Acer Aspire 5 2022 review: Great value | Techy Kings

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Cons

  • Poor plastic body

  • Middle screen

  • Annoying bloatware

Evaluate the body

The Acer Aspire 5 is a budget laptop, but it holds its own with high-end laptops.

About the Acer Aspire 5 laptop

Man typing on laptop keyboard

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Aspire 5 is a budget laptop that’s easy to fit into a bag.

We tested the Acer Aspire 5 laptop with the following configuration.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
  • Random Access Memory: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Demonstration: 14-inch 1920 x 1080 LCD display
  • Ports: 3 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Headphone Jack
  • wireless connection; Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Webcam: 720p web camera
  • Battery: 54 watt-hours
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds £
  • Amount: 12.9 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

The Aspire 5 is a budget laptop available in several configurations with both Intel and AMD central processors. The cheapest configuration has an 11th-gen Intel Core i3 processor, 15.6-inch screen, 4GB of memory and 128GB SSD storage for $379.99, while the most expensive configuration has an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 17.3-inch screen. , 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage for $899.99. The model we tested has a suggested retail price of $499.99.

What we love

Good specs for the price

Close up of a person using a laptop trackpad

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The included hardware is a great value for the price.

The last-gen Aspire 5 was almost $600 for the 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor model, so we’re surprised to see the current Aspire 5 going for $400, a 20% drop from its $500 retail price. With a mid-range 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, it has enough power to handle productivity tasks. Budget laptops with these specs usually sell for around $500-$600, making the Aspire 5 a fantastic value proposition. Obviously, most of the laptop’s price comes from its core hardware. However, like its similar, slightly more expensive peers, it doesn’t run as fast, which we’ll cover later.

Great port selection

A side view showing the laptop's ports

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Aspire 5 has more ports than most laptops.

It’s always great to see a laptop that bucks the trend when you choose to reduce or eliminate a few ports that have too many electronics.

The Aspire 5 also has USB-A ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI port and an Ethernet port. HDMI and Ethernet ports are especially rare on laptops these days, so multiple ports save you the headache of finding a dongle if you want to stream or have a strong Internet connection.

Also, since the Aspire 5 has such a healthy set of USB-A and USB-C ports, it makes it easy to plug in accessories like a mouse as needed.

Good battery life

Laptop is open and turned on.

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Its battery life isn’t record-breaking, but it’s good enough to get the job done.

With over six hours of battery life, the Aspire 5 lasts long enough to get through a day’s worth of classes. It’s not the longest battery life among laptops (premium laptops regularly break nine hours or more), but it’s on par with other budget Windows laptops. The Dell Inspiron and HP Pavilion both clock in at around six hours of battery life, for example.

Among the cheaper laptops, Chromebooks have the longest battery life. But those run a simpler operating system (Chrome OS) than Windows and lack many essential capabilities that users need to complete academic or professional work.

You can improve it yourself

The upper part of the laptop lid

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

If you need to install more storage, there is a spare storage space inside the laptop.

Although the Aspire 5 only comes with 256GB of storage, upgrading the storage yourself is easy. The bottom of the PC can be removed with a screwdriver, and the laptop has a spare M.2 SSD storage drive. Considering you can buy a 1TB drive for under $100 or a 512GB drive for $50 or less, it’s cheaper to get a base Aspire 5 and upgrade it yourself than it is to buy an Aspire 5 pre-installed with a 512GB drive.

It’s a great way to keep your laptop running longer because you’re not stuck with what you started with. This is a big win for the Aspirin 5, as many expensive laptops like the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Air don’t have upgradeable storage.

What we don’t like

Bloatware hinders performance

Man typing on laptop keyboard

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

If the bloatware on this computer is not uninstalled, it will seriously affect the performance.

While the Acer Aspire 5’s 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor is a capable mid-range processor for most productivity tasks, it can struggle if you have too many applications running at once.

