CONS: Average build quality, SD card slot is missing, unacceptable webcam
Just because you can’t spend a fortune does not mean that you opt for lesser. Let’s dive into Acer Aspire 5 A515-51 which is one of the best gaming laptops under 1000. It offers powerful performance, amazing display, and superb battery backup. You can get the laptop in three different types of configuration and the price varies accordingly. The lowest specs are Core i3 CPU, Intel HD graphics, and 4GB of RAM. Although such specs are not very powerful you have to spend only up to $300. However, if you can spend up to %500 then you will get a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. On top of that, if you want maximum performance and are willing to spend up to $800, you will get a Core i7 CPU, 12GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU. Now keeping your needs and budget in mind go for the right set of configurations.
Acer Aspire 5 Review & Specifications
|CPU||Intel Core i5-8250U|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 (upgradeable)|
|Display||15.6 inches (1920 x 1080)|
|Storage||256GB SSD (upgradeable)|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce MX150|
|Battery||up to 9 Hours|
|Size||14.3 x 9.9 x 0.7 (inches)|
|Ports||HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.1, Audio jack|
Design & Chassis
The Acer Aspire 5 laptop sports a premium design and the hood is made up of aluminum. The Acer logo is stamped at the center of the lid which is metallic instead of some glossy plastic. The white logo on the black lid looks great, also you will see another logo on the bottom bezel. Lift the lid and you will see the interior beauty, the deck and the full-sized keyboard look quite standard. In addition, the slim bezels around the display are outstanding for such a budget laptop.
With 3.8 pounds weight and 14.3 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches, Aspire 5 is thinner than its cousin Aspire E 15 which weighs 5 pounds and measures 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches. So, along with stylish design portability is also admirable. Thus, you can easily carry around Aspire 5 without bearing an extra burden on your shoulders. Besides, the bottom contains small speaker grilles and a larger cooling vent.
The performance will depend on the type of specs you choose. Core i3 processor, Intel HD graphics, and 4GB of RAM are excellent for day-to-day use. If you compare its performance with other budget laptops like Acre Aspire E 15, Aspire 5 is the winner. Also, the 128GB SSD can copy 4.97GB of data in 20 seconds having a transfer rate of 248 MBps. This speed is more than enough for routine work, though you should not expect gaming from this variant.
As Aspire 5 is a gaming laptop, so the Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, and 256GB SSD are plentiful for mid-range gaming. You can truly enjoy gameplay with such specs and you won’t notice any delay. Along with this, it is an excellent choice for multitasking as well. However, if you are a demanding gamer or more into intensive tasks and Core i5 is not enough for you, opt for the Core i7 variant which along with 12GB of RAM offers 512GB SSD. In such a case Aspire 5 gives maximum performance and will take your game or work to next level.
Display & Speakers
Aspire 5 sports 15.6 inches Full HD display which delivers excellent images. Whether you are into games or other tasks where you need more details, such display is more than enough. As competitive gamers need fast responses, hence 1920 x 1080 resolution is the best for them. In addition, the panel covers 65% sRGB color gamut which is not much appreciable but sufficient compared to 62% of Acer Aspire E 15. The best part of this display is the 276 nits of brightness. Most budget laptops emit 213 nits only, so by comparing Aspire 5 with them, you will certainly love it.
The bottom-firing speakers of Aspire 5 are average yet acceptable considering the price. Although the sound is not very loud it is pretty detailed. Along with this, the vocals are clear but lack the required bass. However, the audio quality becomes unacceptable when more than two instruments play at the same time. Fortunately, you can customize the audio through the built-in Realtek Audio Console. By turning Acer’s TrueHarmony in the app, you will find three presets is Music, Movie, and Game. The best sound quality is provided by Music preset and having TrueHarmony enabled the audio to become immersive.
Despite the slim chassis, Acer Aspire 5 A515-51 has a wide range of ports. The left side houses an HDMI port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, two USB 3.1 ports and one USB Type-C port. Simultaneously, the right side is home to a USB 2.0 port, an audio jack, and a Kensington lock slot. The Kensington lock slot keeps your laptop protected and no one can sign in in your absence. Unfortunately, there is the omission of a built-in SD card slot which most users won’t like. So, unless you have a USB adapter you can’t insert an SD card directly from your camera or phone.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The typing experience on Aspire 5’s keyboard is comfortable because the keyboard is full-sized (including a number pad) and utilizing a white backlight. The keys are clicky though a bit shallow with 1.2mm vertical travel (1.5-2mm recommended) but the 78 grams actuation force makes up for that. So, if your work is such where you keep writing all the time, such a keyboard will please you.
Likewise, the touchpad is precise and provides an adequately smooth texture. Plus, 4.2 x 3 inches is a favorable size, though the buttons are a bit shallow. More, the touchpad has Windows 10 Precision drivers, hence it accepts operating system gestures like three-finger switching tabs and two-finger scrolling.
As Aspire 5 offers excellent portability, so such a laptop should have longer battery life because it is annoying to look for a charging station everywhere. Happily, it can last up to 9 hours which is more than enough for a long working day. Certainly, a powerful laptop like it with such a long battery backup is very rare to find. Hence, once you charge the battery fully, you can even leave the charging cable at home.
The 720p webcam of Acer Aspire 5 will not be loved by most users because it produces somehow unrefined pictures. In addition, the contrast is also not much agreeable because the corners of the pictures look very dark. On the bright side, the webcam is placed at the center of the top bezels because many laptops with slim chassis have placed it on the bottom bezel which is a very awkward position. Plus, it provides good color which is acceptable for Skype calling with your friends or colleagues.
Although the machine is very powerful and most users will think that it will overheat soon. However, the reality is entirely different because it stays pretty cool even under intensive tasks. The maximum temperature of the underside is 88 degrees Fahrenheit after 15 minutes of playing. This temperature is well short of 95 degrees comfort doorstep, isn’t it amazing? Similarly, the keyboard and touchpad also stay cool at 86 degrees and 79 degrees respectively.
The Acer Aspire 5 is a magnificent budget laptop that provides great performance and a brighter display. Furthermore, it comes with all the required ports as well as battery life is superb. The only two disappointing factors are the average build quality and somehow poor sound quality. Apart from this, there is nothing that you will regret after getting it. Thus, if you are looking for a portable, affordable and powerful laptop, Acer Aspire 5 is worthy enough to spend on.