Acer’s latest Aspire 5 is one of the best thin-and-light laptop deals you’ll find

    Sarah Tew/CNET
    There are two kinds of laptops I’ve come to anticipate from Acer: Standout premium fashions just like the loopy Swift 7 ultraportable and Predator Triton 900, and mainstream laptops which can be impossibly good offers — like final yr’s Predator Helios 300 and this yr’s Acer Aspire 5. For greater than a yr, Acer’s Aspire E 15 was my go-to choose for anybody who simply wanted a fast, dependable laptop computer for common use across the dwelling. Sadly, that mannequin is getting more durable to search out, however the Aspire 5 is a wonderful various that is thinner, lighter and nonetheless an impossibly whole lot. 

    LikeThin and fewer than 4 poundsGood general port assortmentEasy to improve storage and memoryGood efficiency and battery life for the cash

    Don’t LikeBuild high quality is consistent with its price range worthNo SD card slot

    Starting at $400 with an Intel processor or $350 with an AMD chip, the 15.6-inch Aspire 5 is barely 3.8 kilos (1.7 kg) and 0.7 inch thick (18 mm). That mixture of dimension, weight and worth, is not simple to search out with a 15.6-inch show. By comparability, the Acer E 15 had the identical display dimension, however was greater than 5 kilos (2.4 kg) and simply over an inch thick (30 mm). It additionally began at roughly the identical worth and was equally configured. You do lose issues like an SD card reader, a VGA show output and a DVD drive, however chances are high it is solely the cardboard reader that issues to extra individuals at this level, if something. The $530 configuration I examined, the A515-54-51DJ, bumps that base mannequin’s processor from a dual-core Intel Core i3 to a quad-core i5, and doubles the reminiscence to 8GB and storage to 256GB — properly value the additional cash. And, in the event you’re capable of spend about $100 extra, you will get it with a brand new 10th-gen Core i5, entry-level Nvidia MX250 discrete graphics and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. That’s a number of efficiency for all the things from day-to-day fundamentals to easy picture and video modifying to gaming on low to medium settings. 

    Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54-51DJ)

    Price as reviewed


    Display dimension/decision

    15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 show


    1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U

    PC Memory

    8GB DDR4 2667MHz


    128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620


    256GB SSD


    802.11ac Wi-Fi wi-fi; Bluetooth 5.0

    Operating system

    Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

    All the efficiency, not one of the gloryLike any budget-friendly laptop computer value its salt, Acer places most of your cash towards good inside parts and never into issues like an all-metal chassis or an ultrabright high-res touchscreen. For instance, my Aspire 5 had an identical configuration to Lenovo’s premium Yoga C930 two-in-one. Performance is about the identical between the 2 however the Yoga is twice the value. What’s extra, you possibly can pop the Aspire’s backside off and add extra reminiscence or improve storage by yourself, one thing fewer and fewer premium fashions will allow you to do.The Acer is generally plastic, although it is capped with a skinny sheet of aluminum to class it up a bit. Unfortunately mine ended up with a slight dent on the prime of the show, which additionally made it slightly too simple to peel the bezel off from across the display (it snaps proper again into place). That’s not more likely to occur on a pricier mannequin, however hey, it does make the Aspire extra serviceable at the very least. My level is, the construct high quality is okay for what you are paying, however do not anticipate the sturdiness of a premium laptop computer. No SD card slot, however loads of different connection choices. 
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Around the edges you may discover a number of ports which can be disappearing and being changed with USB-C ports on different fashions. While there may be one USB-C, it is not Thunderbolt 3, however a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port. You’ll additionally discover:

    Two USB 3.0 ports and a USB 2.0 portHDMI outputGigabit EthernetCombo headphone-mic jackWith this setup, you may simply load it up with a full-size keyboard and mouse, an exterior show and different necessities to make use of this as a desktop alternative. That’s to not say the keyboard, touchpad and show must be changed — they’re tremendous, all issues thought-about — simply that it could actually deal with life on a desk in addition to unplugged round the home. It has battery life to again it up, too, hitting 8 hours, 38 minutes on our streaming video take a look at. The full-HD IPS show has pleasing coloration and brightness, it seems to be tremendous off-angle and the matte end helps tame distracting reflections. The backlit keyboard feels slightly comfortable, however the keys have a good pop to them and sufficient journey so you do not really feel such as you’re typing on a tabletop (or a MacBook). The Windows Precision touchpad works properly, too, and also you even get a fingerprint reader constructed into it. Still, you may need to modify the touchpad sensitivity to forestall your palm from by accident shifting the cursor. The Aspire 5’s backlit keyboard and touchpad are adequate.
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Another budget-friendly winnerThe Acer Aspire 5 is a 15.6-inch thin-and-light that positively delivers extra efficiency in your cash than you may anticipate. Though it begins low, the $530 configuration I examined is a cushty center floor that is full-featured sufficient for typical work, dwelling and faculty duties. But even in the event you resolve to go all out on upgrades, this mannequin does not break the $900 mark and you will get a workhorse laptop computer that will not win any magnificence contests, however ought to final you properly into the long run. Geekbench 4 (multicore)

    Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore)

    Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Video playback battery drain take a look at (Streaming)

    Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency (in minutes)

    System configurations

    Acer Aspire 5

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 128MB (devoted) Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD

    LG gram 14

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB (devoted) Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD

    Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (devoted) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD

    Lenovo Yoga C930

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (devoted) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD

    Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

    Apple MacOS Mojave 10.14; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel UHD Graphics 617; 256GB SSD

    Recent Articles

    4 lessons for IT pros from a tech-savvy teacher

    People have to be efficient educators with a purpose to be efficient expertise leaders. ...

    Reinventing the relationship between workers and tech – TechSwitch

    Rachel Korberg Contributor Rachel Korberg is a program officer with the Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers) initiative, which seeks to construct a extra simply and inclusive...

    Avicii Invector Review | TechSwitch

    Verdict It's heartbreaking that Avicii is not round to expertise a undertaking that he had a lot ardour for come to fruition, however he'd be...

    Related Stories

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox