Notebookcheck

Acer Aspire E5-473G Notebook Review

Hot head. The Acer Aspire E5-473G is an inexpensive multimedia notebook with current components. Thanks to the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU, even gaming sessions are possible. The cooling solution, however, reaches its limit pretty quickly and the display is pretty low-cost as well.

For the original German review, see here.

Acer’s completely reworked Aspire E-series represents inexpensive all-round notebooks with a good price-performance ratio. There are four different screen sizes in total, starting with a 13.3-inch device all the way up to a big 17-inch notebook. We already reviewed the two bigger versions Aspire E5-772G (17-inch) as well as the Aspire E5-573G (15-inch). Now we are having a look at the Aspire E5-473G with its 14-inch screen. The hardware equipment is basically very similar to the bigger siblings, because once again you get a dedicated Nvidia GPU besides a current Intel ULV processor.

While there is quite a lot of competition in the market of 15 and 17-inch multimedia notebooks, the situation is a bit different for the smaller 14-inch form factor. This display size is traditionally mainly used by business and not multimedia notebooks. One comparison device for our review unit is the Lenovo ThinkPad E450, which is also equipped with a dedicated graphics card as well as a matte display. Another potential rival is the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 that we just recently reviewed with the identical hardware combination. It is a bit more expensive and more versatile thanks to the flexible hinges, but it is very well-suited to compare the performance of the hardware.

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Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940M - 2048 MB, Core: 1072 MHz, Memory: 1001 MHz, DDR3, ForceWare 347.52, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3L-1600, Dual-Channel, 2 of 2 slots occupied (up to 16 GB)
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, AU Optronics AUO1B3D, TN, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 420 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Broadwell PCH-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo jack, Card Reader: SD-card reader, Sensors: Light sensor
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.1
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUC0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 26 x 343 x 245 ( = 1.02 x 13.5 x 9.65 in)
Battery
37 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells, fixed in the chassis
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1.3 MP webcam
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Power adaptor, manual, warranty information, Acer tools, MS Office 365 (trial), CyberLink Power DVD 12, CyberLink Power Director, CyberLink Photo Director, free Windows 10 upgrade, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2 kg ( = 70.55 oz / 4.41 pounds), Power Supply: 301 g ( = 10.62 oz / 0.66 pounds)
Price
729 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The most noticeable design feature of the chassis is the cloth-like structure on the top of the lid and the bottom of the device. This does create a very appealing impression, but the structure is, unfortunately, also very susceptible to dirt and hard to clean. The matte materials continue on the inside. The display frame is made of smooth and matte plastic, while the top of the base unit is also structured.

Neither the dimensions nor the weight of 2 kg can compete with Ultrabooks, but they are still okay for a 14-inch device. The general build quality leaves a decent impression. It is possible to dent the base unit a bit, especially above the DVD drive, but there is hardly any creaking. Only the cover is too easy to twist for our taste and pressure from the back also creates picture distortions. The two hinges keep the display well in position but cannot prevent a certain amount of bouncing. There is no maintenance hatch at the bottom and the battery is fixed inside the chassis as well.

According to the Acer homepage, the Aspire will be available in six different colors (black, brown, red, blue, white, green), but the availability is limited to the black version so far.

Connectivity

The slightly "thicker" chassis is well-used, because all ports are available in the standard size. Besides the usual USB ports (2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0) and the digital HDMI output, Acer also includes an Ethernet adaptor and even a VGA port. Except for the power connector and the slot for a Kensington lock, however, all the ports are located very far to the front and are also close to each other. The rest of the space is occupied by the DVD burner and the fan exhaust.

