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Acer started out as an electronic parts distributor. Today, the company has grown into one of the biggest PC manufacturers in the world, belonging in the top five in terms of market share. While Acer laptops are generally affordable, they are nevertheless well designed and deliver top-notch performance. Below are three such laptops that are available on Amazon at massively discounted prices: The Aspire 5, Swift 3, and Spin 5. The first one is the best value you’ll find for something usually sold for less than $400, the second boasts boosted performance thanks to a discrete GPU, and the third is the first-ever Alexa-enabled 2-in-1 laptop. Save as much as $211 when you get them today.
If you’re averse to spending too much money on a laptop but want great performance, battery life, and features, we recommend the Acer Aspire 5. This budget-friendly laptop is available on Amazon for just $313, $37 off its normal retail price of $350. What’s more, you can get an additional $60 off instantly when you pay via the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, cutting the price further to $253. So what are you getting for such a modest expenditure, you might ask? You get an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display. But where did Acer cut corners? Read on to find out.
For starters, this laptop is not a solid slab of aluminum or magnesium. You won’t get that for the price. What you do get is a fairly rigid plastic chassis that’s reinforced with an aluminum frame. The keyboard deck resists flexing, and the plastic bottom of the chassis is solid. Overall, we have no major complaints when it comes to build quality. The bezels are also pleasantly slim (it’s not a member of the tiny bezels club though) and being just 0.9 inches thick and 3.97 pounds heavy, this laptop is pretty portable despite its 15-inch screen.
Speaking of the screen, the Aspire 5’s IPS Full HD panel is quite competitive for its price. Color accuracy was decent at 2.49 (1.0 or less is excellent, and found only on the most premium laptops), brightness was average at 238 nits, and contrast was surprisingly good at 890:1 (1,000:1 makes for the richest blacks and whites). While this is definitely not a laptop for professional photo and video editing, we think most people would find it pretty darn good for media consumption. Its backlit island keyboard is also something you normally won’t find in a budget laptop. Keystroke is a little shallow for our taste but is plenty snappy and precise. Furthermore, its Microsoft Precision touchpad is easily the equal of laptops that cost hundreds of dollars more.
The Aspire 5 comes in other configurations with Intel processors, but this deal’s unit has an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U dual-core processor. It packs plenty of power for normal productivity tasks, web surfing, working with multiple programs open, and everything else. Furthermore, its 128GB Kingston PCIe SSD is a great feature for such a low-cost laptop. Usually, you’ll find spinning hard disks in this price range, or at best slower SATA SSDs. And so while 128GB isn’t a ton of storage, its performance is plenty quick.
People don’t normally associate great graphics with affordable laptops. That’s not the case with the Acer Swift 3. This $602 laptop (it normally retails for $790 on Amazon) is outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 that’s good enough for light gaming and speeding up creative applications. Working with an 8th-gen Intel i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), this is a powerful portable computer that has all your productivity tasks covered. This laptop has a silver aluminum chassis that flexes even with just a slight bit of pressure. Despite questionable build quality, it looks pretty good, but we recommend taking extra care of it – a thickly padded laptop bag ought to do the trick.
The 14-inch Full HD screen is surrounded by comically large top and bottom bezels. Acer seems hell-bent on making all of its laptops’ screens look as outdated as possible. Thankfully, the Full HD IPS panel is packed with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Colors look good, details appear sharp, viewing angles are excellent, although, with a maximum brightness level of just 260 nits, it might be a little hard to see with harsh overhead lighting or if hit with direct sunlight. This laptop’s typical island keyboard with black chiclet keys provides sufficient travel and the keys are nicely clicky, but they are a little too firm for our taste. Extended periods of time typing might potentially be exhausting for your fingers. Fortunately, the Microsoft Precision touchpad supports the full range of Windows 10 multitouch gestures, which makes it very responsive and precise.
Finally, the Swift 3 certainly lives up to its name as it runs on the latest and greatest Intel CPU, the Whiskey Lake 8th-generation quad-core Core i7-8565U. It can deftly handle whatever productivity task you throw at it. What’s more, the Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card is a real step up from Intel’s integrated GPUs, excellent for entry-level gaming. We were able to play games like Civilization VI and Fortnite with the frames-per-second setting and resolution set at high. Battery life is also terrific. In our web browsing test, it was able to last a formidable nine hours, while our video loop test resulted in a fantastic 15 hours of runtime.
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