Everyone loves cheap laptops. We always try to find something qualitative enough to fits our needs besides not breaking our banks. Acer Aspire 5 is one such laptop that has amasses thousands of positive reviews, and currently the top-selling product on Amazon.
It got multiple variants (core i3, core i5, and Core i7) all of the variants are cheap and would not cost you a big money.
The Acer laptop variant that we are going to review is Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK. A Poetic name indeed, under a 500 dollars price range, this Acer budget laptop offers a 10th Gen Core i5 processor, FHD screen, and most importantly Windows 10 Home.
Most of the laptops available under this segment come with Chromos installed, Chromebooks. Which only allows the installation of the apps from the Chrome store. Or if it is a windows laptop, it comes with Windows S-mode that allows installation of apps only from the Microsoft store.
Here it is a Windows 10 installed, it does support S-mode, but you can change it anytime you like.
- Full HD 1080P Display
- Windows 10 home installed
- Cheap price range
- 10TH Gen processor
- Lightweight compare to the E15
- You can upgrade the RAM and storage
- Enough ports collection
- Type-C added
- Backlight keyboard with dedicated Numpad
- Fingerprint reader
- The battery is not that impressive (6-hours)
- Wobbly trackpad
- Color accuracy is not on par
- Matte-screen is not good for outdoors
Also Read: Best Laptops under $500 in 2021
What Acer Aspire 5 is for?
Before we get into a full review, in-depth analysis of this laptop, let me tell you if it is for you or not. It is a cheap laptop, offers a core i5 10th Gen processor, with 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. The model is not for heavy professional operations.
Like, for professional scale virtualization where high-end laptops are mostly used, or network handling of an organization, architecture, or civil engineering professionals scale tasks. It is not for them, yes, if you are a student learning virtualization, civil engineering student, network engineering you can rely on it without any issue.
The best suit this laptop is for casual computing, students, teachers, girls and women with basic computing operations, teenage school goers, college students with no heavy apps or programs installation, grad school students, PA school students, medical students, and like that.
It is ideal for regular computing, it supports 8GB, so you obviously can’t be handling heavy operations.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK Specification
- CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 (Up to 3.6GHz)|
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
- Display: 15.6-inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS Display
- Graphics: Intel UHD
- Wi-Fi: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax
- Keyboard: Backlight Keyboard
- Battery Hours: 8-hours on LAN
- Webcam: HD Webcam
- Connectivity: 1 USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 port, 2 – USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port (one with Power-off Charging), 1 USB 2.0 Port & 1 -HDMI Port
- OS: Windows 10 Home
Design of Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK:
This laptop replaces our favorite on-the-go laptop Acer Aspire E15. The Aspire E15 has been one of my favorite laptops for years due to many reasons. It was above 5-pounds but had everything I needed at that time, a budget laptop that is great at handling everyday tasks.
Like every budget laptop, this latest Acer model has been focused more on internals compare to the chassis and design. It is not the lightest laptop you see, it is 3.8 pounds with 0.7 inches thickness. Compare to Acer E15 it is way lighter and slimmer, which was above 5 pounds with more than one inch thick.
Yes, the VG port, SD card reader, and DVD drive has been removed from this model but I do not think anyone would notice anything removed except the SD Card reader, which is one of the most essential integrations for content creators or photo and video editors.
It is a plastic-constructed laptop, putting the pressure on the chassis will make you feel that there is not much in between the motherboard and the Frame. The display panel is only made of Aluminum, the opening angle is 140-degree, and opening the display with one hand lifts the bottom lid slightly.
I would not like to drop this machine, as I know nothing will be left for me, once drops off my hands.
Acer Aspire 5: Connectivity Options
Acer-designed cheap range laptop shares a great range of connectivity. You would be amazed to witness every connectivity option users these days require. The VGA port has been removed, and I do not think these days you use it for connecting external monitors.
From the left side, there is a power in port, Gigabyte Lan, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen A Type-C port, on the right side, combined radio jack, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, and one Kingston Lock.
It got 3 USB A ports and One Type-C port in total, in other words, even if you connect the external keyboard and mouse, there are still two ports left to connect anything you like. The Type-C port support 5GB/S data transfer, letting you connecting 4k external monitor.
Acer Aspire 5 Offers FHD Display:
It is amazing for a cheap laptop to come with an FHD screen that produces a 1080P display. It comes fitted with a 15.6 inches WLED Backlight display with 258-nits of brightness.
