Acer’s Aspire E11 and V11 notebooks weigh less than 3 pounds, sell for around $250 to $400, and feature fanless designs thanks to their low-power Intel Bay Trail processors.

But when I mentioned that I’m in the process of reviewing one of these little laptops, one of the first things readers started asking me is whether it’s possible to upgrade the memory and storage.

Yes.

acer v11 opened_01

There are 13 screws on the bottom of the laptop. Remove them all and the cover pops off easily, giving you access to the battery, storage, and wireless card.

You’ll notice that the RAM is nowhere in sight — you’ll need to pop out some more screws, remove the LCD cable, battery cable, keyboard cable, touchpad cable, and speaker cable and then pop out the motherboard to get at the RAM on the other side.

I didn’t do that, because Acer was kind enough to loan me this laptop for review and I’d like to send it back in reasonably good condition (I’m not 100 percent confident in my ability to re-attach all of those cables properly). But you can find more photos in the gallery below or check out a complete disassembly guide from MyFixGuide.com.

The easiest things to upgrade or replace would be the hard drive or wireless card. Just pop out a single screw and you can replace the wireless card. Take out a few more screws and lift the edge of the motherboard a bit and the slim 2.5 inch hard drive will slide out, allowing you to replace it with another HDD or a faster solid state drive.

If you do decide to upgrade the memory, note that there’s only a single slot. The Intel Celeron and Pentium Bay Trail chips used in various configurations of this laptop should be able to support up to 8GB of RAM though, which is more than Acer offers. Most configurations of the Aspire E11 and V11 laptops come with 2GB or 4GB of memory.

acer v11 opened_03

The battery doesn’t appear to be a common size, but you might be able to find a replacement part if you look hard enough. The model I’m testing has a 46Whr or 48Whr  battery, but the cheaper E11 notebook taken apart by MyFixGuide has a 30Whr battery — so if you’ve got one of the cheaper systems with a smaller battery it might be possible to upgrade the unit by using a battery designed for the higher-end V11 laptops. It’d probably be cheaper just to buy the more expensive model — even the priciest Acer Aspire V11 sells for just $369.

Still, it’s nice to know that folks in the market for a cheap, fanless laptop who were disappointed by the use of a hard drive instead of a solid state drive can easily swap out the storage.

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23 replies on “Acer Aspire V11 fanless Bay Trail laptop is upgradeable”

  1. hi,

    I’ve been looking into the possibility of upgrading an E11 to a V11. I know the E11 lacks the sata connector, but also some other components seem to be absent

    Looking at an image of the E11 (https://www.umpcportal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Acer-Aspire-E11-internal-_1_.jpg), I can see that some AC-coupling capacitors seem to be missing that are persent in the V11 (https://www.myfixguide.com/manual/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Acer-Aspire-E3-111-Disassembly-22.JPG) near the data part of the sata connector. Curiously I can see 2 coupling capacitors there, but I would have expected 4.

    I assume that there are more differences, and to figure this out I would need high resolution images of the both sides oft the V11 mainboard, in particular in the SATA connector area

    Would you happen to have those?

    cheers, Theo

  2. I will never understand why they don’t offer a version of this with a 120GB SDD. I’m sure that wouldn’t add much to the price to replace the 1TB SATA disk.

  3. Thanks for the article! I just purchased the E1-111 with 2gb of RAM. I would upgrade to 4GB but at the local computer store, they were telling me that they tried 2 brands (Kingston and Adata) but the display would not turn on. can someone who has succesfully upgraded the memory, tell me which brand and part number they used?

    1. Notsure if it is late or not but… U need ddr3L memory with 1.35volts or lower to get it work

  4. I want to know if someone has any advice to upgrade hard disk and memory on Acer ES1-311? Is this like this one explained here?! 13 screws and then disk and then mainboard complete open to upgrade RAM?!

  5. I just wanna mention that I have an E11 and upgraded it from 2 GB of RAM to 8 GB. Units with 2 GB of RAM are almost unusable if what you want is to use anything else than the browser. Now there’s a whole world of difference in performance. The Celeron N2830 in all its glory.

    1. Can you tell wich brand and part number you used? I tried with two stripes without any luck

      1. It’s an E11 from Acer just like the others. There is a website which describes the whole process of unmounting its parts.

  6. @Brad Linder

    Would be nice if could comment on the existence of thermal throttling when the CPU pushed at 100% (or both CPU and GPU at 100%) like what the notebookcheck always do.

    I have seen this models in the flesh and I can tell you that even a display unit running idle felt quite hot at the bottom. Perhaps it was just me, perhaps not.

  7. Yeah, Acer is bent on preventing you from simply upgrading the hardware you paid for. No sale I say to them.

  8. I may have to get a Windows laptop in the future, and this looks like a good candidate.

  9. Been looking into Macbook air because of the battery life. Is there a possibility that a HD swap and maybe find a better battery can increase the bat life to 10 hours (I’m a complete newb and been stalking this website for a month.

    1. The macbook air gets that ridiculously long battery life partly because of hardware but also partly due to osx battery usage optimization

    2. There is nothing out there right now that get as good battery life as the Macs. They have highly specialized drivers for all their hardware and some awesome battery usage optimizations in OS X.

      If they weren’t so expensive I would have gotten an Air instead of the chromebook I have now…

      1. the Surface Pro 3 gets better battery life than any Apple laptop and is more portable.

        1. Do you have a link to a test or something to back that up?
          The numbers I’ve been able to find are 9h web browsing for both (11″ Air). But the Air pulls that off with a 38Wh battery compared to the Pro’s 42.2Wh. That means that the Air is more power efficient than the Pro.

          1. Thanks for the link. Had they had the same size battery my calculations tells me the the SP3 would still have won, but only with less than half a minute.

            Still, I’m very happy there’s actually some competition on the battery life front as well. Let’s hope Linux can get it’s stuff together and become competitive too!

  10. I’m interested in upgrading to 802.11ac. Does Acer typically white list WiFi modules? I ask because Lenovo and other OEMs do. Also, my searches for the Atheros card are yielding bad results (ie. it’s a single antenna card unless that 2nd antenna is for Bluetooth only for some reason). Is it dual band?

    Also, does the similar Acer B115 notebook have an 8 GB memory configuration?

    1. I have the v3-111p and have replaced the wifi card with an intel 7260 AC card which works great.

  11. Brad,
    The BEST time to do that stuff is when it doesn’t belong to you!
    I kid (kind of)
    Classy move sir!

    1. Cheap move: I don’t feel like sending Acer a check for $370 along with a dead laptop when I’m done reviewing this one. 🙂

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