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Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) Laptop Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Review updated Dec 09, 2022 at 09:11 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 05, 2023 at 12:16 pm
Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) Picture
6.9
School
5.9
Gaming
5.9
Multimedia
6.8
Workstation
7.1
Business

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is a mid-range ultraportable Windows laptop. It sits between the entry-level Aspire 3 in Acer's Aspire line of laptops and the higher-end Aspire 7. This model sports a 15.6-inch screen and a full-size keyboard with a Numpad on the right. It's available with Intel 10th Gen. and AMD Ryzen 4000 U-series CPUs, up to 32GB of memory, and 512GB of storage. In addition to integrated graphics, you can also configure this laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce MX350 or AMD Radeon RX 640 discreet GPU.

We tested the Aspire 5 with a 15.6 inch IPS display, an Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD. Other CPU options include the Intel Core i3-1005G1, Intel Core i7-1065G7, AMD Ryzen 3 4300U, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, and the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U. There are three display options; you can choose between a 1080p TN panel, a 720P IPS panel, or a 1080p IPS panel.

Our Verdict

6.9 School

The Acer Aspire 5 is adequate for school use. It's a well-built, portable laptop with a battery that lasts through almost seven hours of light productivity. It boots up and launches programs amazingly quickly and can easily handle note-taking and light productivity work. The backlit keyboard feels good to type on, the plastic touchpad tracks well, and there's a decent selection of ports for a variety of wired peripherals. Unfortunately, while the screen's reflection handling is decent, its maximum brightness is mediocre, so it isn't usable outdoors.

Pros
  • Sturdy chassis.
  • Laptop and charger are very portable.
  • Comfortable keyboard.
Cons
  • Short battery life.
  • Screen doesn't get bright enough for sunny rooms.
  • CPU and GPU can't handle demanding workloads.
5.9 Gaming

The Acer Aspire 5 is a middling laptop for gaming. Our model has a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU, but it isn't enough to get playable framerates in most modern AAA games at "High" settings. Also, its 60Hz screen has no support for VRR. On the bright side, it doesn't noticeably throttle over time, and its thermal and noise handling are decent. Its port selection is also decent, including three USB-A ports for peripherals and an HDMI port to output to an external monitor. The AMD Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, and the Intel Core i7 CPUs will provide better performance in CPU-heavy games but won't help in GPU-limited titles.

Pros
  • Little performance loss over time.
  • Quiet fans under load.
  • Fairly easy to access internals for repairs and upgrades.
Cons
  • Must lower graphics settings for playable framerates.
  • 60Hz refresh rate with no VRR support.
  • CPU and GPU can't handle demanding workloads.
5.9 Multimedia

The Acer Aspire 5 is sub-par for media consumption. The speakers do get loud, but they still only sound mediocre overall. The screen's contrast ratio is typical of most IPS panels, so blacks still look grayish in the dark. Also, it has decent reflection handling but doesn't get bright enough for use in very well-lit environments. The color gamut is narrow, the color accuracy is awful, and the viewing angles are just passable. On the bright side, it's portable, and its battery can get you through two feature-length films.

Pros
  • Laptop and charger are very portable.
Cons
  • Short battery life.
  • Screen doesn't get bright enough for sunny rooms.
  • Narrow color gamut and terrible color accuracy.
  • Speakers sound unnatural.
6.8 Workstation

The Acer Aspire 5 is alright for use as a workstation. Its NVMe SSD is amazingly fast, and the Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU in our unit performs excellently in single-thread workloads. Performance loss is minimal, and it doesn't get overly hot or loud under load. The backlit keyboard feels good to type on, and there's a decent selection of ports. Unfortunately, its multi-thread performance is mediocre, and it performs poorly in CPU-heavy workloads, so we recommend getting the AMD Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, or Intel Core i7 models for better performance in tasks like software compiling and CPU rendering. Nonetheless, they'll still be limited in graphical performance.

Pros
  • Little performance loss over time.
  • Quiet fans under load.
  • Fairly easy to access internals for repairs and upgrades.
Cons
  • CPU and GPU can't handle demanding workloads.
  • Narrow color gamut and terrible color accuracy.
7.1 Business

The Acer Aspire 5 is a decent business laptop. It's portable and feels well-built, with a decent port selection that will be enough for most people. The keyboard feels good to type on, and the plastic touchpad tracks well. It's quick to boot and launch applications thanks to its amazingly fast NVMe SSD, and it's more than powerful enough to perform productivity tasks. Unfortunately, the battery can't last a full workday, so you'll need to bring the charger with you. Also, it doesn't get bright enough for comfortable use in well-lit environments, and the webcam and microphone are only alright.

Pros
  • Sturdy chassis.
  • Laptop and charger are very portable.
  • Comfortable keyboard.
  • Fairly easy to access internals for repairs and upgrades.
Cons
  • Short battery life.
  • Screen doesn't get bright enough for sunny rooms.
  • CPU and GPU can't handle demanding workloads.
  • 6.9 School
  • 5.9 Gaming
  • 5.9 Multimedia
  • 6.8 Workstation
  • 7.1 Business
  1. Updated May 05, 2023: Added mention of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023) as an alternative with a better webcam in the Webcam & Microphone section.
  2. Updated Dec 09, 2022: We've updated the review to improve readability.
  3. Updated Jan 28, 2022: We've uploaded a new photo because the previous one wasn't showing the correct maximum range.
  4. Updated Jan 18, 2022: We've re-evaluated the scoring for ports and increased the score by 0.5 point.
  5. Updated Nov 03, 2021: Review published.
  6. Updated Nov 01, 2021: Early access published.

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Charcoal Black - FHD/IPS/i3/8GB/512GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55-3217)
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Charcoal Black - HD/i5/8GB/256GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55T-53AP)
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Silver - FHD/IPS/Ryzen 5/Radeon RX 640/8GB/256GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-44G-R83X)
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Silver - FHD/IPS/i5/GeForce MX350/8GB/512GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55G-57H8)
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Silver - FHD/IPS/i7/8GB/512GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55-75NC)
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Silver - FHD/TN/i3/4GB/128GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55-378V)
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Silver - FHD/TN/i5/20GB/256GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55-52J9)
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Silver - FHD/TN/i5/8GB/256GB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55-55R6)
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Silver - HD/i3/4GB/1TB Aspire 5 15 (A515-55-39ND)
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Acer Aspire 5 A515 with a 15.6-inch IPS display, an Intel Core i5-1035G1, NVIDIA GeForce MX350 dedicated graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD. The screen, CPU, GPU, memory, storage, and finish are configurable, and you can see the available options below. However, most vendors, including Acer, sell this laptop as pre-built models with a pre-determined configuration instead of letting customers choose the parts individually. As a result, it may be hard to find the exact configuration you want.

Acer has also released newer variants of the Aspire 5 with 11th Gen Intel and Ryzen 5000–series CPUs, and 14-inch and 17-inch sizes. However, they've had a slight design refresh and use CPUs with different architectures, so to avoid confusion, we consider them entirely different laptop models.

  Variants Notes
Screen
  • 15.6" TN 1920 x 1080 60Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1366 x 768 60Hz, touchscreen
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz

 

CPU
  • Intel Core i3-1005G1 (2 cores/4 threads, up to 3.4GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 3.6GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 3.9GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 3 4300U (4 cores/4 threads, up to 3.7GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (6 cores/6 threads, up to 4.0GHz) 
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700U (8 cores/8 threads, up to 4.1GHz)

 

GPU
  • Intel UHD Graphics (Intel i3 and i5 integrated)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics (Intel i7 integrated)
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX350 2GB
  • AMD Radeon Vega 5 (Ryzen 3 4300U integrated)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 6 (Ryzen 5 4500U integrated)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 7 (Ryzen 7 4700U integrated)
  • AMD Radeon RX 640 2GB
  • The MX350 dedicated GPU
    is available only with the i5
    and i7, while the RX 640 is
    available only with the Ryzen 
    5 and Ryzen 7.
Memory
  • 4GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Acer sells variants with up
    to 16GB, but you might find
    some with up to 32GB.
Storage
  • 1TB HDD + 16GB Intel Optane
  • 128GB NVMe PCIe SSD
  • 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD
  • 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD
 
Color
  • Pure Silver
  • Charcoal black
 

Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Acer Aspire 5 A515 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Laptops

The Acer Aspire 5 is a decent ultraportable for general productivity but doesn't stand out in any way. It has slightly better build quality than other laptops in its price range; however, its battery life is sub-par.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best laptops, the best business laptops, and the best laptops for college.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019) are both thin and light Windows laptops. The Surface Laptop 3 provides a better user experience for the most part because it has a sharper, brighter, and more color-accurate display, its keyboard feels better to type on, and its touchpad is larger and more responsive. The Surface Laptop 3 has a better webcam and microphone for video calls. However, the IdeaPad 3 has a wider port selection, longer battery life, and its AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs perform significantly better than the AMD Ryzen 3000 processors on the Surface Laptop 3.

Acer Aspire 3 15 (2023)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is slightly better than the Acer Aspire 3 15 (2023). The Aspire 5 provides a better user experience, as it has a brighter display with better viewing angles, a more comfortable keyboard, and a more responsive touchpad. It's also more upgradable because you can replace the RAM, and there are two storage drive slots, whereas the Aspire 3 is limited to one. However, the Aspire 3 has a better port selection because its USB-C supports charging and DisplayPort Alt Mode.

Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is a productivity-focused device, whereas the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) is a gaming laptop. The Nitro also has great performance as a workstation, as it's available in a variety of high-power Intel and AMD CPUs, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 or 1650Ti GPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and fast NVMe SSDs, with amazing serviceability. Also, it has better-sounding speakers, and it gets better battery life. The Aspire is much more portable, it has a better keyboard, webcam, and microphone, and it has much better thermal and noise handling. You can get it with an entry-level dedicated GPU, but it won't perform nearly as well for games or workstation tasks.

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar overall. However, the Lenovo offers a better user experience with a brighter display to combat glare, a more comfortable keyboard, and better-sounding speakers. The Lenovo laptop's Intel 11th Gen CPUs perform better than the Acer's Intel 10th Gen processors, and they're also more power-efficient, leading to longer battery life. There are newer models of the Acer with Intel 11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs.

ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021)

The ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021) is better than the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) for most uses. The ASUS' OLED screen gets brighter to combat glare and can display deeper blacks and a wider range of colors. It's also a more compact device that's easier to carry around. However, the Acer's build feels sturdier, and its keyboard is more comfortable to type on. The ASUS' Intel 11th Gen CPUs perform much better than the Acer's Intel 10th Gen processors, but keep in mind that there are newer models of the Acer with Intel 11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors.

Acer Swift 3 14 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar Windows laptops. The Swift 3 has a smaller but more colorful and color-accurate display, a better port selection that includes Thunderbolt 4 support, and its battery lasts much longer. On the other hand, the Aspire 5's keyboard is more comfortable to type on, its touchpad feels more responsive, and its webcam is significantly better. The Swift 3 performs better because it has a newer and more powerful CPU; however, there are more recent models of the Aspire 5 with the same Intel 11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs.

ASUS X515 (2020)

The ASUS X515 (2020) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar 15.6 inch budget Windows laptops. The Aspire 5 provides a better user experience because it has a keyboard that's more comfortable to type on for long periods, the touchpad has better tracking, and its webcam has a higher resolution to deliver a more detailed image. The Aspire 5 also has a better port selection because its HDMI 2.0 port supports 4k @ 60Hz video output.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020)

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar Windows laptops. The Aspire 5 has a backlit keyboard that provides a much better typing experience and a better port selection that includes a USB-C port. On the other hand, the Inspiron 15 has longer battery life and is more serviceable, making it easier to upgrade the components yourself after purchase. You can only get the Inspiron 15 with an Intel CPU, but the Aspire 5 is available with AMD or Intel processors.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both Windows devices available in a wide variety of Intel and AMD CPUs. However, the Lenovo is a convertible 2-in-1 with a touchscreen, while the Acer is a traditional clamshell laptop. The Lenovo is better for school use, as it's much more portable, has a significantly longer battery life, and has a nicer-feeling keyboard. It also has a better port selection and better-sounding speakers, and you can get it with an HDR 400–certified IPS display. On the other hand, the Acer's larger screen is better for multitasking, it has more serviceable parts, and you can get it with more powerful dedicated GPUs. Also, its webcam, microphone, and touchpad are better.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is better than the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020) for most uses. The Acer provides a better user experience because it has a larger screen, a much better keyboard and touchpad, and a better port selection. It also performs significantly better than the ASUS because you can equip it with more powerful CPUs. That said, the Acer's superior performance comes at the cost of shorter battery life. The ASUS is a more versatile device, though, because it has a 360-degree hinge that lets you flip the screen around for use as a tablet.

Acer Chromebook 315 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is a Windows laptop that comes in a variety of well-performing Intel and AMD processors, whereas the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is a power-efficient Chrome OS laptop. The Aspire is better for gaming and workstation tasks, as it can install x86 applications like After Effects, it's available with various, significantly better-performing CPUs, and it can have a dedicated entry-level GPU. Also, it has better-sounding speakers and a better-quality touchpad. On the other hand, the Chromebook has a more flexible port selection, a far better battery, and it remains silent and doesn't get too hot.

