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Acer Extensa 2509-C052 Notebook Review

Nino Ricchizzi, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/29/2014

Survival pack. Acer's Extensa 2509 focuses on the basic application scenarios - for a competitive price of just 270 Euros (~$338). But how high can the standard be for a laptop of this price?

For the original German review, see here.

Acer expands its entry-level line with a laptop for 270 Euros (~$338). This low price level is made possible by Intel's Celeron processor, Windows 8.1 with Bing, a low-cost TN screen, and other low-budget components. We still remember the identical looking 2510 line that had an Intel Core i processor and twice the working memory for 160 Euros (~$200) more. But what can we expect from this austerity package, and for which application fields has the Extensa been designed?

We used Packard Bell's EasyNote TF71BM, Lenovo's B50-30, and the Aspire E1-532 also from Acer for making comparisons in this price range.

Case & Connectivity

Acer's black laptop is made of a matte plastic casing. The plain device has an overall nice feel owing to its many curves and sleek design. We found weaknesses in the form stability on the touchpad's sides. The Extensa can be dented easily in these places. The same was discovered on the base unit, though it made a robust enough impression in total. Unfortunately, there is no maintenance cover for replacing or repairing components like working memory or hard drive. The battery can be removed with tools. The review sample's weight of 2275 grams is acceptable, and the laptop is comfortable to carry around. 

The interfaces cover the basic needs of all conventional devices. The ports are located on the front sides, which enables quick access. The drawback of this design is that long cables and plugs could become interfering on the desk and in the work area beside the device. Only one of the three available USB ports is a USB 3.0 interface. 

Plain design and a matte...
Plain design and a matte...
...plastic casing adorn...
...plastic casing adorn...
...Acer's Extensa 2509.
...Acer's Extensa 2509.
Front: SD-card slot
Front: SD-card slot
Right: 2x USB 2.0, DVD drive, power socket
Right: 2x USB 2.0, DVD drive, power socket
Left: Kensington lock, VGA-out, Ethernet, HDMI-out, USB 3.0, combo-audio jack
Left: Kensington lock, VGA-out, Ethernet, HDMI-out, USB 3.0, combo-audio jack
A rear view of Acer's Extensa
A rear view of Acer's Extensa

Input Devices

The big touchpad replaces the mouse
The big touchpad replaces the mouse

The potential buyer will notice the big touchpad that incorporates both keys favorably. Normal gestures are implemented immediately and smoothly on the suave surface. There were some minor issues with multi-touch gestures when scrolling. Scrolling gestures were often delayed and only implemented with interruptions. Furthermore, we noticed that the mouse cursor jerked severely after our benchmarks.

The roughened chiclet keyboard typing feel is firm; the stiff keys with a firm stroke mechanism are the decisive factor. The positioning of the shift key will be uncomfortable for untrained fingers because it abuts almost directly to its neighboring key. The spacing between the hashtag and enter keys is also narrow, but that is not annoying there. Acer installs a complete number pad beside it, but, unfortunately, there are no special keys.

Display

Acer's Extensa outdoors
Acer's Extensa outdoors

The 15.6-inch TN screen with 1366x768 pixels has a low average brightness of 176.9 cd/m². No significant difference is seen in battery mode. The review sample's contrast of 418:1 and black level of 0.45 cd/m² are within a normal range for this price level.

170
cd/m²
164
cd/m²
171
cd/m²
179
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
173
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
181
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Chi Mei CMN15BE N156BGE-E31
X-Rite i1Pro 2 // Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 188 cd/m² Average: 176.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 187 cd/m²
Contrast: 418:1 (Black: 0.45 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.65 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 9.63 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
42% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.39

The only moderate screen brightness makes outdoor use in bright surroundings difficult. However, the device can principally be used in cloudy conditions owing to its matte screen.

