issues or issues with slow internet at all. In fact, I would say the wireless internet on this laptop is one of its highlights… part of what makes it such a fantastic work machine.
The screen on the Acer E15 E5-553-102Z is meh. Improvements can be made via the AMD video configuration utility, which isn’t on its optimal configuration by default. But it can’t make up for the lack of resolution beef in the screen itself. That being said, with the RAM, processor, and SSD factored in, this makes for one very sweet work laptop.
Will you be gaming on it? Probably not due to the screen issues. But it should be great for work purposes, general entertainment, and browsing. More than worth the $550 or less you’ll be paying for it. Acer did a great job putting together a general purpose machine in the E15 E5-553-102Z laptop, as is very common for them when it comes to $500 range laptops.