Front: SD-card reader
Front: SD-card reader
Rear: no ports
Rear: no ports
Left side: Kensington lock, VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Left side: Kensington lock, VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Right side: 3.5 mm stereo jack, USB 2.0, DVD burner, AC power
Right side: 3.5 mm stereo jack, USB 2.0, DVD burner, AC power

Communication

802.11ac
802.11ac
802.11n
802.11n

Besides the Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-Ethernet adaptor for wired networks, you can obviously use wireless Internet connections with the Acer Aspire E5-473G as well. Acer uses a module from Qualcomm Atheros, more precisely the QCA9377 module. It supports the current Wi-Fi standards up to 802.11ac in 2.4 as well as 5 GHz networks (1x1) besides Bluetooth 4.1. According to a press release from Qualcomm, the chip is supposed to support "MU-MIMO" (multi-user multi-input/multi-output) and should work very well with products from AVM. We checked that with a Fritz!Box 7490 but could not determine any performance or signal advantages compared to the Asus RT-AC56U router.

The Wi-Fi connection was never a problem during our review period. We did not encounter any dropouts and the performance is more than sufficient for common tasks. We were able to transfer files at up to ~330 Mbps (802.11ac) or almost 60 Mbps (802.11n), respectively. The connection with a Bluetooth mouse was no problem, either.

The webcam above the display takes pictures and videos (29 fps) in the HD resolution. The quality is below-average and the results are very blurry and pale, even under good lighting conditions. The microphone leaves a better impression, but it cannot really convince us either. Voices distort rather quickly and you can also hear background noise.

Accessories

The box of the Acer Aspire E5-473G contains the notebook itself, a 65-Watt power adaptor, a quick-start guide as well as information about the international warranty. Special accessories are not available for the Aspire E5. 

Maintenance

The maintainability of the Acer Aspire E5-473G is heavily limited and basically not available for inexperienced users. However, this is not a compact Ultrabook, where all the components are soldered onto the motherboard in favor of the thickness, so we cannot really understand these limitations. There is no maintenance hatch, which means you have to remove the whole bottom cover to gain access to the components. Besides a large number of screws, the manufacturer also uses additional plastic clips that can easily break. Our review unit is a shop device, so we cannot give you any detailed information about the maintainability. We can at least suspect that both the memory (2 slots) as well as the 2.5-inch hard drive can be replaced.

Warranty

The standard warranty period of the Acer E5-473G is two years (Pick-up & Return). Customers also get a one-year International Traveler's Warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Acer uses a chiclet keyboard with black keys as well as a white lettering. The layout takes some time getting used to, because there is an additional column with function keys as well as the power button on the right side. Except for the space bar, the slightly concave keys don’t clatter and can be characterized by their firm pressure point. The travel is okay and you can only notice some flexing in the area above the optical drive. There is no criticism for the mechanics, but we cannot understand why there is no background illumination, so it is not easy to use the input in darker environments.

Touchpad

The ELAN touchpad measures 10.5 x 6.5 cm and has a smooth surface. It is a ClickPad with integrated buttons and the lower two-thirds can be used for clicking. All in all, the mouse replacement is very precise and gestures with two fingers (scrolling, for example) are executed without problems. The driver, however, does not offer any adjustability and the pad produces a pretty cheap noise during clicking.

Keyboard and ClickPad
Keyboard and ClickPad

Display

Acer equips the E5-473G with a matte Full HD panel, but it is only based on the TN technology. The native resolution of the 14-inch screen is 1920x1080 pixels, which results in a very practical pixel density of 157 PPI that can be comfortably used without scaling. There are currently no alternative display options for the Aspire E5.

Our measurements do not show good results for the panel, and this starts with the luminance. 228 cd/m² on average is not very bright, even though the situation is not much better for the two rivals. Subjectively, the colors of the panel don’t appear very vivid and dark content looks grayish. This is, however, not very surprising since the black value is pretty high at 0.54 cd/m² and only results in a contrast ratio of just 441:1 in combination with the mediocre luminance. The Lenovo E450 is on par, while the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 manages an excellent contrast of more than 1,000:1 thanks to the much lower black value. At least the brightness distribution of 90% is very even and we cannot see any screen bleeding.