HP Stream 11 (2021)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is much better than the HP Stream 11 (2021) for most uses. The Acer has a wider variety of configurations, with CPUs and GPUs that are significantly more powerful than the Intel Celeron CPUs on the HP. You can configure the Acer with more memory and a faster, larger storage drive. The Acer also has a bigger and sharper display, as well as a better keyboard, touchpad, and webcam. The HP has longer battery life, and it's quieter because it's a fanless device.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019)

The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) is a premium-feeling laptop running macOS, whereas the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is a Windows device available in a wide variety of Intel and AMD CPUs. The MacBook is a significantly better laptop overall, with significantly superior construction, a far better display, and a better touchpad, speakers, webcam, and microphone. Also, it gets better battery life, has a faster SSD, and can be equipped with superior dedicated GPUs. The Acer has more serviceable parts, it has a much better-feeling keyboard, and it has far better thermal and noise handling.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Form Factor
Traditional (Clamshell)

The Acer Aspire 5 has a simple design that fits easily into most office settings. It has a plastic body with a silver finish, a full-size keyboard with a Numpad on the right, and 'Acer' branding on the lid and bottom bezel. There are ports on both sides of the laptop and air vents on the back and bottom.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Acer Aspire 5 feels well-built. The laptop's body looks like anodized aluminum but is plastic. It feels solid, with only a little bit of flex in the screen and keyboard deck. The feet adhere firmly to the bottom of the laptop and are very grippy, which helps keep the laptop stable on a desk. The only thing that stands out is that the screen isn't perfectly aligned with the body with the lid closed.

6.9
Design
Hinge
Range
180°
Stability
Good
One Finger Lift
No

The hinge is okay. It feels solid and is very stable at all angles. There's a bit of wobble when you type aggressively, but it isn't bad enough to be distracting during normal use. Unfortunately, there's too much resistance to open the lid with one hand.

7.7
Design
Portability
Size
15"
Thickness
0.9" (2.2 cm)
Width
14.3" (36.4 cm)
Depth
10.2" (25.9 cm)
Volume
127.7 in³ (2,092.9 cm³)
Weight
3.8 lbs (1.7 kg)
Charger Size
8.1 in³ (133.1 cm³)
Charger Weight
0.7 lbs (0.3 kg)

The Acer Aspire 5 is easy to carry around, thanks to its thin and light design. The charger is also compact and lightweight.

7.7
Design
Serviceability
Ease Of Access
7.0
RAM Slots
1
Storage Slots
2
Replaceable Battery
Yes
Replaceable Wireless Adapter
Yes

The Acer Aspire 5's serviceability is good. Accessing the internals is fairly easy; you need to remove eleven Phillips screws and undo some clips to remove the bottom cover. From there, you can access the wireless adapter, RAM, SSD, and even install a 2.5-inch storage drive using the included HDD upgrade kit. However, installing a 2.5-inch drive requires some additional disassembly that involves disconnecting the long I/O ribbon cable, which some people might not be comfortable with. Fortunately, Acer has an online tutorial that you can find here. The laptop's software says that there are two RAM slots, but only a single slot is accessible. If you want a laptop with better serviceability, check out the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020).

Design
In The Box

  • Acer Aspire 5 (2020) laptop
  • 65W power adapter and cord
  • HDD upgrade kit
  • Documentation

Display
Display
Screen Specs
Resolution
1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Pixel Density
141 PPI
Panel Type
IPS
Touch Screen
No
Screen-To-Body Ratio
78%

The Acer Aspire 5 is available with the following displays:

  • 15.6" TN 1920 x 1080 60Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1366 x 768 60Hz, touchscreen
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz

The 1080p display look decently sharp and provides plenty of space for multitasking. For the best visual experience, it's best to go with the IPS panel, as IPS displays generally have better viewing angles and color reproduction than TN. The 720p display is the only touch-sensitive option but looks much blurrier than the 1080p panels.

5.9
Display
Refresh Rate
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No

The Acer Aspire 5 is only available with 60Hz displays with no variable refresh rate technology like NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD FreeSync. Our model's 1080p IPS display has a slow response time causing noticeable ghosting, so it isn't ideal for viewing fast-moving content or gaming. The other panels will perform similarly.

7.0
Display
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,140 : 1

The Acer Aspire 5 has a decent contrast ratio for an IPS panel. However, it's still relatively low compared to other display technologies like VA and OLED. Blacks look grayish, especially in dark settings. If you want a laptop with a display that can produce deeper blacks, check out the ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021).

6.4
Display
Brightness
Maximum Brightness
247 cd/m²
Minimum Brightness
20 cd/m²

The display's maximum brightness is mediocre. It's fine for most indoor settings, but you'll have visibility issues in well-lit or sunny environments. For dark room viewing, it gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting to provide a more comfortable viewing experience. If you need a laptop that can get brighter to combat glare, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021).