The viewing-angle stability of Acer's Extensa 2509 is not convincing, but that is not very surprising in this price range. Colors and the screen's brightness deviate obviously when it is tilted or moved laterally.

The analysis of the reproduced colors results in an average shift of 8.65 from the sRGB color gamut (ColorChecker), and 9.63 from the grayscale. Again, the device is in the average of its class. The color-space coverage is also too low for professional use.

CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
In cloudy conditions
In cloudy conditions
Adobe color-space coverage
Adobe color-space coverage
sRGB color-space coverage
sRGB color-space coverage

Performance

The Aspire wants to be a 15.6-inch laptop with enough power for office and Internet tasks for a price of 270 Euros (~$338). Acer also offers different alternative configurations, such as with Intel's Pentium N3530 alongside 4 GB of working memory, for higher performance. A surcharge of 30 Euros (~$37) is demanded for that.

HWInfo64
HWInfo64
System information
System information
CPU data
CPU data
Motherboard
Motherboard
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
System information
System information


Processor

Our review sample is equipped with an Intel Celeron N2930. This quad-core CPU is mostly used in smaller 11-inch devices. Its clock rate ranges from 1830 to 2160 MHz in the standard case. Acer's laptop clearly stands out from its contenders in the CPU benchmarks owing to the new Celeron series. The scores of the Cinebench tests were identical in both AC and battery modes.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Extensa 2509-C052
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.4 Points ∼16%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.44 Points ∼18% +10%
Lenovo B50-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2815, Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
0.32 Points ∼13% -20%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.61 Points ∼25% +53%
HP Compaq 15-h024sg
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.23 Points ∼9% -42%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
0.6 Points ∼25% +50%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Extensa 2509-C052
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1.4 Points ∼3%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.82 Points ∼2% -41%
Lenovo B50-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2815, Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
0.62 Points ∼1% -56%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.14 Points ∼3% -19%
HP Compaq 15-h024sg
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.46 Points ∼1% -67%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
2.01 Points ∼5% +44%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
2434 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
5663 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1525 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
6.51 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.4 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.4 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
3.93 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
129 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
35 Points
Help

System Performance

In addition to the benchmark results, the subjective impression of interacting with the device is most decisive. Although the recorded scores of the PCMark tests are all within a normal field, working was often burdened with long waiting times, which we did not experience to such a degree in some comparison devices. The PCMark 8 scores display average results for this configuration. Seen in relation, the 100 Euros (~$125) more expensive HP 15-g005ng based on AMD components achieves considerably better scores.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Extensa 2509-C052
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1302 Points ∼20%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1310 Points ∼20% +1%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
2834 Points ∼43% +118%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Extensa 2509-C052
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1194 Points ∼11%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1007 Points ∼10% -16%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
2087 Points ∼20% +75%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Extensa 2509-C052
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1328 Points ∼22%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1231 Points ∼20% -7%
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1967 Points ∼32% +48%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
1328 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
1194 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
1302 points
Help

Storage Devices

HD Tune
HD Tune

A Seagate Momentus Thin hard drive with a capacity of 500 GB provides the needed storage. The hard drive achieves good results for its kind in HD Tune and CrystalDiskMark. The comparison models either use the same or a similar series.

Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Transfer Rate Minimum: 13.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 110.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 81.7 MB/s
Access Time: 20.3 ms
Burst Rate: 98.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.4 %

Graphics Card

The CPU-integrated Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) clocks with a core speed of 820 MHz. The performances of the Bay Trail versions in the three comparison devices are close. A clear difference in the results is obvious in Acer's Aspire E1-532. The device can reap in a twice as high score in 3DMark 11 owing to its Haswell architecture. HP's 15 based on AMD's R5 graphics again has a considerable lead.

