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Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q (i5, 840M) Notebook Review

Nino Ricchizzi (translated by Martina Osztovits), 09/01/2014

Big brother. Is bigger also better in this case? Our comparison review will uncover this with respect to old problem areas such as the display. The 15.6-inch model achieved consistently strong results in our previous review. We expected the same from this device, when we started the test.

Aspire E5-771G-553Q

For the original German review see here.

In our previous review, the Aspire E5-Series performed quite well, so we expected much from the Aspire E5-771G-553Q. In order to avoid duplications, we will refer to the relevant sections in the previous review.

The 17.3-inch model of the E5 series also features a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 840M graphics card and an Intel Core i5-4210U processor, 8 GB of DDR3L RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. Acer does not charge a different price, either, so, the Aspire E5-771G-553Q also costs about 700 Euros (~$920). The main difference is the larger, matte display. Because of its features, the Acer is definitely a multimedia notebook.

For a prudent buying decision, we will compare the test model to several competitors. The first one is the MSI GP70, which costs 100 Euros (~$130) more and features an Intel Core i5-4200H CPU instead of a ULV processor. In order to stay in the same price range, we also added the Asus X750LN-TY012H with Intel Core i7-4500U processor, but without Full HD display to our comparison.

Case & Connetivity

Size comparison of the two Acer models
Size comparison of the two Acer models

Like its smaller brother, the Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q also features an elegant brushed aluminum look. Since our test model is gray, you will realize that this is a variation of the black 15-inch model. Nevertheless, it feels good to the grip with a height of 28 mm (1.1-inch). The simple Acer feels nice to the touch. The weight of 2920 g (6.5 lbs) does not have a negative impact either. Overall, the build quality seems good enough. Because of the materials used, the stability is not particularly high. Acer sticks to its policy in terms of maintainability and makes it difficult, as neither battery nor components can be replaced without completely opening the keyboard unit.

The addition of further  USB-3.0 ports and interfaces further towards the back, at least on one side, are positive improvements. Otherwise, there are no differences. It is still a drawback that the USB 3.0 ports are on a single side.

Many automatic downloads were used to test the average bandwidth of the WLAN adapter. The router was a floor above the notebook. The Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q achieved an average download rate of 4 MB/s, while a MacBook Pro Retina (Late 2013) model reached 5 MB/s. The difference disappears if the notebook and router are on the same floor.

Right: 2 x USB 2.0, DVD drive, Kingston Lock
Right: 2 x USB 2.0, DVD drive, Kingston Lock
Left: power-in, 1 x VGA, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, AudioCombo
Left: power-in, 1 x VGA, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, AudioCombo
Front: SD card slot
Front: SD card slot

Input Devices

Good input devices
Good input devices

The input devices are the same as that of the 15-inch model. Further details about them are available there. Unfortunately, the larger model does not have special keys despite ample space. The big touchpad of the Acer, which uses all of the available space and has good gliding traits, is still impressive. Acer rightly promotes this component. Keyboard grip is high enough to fast touch-type without problems. Key travel, and the stability of the keys, could still be improved.

Display

Coverage of AdobeRGB
Coverage of AdobeRGB
Coverage of sRGB
Coverage of sRGB

The size of the display is not the only change. While the 15-inch model only achieved an average brightness of 216.9 cd/m², the Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q accomplished a great 364.9 cd/m² and, so, performs significantly better than the competition. The contrast of 931:1 is exemplary in this price range. The Asus model neither features Full HD, nor can it keep up with the Acer in any other aspect. But, the MSI GP70 comes in close behind. The only disadvantage is that the brightness falls to 265 cd/m² on battery, as did the Acer Aspire E5-571G's. The black value of 0.42 cd/m² is above average for this category.

The color coverage would also be of interest for professional use. But, with 54.01% of AdobeRGB and 73.4% of sRGB, it is not adequate.

