Acer Aspire E 15 is a solid choice at this price point

With 8th Gen i3, 1TB storage, costing less than $400, Acer Aspire E 15 is a powerful enough laptop and a clear best buy. It comes with “bloatware”, which you should uninstall to gain speed. The battery lasts more than 12 hours, and it’s not that heavy at 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg).

It’s not the fastest computer but an i3 in this price range isn’t going to run with the $900 machines. Setting up a simple database and retrieving information, online data searches, e-mail, and blog posting is a breeze and this E15 is more than fast enough, has plenty of storage, and a very good set of ports including VGA. The CD/DVD drive works perfectly and is a nice addition. Windows 10 is pre-installed as are the usual bloatware, easily uninstalled. Speakers actually sound pretty good. If you do not expect lightning speed, then this computer works with no problems. However, too many open applications may make it almost impossible to use.

Battery life is exceptional, making this an ideal travel machine. The screen isn’t the best. It looks a bit dull, frankly, kind of like the old TFT screens found on all those old Toshiba laptops from years ago. If you’re trying to save money on a laptop but still need deep, clear, saturated color, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

E 15 has a dedicated number pad, and a responsive enough touch pad that is very easy to use. (Using two-fingered commands on the pad is especially good on this machine.) Were it to have backlit keys and a better screen, it would be a stellar laptop. As it is, it’s a great backup and would be the perfect student computer as long as graphics aren’t terribly important. It is designed for someone who wants to go on the internet, surf the internet, stream some shows, and type some documents. It also looks great. Note that you cannot remove the battery, unless perhaps an expert opens it.

For a high powered gaming computer, it may disappoint, otherwise Acer Aspire E 15 is a solid choice at this price point.