Cloud computing and the increasing popularity of web-based applications has seen the emergence of laptops and consumer devices. These come with more than just enough power to handle light tasks locally while allowing users to enjoy web-based services seamlessly. Most laptops in this segment come cheap and quite often run on the relatively limited Chrome OS. However, in the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH review we delve deep into why you this is the VALUE laptop you should be looking out for this 2018.
If you’re tired of spending on overpriced machines, this might just be the laptop for you.
Other manufacturers like the HP stream series come with the full Windows 10 Home OS installed; therefore making them a credible mention on this review and viable options for both offline and online use.
Powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor and 4GB of physical memory, the low budget Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH is great for students, casual users and generally anyone who wants a cheap laptop that can handle moderate productivity tasks such as web browsing and general media consumption.
- Powerful quad-core processor
- Fan-less (hence very quiet)
- Great sounding internal speakers
- Very cheap
- Great keyboard
- Lightweight and compact design
- Decent battery life
- Internal storage is quite low
- Has a bit of flex.
- Not easy to upgrade or access the internals
If you have moderate computing needs and don’t want to spend an arm and leg on a laptop whose power you may never fully utilize, the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH is a great choice for you. It’s great for typing out large documents, entertainment, and other moderate workloads. Having used the HP Stream 14 for several months – a device similar to the Acer Aspire 1 AH-A11, I can definitely recommend it for users in the market for this kind of device. At just over $200 at the time of writing this Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH review, it is a great budget laptop that won’t break the bank.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
Unboxing the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH laptop from its package, we were greeted by a modest, compact and sturdy laptop. The Acer Aspire 1 is made of a pure plastic chassis with a matte finish. Its exterior enjoys a crosshair pattern finish that feels great to the touch and is surprisingly averse to fingerprints!
Apart from a bit of flex on the upper panel, the rest of the chassis feels quite solid and durable. The screen hinge feels strong and stiff.. It’s not easy to open with one hand due to the almost uniform weight of the base and top panel.
The Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH feels incredibly light at just 3.64 lbs. It’s also quite thin and compact measuring just 9.65 x 13.5 x 0.71 inches! You can easily slide this laptop onto any laptop sleeve or backpack and just forget that you have it with you. The 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit Display is not touch-enabled but due to its portability and weight, the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH can replace your tablet.
But while it’s not a tablet, at the very least you can it has a lie-flat hinge that adds greatly to its versatility. As expected with this type of laptop, gaining access to the internals of the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH is an exercise that involves blood and sweat and we honestly do not recommend it. Matter of fact we also doubt there are any upgradeable parts on the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH even if you popped it open.
Something to worth noting also is that the down-firing speakers sound quite nice and loud even beating some larger laptops currently in the market.
This laptop has a beautiful 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display. The fact that you get a high-end IPS based panel on a budget device like the Acer Aspire 1 is amazing. Viewing angles and color accuracy on this display is decent especially for watching Netflix and YouTube videos at 1080p.
We did not experience any color shifting or ghosting like you normally get from displays on laptops at this price point. Pictures look very sharp and bright in most environments and movies play smoothly without tearing. The inbuilt proprietary Acer BlueLightShield technology also allows you to tweak the display settings to eliminate blue light making this display easy on the eyes.
The Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH has a pretty decent full-size keyboard that very similar to the one the HP stream 14. The keys have very nice key travel and feel extremely tactile. The best part about the keyboard is the spacing which is very nice. Having used the HP stream 14 for a while I can say this keyboard is great for long typing sessions and quite comfortable to type on. The touchpad is not special but it gets the job done without major hiccups or lagging. It lacks physical buttons but clicks are quite accurate despite not using windows precision drivers. You can also always add a mouse to ease things out. A mouse should work just as fine too.
The number of ports on the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH is quite sufficient. You get 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI port with HDCP support as well as an audio jack, SD card slot, and Kensington lock. The SD card slot is especially important to expand storage. That’s true because the 32GB Internal Storage is not sufficient especially if you intend to install several offline apps.
For wireless connectivity, the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH has 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0. Gigabit Ethernet is not available but a cheap Ethernet to USB dongle can be used.
A major highlight of the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH is Intel Celeron N3450 Quad-Core Processor that has Up to 2.2GHz clock speeds. It incorporates an Intel HD Graphics 500 graphics unit. Physical memory is 4GB SDRAM and internal memory is a surprisingly fast 32GB eMMc drive. eMMc is a storage technology more or less similar to that used in memory cards- this drive has no moving parts.
Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH hard drive and SSD:
For the most part, 32GB internal memory is not sufficient even for a laptop in the price bracket. So, we would not be surprised when users want some extra room for data storage and better performance. However, the device cannot be further upgraded for more hard drive or solid-state drive storage.
However, this amount of internal storage is very little and will seldom cover a user’s needs completely. Exercising good management and storing only what is necessary for the machine is necessary. Anything bulky can be backed up on an external hard drive or in cloud storage services. Alternatively, you can use a flash drive to help with that, an excellent example being the Samsung 64GB Bar. The four cores on the Intel Celeron N3450 coupled with the other performance components allow for light and moderate workloads like web browsing, office productivity and media consumption at the 1080p maximum resolution.
These devices are not made to handle heavy offline applications. But we loaded a few like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign and they ran quite smoothly save for a few delays here and there.
The Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH remains reasonably cool all through despite the lack of fans. The fanless system also means this laptop is very quiet despite the CPU load.
Modest to Average Battery life
Battery life on these laptops is normally great. I normally get over 7 hours of battery life on my HP stream 14 and it’s the same on the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH as we were able to squeeze out over 8 hours of moderate usage.
Great bang for buck
If you are in the market for a productivity budget laptop, the Acer Aspire 1 is a great choice. And it flaunts an affordable price so you won’t break your bank. Similar laptops are the HP Stream Laptop PC 14-ax010nr and the Asus L402SA. Acer also has a similar chrome powered laptop, the Acer Chromebook 14. For those who prefer the Chrome OS from Google, it’s worth checking out. Otherwise, we recommend the Acer Aspire 1 A114-31-C4HH as the budget laptop for productivity users.