 

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Extensa 2509-C052
263 Points ∼1%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
214 Points ∼1% -19%
Lenovo B50-30
218 Points ∼1% -17%
Acer Aspire E1-532
480 Points ∼1% +83%
HP 15-g005ng
831 Points ∼2% +216%

Legend

 
Acer Extensa 2509-C052 Intel Celeron N2930, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
 
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1 Intel Celeron N2830, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
 
Lenovo B50-30 Intel Celeron N2815, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Seagate Momentus Thin 320 GB ST320LT012
 
Acer Aspire E1-532 Intel Celeron 2955U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
 
HP 15-g005ng AMD A8-6410, AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
3DMark 11 Performance
263 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
19374 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
1488 points
Help

Gaming Performance

It quickly becomes obvious that the Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) is not apt for everyday gaming. Its power might still be enough for some older classic games, but another device should be taken for playing newer games - particularly when the user does not want to "enjoy" games in minimum graphics settings.

Acer Extensa 2509-C052
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
HP 15-g005ng
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
Tomb Raider
-15%
73%
105%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x
8.1
7.4
-9%
14.3
77%
17.8
120%
1024x768 Low Preset
18
14.4
-20%
30.3
68%
34
89%
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 18 8.1 fps

Emissions

System Noise

The produced noise is mostly positive. However, that is because only the most basic components are installed in a comparatively large casing. We have to note that both the hard drive and fan are audible in idle mode. Although 41 dB(A) in load operation is tolerable, it is clearly audible. Even the contenders do not achieve these high noise levels because Bay Trail M laptops often have a fan-less design (Lenovo B50-30).

Noise Level

Idle
32 / 32 / 32.4 dB(A)
HDD
32.7 dB(A)
Load
39.9 / 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

The stress test demands full performance
The stress test demands full performance

The temperature assessments also benefit from the omission of high-performance hardware. Unpleasant temperatures were not reached in either idle or load. The hotspot of 39 °C was found on the underside. Use on the lap is possible without problems. Although the power supply is very small, it does not get disconcertingly warm with 31.3 °C in idle and 43.9 °C in load. We ascertained major shortcomings in temperature development among the contenders, in particular in Lenovo's B50-30. The Aspire E1-532, also from Acer, even remained considerably cooler than our review sample.

The stress test is performed using Furmark and Prime95. We did not record throttling, i.e. rates dropping below the CPU's base clock. Contrarily, a stable clock rate of 2166 MHz was achieved even after one hour.

 29.2 °C
85 F
31.3 °C
88 F
25.1 °C
77 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
29.2 °C
85 F
24.5 °C
76 F
 
 24.6 °C
76 F
24.6 °C
76 F
25 °C
77 F
 
Maximum: 31.3 °C = 88 F
Average: 26.9 °C = 80 F
25.3 °C
78 F
32.7 °C
91 F
30.5 °C
87 F
25.4 °C
78 F
29.2 °C
85 F
27.8 °C
82 F
25.1 °C
77 F
23.8 °C
75 F
23.1 °C
74 F
Maximum: 32.7 °C = 91 F
Average: 27 °C = 81 F
Power Supply (max.)  43.9 °C = 111 F | Room Temperature 22.2 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.2 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.2 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44.3 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.9 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 25 °C / 77 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.1 °C / 82.6 F (+3.1 °C / 5.6 F).

Speakers

The analysis of the speakers is quite positive for a price point of 270 Euros (~$338). Of course, laptop-common issues are heard in audio rendering, but Acer's Extensa 2509 achieves a decent volume and should suffice for watching an occasional video or YouTube clip.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The review sample is not particularly consuming in idle with an energy requirement of up to 9.6 watts in idle. The power consumption was even halved in energy-saving mode. The stress test via Furmark and Prime95 demanded a maximum of 20.4 watts from the laptop. That is clearly higher than that of Packard Bell's EasyNote TF71BM (16.9 W) and Lenovo's B50-30 (12.2 W). The Acer Aspire E1-532's consumption of 26.5 watts is considerably higher than those of the comparison devices, which is due to the stronger CPU.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.2 / 9.1 / 9.6 Watt
Load midlight 17.9 / 20.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The 6-cell lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 55.9 Wh. According to the manufacturer, the Acer Extensa should last for seven hours without an external power source. We simulate Internet browsing with typical web scenarios in our Wi-Fi test. The review sample shut down after 6 hours 37 minutes here. The manufacturer's specification can very likely be surpassed when using the laptop with disabled communication modules and minimum brightness.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
6h 37min