7.3
Display
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.03%
Indirect Reflections
2.94%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.08%

The reflection handling is decent. Its matte screen does a good job of diffusing and reducing the intensity of direct reflections, like a lamp or open window during the day. However, it causes a halo effect in other areas of the screen. In short, bright reflections are visible even when viewing light-color content with the screen at maximum brightness, but they aren't overly distracting. They're only an issue when viewing dark-color content.

6.7
Display
Black Uniformity
Uniformity (Std. Dev.)
1.517%

The black uniformity is okay. There's a small amount of clouding throughout and visible backlight bleed at the bottom corners. However, this is only visible when viewing dark scenes in a dark room. The 720p IPS panel will perform similarly, but the 1080p TN panel will likely have worse uniformity.

6.4
Display
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
22°
Color Washout From Right
25°
Color Shift From Left
57°
Color Shift From Right
27°
Brightness Loss From Left
23°
Brightness Loss From Right
27°
Black Level Raise From Left
60°
Black Level Raise From Right
60°
Gamma Shift From Left
21°
Gamma Shift From Right
25°

The Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop has a passable horizontal viewing angle. The image dims quickly as you move off-center, so it isn't the best for sharing content with others. If you want the best image quality, you need to be looking at the screen almost straight on. The TN panel will have worse horizontal viewing angles, so it's better to go with one of the IPS panels if a horizontal viewing angle is important to you.

5.9
Display
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
26°
Color Washout From Above
23°
Color Shift From Below
27°
Color Shift From Above
35°
Brightness Loss From Below
26°
Brightness Loss From Above
24°
Black Level Raise From Below
45°
Black Level Raise From Above
27°
Gamma Shift From Below
24°
Gamma Shift From Above
21°

The Acer Aspire 5 has sub-par vertical viewing angles. The color temperature becomes cooler the further off-center you look at the screen, and the image quickly dims. This means you won't have much freedom when tilting the screen forward and back if you want an accurate image. The TN panel will have worse viewing angles, and will even experience chroma inversion when viewed at sharp angles from below, so it's better to go with an IPS panel if vertical viewing angles are important to you.

2.6
Display
Out-Of-The-Box Color Accuracy
Avg. White Balance dE
6.7
Avg. Gamma
1.94
Avg. Color dE
6.68
Avg. Color Temperature
6,724 K

The out-of-the-box color accuracy is terrible. Most colors are inaccurate due to the display's narrow color gamut. The color temperature is on the cooler side of our 6500K target, giving the image a slight, almost imperceptible blueish tint. The gamma curve is very inaccurate, with nearly all scenes appearing much brighter than they should be. If you want a laptop with better color accuracy out of the box, check out the Dell XPS 13 (2021).

4.1
Display
Color Gamut
sRGB xy
66.44%
sRGB uv
53.15%
Adobe RGB xy
49.84%
Adobe RGB uv
46.85%
DCI P3 xy
49.47%
DCI P3 uv
43.29%
Rec. 2020 xy
35.56%
Rec. 2020 uv
31.73%

The Acer Aspire 5 has a poor color gamut. It doesn't even have full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, making most content look slightly washed out. It doesn't have enough coverage of the wider color spaces like Adobe RGB and DCI P3 for color-critical work.

10
Display
Flicker
Flicker-Free
Yes
Flicker Frequency
No Flicker
Flicker Active Below
0%

The backlight is flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain for people sensitive to screen flickering.

Interface
7.6
Interface
Keyboard
Typing Quality
7.5
Numpad
Yes
Backlighting
On / Off
Operating Force
64 gf
Actuation Force
32 gf
Pre-Travel
0.95 mm
Total Travel
1.4 mm

The Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop's keyboard feels good to type on. The keys are stable and don't require much force to actuate; however, the travel is on the shorter side, and the layout feels slightly cramped. Typing noise is a little loud and may be bothersome in quiet settings. Although there's backlighting, you can only turn it on or off, as there's only a single brightness setting.

7.4
Interface
Touchpad
Tracking Quality
7.5
Size
12.8 in² (82.3 cm²)
Material
Plastic
Dedicated Buttons
No

The Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop has a decent touchpad. It's on the smaller side, but it feels nice and smooth. Palm rejection works well, and all gestures, as well as actions like dragging and dropping, work without issue. However, like most laptops, clicking becomes difficult the further you get from the bottom center.

6.2
Interface
Speakers
Max Volume
77 dB SPL
Standard Error @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
7.4 dB
Slope @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
1.3
Bass Extension (Low-Frequency Ext.)
247 Hz
Treble Extension (High-Frequency Ext.)
18 kHz
Dynamic Range Compression @ Max Vol.
1.7 dB

The Acer Aspire 5 A515 has passable speakers. Like most laptop speakers, it lacks bass, with the sound leaning toward the treble. There are also strong peaks in the midrange and low treble that can over-accentuate vocals. On the upside, they get pretty loud with very little dynamic compression at max volume.

6.5
Interface
Webcam & Microphone
Video Quality
6.5
Resolution
720p
Position
Top Center
Privacy Cover
No
Face Unlock
No

The webcam and microphone are alright. The image looks fairly clear, and the colors are decent; however, there's some noise, and smaller details are hard to see due to compression artifacts. There's white noise in the background of the audio, but voices still come across clearly. If you want a laptop with a better webcam, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023).

Connectivity
7.0
Connectivity
Ports
USB-A Ports
3
USB-C Ports
1
Thunderbolt
No
USB-C Charging
No
USB-C Display Out
No
HDMI
2.0
DisplayPort
No
3.5mm Jack
Combo mic/headphone
Card Reader
No
Ethernet
Yes
Proprietary Port
No
Security Lock
Yes

The port selection is decent. There are three USB-A ports; two support USB 3.2 Gen 1 data transfer speed (up to 5Gbps), while the other supports USB 2.0 (up to 480Mbps). The USB-C port is also a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port. Unfortunately, you can't use the USB-C port to charge the laptop or output video. The HDMI 2.0 port can output up to 4k 60Hz to an external monitor, and the Ethernet supports up to 1Gbps. If you need a laptop with Thunderbolt support, check out the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020).

Connectivity
Wireless Communication
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth
5.2

The wireless adapter is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201, while the Ethernet controller is a Realtek PCIe GbE Gigabit.

Configuration
Configuration
CPU
Brand
Intel
Model
Core i5-1035G1
Core Count
4
Thread Count
8

The Acer Aspire 5 is available with the following CPUs:

  • Intel Core i3-1005G1 (2 cores/4 threads, up to 3.4GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 3.6GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 3.9GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 3 4300U (4 cores/4 threads, up to 3.7GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (6 cores/6 threads, up to 4.0GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700U (8 cores/8 threads, up to 4.1GHz)

All available CPUs are low-power processors designed for light productivity tasks, like text processing, web browsing, and video playback, so they aren't ideal for demanding tasks like video editing or 3D graphics. For most people with a light workload, a 4-core CPU like the Core i5-1035G1 or the Ryzen 3 4300U are more than adequate and likely the best value options. It's best to skip the Intel Core i3-1005G1, as two physical cores aren't very much these days, and you'll likely experience slowdowns very quickly if you multitask. The Core i7-1065G7 is a small upgrade over the Core i5-1035G1 as it only has faster clock speeds, so depending on the price difference, it may or may not be worth upgrading. If you're a heavy multitasker or run more demanding multi-threaded programs, it's best to get a CPU with more cores, like the AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7.

Configuration
GPU
Brand
NVIDIA
Model
GeForce MX350
Dedicated/Integrated
Dedicated
VRAM Size
2 GB

The Acer Aspire 5 is available with the following GPUs:

  • Intel UHD Graphics (Intel i3 and i5, integrated)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics (Intel i7, integrated)
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX350 2GB (Intel i5 and i7 models only)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 5 (Ryzen 3 4300U, integrated)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 6 (Ryzen 5 4500U, integrated)
  • AMD Radeon Vega 7 (Ryzen 7 4700U, integrated)
  • AMD Radeon RX 640 2GB (AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 models only)

Except for the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 and the AMD Radeon RX 640, all the other GPUs are integrated graphics that come with the CPU. The integrated GPUs can only handle simple tasks like web browsing and video playback. The NVIDIA GeForce MX350 and the AMD Radeon RX 640 are entry-level dedicated GPUs that perform slightly better than the integrated graphics but still not powerful enough to run AAA titles smoothly at high settings.

Configuration
RAM
Capacity
8 GB
Modules
1
Type
DDR4
Speed
2,666 MHz

You can configure this laptop with 4, 8, 16, or 32GB of memory. 8GB is enough for most people with a light workload, but if you tend to have a large number of browser tabs open or run multiple applications at a time, having 16GB will provide a much smoother experience. Unless you plan on upgrading later on, it's best to avoid a 4GB configuration, as you'll likely get regular stutters and slowdowns.

Configuration
Storage
Advertised Capacity
512 GB
Usable Capacity
437 GB
Drive 1
Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AA
Drive 1 Type SSD
Drive 2
No 2nd Drive
Drive 2 Type No 2nd Drive

You can configure the laptop with 128, 256, or 512GB of storage. The laptop comes with a user-replaceable M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, so you can swap it out later if you need more storage space, and there's an additional slot for a 2.5-inch SATA SSD.

