The Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS is a solid workhorse laptop that won’t dent your purse, but it has a few too many good tidings, including powerful performance and decent battery life.
- Up-to-date components
- Good build quality
- Decent performance
- Well priced
- Not as light and thin as other laptops
Most mid-range machines like the Acer Aspire 5 are often overlooked, but they get the job done at a great price. People are either going for premium ultrabooks that tend to deliver the best of both worlds – portability, power and sleek designs; or they look towards budget laptops under $500 to meet their daily computing needs and budget limitations.
This leaves mid-range laptops ideally unnoticed, their ideal balance of price and performance notwithstanding – but that does make them an ideal investment for many consumers. That sweet balance is something the Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop has long offered its users, top in the list being powerful components and solid performance while maintaining a price that’s affordable and accessible.
Updated with the latest 11th generation Intel Core processors, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS is a more than competent laptop, that ticks all the right boxes you’d ask for a value day-to-day laptop. Acer once again proves that mid-range machines are the way to go, especially for users on a tight budget.
The Acer Aspire looks like its premium rival, the MacBook Pro – with a thin, sleek and understated styling that makes it pleasing to the eye without being overly flashy. When closed, the aluminum lid looks great and is held firmly against the chassis, with its super-smooth surface. As you open it, the first thing you notice is the minimal black bezel surrounding the display.
It measures 0.7 inches at its thickest point, but at the very least, this laptop is easily upgradable with an easily accessible motherboard. Altogether, the package weighs 3.6 pounds, light enough for lagging around the house, and easy to tote around a day in college.
Port selection is excellent. For your peripherals, you’re getting two USB 3.2 ports, one USB 2.0 port and a single USB-C port for your modern devices. There’s also an Ethernet port for hardwiring, and HDMI port for an external display, a Kensington Lock connector and a standard headphone jack. Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi 6.
Nowadays, a 1080p display is pretty standard on budget laptops, and the 15.6-inch display keeps that tradition. It will get the work done, though the matte screen sometimes catches a glare from external light. It averages 259 nits, is a bit dim, but is brighter than competing models – the Asus VivoBook 15 and Lenovo Yoga C740, with 247 nits and 251 nits, respectively.
Nevertheless, the screen is fine for working at night-time work, but very bright light may make the Aspire 5 screen a bit uncomfortable. The screen’s color saturation is more intense, and helps boost the vibrancy of dull scenes. You’ll enjoy watching movies and surfing the web on the Acer Aspire 5 A515, but if you’re looking at photo editing and media creation, you might need an external monitor with better color reproduction.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The full-sized keyboard is among the few features you’ll like on the Acer Aspire 5 specs sheet, and it includes a number pad for seamless data entry. The keyboard is comfortable enough for typing, and going by the massive build, small hands will find this keyboard even more comfortable for multitasking. You can use it in a dark room, thanks to the subtle backlighting, just like you have on Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops.
For the touchpad, Acer strives to give the trackpad the same aluminum finish as the chassis. There’s a fingerprint reader embedded into the touchpad, but you might have to turn off the multitouch gestures, as the touch-drag-mechanism can be too fussy to use. Surprisingly, there’s a Function key that turns off the trackpad, especially when you’re in serious typing sessions.
Acer Aspire 5 Performance
In this Acer Aspire 5 review, our unit features an 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor (4 cores, 8 threads), 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD storage and Intel’s Iris Xe graphics card. This laptop’s configuration sits in between the powerful Core i7 and the entry-level Core i3 models, with enough power to deliver on most day-to-day tasks. The Core i5 processor can handle Chrome, Spotify and Firefox all running processes simultaneously.
Most people will find the Acer Aspire to provide perfectly acceptable performance for all but the most demanding processor-based tasks. Unless you’re buying for complex tasks, the Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS is a reasonable choice in terms of performance. Everyday tasks like browsing the internet, streaming media, editing photos and video will work like a charm.
Considering this new Acer Aspire 5 uses an integrated video card, you won’t be playing modern games here. Latest AAA releases will not render properly, and everything will likely stutter. If you need a budget gaming laptop, we recommend the Asus TUF FX505DV-ES74, a budget gaming laptop with a 120Hz screen and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 2060 graphics card.
As it turns out, the Acer Aspire 5’s battery is a better performer as compared to last year’s model that had an underwhelming battery. Acer claims that it will last 8 hours on a single charge, but in real-life use, you’re getting just under 7 hours, which isn’t bad at all.
The latest Acer Aspire laptop isn’t a game-changer. Its design is all too familiar and its Core i5 processor, though new in the market, won’t blow you away with its performance. But the Acer Aspire 5 price is a boon for most budget buyers, and it serves up a solid design and has enough power to get the job done. Anything from writing up a report, video chatting with family or Netflix binge, it won’t disappoint at all.
However, if you’re looking for more power, longer battery life and a better screen, the HP Pavilion 15 (15-eg0021nr, 2020) is a great choice. It costs slightly more than the Acer, but you also get the added benefit of a sleek design and more power.
That said, if all you need is a laptop that can handle remote or in-person learning and work, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS is a solid choice.