Acer Aspire 1 Review: Laptop Basics On a Larger Screen

Decent, affordable laptops are currently hard to come by because so many individuals have found themselves working from home, many of whom are working alongside their children. The Acer Aspire 1, a straightforward 15.6-inch notebook with good battery life for basic home office work and leisure, is included in this category of laptops and is typically available for only $230. Unfortunately, it’s selling for more than that, so unless you’re in a desperate situation, I would suggest looking at other laptop possibilities for less than $500 first.

The Aspire 1 is all about value, just like the Aspire 5 and 7 I just reviewed. Acer can’t do much to improve this deal, though, considering its absurdly low pricing. The larger 15.6-inch display is the main selling feature in this case. Screen sizes range from 11.6 to 14 inches for models priced under $300. The other Aspire 1 laptops that Acer manufactures are 14-inch versions.

Acer Aspire 1 A115-31-C23T

Price as reviewed $230
Display size/resolution 15.6-inch 1,366×768 display
CPU 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000
Memory 4GB DDR4 SDRAM 2.4GHz
Graphics 128MB integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600
Storage 64GB eMMC flash
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Acer’s Aspire 1 is pleasing to the eye and wallet


Nevertheless, the display is not particularly bright, it fades out to the sides, and it exhibits some color inversion when viewed from an angle. Basically, you need to be seated in front of it with the screen positioned so that it is at the proper angle for you. Yet, if it’s in the sweet spot, it’s excellent for basic home and academic chores as well as video streaming. Although there is a Gigabit Ethernet socket if you’d prefer a wired connection, wireless performance is equally acceptable.

The processor, RAM, and storage are similar to those of a typical $200 to $300 Chromebook, except that this one runs Windows 10. Its 64GB eMMC flash storage makes Windows boot up very quickly in comparison to the older slow-spinning hard drives you used to get in lower-end laptops, which is advantageous if you want to install specific software. It’s important to note that while my review laptop came with the full version of Windows 10 Home, certain variants only include Windows 10 in S Mode. As a security safeguard, this version limits the software you can install to that found in the Microsoft Store; however, you can always choose to switch to standard Windows 10 if you choose.

Learn more: Which portable computer is best in 2020? Chromebook vs. Laptop

Nevertheless, if everything you do can be done in a web browser, a Chromebook—which uses Google’s more lightweight and compact Chrome operating system—might be a better option for you. I don’t say this because Windows doesn’t function well on this laptop; rather, it’s because the OS and other preloaded programs take up all except 41.6GB of its storage. Moreover, there is no room to install an additional internal drive because the storage is soldered on. Moreover, there isn’t a memory card port, so you’ll need an external drive or cloud storage if you require more capacity for data.



The rest of the Aspire 1 is a good buy if you don’t mind the storage limitations and occasionally altering your display orientation. Despite not having backlighting, the keyboard is ergonomic and has a number pad, though you might need to get used to how the buttons are arranged. The performance was smooth, and I had no trouble with the pointer jumping. Acer employed a precise touchpad that works nicely.

The laptop’s exterior is appealing, if unremarkable, and has a great metal and plastic blend. Also, it has a little weight for its size, although the lid and keyboard deck don’t bend much. Three USB-A ports, a headphone/mic jack, an HDMI output, and the aforementioned Ethernet are all located on the sides of the device. It does feature a webcam, and even if it’s not very nice, it will work if you or your children unexpectedly need to make a Zoom or Skype call.


The Aspire 1 has a pin-style connector supplied for charging, but it has a surprisingly long battery life—9 hours, 5 minutes—in our streaming video test.

Again, nothing here is surprising or exceptional aside from the cost of the laptop. The Acer Aspire 1 offers just enough to complete the bare minimum and a larger screen to do it on for individuals who require a cheap Windows laptop for simple chores, too.


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