Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ review: Slim and Light, but Holding quad-core performance

If you’re looking for an inexpensive quad-core laptop that’s less than three-quarters of an inch thick, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ might fit the bill. This slim laptop keeps more than enough power for everyday computing tasks, and its quad-core performance is respectable, if shy of splendor. The fingerprint reader and almost all-day battery life will attract productive minded road warriors, though they will have to settle for a dim screen display.

Price and specifications

Acer packs a staggering number of configurations in the Aspire 5 line in its budget – at least 22 as per statistic, ranging from $ 350 (early) for the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U dual-core processor, with 4GB bare RAM and a 128GB hard drive Bytes, up to the heavily quad-core Core i7-8565 model with massive 12GB RAM, 512GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics that cost about $ 850 at the time of writing. Most versions of Aspire 5 feature a 15.6-inch screen (although I have spotted at least one 14-inch model), a mix of 1080p and 720p resolution.

Also onboard: Suitable 8GB RAM, facilitating performance when running multiple programs at once; 256GB SSD, and adequate amount of storage for fast SSD; Intel UHD Graphics 620 And a high-resolution screen size of 19.6 × 1920 × 1980.

On paper, it all adds up to a relatively powerful workgroup for everyday computing work such as web browsing and Office document authoring, Intel’s built-in UHD 620 will let you do some light games, but think of Minesweeper more than Fortnite.

Design

Laptops in the Acer Aspire 5 line do a great job of feeling thinner and lighter than they really are. This particular model of Aspire 5 is no different: yes, it distinguishes the scales by about 4.25 lbs, but in just 0.7 inches thin, Aspire 5 can reasonably feel light, especially considering its large size of 14.3 x 9.9 inches.

The slim laptop cover and tapered aluminum makes it look fairly elegant for budget laptops. The opening of the lid reveals a 15.6-inch screen with two left and right bezels, an “Aspire” logo developed along the laptop hinges, and a silver-colored chassis matched by a black keyboard. By the way, the curvature of the lid goes back slightly to 180 degrees, which means that you can fully position the Aspire with the lid open.

Image result for Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop 180"

Display

When it comes to Aspire, let’s start with the positives. The 1920 x 1080 resolution is the minimum we would like to see when working with a 15.6-inch display. The Aspire IPS panel (in-plane switching) provides solid viewing angles, where the screen looks relatively bright and readable even when looking from the side, up or down. The shimmering “ComfyView” design reduces glare, although direct sunlight outdoors will resist hard.

Unfortunately, the screen on this special model of Aspire 5 is disappointingly dim – only 201 lumens (or lumens) according to our measurements, well below the 250 lumens we generally prefer. While the Aspire 5 screen looks bright enough indoors, it began to fade noticeably when I used it outdoors in the shade, and it looked worse in direct sunlight.

Keyboard, trackpad, speakers, and extras

Aspire 5 offers a spacious backlit keyboard with a 10-key numeric keypad. The latter is a very crushed child to our liking, but it exists. The keys themselves felt good at typing, providing a satisfying bump and a vibrant freshness for each keystroke. However, travel (essentially a measure of how far the key goes in each stroke) felt a bit stingy compared to other notebooks that were thinking about productivity.

The spacious Acer Aspire 5 trackpad felt smooth and responsive during the test. I have occasionally noticed that the cursor flows across the screen as you drag enough on the trackpad surface as you type. It was a bit annoying, but the trackpads on the other laptops I tested were better at rejecting such erroneous inputs.

Again on the plus side, the trackpad comes with a fingerprint reader, making it easy to sign in to your Windows profile or any of the compatible Windows Hello apps by pressing your fingertips on the sensor. I used the fingerprint reader in the upper right corner of the trackpad repeatedly over the course of the test and had no problems.

Bottom line

Capable of smooth butter performance for mainstream computing activities, this Core i5 powered version of Acer Aspire 5 is able to assemble quad-core power in a slim body at low prices. But even though Office can run like a charm, Aspire’s quad-core performance isn’t so great, and we’re disappointed by its dim display.

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