Acer’s new inexpensive notebooks with 11.6 inch displays, Bay Trail processors and fanless designs are now available in the United States.
The Acer Aspire E11 is a small notebook which sells for as little as $250, while the Aspire V11 has a touchscreen display and a starting price of $350 (it’s worth noting that this model also has more memory and storage space than the cheapest non-touch model).
I’m actually writing this article on an Aspire V11 that Acer loaned me to review. I probably won’t have a full review ready for another week or two, but I can say that the notebook is thin, light, offers decent performance for basic tasks, and should get reasonably good battery life.
Here are a few configurations I’ve found that are already on sale in the US:
- Aspire E11 w/Celeron N2830, 2GB RAM and 320GB HDD for $250 – Amazon
- Aspire E11 w/Pentium N3530, 4GB RAM, and 500GB HDD for $330 – Amazon
- Aspire V11 w/Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $350 – Amazon
- Aspire V11 w/Pentium N3530, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $369 – Microsoft Store
There are a few things to keep in mind about these little laptops. First, while they have no noisy fans, they do have hard drives instead of solid state storage — and thanks to the moving parts in the hard drives the notebooks aren’t entirely silent.
Second, while these notebooks have some of the most powerful Intel Bay Trail chips available, even the most powerful of the bunch is a 7.5W processor which isn’t going to offer the same kind of performance you would expect from a 15W or Haswell processor. The good news is that Bay Trail chips are generally much cheaper, which is why these systems are so affordable.
I’m testing one of the $369 models right now, and it looks like Acer’s estimate of 7 hours of battery life seems reasonable. At the same time I haven’t had any problems surfing the web with over a dozen browser tabs open or streaming internet video… and that’s about all I’ve had time to test so far.
Stay tuned for more details.