The PC market has never really been big in India in terms of volume, given that most machines cost a bomb, and you’re not likely to get all the SKUs in India. And while smartphones have taken off in a big way, laptops still remain something that only a few will consider purchasing. After all a laptop requires a purpose, and if you are just planning to watch movies, then a smartphone can do the job these days.
The other problem is that the sleeker ultrabooks from HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer will cost you well above Rs 60,000, and the more power you want, the higher the price. Nonetheless PC makers have introduced options in the Rs 50,000 range with the latest Intel 7th generation processor. We tried out Acer F5-573G for sometime, and here’s our review.
Specifications: 15.6-inch LCD display with LED (1366 x 768 pixels) | Intel Core i5 7th Gen 7200U processor | 940 NVIDIA GFX+ 2GB GPU| 4GB RAM+ 1TB HDD | Windows 10 Home | Memory Card Reader, DVD-Writer. HDMI | One USB 2.0 Port |Two USB 3.0 Ports | Two Stereo Speakers| 65 W AC Adapter W with Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery with 4 Cell | Weight: 2.3 kgs
Price: Rs 48,999
Acer’s Aspire F5-573G is a pretty sturdy and yes, heavy laptop. Acer F5 series comes with all-aluminum cover with patterns on the top surface. The silver/grey model is subtle and understated, which is not a bad thing. As a laptop, this is not one of the sleeker options you can buy. Everyone won’t be comfortable lugging around something this big, but then remember ultrabooks mean you’ll have to pay a lot more.
The overall build quality is inspiring and for its price of Rs 49,999, you are getting a pretty decent machine. Plus there is the option of boosting RAM to a maximum of 32GB as the computer comes with two memory slots, which is always a good thing.
So what’s good?
I was initially apprehensive trying out a laptop with 4GB RAM because inevitably that means Google Chrome — on which we do most of our work these days — will crash and Microsoft Word will take ages to load. But on the performance front the Acer F5 gave me very little cause of complaint. For those looking to get a big PC for their daily office, which involves mostly browser based work or editing documents, spreadsheets, etc the Acer F5 does the job.
I used the PC for typing some of my articles, editing stories from home which usually involved cropping photos on Pixlr Editor as well along with browsing the internet, etc. There were times when the Chrome browser would get slow, but not enough to get me irritated and worked up.
On the battery front, expect around eight hours with this if you’re constantly on Chrome, which is not so bad. My new MacBook Air lasts around the same (at times lesser) if I’m on Chrome most of the time, and given this laptop costs less than that, I’d say it does reasonably well on the battery front.
The two stereo speakers mean you can also use this for watching videos, movies. I watched a slightly older print of Devil Wears Prada on this, and I didn’t feel the need to crank up volume, which is always a good thing on laptops. The laptop also comes with a DVD writer option for those who still invest in these and like to actually ‘own’ their movies, music. That’s something you are not likely to get in most laptops these days so keep that mind.
The full-size keyboard will appeal to the old-school folks. It took me a while to adjust since I do most of my typing on the Air or a touchscreen, but the keys have good travel and this certainly one of the best touchpads that I’ve tried.
So what’s not so good?
The lack of a full HD display resolution is disappointing, especially when you can spend just a couple of thousand rupees more to get a laptop with a better screen. Given most content is now in 1080p and higher, this low-resolution display makes little sense. Plus Acer has another model in this range with more RAM and a full HD display.
The 4GB RAM means this is not the fastest PC, and there were times when apps would crash or the Explorer tabs would freeze. Finally, this is a seriously heavy laptop to lug around, and nobody is a fan of those anymore.
Should you buy?
If you’re okay with the size and the lack of a full HD display, this is a pretty good option in the market. You’re getting the 7th generation i5 processor, a decent battery life, 1TB space and pretty much all the ports that you need for just under Rs 50,000. If your main usage is just watching movies, or browsing the web, and you’re not too fussy about resolution, the Acer F5-573G can be on your list.