Performance
7.0
Performance
Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)
CPU Single-Thread
1,161 points
CPU Multi-Thread
3,004 points
GPU Compute
15,179 points

The Acer Aspire 5 laptop with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 performs decently in the Geekbench 5 synthetic benchmark. Its amazing single-thread performance means it executes tasks like file compression and photo editing well. However, its mediocre multi-thread performance means it does comparatively worse in tasks like video encoding. The AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 variants will perform significantly better in multi-thread workloads, but not much better in single-thread ones.

The Acer Aspire 5 with the dedicated NVIDIA MX350 graphics card has disappointing performance for GPU compute tasks. While it's capable of running physics simulations and matrix calculations, it runs them noticeably worse compared to higher-end gaming graphics cards. If you need a laptop with more powerful GPU options, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (2021).

6.9
Performance
Cinebench R23 (CPU Rendering)
Single-Thread
1,065 points
Multi-Thread
2,941 points

The Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU in our model performs reasonably well in the Cinebench R23 benchmark. It's fine for enthusiasts who occasionally engage in 3D rendering tasks, but it isn't ideal for professionals with deadlines, as it'll take far too long to complete the renders. If you must perform rendering tasks for work, it's best to get a CPU with more cores (Ryzen 5 or 7), as most rendering applications are highly dependent on core count and multi-thread performance.

4.4
Performance
Blender (3D Rendering)
CPU Render Time
13.3 min
GPU Render Time
7.7 min
GPU Render Time (Optix)
N/A

The Acer Aspire 5 A515 performs poorly in Blender. The Intel Core i5 in our unit takes more than ten minutes to render the relatively simple scene with two BMWs, so it's better to use the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics card. Even then, it still takes a while. The Ryzen 5, Intel Core i7, and Ryzen 7 variants will provide much shorter CPU render times, so it's better to opt for those models if 3D rendering is important to you.

5.0
Performance
Basemark GPU (Game Scene)
Overall Score
15,869

Our Acer A515 with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 and the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 gives disappointing results in the Basemark GPU benchmark. It means that you'll need to turn down the graphics settings in most games to get reasonably good frame rates. Models with the Intel Core i7 and dedicated MX350 GPU will perform better only in CPU-dependent games like physics-heavy simulators. However, you can't turn the graphical settings any higher. The AMD models equipped with dedicated Radeon RX 640 graphics and a Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 CPU will perform a bit worse graphically, according to most online feedback, but the much better performance of the Ryzen CPUs makes them better suited for CPU-heavy games. If you want a laptop with better graphical performance, check out the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020).

8.9
Performance
Storage Drive Performance
Sequential Write Speed
927.4 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed
1,607.0 MB/s
Random Write Speed
102.9 MB/s
Random Read Speed
39.5 MB/s

The Acer Aspire 5's 512GB NVMe SSD is amazingly quick, so booting the computer and launching applications is very fast. If you install an additional 2.5-inch SATA SSD, programs launched from it will be noticeably slower to load as the SATA interface is much slower than the PCIe interface. If you install a regular HDD, it'll be even slower. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size; larger SSDs tend to perform better.

5.7
Performance
Battery
Capacity
49 Wh
Battery Life (Web Browsing)
6.9 hrs
Battery Life (Video Playback)
4.6 hrs
Battery Life (Gaming)
1.3 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs

The Acer Aspire 5 slim has middling battery life. It'll only get you through two feature-length films with only a little charge to spare, likely because it uses the more power-intensive dedicated graphics rather than the integrated graphics for video playback. If you opt for a variant without dedicated graphics or go into the laptop's settings to disable the graphics card for all but the most intensive tasks, you might get a few more hours of battery. Also, you can get longer battery life if you're only doing light productivity tasks, but you'll still need to bring your charger to get through a full 8-hour workday. Battery life varies greatly depending on your usage.

If you need a lightweight, portable laptop with similar performance but significantly better battery life, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020).

2.3
Performance
Borderlands 3
Avg. FPS
15 fps
1% Low
7 fps
0.1% Low
3 fps
1% Low Delta
84 ms
0.1% Low Delta
240 ms
Avg. FPS On Very Low
34 fps

The Acer Aspire 5 A515 performs very badly in Borderlands 3. The game isn't playable on "High" settings, with plenty of stutters and dropped frames, but you can get a better experience by setting it to "Very Low". Models without a dedicated graphics card can't provide a playable experience on any graphical settings.

