The Bottom Line
Sep 4 2013 - Acer has addressed many of the issues that existing with the previous Aspire E1 model with the new Aspire E1 572-6870. The big surprise is the new and faster Core i5 processor included with the system. This allowed Acer to trim some weight and thickness off the system by using a smaller battery. The big downside here is that the battery life did decrease a bit and there is no DVD burner which is something that can be found on competing systems of similar dimensions and weight.
- New and Faster Core i5 Processor
- Thinner and Lighter Than Past Model
- Smaller Battery Reduced Battery Life a Bit
- No DVD Drive
- Intel Core i5-4200U Dual Core Processor
- 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 4400 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- One uSB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 15" x 10.1" x 1.0" @ 5.2 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 15.6-inch
Sep 4 2013 - The Acer Aspire E1 572 is essentially an update of their previous Aspire E1 571 budget laptop. For the most part, the system looks very similar but they have made the color a bit more uniform rather than the two tone look. The system has gotten a bit thinner at one inch thick and lighter in the redesign as well.
The big change with the Aspire E1-572-6870 is the introduction of the 4th generation Intel Core i processor. This is surprising as the Intel Core i5-4200U dual core processor is not typically seen in laptops priced under $500.. The processor is an ultra low voltage model that is typically found in many ultrabooks but it is also being used for more traditional laptops as well because it is power efficient and still provides enough performance for the average user. Its performance is not going to be as quick as a traditional Core i3 class laptop processor but it is faster than the low voltage Core i3 processors found in most of its competition. The processor is matched up with 4GB of memory which offers a smooth overall experience with Windows 8 but there is space within the system to be upgraded with a second memory module for 8GB.
As this is a budget class system, the storage for the Acer Aspire E1 572 is not all that different from past laptops. It still relies on a traditional hard drive which means that it has a fair amount of space thanks to its 500GB drive but performance is a bit underwhelming. Boot times will take over a half minute into the operating system. This is disappointing as more and more systems are starting to feature small solid state drives for caching to help speed up these times but they still haven't quite reached this price segment. If you do need additional space, there is a single USB 3.0 port on the left hand side. Like many newer systems, there is no DVD drive which are being used less and less thanks to digital software distribution.
Like all budget systems, the 15.6-inch display panel on the Acer Aspire E1 uses a fairly low 1366x768 display resolution. With the rise of high resolution displays in many tablets this makes the image have much less detail but this is still the norm for low cost laptops. It is the same TN display technology that is very affordable but provide it with more limited viewing angles and just decent contrast and brightness levels but it is acceptable for this price bracket. The graphics have been upgraded to the Intel HD Graphics 4400 that are built into the Core i5 processor. While this does offer improved 3D performance, it still really is not suitable for 3D PC gaming expect on older titles at lower resolutions. What this does offer on the other hand is improved media encoding speeds when used with Quick Sync compatible applications.
One of the ways that the Aspire E1 572-6870 achieves its lighter weight and thinner one-inch profile is from the reduction of the battery from a six cell 48WHr battery to a smaller four cell battery with a 35WHr capacity. Now the new Haswell processors are much more efficient than the past generation which means that Acer still lists the maximum running time at roughly four hours. In my digital video playback testing, the running time did drop a bit to three and a quarter hours but this is a very small drop from the past version. This is well short of the older HP Envy Sleekbook 6 that achieved over five hours but that model has since been discontinued with no equivalent to replace it.
Being a 15-inch class laptop, the Acer Aspire E1-572 features a lot of space for its keyboard such that it includes a numeric keypad and features large shift, enter and backspace keys. The design is the fairly common isolated keyboard and it is recessed sligthly into the keyboard deck. Overall, it offers a decent level of comfort and accuracy. The trackpad that is centered on the space bar. It features dedicated buttons rather than integrated ones but uses a rocker bar style rather than individual right and left buttons. Overall, it provide a good overall level of accuracy but had a couple issues with a few of the less commonly used Windows 8 multitouch gestures.
The original list price of the Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 was $580 but it is possible to find it via retails for $500. This puts it at the upper limit of my budget threshold. This makes it slightly more expensive than most systems based upon the previous generation of processors.. The closest competitors for this system would be the Dell Inspiron 15. The big difference with the Dell is that it is just as thin and light but also features a DVD burner, extra USB 3.0 port and slightly better battery life. The downside is that it uses a slower Core i3-3227U processor but this may not be a big issue for many as it does come at a lower price point than the Acer.