Acer Aspire 5 (2019) Evaluate: A $400 Laptop computer That Doesn’t Suck

Acer Aspire 5 (2019) evaluate: A $400 laptop computer that doesn’t suck

“The Acer Aspire 5 fixes its show and battery life, bringing the perfect worth you’ll discover for underneath $500.”


  • Stable productiveness efficiency with a reasonable upside
  • Excellent battery life
  • A greater-than-budget show
  • Snug keyboard and touchpad
  • Higher-than-budget aesthetics


  • Smaller than the earlier model, however nonetheless cumbersome
  • Show bezels are nonetheless not sufficiently small

For those who’re searching for newer variations of this laptop computer, check out our Acer Aspire 5 (2020) and Acer Aspire 5 (2021) critiques.

Not everybody can afford to spend a thousand bucks on among the finest laptops, and fortuitously, that doesn’t imply it’s important to purchase a chunk of junk. No, you received’t get attractive or thrilling for underneath $500. However should you’re cautious, you will get nice efficiency, battery life, and options — particularly should you go for the $400 Acer Aspire 5.

What do you get for thus little cash? By way of parts, there’s an 8th-gen dual-core i3-8145U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show. You possibly can spend $260 to improve to a Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. Right here’s a little bit foreshadowing: That could be your higher guess except you’re extraordinarily low on money.

So, does the Acer Aspire 5 handle to justify its oh-so-low worth? Or does it minimize too many corners to make even such a finances worth too excessive?

Nothing fallacious with the construct high quality at costs like this

Okay, let’s be proper up entrance right here: You’re not going to get an all-aluminum (or magnesium, or no matter) building that looks like a stable chunk of metallic for $400. However in contrast to the earlier mannequin of the Aspire 5, which we discovered had a lid that was far too versatile, this model is much more inflexible – most likely resulting from its aluminum body.

The plastic keyboard deck resists flexing, and the plastic backside of the chassis is stable. You’ll don’t have any actual complaints about construct high quality. And the lid is stiff however holds its place nicely, whereas with the ability to prolong to a full 180 levels for sharing data with mates and colleagues.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

You additionally received’t have too many complaints – or accolades – concerning the aesthetics, both. There’s nothing fallacious with the look, precisely, a minimum of in our very typical silver colour scheme. The Acer emblem on the lid is the one actual adornment, and in any other case, it is a very merely designed laptop computer. Possibly should you selected one of many different colour schemes, such because the black, purple, gentle blue or darkish blue, you then’d have a bit extra panache. For those who’re searching for one thing that stands out, the Aspire 5 isn’t for you – however at these costs, do you actually care?

Two major modifications had been created from the earlier model. First, the bezels are smaller, particularly alongside the perimeters. The Aspire 5 isn’t a member of the tiny bezel membership, however it seems to be extra fashionable than its predecessor. Second, it’s additionally smaller in all dimensions, together with being thinner at 0.71 inches (in comparison with 0.85 inches) and lighter at 3.97 kilos (versus 4.63 kilos). It might probably’t fairly reside as much as the 0.66 inches and three.72 kilos of its finances competitor, the Lenovo IdeaPad 530s, however it’s shut sufficient for presidency work.

The keyboard and touchpad are higher than you’d anticipate for the worth.

We’ll notice that our favourite finances laptop computer, the Acer Aspire E 15, is reaching its finish of life. That implies that we’ll be searching for a alternative advice and given simply how way more svelte the Aspire 5 is than the Aspire E 15 (1.19 inches thick and 5.27 kilos), the most recent Acer could be an excellent different. We’ll proceed to judge it for simply that function.

Maybe paradoxically, finances laptops with comparatively thick chassis typically provide among the greatest connectivity. The Aspire 5 is a working example. You get a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, two USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a USB-A Gen 2 port, a full-size HDMI port, and a gigabit Ethernet port for these instances when solely a wired connection will do. That’s numerous ports, and the one factor you’re lacking is Thunderbolt 3 – and good luck discovering that function for underneath $1,000. Wi-fi connectivity is supplied by 802.11ac 2X2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 – not the most recent normal, however not unhealthy, both.

A greater keyboard and touchpad than you would possibly anticipate

It looks like currently, we’re seeing fewer and fewer low cost, mushy keyboards, and that makes us very completely satisfied. Accordingly, the Aspire 5’s keyboard punches approach above its worth. It’s a really typical island keyboard with black keys and white letters, and there’s the bonus of a backlight — which is uncommon for finances laptops, even when it’s solely on and off. The texture of the keys is a little bit shallow, however they nonetheless press with a quick click on and that makes for a exact really feel. It’s not Dell XPS 13 or HP Spectre x360 13 good, however it’s adequate for a quick contact typist to maintain up with no downside.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The touchpad can be excellent, with loads of measurement, a cushty plastic floor, and buttons that aren’t too loud. It’s additionally a Microsoft Precision touchpad, that means it supplies wonderful assist for Home windows 10’s multitouch gestures. It’s simply the equal of laptops costing a whole lot of {dollars} extra.

