Choose your screen, processor and color with Acer's updated Aspire E series laptops (hands-on)

Starting at $299, the E series covers a wide range of styles and features.

Dan Ackerman

Dan Ackerman

Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times

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Rather than market a bunch of different laptop lines with different screen sizes, prices, and features, Acer is making it easy on you. The new revamped E series covers pretty much every laptop style the company makes.

The E series starts with 11-inch models, and moves through 14-inch and 15-inch screens. Models are available with Intel or AMD processors, with or without discrete graphics cards, and in a wide variety of bold colors, 11 in total, although different screen sizes will have different color selections. The Aspire E 14 is available in piano black, pearl white, glossy copper, ruby red, topaz blue, and jade green; while the Aspire E 15 comes in midnight black, titanium silver, tiger's-eye brown, sapphire blue, and garnet red.

Acer Aspire E series (pictures)

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For the midsize models, you can start with a $299 non-touch version, and the CPU choices include Intel Celeron, Pentium, and core i-series chips, as well as the AMD E1, E2, A4, A6, A8, and A10 parts (with different subgrouping available on the 14 and 15-inch versions). The 15-inch can support up to a 1,920x1,080-pixel nontouch display, or a 1,366x768-pixel touch display.

Acer says you can expect around 7 hours of battery life from these, and they will weigh between 5.1 and 5.9 pounds, depending on the configuration.

Mark Licea/CNET
More interesting is the 11-inch version. A $299-and-up nontouch 11-inch is called the E 11, with Pentium and Celeron processors. Add a touchscreen and it's called the V 11, for about $60 more. The 11-inch is a fanless design, which should cut down on weight, noise, and power consumption, while keeping the body about 21mm thick, which is decent for an inexpensive ultraportable.

If you're looking to stand out from the crowd a bit, the 11-inch colors are cool silver, rhodonite pink, tiger's-eye brown, and quartz blue.

All the new Aspire E series laptops (and the one V series model) will be available in June 2014, starting at $299.

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