Verdict

Acer Extensa 2509
Acer Extensa 2509

Acer's Extensa 2509 classifies itself as an affordable entry-level laptop for office and Internet applications. The satisfactory input devices and matte screen provide feasible basic hardware for this purpose. Potential buyers will have to make compromises in performance, and they will have to accept waiting times in applications and inputs. Advantages are that the laptop always remains quiet during normal use and does not heat up unpleasantly.

The speakers' volume is also impressive. However, the poor viewing-angle stability makes movie nights on the Acer difficult. The battery life of approximately 6.5 hours is viable for mobile use. A look at the contenders reveals whether the balancing act of price and performance has been successfully implemented.

Packard Bell's EasyNote TF71BM proved to be a worthy contender in the test. However, it often had to admit defeat in performance due to its weaker processor. Users who like the idea of a longer battery life and want to save 20 Euros (~$25) will be well served here. Lenovo's B50-30 lagged behind in virtually all the benchmarks. However, it has a maintenance cover that has been completely omitted in our Acer Extensa. Acer's Aspire E1-532 proves that a bit more performance is possible for the same price. A catch is the shorter battery life though (by approx. 2.5 hours).

In total, Acer's Extensa 2509 makes a solid impression for 270 Euros (~$338). Nevertheless, the buyer should adapt expectations to the price.

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In review: Acer Extensa 2509-C052. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.
In review: Acer Extensa 2509-C052. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.

Specifications

Acer Extensa 2509-C052 (Extensa 2509 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Core: 820 MHz, igdumdim64 10.18.10.3496
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR3-1600, 1/1 memory banks installed
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel, Chi Mei CMN15BE N156BGE-E31, TN, glossy: no
Storage
Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 16 MB cache, 5400 RPM
Soundcard
Intel Valleyview SoC - HD Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Atheros AR9565 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4)
Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8E2Q
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 30.3 x 381.6 x 256 ( = 1.19 x 15.02 x 10.08 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, Sanyo PABAS0241231
Operating System
Windows 8.1 (64 Bit) + Bing
Camera
Webcam: 1.3MP
Additional features
Speakers: two speakers, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.275 kg ( = 80.25 oz / 5.02 pounds), Power Supply: 250 g ( = 8.82 oz / 0.55 pounds)
Price
270 Euro

 

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pros

+Decent input devices
+Matte screen
+Battery life
+24-month warranty
+Heat development
 

Cons

-Third-party software causes performance loss
-Hard drive "clacks"
-Fan permanently audible even in idle

Shortcut

What we like

The nice feel and big touchpad.

What we'd like to see

A clean system. Too much third-party software limits the devices low performance even more.

What surprises us

A well-conceived entry-bundle for a low 270 Euros (~$338).

The competition

We took a glance at Packard Bell's EasyNote TF71BM to reduce the price level a bit more. Lenovo's B50-30 is based on similar components, and to stick with Acer we also added the Aspire E1-532 to our round.

Rating

Acer Extensa 2509-C052 - 10/23/2014 v4(old)
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
74 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
73%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
63 / 80 → 79%
Weight
61 / 20-67 → 87%
Battery
89%
Display
74%
Games Performance
41 / 68 → 60%
Application Performance
38 / 92 → 41%
Temperature
90%
Noise
84%
Audio
50%
Camera
47 / 85 → 55%
Average
66%
73%
Office - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Acer Extensa 2509-C052 Notebook Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2014-10-29 (Update: 2018-05-15)