By way of enter, that’s all you get, although. There’s no contact show, which is par for the finances course, and there’s no Home windows 10 Hey mechanism for password-less login. That’s a bummer, however once more, you will need to surrender one thing to usher in a laptop computer for $400.

A greater-than-budget show and competent sound

The 2018 Aspire 5 had a mediocre show, and actually that was one of many the reason why we gave it a low rating. Acer took notice, apparently, as a result of they outfitted the 2019 model with a significantly better 15.6-inch IPS Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) panel.

First, the distinction was made apparent by our colorimeter. Colours are a bit muted, at simply 64% of the sRGB gamut and 47% of AdobeRGB. For those who spent just a few hundred {dollars} extra, you’d get nearer to a 100% in sRGB. Nonetheless, the display high quality right here is aggressive with laptops on this worth vary. Coloration accuracy was respectable at 2.49 (1.0 or much less is superb, and located on essentially the most premium laptops), and considerably higher than the 2018 model.

Don’t misunderstand us – these aren’t spectacular colours if you must edit photographs or video. And should you’re searching for colours that basically pop on websites and in your personal picture assortment, you then’ll be upset with this show. However it’s important to give one thing as much as match a Full HD show into this type of finances, and colour depth and accuracy are normally the primary to go. And albeit, we don’t suppose most individuals received’t discover this show disappointing even in these metrics.

Merely put, that is a powerful show for a $400 laptop computer.

Brightness was common at 238 nits, beneath the 300 nits we prefer to see however nonetheless aggressive with even some premium laptops. Distinction was excellent for a finances laptop computer, although, at 890:1 – very near the 1,000:1 that we predict makes for deep blacks and shiny whites. If there’s one knock in opposition to the show, it’s that the gamma was too darkish at 2.6, which we did discover whereas watching Netflix video.

The Aspire 5’s show is one other space the place it matches our favourite Aspire E 15, and offers it one more alternative to compete within the “greatest finances laptop computer” class. Merely put, that is a powerful show for a $400 laptop computer. And it’s not simply our colorimeter that thinks so – we loved utilizing this show way over on most finances laptops we’ve used.

Audio was additionally surprisingly good, with loads of quantity with none distortion when turned all the way in which up. Mids and highs had been sturdy, and there was even a touch of bass. You could possibly simply binge Netflix utilizing these audio system, though music would profit from an excellent pair of headphones. Once more, it is a nice end result for such a reasonable machine.

Efficiency that matches the parts – and you’ll pay a little bit for lots extra

Our $400 evaluate unit outfitted a dual-core Core i3-8145U CPU. That’s not a lot sooner than Intel’s low-power Y-series CPUs, however it too makes use of much less energy than hungrier processors. When coupled with 4GB of RAM, we had been curious to see how the Aspire 5 would carry out.

Trying on the Geekbench 4 artificial benchmark, the Aspire 5 was a middling performer, as anticipated. It scored 4,197 within the single-core take a look at and eight,028 within the multi-core take a look at. Curiously, that falls behind the HP Spectre Folio with its Core i7-8500Y dual-core low-power CPU. The Aspire 5 was additionally nicely behind the Core i5 laptops in our comparability group.

In our real-world Handbrake take a look at that encodes a 420MB video to H.265, the Aspire 5 beat out the Spectre Folio however was significantly slower at 484 seconds than the remainder of the machines in our listing. Even the AMD Ryzen 5 2500u within the Acer Aspire 3 was sooner.

Subsequent, the Aspire 5 got here outfitted with a 128GB Kingston PCIe SSD, which is a superb function for such a low-cost laptop computer. Normally, you’ll discover spinning exhausting disks on this worth vary, or at greatest slower SATA SSDs. And so whereas 128GB isn’t a ton of storage, its efficiency as lots fast. Within the CrystalDiskMark 5 take a look at, it scored 1,007 megabytes per second (MB/s) within the learn take a look at and 492 MB/s second within the write take a look at. That beats out the SATA drives in our take a look at and even the Intel Optane-backed exhausting disk drive (HDD) within the Acer Aspire 5.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

So, what does that imply for you, the potential purchaser? The entry-level Aspire 5 isn’t the quickest benchmarking laptop computer round, however throughout our testing we discovered its efficiency greater than adequate for the standard productiveness duties, browsing the net, watching Netflix, and the like. It’ll do every thing the standard workplace employee or scholar asks of it with out grievance – particularly for $400.

For those who’re frightened about this laptop computer getting too sizzling to deal with, don’t. Even at full load, the Aspire 5 stays cool, and there’s a cause. First, the underside vents are enough to permit numerous air to cross by the system and hold issues cool. And, the followers spin up and get a bit loud. We’re not speaking gaming laptop computer loud right here, however it’s greater than the standard productiveness laptop computer.