226
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
238
cd/m²
225
cd/m²
226
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
AU Optronics AUO1B3D
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 239 cd/m² Average: 228.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 196 cd/m²
Contrast: 441:1 (Black: 0.54 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.64 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 11.74 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
57% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 36% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.42
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
Screen
37%
-4%
Brightness middle
238
239
0%
218
-8%
Brightness
228
227
0%
211
-7%
Brightness Distribution
90
88
-2%
76
-16%
Black Level *
0.54
0.21
61%
0.53
2%
Contrast
441
1138
158%
411
-7%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.64
5.4
49%
11.16
-5%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.74
4.71
60%
12.58
-7%
Gamma
2.42 91%
2.51 88%
2.34 94%
CCT
13043 50%
6354 102%
14940 44%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
36
37
3%
39
8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
57
59
4%
61
7%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps

The other measurements with the software CalMAN also suggest the display of a cheap office notebook, but certainly not a multimedia notebook. The average DeltaE deviations compared to the sRGB color space surpass 10 for the colors and 11 for the grayscale. All the colors are also clearly shifted towards blue. This results in a clearly visible blue cast in combination with the extremely cool color temperature of 13,043 K (ideal 6,500 K). The situation is once again very similar for the Lenovo E450, while the Yoga 3 14 has a significant advantage in this section thanks to the IPS panel. This means the display is not suited for professional scenarios, which is also confirmed by the low color-space coverage (sRGB: 57%, AdobeRGB: 36%).

sRGB coverage: 57%
sRGB coverage: 57%
AdobeRGB coverage: 36%
AdobeRGB coverage: 36%

Thanks to the matte panel surface, the notebook should be well-suited for outdoor scenarios. However, the low brightness, which is even reduced to 196 cd/m² on battery power, is just not sufficient to ensure a comfortable use in bright environments. You can still see the display content, but it will be tiring for the eyes after a short while.

Viewing angles Aspire E5-473
Viewing angles Aspire E5-473
Under the sun
Under the sun

The TN panel in the Aspire E5-473G handles horizontal shifts surprisingly well, because there are basically no picture distortions up to an angle of 45 degrees. The situation does, however, quickly change when you look at the display from above or below. The picture is much brighter from above, while there will be inverted colors from below. This also means you will have to adjust the opening angle of the display quite often in practice.

Performance

Devices from the Acer E-series are inexpensive all-rounders that are powerful enough for many usage scenarios. Our review unit is equipped with a current Intel ULV dual-core CPU, 8 GB memory and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU, so it is also interesting for casual gamers. Sufficient storage is provided by the 500 GB hard drive, which is also equipped with an 8 GB SSD cache. Other configurations are currently not available.

 

Processor

The Intel Core i5-5200U is a very popular processor for compact notebooks and is also used by our two comparison devices. The comparatively low nominal clock of just 2.2 GHz can be compensated for by the Turbo Boost, because the chip can reach up to 2.7 GHz when you stress one core (or 2.5 GHz for two cores). The dual-core CPU from the Broadwell generation can execute up to 4 threads simultaneously thanks to Hyper-Threading.

The performance of the processor is more than sufficient for common tasks. Big differences to quad-core processors can only be noticed in heavily parallelized applications. The low power consumption of up to 15 Watts is no problem and the processor can execute the Cinebench benchmarks with the maximum Turbo clock. This means the results are similar to other devices and the full performance is also available on battery power. More benchmarks and information are available in our Tech-section.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
108 Points ∼50%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
108 Points ∼50% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
97 Points ∼44% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
247 Points ∼6%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
254 Points ∼6% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
250 Points ∼6% +1%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.24 Points ∼51%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
1.25 Points ∼51% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
1.23 Points ∼50% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.75 Points ∼8%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
2.86 Points ∼9% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
2.79 Points ∼8% +1%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
5238 Points ∼51%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
5493 Points ∼53% +5%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
10676 Points ∼14%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
11307 Points ∼15% +6%
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4061 Points ∼37%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
4191 Points ∼39% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
4059 Points ∼37% 0%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
8384 Points ∼17%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
8702 Points ∼17% +4%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
5743 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
10676 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5238 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5939
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
8384
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4061
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
43.21 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.24 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
56.68 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
247 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
108 Points
Help

System Performance

The benchmark results clearly show how much the 7th iteration of PCMark benefits from an SSD. Despite the otherwise comparable components, our review unit with an SSHD does not stand a chance against the comparison devices that manage an advantage of 65% (Yoga 3 14) and 73% (ThinkPad E450) thanks to the flash storage. More interesting is therefore the newer PCMark 8 that sets other priorities in the tests. Both the Home and the Work test determine that all three devices are pretty much on par.