It is a matte screen so it might cause an issue for you to use it outdoors. In sunlight or outdoor environments, the display catches glares and goes a bit dim.
Compare to the other budget models of different brands such as Asus Vivobook with 248 Nits of brightness and C740 with 250 nits of brightness, this FHD display is relatively better and produces the right streaming and computing experience.
This screen is impressive to use outdoors, you would not notice whether it is a cheap laptop display, but outdoors, it goes glary and render a poor viewing or streaming experience.
With 63-percent of the sRGB color covering it produces a sharp viewing experience. Yes, it is not that good for videos and photo editing where color accuracy depends a lot, but for a regular user, even a professional without editing needs, this display is more than just good.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK Performance:
Acer cheap laptop for regular computing comes powered with a 10TH Gen intel core i5 processor. It got 8GB RAM, and the A515-55-56VK model has intel UHD integrated graphics onboard. As I had mentioned before, the same model has three different variations when it comes to processor, and got a dedicated graphics card option if you want.
It shows the middle-of-the-line internals, enough for an average user to handle regular tasks. You can run multiple operations at one time, stream, Spotify, run multiple Chrome tabs, Firefox tabs, and many other operations lag-free.
Its competitors, although priced higher than Acer this model; Lenovo C740 and ASUS VivoBook 15 shows relatively smoother and higher performance in Geek Benchmarks, a little better than Acer 5, but it was a close competition.
Acer Aspire 5 A515 Battery Life:
When it comes to the battery backup, this laptop did not impress us. It lasts around 6 hours in one charging, one hour less than Acer officials claim.
The competitors, at the same price, Lenovo C740 did way better than this. It lasts around 10-hours in one charging, a great runtime for a budget laptop.
In other words, you can’t rely on this laptop to be used outdoors. Especially for the students,, it is important to dim the display when using it on the campus or schools. Because the battery drains fast when you get it used with high brightness and running multiple operations at one time.
Most importantly for outdoor users or on-the-go professionals, it is important to take the charger. It takes time to charge a dead laptop, and when you do not have a charger to charge the laptop, you would not be able to carry out regular operations.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK Heat dissipation:
In terms of heat, this laptop does a great job. The fans are a bit loud though and turn on even when you are browsing or watching a movie. But you would not feel the hotness, with watching an HD movie, it only reaches 71 degrees Fahrenheit which comes under the safe zone, compares to 96-degree which makes the laptop an oven.
When you take it for heavy operations, and when it reaches its hottest point, it reaches at 86-degree at G and H key.
The fans are a little louder, without headphones, sometimes it becomes hard to focus on the dialogues or the beats, and you start thinking about shutting it down to lower the temperature so that you could watch the movie or listen to the music comfortably.
Acer Aspire 5: Keyboard and Touchpad Performance
The keyboard of this laptop is good for a typist. It is a chiclet-style keyboard with a separate physical number pad and special functions. The keys got a good travel distance, they are not that big and can be an issue for large-handed people, ideal suite for small-handed users.
The keys support one tier-backlighting. In poor lighting conditions, you can continue your typing workload and accomplish the tasks in time.
It is a good keyboard for average typing, it is not of the ThinkPad scale good but more than just good for the price. It let you accomplish the typing work without hurting your fingers.
Acer tried hard to make this laptop a sleek and good-looking model. They come up with the same aluminum trackpad used for building the chassis. It becomes hard to distinguish between a trackpad and the spaces. The trackpad is clickable, but seems loose and produces rattling noises when you try to right-click using the trackpad.
The palm rejection is not on par, it becomes sometimes hard to type for long hours without rejecting the trackpad. Turn off the multi-touch gesture to make it more manageable and useable.
Should You Buy It Or Not?
Let me put it this way, if you are on a budget, and require a good-to-go laptop for regular computing, and tiny hard professional computing operation, you must not ignore this option. It got core i7 variation as well, that fits the needs of professional computing if they are not of the commercial scale.
It is a superb model for the price, it got a Full HD display with on par brightness. The Core i5 version of the Acer Aspire 5 A515 costs around $500, while the core i3 version around 400 dollars.
You get a full bright FHD display with right color accuracy, Windows 10 Home installed, sleek 0.7 inches model with right internals to take care of anything you throw at it.
It is the right pick for the budget users, it is not a sturdy model, the trackpad is not that impressive, produces a clunky voice when you right-click using the trackpad, the battery life could have been better. Still, it is good for the price, and great for average computing.