On the identical time, we’re tempted to recommend you spend a few hundred {dollars} extra and purchase the model with a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a GeForce MX250 GPU. With two extra cores, that machine is assured to be sooner, to multitask higher, and clearly to retailer extra information.

Gaming isn’t this laptop computer’s forte

The $400 Aspire 5 is proscribed to Intel’s UHD 620 built-in graphics. Which means restricted gaming chops, and as soon as once more, we suggest splurging for the MX250 mannequin. With that discrete graphics on board, you’ll get a bit extra out of your Aspire 5.

We ran a few benchmarks, although, to see how the Aspire 5 would carry out. As anticipated, it wasn’t nice. It scored 791 within the 3DMark artificial Hearth Strike benchmark, which is low. And once we tried to run Fortnite, our expertise was equally disappointing. The Aspire 5 managed a paltry eight frames per second (FPS) at 1080p and Excessive graphics settings, and simply 5 FPS at Epic settings.

So, as we’ve been alluding to all through this evaluate, there’s an alternative choice. Pay some additional money for the model with the MX250 GPU, and also you’ll be capable of play informal video games like this with a significantly better expertise.

Battery life was a pleasant shock

Acer packed in 48 watt-hours of battery into the Aspire 5. That’s not lots for a 15.6-inch Full HD show, however we anticipated longevity to be assisted by the comparatively power-sipping CPU. Because it seems, we had been pleasantly stunned by the Aspire 5’s battery life.

To start with, in our net searching take a look at that runs by a sequence of common websites, the Aspire 5 carried out nicely in opposition to its friends. It managed simply over 9 hours, a robust rating, and missed the Aspire E 15’s rating by solely 9 minutes. And it beat out each different laptop computer in our comparability group – together with the Lenovo IdeaPad 530s by nearly three hours.

Subsequent, in our video take a look at that loops an area Avengers trailer till the battery ran out, the Aspire 5 lasted for simply over 13 hours. Once more, that’s a robust rating that bests our comparability group and competes with some premium laptops with bigger batteries.

Efficiency is greater than adequate for the standard workplace employee or scholar – particularly for $400.

Lastly, in our most demanding Basemark net benchmark, the Aspire 5 lasted for nearly precisely 4 hours. That’s not a record-breaking rating, however it’s stable for the battery capability and show measurement. The IdeaPad 530s, for instance, solely managed round two and a half hours, whereas the Aspire E15 precisely matched the Aspire 5.

The Aspire 5 isn’t the thinnest or lightest 15.6-inch laptop computer round, that a lot is evident. However for the standard productiveness employee, there’s an excellent probability that you simply’ll be capable of get in a full working day with out carrying round your charger. And that’s not nothing.

Our Take

It’s an excellent factor that the Aspire 5 obtained its refresh so quickly earlier than the Aspire E 15 is slated to be discontinued. At this level, Acer can probably keep its place on the high of the finances laptop computer heap. Sure, we like this $400 model, and we’re giving it a robust rating by itself deserves. However we suspect that we’d give simply as sturdy an endorsement to the $660 model with the sooner CPU, extra RAM, bigger SSD, and discrete GPU.

Is there a greater different?

For those who can nonetheless purchase it, the Acer Aspire E 15 is a robust competitor. It’s simply $600 for a Core i5-8250U, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SATA SSD. Acer additionally throws in a discrete Nvidia MX150 GPU that may energy some fashionable video games at low resolutions and graphical element and plenty of indie titles. And that’s solely $60 lower than an Aspire 5 with extra cupboard space and a more recent GPU. But when that’s your selection, you then’ll need to decide one up earlier than it goes away.

Acer’s Swift 3 is an alternative choice, significantly should you’re contemplating the costlier model of the Aspire 5. It prices $1,000 for a Core i7-8565U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and an MX150 for sooner graphics  . That compares to the equal Aspire 5 with a Core i7, 12GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an MX250 GPU for $850.

Lastly, you may take into account the Lenovo IdeaPad 530s. It’s a bit higher trying than the Aspire 5, and it has a barely higher construct high quality. It prices $735 as we reviewed it, with a Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 15.6-inch Full HD show. After all, you possibly can spend lower than that with the Aspire 5 and get extra RAM, storage, and a discrete GPU – so it is dependent upon how significantly better seems to be and construct high quality matter.

How lengthy will it final?

For those who spend $400 on a laptop computer, you then don’t essentially anticipate it to final a decade. And whereas the Aspire 5 feels prefer it’ll final some time, it’s held again by its comparatively gradual, dual-core CPU. The 1-year normal guarantee isn’t fairly as disappointing at this worth as it’s while you’re spending over $1,000 for a laptop computer.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. The Aspire 5, whether or not in its $400 evaluate configuration or its barely costlier $660 mannequin with significantly better parts, is our new favourite finances laptop computer.

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