Subjectively, the performance of our review unit is okay. There are obviously slight delays compared to devices with real SSDs, but we did not have the impression that the notebook was too slow or sluggish during our review period.

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2780 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
4575 Points ∼50% +65%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
4797 Points ∼52% +73%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4151 Points ∼64%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
4184 Points ∼64% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
4186 Points ∼64% +1%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3167 Points ∼52%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
3041 Points ∼50% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
3299 Points ∼54% +4%
PCMark 7 Score
2780 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3167 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4151 points
Help

Storage Solution

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
HD Tune
HD Tune

Acer uses a 500 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive for the Aspire E5-473G, which combines a conventional hard drive with a small SSD storage. This small storage can be used to accelerate frequently used applications. However, the hard drive has to learn which applications you use first, and the cache is just not big enough at 8 GB for a really noticeable performance difference. The conventional part of the hard drive runs at 5,400 rpm and manages an average transfer rate of 87 MB/s according to HD Tune. This is a decent result for a 5,400 rpm drive.

You can use around 420 GB for your own files and applications ex-works. More information and comparisons with other hard drives are available in our SSD/HHD benchmark list.

Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Transfer Rate Minimum: 49.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 113.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 87.2 MB/s
Access Time: 17.5 ms
Burst Rate: 213.7 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.7 %

GPU Performance

Besides the previously mentioned dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU, the Acer Aspire E5-473G can obviously use the integrated processor GPU Intel HD Graphics 5500 as well. The switch between the two GPUs happens automatically via Nvidia’s Optimus technology, which works pretty well. It is also possible to adjust the allocation in the graphics driver.

The Intel HD Graphics 5500 is the medium "GT2" version of the GPU and provides sufficient performance for simple tasks like web browsing (including YouTube videos) as well as video playback. The IGP might even have an advantage during video decoding when the application supports Intel’s efficient Quick Sync technology.

The GeForce 940M is a mainstream graphics card that is already based on the current Maxwell architecture. It has 2 GB DDR3 video memory (64-bit interface) and a core clock of 1,072 MHz, which can be increased up to 1,176 MHz via GPU-Boost. More technical specification about the 940M is available in our Tech-section.

The synthetic benchmarks show that the graphics card can always manage a small lead over the identical 940M inside the Lenovo Yoga 3 14, while the Radeon R7 M260 in the ThinkPad E450 falls behind by up to 30 % depending on the test. The full performance of the graphics card (including Boost) is also available on battery power.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1465 Points ∼5%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
1357 Points ∼5% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
1036 Points ∼4% -29%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
6231 Points ∼10%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
5819 Points ∼9% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
4884 Points ∼8% -22%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
42423 Points ∼4%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
37830 Points ∼3% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
42260 Points ∼4% 0%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2560 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
2282 Points ∼7% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
2042 Points ∼6% -20%
3DMark 06 Standard
12138 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2560 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
42423 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6231 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1465 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The advantage from the synthetic benchmarks is also translated into the gaming performance. Tomb Raider shows an advantage between 9 and 11% compared to the similarly equipped Lenovo Yoga 3 14 depending on the settings. Except for current blockbuster titles like GTA V, for example, which require a drop to medium details, many games can be enjoyed smoothly in high settings. Left-handers could have problems with the fan exhaust on the left when they use an external mouse, but we will have a closer look at that in the Temperature section. More gaming benchmarks for the 940M are available here.

Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
18.1 fps ∼7%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
16.3 (min: 13.4, max: 20) fps ∼6% -10%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
36.8 fps ∼7%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
33.5 (min: 27.1, max: 40.4) fps ∼7% -9%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
67.5 fps ∼12%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
60.2 (min: 45, max: 74) fps ∼11% -11%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
136.6 fps ∼22%
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
123.3 (min: 87, max: 153) fps ∼20% -10%
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 136.667.536.818.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 96.0553.4343.3914.43fps
GTA V (2015) 66.9455.3415.24fps

Emissions

System Noise

The fan is usually hardly audible at ~32 dB(A) in practice. This can also be said about the hard drive, but it will produce a slight clattering periodically. The fan does not even get inconveniently loud under load and reaches up to 41 dB(A) during our stress test. It does, however, react pretty quickly to different load states and appears a bit jumpy. However, we could not notice any annoying characteristics like high-pitched sounds. The two comparison devices Yoga 3 14 and ThinkPad E450 are on a very similar level.