3.9
Performance
Civilization VI
Avg. FPS
20 fps
1% Low
12 fps
0.1% Low
11 fps
1% Low Delta
31 ms
0.1% Low Delta
38 ms
Avg. FPS On Minimum
81 fps
Avg. Turn Time
9.41 s

The Acer Aspire 5 runs Civilization VI poorly. The game is playable at "High" settings despite the low framerate because it's a turn-based strategy game that doesn't depend on reaction time. Nonetheless, you can get a significantly smoother experience by turning the graphical settings down to "Minimum". The turn time on our i5-1035G1 model is mediocre, but it'll be faster on the AMD Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, and Intel Core i7 variants.

6.9
Performance
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Avg. FPS
78 fps
1% Low
43 fps
0.1% Low
27 fps
1% Low Delta
10 ms
0.1% Low Delta
24 ms
Avg. FPS On Low
118 fps

The Acer Aspire 5 with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 and NVIDIA GeForce MX350 dedicated graphics runs CS:GO adequately. It pushes out frames faster than the 60Hz limit of the screen, even on "High" settings, with only occasional stutters. Variants without a dedicated graphics card will run the game noticeably worse, with much more stutter.

0
Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Avg. FPS
N/A
1% Low
N/A
0.1% Low
N/A
1% Low Delta
N/A
0.1% Low Delta
N/A
Avg. FPS On Lowest
32 fps

The Acer Aspire 5 can't run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at "High" settings. During our testing, the game couldn't make it through the entire benchmark without crashing and giving an out-of-video memory error, so the laptop likely doesn't have enough system resources to load all the highest-quality assets. The game runs on "Medium" settings, though, and achieves 20FPS on average. While barely playable, you can get a much better experience by lowering the graphics to the lowest settings. Variants without dedicated graphics will run the game much worse. If you decide to get a variant with 16GB of RAM, the game can run on "High" settings, although performance will be bad.

7.3
Performance
Thermals And Noise
Keyboard Temp While Idle
30 °C (85 °F)
Keyboard Temp Under Load
45 °C (114 °F)
Fan Noise While Idle
25.0 dBA
Fan Noise Under Load
45.5 dBA
Power & Fan Control App
No

The Acer Aspire 5 is almost completely silent at idle. The fan ramps up under load and gets louder, but it isn't bothersome or annoying. However, the left side of the keyboard gets hot under load, particularly around the "F" key. The Ryzen variants generally run cooler, although it's difficult to tell if there's a big difference in fan noise or keyboard temperature.

8.7
Performance
Performance Over Time
CPU Temp (Cinebench)
57 °C
CPU Perf. Loss (Cinebench)
4% loss
GPU Temp (Heaven)
69 °C
GPU Perf. Loss (Heaven)
4% loss

The Acer Aspire 5 has excellent performance over time. It only suffers a slight loss in CPU and GPU performance starting around the ten-minute mark that's barely noticeable.

Additional Features And Software
Additional Features And Software
Software
Operating System
Windows 10
Additional Software
Yes

The Intel Core i3-1005G1 and AMD Ryzen 3 4300U variants ship with Windows 10 Home S, a lightweight, stripped-down version of Windows 10. It can only install apps or programs from the Windows Store, meaning you can't install programs downloaded from websites, like Google Chrome. You can switch from S Mode to regular Windows 10 to regain this functionality, but you can't switch back. If you're looking for a similarly sized laptop but are interested in a Chromebook, check out the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020).

This laptop comes with many pre-installed applications, including:

  • Acer Documents: A shortcut to a PDF version of the user documentation.
  • Acer Collection S: An app store with suggestions from Acer.
  • Acer Product Registration: Lets you register your unit online to get "personalized product updates and support".
  • App Explorer: A collection of apps and services recommended by Acer, similar to Acer Collection S.
  • Care Center: A computer management/cleanup utility by Acer. You can view your system status, system information, and check for updates, among other things.
  • GoTrust ID: Two-factor authentication and password manager.
  • Norton Security Ultra: A trial for Norton security services. A subscription is required once the trial period ends.
  • Cyberlink PhotoDirector: Photo editing and management software.
  • Cyberlink PowerDirector: Video editing software.
  • MAGIX Movie & Audio Studio: Video editing software.
  • Other: Dropbox promotion, Evernote, ExpressVPN, Mozilla Firefox, Netflix, Simple Freecell, Simple Solitaire, Spades, and Spotify.

Additional Features And Software
Extra Features
RGB Illumination
No
Touch Pen
No
Secondary Display
No
Biometrics
No

Our Acer Aspire 5 A515 doesn't have any extra features. However, some variants have a fingerprint reader, which you can use to quickly log into Windows, authorize purchases in the Windows Store, and auto-fill saved passwords on supported websites.