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The Acer Aspire 5 (A515-51G-52R1) includes a 1080p screen and a solid state drive. The laptop also has Nvidia graphics, a solid Core i5 performance, an attractive design and a wide variety of ports. The battery life, however, could be better
The Aspire 5 is an attractive laptop, outfitted with an obsidian-black plastic shell that features sleek vertical lines and a faux-brushed-aluminum deck. Acer's laptop also has stylish metallic accents that give it a futuristic feel. Silver Acer logos can be found on the laptop's lid and bottom bezel. Matching silver borders line the edges of the Aspire 5's deck and touchpad, while a matte chrome hinge with the word "Aspire" engraved into it holds the laptop together.
The Aspire 5 is sturdily built; it didn't creak or buckle during use, not even with slight pressure applied to the bezels and deck. The keyboard didn't show flex while typing either. Textured-rubber grips sit at the bottom of this laptop prevent it sliding.
The Aspire 5 has most of the ports a modern user needs. On its left side, the laptop has an SD card reader, USB 3.0 (with a blue insert identifier) and USB 3.1 Type-C connectors, HDMI output, Ethernet port, and a Kensington Lock slot. The right side is less packed, featuring a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 2.0 connectors and a power adapter. With so many modern ports loaded into this one device, the Aspire 5 is perfect for small business owners and students.
Measuring 38.6 x 26.4 x 2.28 centimetres and weighing 2.09 kilograms, the Acer Aspire 5 is a little on the heavy side, but it's still lighter than the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 (2.25 kilograms) and the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Touch (2.36 kilograms).
Acer's Aspire 5 has a sharp, 15.6-inch, 1080p display, but it outputs washed-out colours. According to our colorimeter, the Aspire 5 reproduced 65.3 percent of the sRGB colour gamut, a result that falls below scores from the Aspire E 15 (158.5 percent) and Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (72 percent), along with the category average (93.8 percent). These results are evident when you watch movies. Colours were undersaturated, giving a dreary appearance.
The Aspire 5's colour accuracy also didn't fair well in our tests, scoring a 2.5 (the closer to 0, the better) on our Delta-E test, tying the the category average; meanwhile, the Aspire E 15 earned 0.3, and the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 earned 0.16.
The Aspire 5 is dimmer than we'd like, registering 169 nits according to our light meter. This reading falls well below showings by the Aspire E 15 (211 nits) and Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (213 nits), and the category average (271 nits). The Aspire 5's screen wasn't visible in direct sunlight, and it's viewing angles are narrow, inverting images at 45 and 135 degrees.
The Acer Aspire 5 has a satisfactory sound system. Its signature Dual stereo TrueHarmony speakers are located at the base and utilise a foam-and-paper cone design for accurate sound. The speakers are loud enough to fill a small to medium-sized conference room without distortion.
The Aspire's dual microphones are built-in with the webcam, which comes in handy if you need to make a Skype call. The mic picks up audio, and the playback is accurate.
The keyboard on the Aspire 5 offers an enjoyable typing experience. With minimal flex, the Aspire 5's keyboard has 1.3 millimetres of vertical travel (1.5 to 2mm is typical) and requires 70 grams of actuation force. The Aspire 5's keyboard is pretty good considering its shallow depth.
The Aspire 5's 10.4 x 7.62-centimetre touchpad provides smooth and accurate navigation. Standard features like pinch to zoom and three-finger swipe are responsive, which made it easier to switch between apps.
The Aspire 5 comes with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, Nvidia MX150 GPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which provided good performance in tests. With 12 tabs open in Google Chrome -- including streams from YouTube, Pandora and Netflix, along with a few rounds of Candy Crush -- it didn't experience lag.
The Aspire 5 scored 7,067 on Geekbench 3, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance. That's better than the Acer Aspire E 15 (6,974) and Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (6,742), both of which have Core i5-7200U processors. However, the Aspire 5 falls short compared to the 9,520 mainstream-laptop category average.
The Aspire 5 copied a 4.97GB batch of mixed-media files at 127.2 megabytes per second. That speed is surpassed by the Acer Aspire E 15's showing (195.7 MBps) and the category average (216.9 MBps), but not the Dell Inspiron 15 5000's result (83 MBps).
The Acer Aspire 5 took 4 minutes and 3 seconds to complete a spreadsheet test, which involves matching 20,000 names and addresses. That time is 3 seconds faster than the Acer Aspire E 15's result (4:06) and 18 seconds faster than the category average (4:21), but it doesn't compare to the speedy Dell Inspiron 15 5000's time (2:43).
Because of its discrete, Nvidia MX150 graphics chip, the Aspire 5 scored 3,100 on the 3DMark Fire Strike test, a synthetic benchmark that measures graphics performance. This mark surpasses the scores from the Aspire E 15 (2,037) and Dell Inspiron (755), but it falls short of the category average (4,658).
The Aspire 5's graphics are good for a non-gaming laptop. It surpassed a 30-fps playability threshold in the Dirt 3 racing game test, earning an impressive 146 frames per second. That score is more than double the amount earned by the Aspire E15 (65 fps) and Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (45 fps), as well as the category average (55.5 fps). Having such a high frame rate allows for moderate gaming.
You'll get slightly above-average battery life from the Aspire 5. Acer's laptop lasted 7 hours and 31 minutes on our Laptop Mag Battery Test, which simulates continuous web browsing. That's shorter than the run time from the Acer Aspire E 15 (10:59), but to be fair, the Aspire E 15 has a 6-cell battery. However, the Aspire 5 did outperform the 3-cell Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (4:25) and category average (6:55).
With a roomy and silent fan located at the back, Acer Aspire 5 remained cool during tests. After a full-screen video for 15 minutes is played, the touchpad measured 23 degrees Celsius, while its keyboard registered 27 degrees and the bottom hit 30 degrees. All of those temperatures are below our 35-degree comfort threshold.
Acer's HD 720p webcam isn't impressive, but it gets the job done. When a selfie was taken under the fluorescent lighting the office, a moderate amount of grain appeared. Colours were also undersaturated and had a blue cast. A black shirt appeared navy blue, while skin looked gray.
The Acer Aspire 5 is available with a Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Nvidia MX150 GPU. If you're not pleased with these specs, you can upgrade portions with more-advanced hardware. At the laptop's base, there's an easy-to-remove upgrade panel to switch out the RAM and storage drive.
Acer's Aspire 5 runs on Windows 10 Home. It's also preloaded with branded software, including Acer Care Centre to monitor system health and Acer Quick Access for settings management.
The Aspire 5 is backed with Acer's standard one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-52R1 is a good-looking laptop that has several things going for it, including USB Type-C compatibility, loud audio and strong graphics performance. The machine's Core i5 processor is reliable for everyday use, providing decent performance for work and play. However, the Aspire 5's battery life is much shorter than that of its competitors.
If you want more bang for your buck, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is better value, with its stronger performance, brighter display and longer battery life. However, if you want a slightly nicer-looking laptop that's a bit lighter than the E 15, the Aspire 5 is a solid choice.