The DVD drive leaves a negative impression, because it can be annoying at up to 38.6 dB(A) during DVD playback, especially during quiet movie scenes. You should use headphones in this scenario if possible.

Noise Level

Idle
32.2 / 32.4 / 33.4 dB(A)
DVD
38.6 / dB(A)
Load
37.7 / 41 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test Acer Aspire E5-473G
Stress test Acer Aspire E5-473G

We can already measure a higher temperature of 36 °C at the right front while idling, which is the location of the mechanical hard drive. We can see a pretty steep temperature gradient at the left side and the hotspot is at the center of the keyboard, which can cause sweaty fingers during typing. You should also avoid the fan exhaust at the left side, because direct contact with the skin will be inconvenient. This could also be a problem when left-handers use an external mouse. It is no problem to use the device on your lap as long as you avoid maximum load.

Our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark for at least one hour) simulates maximum stress for the two components. The processor temperature quickly reaches more than 80 °C, which will cause the chip to reduce the clock to just 500 MHz. The clock is increased as soon as the chip cooled down to around 70 °C until it once again reaches 80 °C (only takes a couple of seconds) and repeats the behavior. However, the graphics card can maintain its maximum Turbo clock of 1,176 MHz and reaches up to 83 °C. The behavior of the notebook is identical on battery power. A 3DMark06 test run immediately after the stress test determined a slightly lower result (11,575 vs. 12,138 points when the device is cold).

The stress test represents a pretty impractical scenario to simulate maximum load for the system and show the limits. We therefore performed the Unigine Heaven Benchmark as well, which is a more realistic simulation for gaming scenarios. The graphics card can once again maintain its maximum Turbo clock of 1,176 MHz, but the processor only fluctuates between 800 - 1,200 MHz and just rarely manages up to 1.6 GHz. This means it could be a bottleneck in very CPU-demanding titles.

Max. Load
 41.1 °C
106 F
40.2 °C
104 F
32 °C
90 F
 
 41.6 °C
107 F
44.4 °C
112 F
32.4 °C
90 F
 
 33.8 °C
93 F
35.4 °C
96 F
36.7 °C
98 F
 
Maximum: 44.4 °C = 112 F
Average: 37.5 °C = 100 F
29.6 °C
85 F
39.9 °C
104 F
42.7 °C
109 F
30.8 °C
87 F
41.1 °C
106 F
46.7 °C
116 F
31.7 °C
89 F
34.2 °C
94 F
33.2 °C
92 F
Maximum: 46.7 °C = 116 F
Average: 36.7 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  63.5 °C = 146 F | Room Temperature 24.5 °C = 76 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.5 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.4 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.7 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.3 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 36.7 °C / 98.1 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-7.6 °C / -13.7 F).

Speakers

Speakers on the bottom
Speakers on the bottom

The two speakers of the Acer Aspire E5-473G are at the front of the bottom. The two modules are sufficiently loud, but the sound puts emphasis on the high tones and also tends to rattle. Bass is basically not available and there are no additional software tools to adjust the sound, either. All in all, not a very convincing performance.

There is, however, no criticism for the playback via headphones. The sound via 3.5 mm stereo jack is sufficiently loud and free of background noises. It is also possible to transfer the sound digitally via HDMI or Bluetooth 4.1. The connection with an external Bluetooth speaker (Denon Envaya Mini) was no problem and there were no delays during the playback, either.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is usually a bit higher than the other two rivals, which is partly caused by the mechanical hard drive. The maximum consumption under load fluctuates between 50.5 and 61.5 Watts and once again confirms the processor throttling (also see Temperature section). The power adaptor has a nominal output of 65 Watts and is therefore just sufficient to cover the maximum consumption. There is, however, not much headroom, so charging can take quite a while when you use the notebook at the same time. The power adaptor also gets very hot at 63.5 °C, so you should avoid any contact and not hide it under pillows or blankets.