For example, the Aspire 5 comes with an 18-month free trial of Norton Security Ultra, a security suite that demands the Aspire 5’s processing power at the cost of opening a single web browser. After uninstalling the software, the computer immediately felt cranky and multitasked (for example, a dozen web browser tabs with YouTube videos playing in the background).

To compare a computer’s performance against its competitors, we run a number of benchmarks that give us tangible results that we can reference. In Geekbench 5, one of our primary benchmarks, the Aspire 5 scored 4168. The Dell Inspiron, another laptop with a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, and the HP Pavilion 15, a laptop with a midrange 5th-gen AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, both scored over 5000 points.

While the Aspire 5 is fast enough to handle most productivity tasks, performance falls behind rivals with similar specs, especially if you don’t ditch the bloatware. (Blotware is unfortunately a common issue among cheap laptops, including the aforementioned Pavilion 15.)

Washed screen, quiet speakers

Laptop is unlocked and turned on.

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The screen is bright enough for sunlight, but the poor color gamut makes the image look dull and washed out.

The screen isn’t the worst we’ve seen on a laptop, but it’s not the best. When watching movies and videos on the Aspire 5, the colors are muddy and muted, while the bright ones really bloom. Even though it’s a 1080p screen, it looks pixelated to feel like a lower resolution display. On the other hand, the screen is bright enough to read in sunlight with a brightness of 282 nits.

The speakers are no better than the monitor. If you want to watch video without headphones, you might struggle to hear it over the Aspire 5’s speakers unless you’re in a quiet room. Even then the sound you get is very small and completely lacking in the lower register.

Sealed appearance and flexible plastic

Man typing on laptop keyboard

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The grainy texture on the keyboard while typing is weird.

Judging by its looks, there’s no denying that the Aspire 5 is a budget laptop. It looks like it’s trying to copy the MacBook Air, but its mostly plastic body gives it away. The grainy plastic of the keycaps in particular throws off the beauty of this laptop. However, it retains some laudable elements, notably the aluminum lid and slim, lightweight form factor.

The plastic body does little to inspire confidence in its durability. In contrast, the Aspire 5 sticks if you push the body or lid with moderate force. That shouldn’t be an issue for most people, but those who refuse to stop throwing their laptops on the couch may end up with a very sad laptop.

Many budget laptops skimp on quality to pack in expensive processors, but if you want something powerful and durable, the Dell Inspiron is a great example of an all-plastic laptop that looks solid as a rock.

Should you buy it?

Yes, it’s a good budget laptop for class or work.

Laptop is unlocked and turned on.

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Aspire 5 is a budget laptop for those looking to spend the lowest possible on an everyday laptop.

The Acer Aspire 5 offers well-rounded features, portability and performance at a retail price of $400. A mid-range processor, plenty of ports, and a comfortable keyboard and trackpad make it a practical choice among budget laptops if you need something that can handle high school or college-level workloads.

For getting office work done quickly and easily, the Aspire 5 is a great choice, but it’s not the only choice at $500 and under. The Dell Inspiron has a bit more storage and memory, and its sturdy body is good for people who rough their electronic devices more than others.

Meanwhile, the HP Pavilion offers similar performance in a sleeker body and a decent keyboard and trackpad to boot. If you’re looking for a powerful PC on a budget, you’ll have to spend a little more. The HP Pavilion Gaming and Acer Nitro 5 are both under $700, but offer enough performance to play e-sports games at high frame rates or work in 3D modeling programs.

If you don’t need a laptop that can handle dull productivity tasks like video editing or programming, the Aspire 5 is a great laptop. The battery lasts for a full working day, and if you need more in the future, you can upgrade the storage yourself. It won’t win any beauty awards, but what’s inside (and the price tag) is important.

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Adrian Ramirez

Adrian Ramirez

Staff Secretary

@itsaramkat

Adrienne is a staff writer for Review, specializing primarily in reviewing laptops and other consumer tech. In his free time, he often wanders around Hyrule.

See all Adrian Ramirez reviews

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