Acer Aspire 5 (2022, A515-57-56UV) review | Techy Kings


The Acer Aspire name has always been a bit of clever branding, as the series is positioned as a better-than-average choice among budget laptops. It didn’t always work out, but the company was able to produce solid economic picks year after year. The latest Aspire 5 (starts at $369.99; $599.99 as-tested) offers a 12th-generation Intel processor and reasonable RAM and storage. It offers excellent performance and battery life, though as you’d expect, some features are kept basic for the sake of affordability.

Design: Basics only

For 2022, the 15.6-inch Aspire 5 line will start at $369.99 with an 11th Gen Core i3 laptop processor and Windows 11 Home in S mode. Our $599.99 model A515-57-56UV has a Core i5-1235U chip (two performance cores, eight efficient cores, 12 threads) with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16GB of memory and a 512GB solid-state drive, as well as a Full HD (1,920-by -1,080-pixel) non-touch display. It’s built to deliver a good enough level of quality, except for a few choices, and this is reflected in the design, from the materials used to the connections and components inside.

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-57) keyboard

(Credit: Molly Flores)

At 0.7 by 14.3 by 9.4 inches and weighing 3.9 pounds, the Acer is far from featherweight, but it’s not too bulky to throw in a laptop bag or purse. The Asus VivoBook 15 is 0.78 by 14.1 by 9.1 inches and 3.75 pounds with minimal trim. Aspirin’s construction combines metal and plastic, with a uniform finish that makes it hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. The lid is covered in aluminum, but the rest of the chassis is fairly hard plastic. The laptop is big enough for a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad, although the rear has half-width keys.

The keyboard is backlit for visibility in dimly lit rooms, and the recessed keys are comfortable to type on. The thin keyboard keys aren’t as comfortable, but if you’re doing a lot of data entry in a spreadsheet, any number pad is better than none. The touchpad is wider, giving you a wider surface for gesture controls as well as basic clicking and scrolling.

The Aspire 5 has plenty of ports so you don’t have to compromise on connectivity, freeing you from bringing a hub or adapter with you. On the left side of the laptop are three USB 3.2 ports (one Type-C and two Type-A), along with an HDMI video output and a compact Ethernet jack.

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-57) left ports

(Credit: Molly Flores)

On the right side, you’ll find a third USB-A port and a 3.5mm audio jack, as well as a Kensington lock slot to physically secure the machine. Wi-Fi 6 handles networking needs (assuming you don’t use the Ethernet port), and Bluetooth is available for connecting wireless headphones, keyboards, and mice.

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-57) correct ports

(Credit: Molly Flores)

There is no feast for the eyes and ears

The built-in webcam is a bit pedestrian, meaning it’s your typical generic camera with 720p resolution and no facial recognition for Windows Hello logins. There’s also no fingerprint reader, so type in passwords the old-fashioned way.

A 1080p IPS screen is a bit difficult in an age where high resolution and 4K displays are available on most laptops, but they’re not uncommon at this price point, and Full HD at least beats some of the cheapest notebooks at 1,366 by 768. The 15.6-inch size is perfect for everyday tasks like school. It’s good enough for work, web browsing, and streaming videos and movies, but you shouldn’t expect dazzling brightness or better-than-white colors in this unit. Touch screen is also very rare in this price range.

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-57) front view

(Credit: Molly Flores)

The Aspire 5 is equipped with two downward facing speakers. The sound clarity isn’t bad, but the speakers are surprisingly quiet. When watching YouTube videos online, I had to crank the volume all the way up to get enough volume.

The 2022 Aspire 5: Testing performance in line with price

For this review, we compared the Aspire 5 to other budget-friendly systems, from the affordable Asus VivoBook 15 to the AMD-powered Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 and the Intel-based Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14, two of the best models at this price point. The range we saw last year. We also included the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 and the Gateway 15.6-inch Ultra Slim, two rock-bottom budget machines with minimal hardware and some specs.

Our primary productivity test is UL’s PCMark 10, which simulates typical workloads such as word processing, spreadsheet analysis, web browsing, and video conferencing. We also use PCMark 10’s Full System Drive test to evaluate the access time and throughput of the system’s boot drive. Geekbench 5 simulates popular apps like PDF rendering and speech recognition, with little focus on processing power.

Two other CPU tests that put pressure on all available cores and threads are Max’s Cinebench, which we use that company’s Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, and the open source Handbrake, when rendering a 12-minute clip of 4K video. Blender Foundation short film Tear of steel) up to 1080p resolution. Our final productivity test is computer vendor Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses Creative Cloud 22 version of Adobe’s popular image editor to measure a PC’s suitability for multimedia and digital content creation.

The Aspire 5’s updated Intel Core i5 CPU is perfect for everyday applications in the classroom, home or office. Our test unit beat the bottom-feeding Inspiron handily and beat the capable IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 in most tests.

We test the graphics capabilities of PCs with two sets of benchmarks together with two game-like animations. UL’s 3DMark offers DirectX 12 tests for Night Raid (less demanding, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming devices with specialized GPUs). GFXBench is a cross-platform GPU performance test that uses both low-level routines like texting and high-level image rendering. Its 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase subtests are scaled out to accommodate different display resolutions.

Because the Aspire 5 relies on integrated graphics rather than AMD or Nvidia dedicated GPUs, it’s inherently limited in graphics performance. It’s great for office productivity, streaming media, and even simple photo editing, but if you want to play the latest games, you’ll have to look elsewhere. That said, the graphics are faster than most economic models, often leading the pack in our tests.

Finally, we test the laptops’ battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video at 50% screen brightness and 100% volume until the system shuts down. We also use the Datacolor Spyder X Elite monitor calibration sensor and software to measure the screen’s coverage of popular color gamuts or palettes and brightness in nits.

With an unplugged time of 11 and a half hours, the Acer shows good durability for the price. We weren’t impressed with the screen, however – it’s a typical economy panel with limited color reproduction and adequate brightness, just 300 nits below what we’d consider a baseline, let alone the 400 nits we’d prefer. But to be honest, you won’t find much better in this class.

Verdict: Budget deal, but not bad.

Designed to straddle the line between budget and mid-range laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 has a tightrope to walk in balancing affordable price and powerful features. The latest version is balanced, although there are some rough spots that are hard to ignore, such as the lackluster display and missing biometric and touchscreen features. Overall, though, the Aspire line delivers what it always promises is a better-than-bare-bones laptop for users on a tight budget.

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-57) rear view

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Whether you’re looking for a port option that lets you leave other budget laptops or hubs and dongles at home, the 2022 Aspire 5 hits those marks. It’s a solid, inexpensive option for a solid laptop.

Acer Aspire 5 (2022, A515-57-56UV)


  • Strong daily activity

  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad

  • More than 11 hours of battery life


  • Weak speakers

  • Untouched, not too bright 1080p display

  • A half-width numeric keypad feels cramped.

Bottom line

You won’t get a lot of creative conveniences with Acer’s Aspire 5, but you’ll get solid performance for everyday use — and the battery life to back it up.

Are you reading it?

Register Laboratory report Get the latest reviews and top product recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, offers or affiliate links. Signing up for the newsletter indicates your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time.


Source link