With the recent rise (or resurrection??) of the netbooks in the form of ultralight Chromebooks paved the path for the so-called Windows-books (pun intended!!). The Acer Aspire A114-31-C5GM is one of them featuring a 14-inch HD display costing less than $225 (almost as much as a Chromebook). So let’s get into the review then.
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- CPU – Intel Celeron N3450 Quad-Core, 1.1 GHz
- GPU – Intel HD Graphics 500
- Memory – 4 GB DDR3
- Screen – 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
- Storage – 32 GB eMMC Flash
- OS – Windows 10 S edition
- Performance – This tiny machine is capable of handling almost all your day-to-day tasks. Even with its miniscule hardware configuration (Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigs of low power DDR3 RAM and 32 gigs of eMMC flash storage for bulk storage requirement), it can handle tasks like web browsing or video consumption pretty easily. Although due to its small RAM it can get overflowed very easily if you try to multitask way too much. Also, the limited eMMC storage can really cause a hindrance to the performance which is covered later.
- Feel – If you have ever handled one of those cheap Chromebooks you’d know how it feels to work with one of those made of cheap plastic that feels hollow and flexes whenever you touch them. But luckily enough, Acer Aspire A114-31-C5GM doesn’t fall in that group. The build quality is pretty good. There is almost next to no flex or distortion in the plastic chassis. The keyboard feels quite comfortable as well. The buttons are fairly well sized and well spaced. The trackpad is quite average. There is no distinct left or right buttons in it. Some users have complained that it is somewhat lacklustre in recognising the touch though.
- Storage – This model comes with only a meagre eMMC storage of 32 GB. It’s already pretty low without using any kind of external local storage like an external hard disk drive or an SD card. But on top of that almost half of the space almost always stays occupied by the Windows’ system files as installing Windows 10 safely eats up 10 to 14 GB of the storage. So it becomes inevitable to either use some local storage solution like the former ones or some cloud storage. HP Stream series laptops here take slight advantage over this one as they offer 100 GB of cloud storage in the Onedrive with each model.
- Diisplay – First things first, the display is just the worst. It is a TN display, not an IPS one. What it effectively means is that whenever you look at the screen from an angle you would find the picture to be washed out. If you ever get to meet one of those older LCD displays where the image gets black and white (or rather ‘negative like’) quickly looking at it slightly off axis, you’d know what I mean. The delta E value measuring the colour accuracy of the screen is around 3.7 and the sRGB coverage is a miniscule 55%. Both of the numbers imply a highly colour inaccurate display able to only recreate a fraction of the colour space. The only good thing about the display maybe is its high brightness level. With a brightness of 240 nits, it safely exceeds the minimum luminance limit of 200 nits.
It does have some drawbacks like the poor display quality and the limited storage. Even after considering them the positives like the good battery, the good build quality outweighs them I think. So it might be a good choice for a student mostly for web browsing and media consumption.