378
cd/m²
381
cd/m²
378
cd/m²
353
cd/m²
391
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
359
cd/m²
363
cd/m²
344
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 391 cd/m² Average: 364.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 265 cd/m²
Contrast: 931:1 (Black: 0.42 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.92 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 11.1 | - Ø
54% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.5

Thanks to the excellent brightness distribution, the Acer can be used outdoors without problems anytime you want to use a 17-inch notebook outdoors. The CalMAN analysis shows a grayscale DeltaE 11.1, which means that the display has a clear blue tint, that fortunately disappears to a large extent after calibration. The average color checker dE2000 of 9.92 is also quite high.

The evaluation of the viewing angle stability shows that lateral viewing hardly has an impact on colors or brightness. The result is still good at 45°. Unfortunately, colors quickly and dramatically change with the opening angle.

Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability
The Acer performs well...
The Acer performs well...
...outdoors
...outdoors
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Gray levels before calibration
Gray levels before calibration
Gray levels after calibration
Gray levels after calibration
Colors before calibration
Colors before calibration
Colors after calibration
Colors after calibration

Performance

No maintenance hatches
No maintenance hatches

Thanks to Intel Core i5-4210U CPU and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 840M, the Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q has sufficient performance. The hardware can be used for a wide range of applications with some compromises. Gaming enthusiasts and office users alike could like the E5-771G. In case you want more performance or faster access times, Acer has made replacing components difficult. Neither the battery nor the hard drive can be replaced via maintenance hatches. The complete keyboard unit has to be removed in order to repair the laptop.

Processor

The test model uses the same hardware as the 15.6-inch model. With a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-4210U CPU, the Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q should have sufficient performance for everyday tasks. The Turbo can increase the clock rate up to 2.7 GHz. The "U" in the name refers to a maximum TDP of 15 Watts. The MSI GP70 does not feature a ULV CPU, which is significantly more powerful with its Intel Core i5-4200H. Although the other device in our comparison, the Asus X750LN indeed features a power-saving CPU, it is an Intel Core i7 model. We use Cinebench R15 for ranking the competitors. With 225 points, the Acer is 44% slower than the powerful MSI GP70, but you also have to consider the MSI CPU's maximum TDP of 47 Watts. The Intel Core i7 ULV processor in the Asus cannot achieve the MSI's performance either. Nevertheless, it is 18% faster than the Acer. The ranking is the same in the single core test, but the differences decrease, especially the MSI is only 26% instead of 44% faster.

When we run the same test on battery, the Turbo of the CPU is not used and the clock rate remains constantly on the base clock of 1.7 GHz. As a result, the performance is significantly lower in Cinebench R15. The laptop looses 60 points in the multi-core test and about 35 points in the single-core test.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
GeForce 840M, 4210U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
102 Points ∼55%
MSI GP70-2PEi545
GeForce 840M, 4200H, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
129 Points ∼70% +26%
Asus X750LN-TY012H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
117 Points ∼63% +15%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
GeForce 840M, 4210U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
225 Points ∼15%
MSI GP70-2PEi545
GeForce 840M, 4200H, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
324 Points ∼21% +44%
Asus X750LN-TY012H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
265 Points ∼17% +18%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.89 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.44 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
34.61 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
102 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
225 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
59.61 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

Performance in everyday tasks is actually one of the most important criteria. Apart from benchmark results, our subjective impression was good. The results of PCMark 7 benchmarks definitely prove our impression. Despite different processors, all models in our comparison are about on par.

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
GeForce 840M, 4210U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2787 Points ∼35%
MSI GP70-2PEi545
GeForce 840M, 4200H, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2965 Points ∼37% +6%
Asus X750LN-TY012H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2913 Points ∼36% +5%
PCMark 7 Score
2787 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2850 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3445 points
Help

Storage Devices

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark 3.0

A Western Digital hard drive with a  capacity of 1 TB and  a revolution speed of 5400 rpm is used for storing data. The other models in our comparison also feature magnetic hard drives and perform worse than the Acer in the reading and writing tests of CrystalDiskMark 3.0. The WD is average compared to all other hard drives we tested in the last 12 months.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Write Seq (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
GeForce 840M, 4210U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
101.3 MB/s ∼4%
MSI GP70-2PEi545
GeForce 840M, 4200H, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
82.16 MB/s ∼3% -19%
Asus X750LN-TY012H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
98.75 MB/s ∼4% -3%
Read Seq (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
GeForce 840M, 4210U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
101.9 MB/s ∼3%
MSI GP70-2PEi545
GeForce 840M, 4200H, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
84.12 MB/s ∼3% -17%
Asus X750LN-TY012H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
98.26 MB/s ∼3% -4%
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Sequential Read: 101.9 MB/s
Sequential Write: 101.3 MB/s
512K Read: 39.23 MB/s
512K Write: 52.18 MB/s
4K Read: 0.487 MB/s
4K Write: 1.218 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 1.274 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 1.167 MB/s

Graphics Card

Apart from the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400, the Acer uses a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 840M when performance is needed. Since our test model uses the same graphics card as the 15.6-inch model, we refer to the benchmark results of Acer's Aspire E5-571G-536E and to our benchmark list of notebook graphics cards. The analysis of 3DMark 11 shows that the competitors perform slightly better because of faster processors. Otherwise, the performance is in the normal range for these components.

The performance falls by about 10% in 3DMark 06 on battery.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
2361 Points ∼9%
MSI GP70-2PEi545
2562 Points ∼10% +9%
Asus X750LN-TY012H
2459 Points ∼10% +4%

Legend

 
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q Intel Core i5-4210U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
 
MSI GP70-2PEi545 Intel Core i5-4200H, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Asus X750LN-TY012H Intel Core i7-4500U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3DMark 06 Standard
10204 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2361 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5540 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1324 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Thanks to powerful components, gaming is possible. We ran BioShock Infinite as an example and it runs smoothly with high settings. It even achieved the same frame rate on battery. Although the MSI GP70 achieves better results, it also cannot run the game with maximum settings. Please refer to our gaming performance of current notebook graphics cards FAQ for more benchmarks.

Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
GeForce 840M, 4210U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI GP70-2PEi545
GeForce 840M, 4200H, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Asus X750LN-TY012H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
BioShock Infinite
12%
4%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
13.4
14.8
10%
14
4%
1366x768 High Preset
38.7
43.7
13%
40
3%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 79.947.738.713.4fps

Emissions

System Noise

Fan frequency diagram (off - light blue, idle green to full load)
Fan frequency diagram (off - light blue, idle green to full load)

The system noise of the 17.3-inch model is  "audibly" different to that of the 15.6-inch model. First of all, the fans are always audible and louder while idling. This does not mean that the noise is annoying. It is quite quiet - particularly under load. The fan control initially uses the maximum level after a long stress test and the fans remain in idle mode for a long time during the 3DMark 06 test.

Noise Level

Idle
30.8 / 31.2 / 31.4 dB(A)
HDD
34 dB(A)
Load
33 / 39 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-300 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The increase in temperature is relatively low. The hot spot is just about 40 °C (104 °F), which is comfortably low. In contrast, the MSI GP70 suffers from temperatures above 47 °C (117 °F). We ran our stress test with FurMark and Prime95 to check the temperature inside. We did not observe throttling after the first hour. The clock rate not only did not fall below the base clock of 1.7 GHz, but the Turbo even ensured a higher average clock rate of 2.1 GHz.

Max. Load
 36 °C36 °C26 °C 
 35 °C30 °C27 °C 
 30 °C36 °C29 °C 
Maximum: 36 °C
Average: 31.7 °C
29 °C38 °C39 °C
27 °C28 °C40 °C
31 °C25 °C26 °C
Maximum: 40 °C
Average: 31.4 °C
Room Temperature 22 °C | Raytek Raynger ST

Speakers

Frequency diagram Pink Noise
Frequency diagram Pink Noise

As with most notebooks, the two speakers can only measure up to a certain extent. Basses and lower mid-tones are hardly audible, higher mid-tones are completely missing. In general, the speakers are sufficient for usual home use, but demanding music listeners should use external devices. The volume of 79 dB(A) is adequate, too.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of 5.8 Watts to 13.3 Watts is slightly higher than the Asus X750LN's and lower than the MSI GP70's while idling. Due to more powerful processors in the competitors, the order changes under load. The MSI GP70 needs 78.6 Watts, up to 26 Watts more than the Acer Aspire 771G-553Q.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.8 / 11.6 / 13.3 Watt
Load midlight 41.4 / 52.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Up to this point the 17-inch model was always on par with the Acer Aspire E5-571G. While Acer invested in the display, they saved costs in battery. The 4-cell battery only has a capacity of 48 Wh, while the 15-inch model features a 58 Wh battery. Usually, larger notebooks need bigger batteries - but not here. As a result, the battery life is 3:15 h in the WLAN test. Acer talks about 4 h, but this can only be achieved with idle periods. Only the Asus X750LN achieves a battery life of above 4 hours in the WLAN test.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
3h 15min

Verdict

The Acer E5-771G
The Acer E5-771G

Finally, we want to summarize the review and determine whether the Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q qualified as a multimedia notebook. While the case is made from plastic, it looks elegant thanks to a brushed aluminum look. We liked the input devices. The keyboard is apt for fast touch-typing and the touchpad convinces with size, responsiveness and multi-touch support. The good TN panel was a surprise. Its brightness is impressive and its contrast good for this price range, especially when compared to the 15-inch model. The Nvidia GeForce 840M and Intel Core i5-4210U let us expect good system and gaming performance. In particular, the maintainability is a point of criticism. Not even the battery can be removed without completely removing the keyboard. The system noise when idle is also poor. Although the notebook is always constantly quiet, the fan noise is always audible. The battery life is a huge step backwards. A 17-inch notebook seems to have more space for components. Nevertheless, its battery is smaller than the Acer Aspire E5-571G-536G's. As a result, the battery life is shorter. If you do not mind these small inconveniences, you can be very satisfied with the Acer Aspire E5-771-553Q for 700 Euros (~$920).

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In Review: Acer Aspire E5-571G-536E. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.de
In Review: Acer Aspire E5-571G-536E. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.de

Specifications

Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 840M - 2048 MB, Core: 1029 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, DDR3, nvlddmkm 9.18.13.3291 (ForceWare 332.91) /Win8.1 64, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3 L
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, CMN N173HGE-E11, TN panel, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
Storage
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0, 1024 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 882 GB of 913 GB free after the first boot, 882 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: audio combo, Card Reader: SD, Sensors: brightness sensor
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR9565 (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8E2Q
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 28 x 423.3 x 290 ( = 1.1 x 16.67 x 11.42 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 4 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1.3 MP
Additional features
Speakers: two stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.93 kg ( = 103.35 oz / 6.46 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
700 Euro

 

Similar Laptops

Devices from a different Manufacturer and/or with a different CPU

Acer Aspire E5-771G Notebook Review
GeForce 840M, Core i7 5500U
Review Asus X750LN-TY012H Notebook
GeForce 840M, Core i7 4500U

Devices with the same GPU

Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE Convertible Review
GeForce 840M, Core i7 5500U, 15.6", 2.271 kg
Acer Aspire V3-572PG-604M Notebook Review
GeForce 840M, Core i5 4200U, 15.6", 2.5 kg
Acer Aspire E5-571G Notebook Review Update
GeForce 840M, Core i5 5200U, 15.6", 2.5 kg

Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+solid notebook for 700 Euro
+system noise under load
+good touchpad
+24 months manufacturer's warranty
+does not get too hot
 

Cons

-erratic noise while idle
-limited maintainability
-battery life

Shortcut

What we like

The Acer E5-771G performs very well in most aspects.

What we would like to see

A robust case, maintenance hatches, a longer battery life

What surprises us

You'll get a good all-rounder for 700 Euros (~$920).

The competition

We added the MSI GP70 to our comparison since it is an interesting model because of its fast CPU. Furthermore, the Asus X750LN should not be missing here as it competes with the frugal Intel i7-CPU in the same price range.

Rating

Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q - 08/21/2014 v4(old)
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
67 / 81 → 83%
Weight
58 / 67 → 81%
Battery
77%
Display
82%
Games Performance
80 / 85 → 94%
Application Performance
71 / 92 → 77%
Temperature
91%
Noise
88 / 95 → 93%
Audio
50%
Camera
58 / 85 → 68%
Average
74%
80%
Multimedia - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q (i5, 840M) Notebook Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2014-09- 1 (Update: 2014-09- 4)