Our review unit also consumed 0.1 Watts when it was turned off and 0.3 Watts in standby.

Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
Power Consumption
22%
10%
Idle Minimum *
4.6
3.2
30%
2.6
43%
Idle Average *
6.3
5.5
13%
7.7
-22%
Idle Maximum *
8.8
6.8
23%
8.7
1%
Load Average *
43.3
40
8%
43.1
-0%
Load Maximum *
61.5
40.4
34%
45.4
26%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.6 / 6.3 / 8.8 Watt
Load midlight 43.3 / 61.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Besides the slightly higher consumption values, you can also notice the smaller battery when you look at the runtime figures. While the comparison devices use a 47-Wh module each, our Aspire E5 only has a 37-Wh battery (4-cell). It is therefore clearly behind the two rivals in all scenarios.

We simulate the maximum runtime with the Battery Eater Reader’s Test (minimum brightness, energy-saving mode, wireless modules turned off), which determines almost 10 hours, while the rivals manage 5 (Yoga 3 14) and 7 hours (ThinkPad E450) more. The worst case scenario (Battery Eater Classic Test, maximum brightness, high-performance mode, Nvidia GPU) will result in a runtime of 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Especially the result in the more realistic Wi-Fi test (adjusted brightness at 150 cd/m², power profile "Balanced") is not very impressive for a supposedly mobile 14-inch notebook at 4.5 hours. The two rivals from Lenovo last at least 1.5 hours longer under the same conditions.

The playback of a DVD movie is possible for around 4 hours; a movie from the hard drive runs 1 hour longer.

Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Yoga 3 14-80JH0035GE
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZYTE256HMHP
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Radeon R7 M260, 5200U, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS
Battery Runtime
61%
62%
Reader / Idle
565
888
57%
999
77%
WiFi v1.3
280
381
36%
409
46%
Load
70
134
91%
115
64%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 25min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 40min
DVD
3h 55min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 10min

Pros

+ appealing chassis design
+ fast enough for some games
+ matte FHD display

Cons

- cooling solution not powerful enough
- CPU throttling when you use the Nvidia GPU
- TN panel with blue cast and low brightness
- ports very far at the front
- Clickpad leaves a cheap impression
- no keyboard illumination
- limited maintainability

Verdict

In review: Acer Aspire E5-473G. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.
In review: Acer Aspire E5-473G. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.

A multimedia notebook or all-rounder with a 14-inch screen is a pretty rare thing these days, because this segment is usually occupied by business notebooks. Acer's Aspire E5 wants to be an inexpensive all-rounder and can actually convince in some respects. This includes the generally sturdy chassis with the appealing design, the decent input devices and the quiet operation. The dedicated GeForce 940M also performs very well and allows occasional gaming sessions.

The TN-panel does, however, suffer from a blue cast as well as the low brightness and just cannot compete with modern consumer devices. Acer’s notebook also has some thermal issues, because the processor runs hot and has to be throttled when you use the dedicated GPU. The battery runtimes cannot keep up with the rivals, either.

You can clearly notice where Acer tried to save money. We would expect the display and the speakers in a cheap office notebook, and the cooling solution has problems with the heat of the dedicated graphics card.

You should have a look at other devices if it does not necessarily have to be a 14-inch notebook. 15-inch multimedia notebooks in particular are more common and there are more models you can choose from.

Acer Aspire E5-473G-59QT - 08/22/2015 v4(old)
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
72 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
70%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
65 / 81 → 80%
Weight
63 / 20-67 → 91%
Battery
83%
Display
76%
Games Performance
82 / 85 → 96%
Application Performance
65 / 92 → 71%
Temperature
84%
Noise
86 / 95 → 91%
Audio
55%
Camera
35 / 85 → 41%
Average
70%
77%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Acer Aspire E5-473G Notebook Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2015-08-27 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.