I mostly bought this one because the only HP/Dell I could find in this price range had a Core i5 processor, and I really wanted to upgrade from my previous A8 processor because it was really being a pain, either from its age or from my increased workload I was feeding it. Of course, it helped that this also sported DDR4 dual channel RAM, the latest WiFi tech, and not just one but two USB 3.0 ports with the addition of a USB type-C port as well. I was also quite pleased to see that it had built in Bluetooth. I honestly wasn't too ecstatic about the hard drive, because despite its size, it is still the SATA instead of SSD. I must give it credit for being revision 2 (which goes up to 3GB/s), though. Another selling point on this for me was the high screen resolution, thanks to the absence of a touchscreen. I don't really need a touchscreen for my work, and 720p is just plain awful for a 15" screen, in my opinion.
Well, first of all, color me surprised on the case design - Acer finally got its act together, and the case design is comparable to what you would find from HP or Dell. It's still plastic, like most consumer laptops are, but it at least is a much sturdier form of plastic than before, with plenty of ventilation to keep the laptop components cool. Rather than trying to go for a fancy eye catching design, Acer took the basic minimalist approach, and it still is pretty sexy despite. They also have improved upon the power supply connection, going with a discreet connector and port that is a lot less likely to be worn down and broken. A small number pad as well as multimedia keys are included on the keyboard, as well.
The system is very snappy and responsive, thanks to sporting such powerful hardware. Windows 10 runs as smooth as butter on this laptop. The Intel graphics are surprisingly good for supporting the user interface's special effects and video (though I have not tried any graphically intensive games).
The speaker sound is surprisingly crisp and loud, with great acoustics, and the ability to mimic surround sound with laptop sized speakers has obviously improved over the years. However, there is a noticeable lack of bass, so some music lovers may want to take advantage of the integrated Bluetooth to connect to an external speaker. The WiFi is snappy and fast, with no random disconnects or sluggishness, and supports 5 GHz networks (which admittedly was a huge turn on for me when checking this laptop out).
I have been surprised also by how much I actually enjoy Windows 10. Yes, you heard it. This little Linux geek actually likes Windows for the first time since XP! The Windows 10 OS is very snappy and responsive, and so far I have not came across any errors, though I know only time will tell if this version holds up better against corruption than previous ones. Windows 10 has surprised me in quite a few very crucial ways. First of all, Windows 10 has a very interesting hybrid user interface that seems to be a blend between Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. You have all those nice smooth Aero perks and transitions, along with the classic Windows 7 style taskbar. The start menu, however, is definitely Windows 8.1 all over, with the most frequently used applications represented by live tiles. Of course, if you don't like this, or require a program that isn't in the tiled menu, there's a link to the classic application menu as well. Another selling point about Windows 10 is just how beautifully integrated it is when it comes to cloud based tasks and operations. Now, you would think that this would be the part where Microsoft aggressively pushes their own cloud based services... and you would be *partially* right; Microsoft indeed does make sure that you know about all their cloud based offerings. However, the shocking part of this is that Windows 10 actually makes it extremely easy to use competitor's cloud based services, as well. The most interesting part is that you don't even have to use their competitor's software to utilize their cloud services in many cases. Much of Microsoft's default software is capable of utilizing the vast majority of cloud based services from other vendors. Additionally, while it is a little less important than the aforementioned, the customization features are the most flexible yet to be seen in Windows OS, and the end results are quite simply stunning; it doesn't even seem to matter what images or colors you choose, the end result is always gorgeous.
Overall, this laptop is an outstandingly great buy at only $500-550. If you are checking out another brand in this price range, wishing you could afford an Intel Core i7 laptop instead of an Intel Core i5, and you don't mind skipping the touchscreen feature that almost every laptop seems to sport now in every price range... this is definitely the laptop for you.
You can find the Acer Aspire E15 model E5-575-72L3 at the following online retailers: