The Acer Aspire 5 (2022) is an affordable laptop with modern specifications, aimed at people who want a laptop that can handle the basics without costing a lot of money. However, digital creatives may find the Acer Aspire 5 struggling with certain tasks, despite its modern specifications.
The Acer Aspire 5 is the latest version of the company’s line of laptops aimed at providing ambitious devices without the huge price tags demanded by its rivals like Dell and HP. This no-nonsense approach doesn’t mean it’s a boring device, but instead offers a decent amount of power without some of the more ‘flashy’ excesses on other laptops (although it’s not one of the most future powers at all), and it makes a decent laptop not only to work in an office on, but for when you need to use it in front of clients. In short, it’s a decent potential offering as a student or business laptop at a reasonable price.
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 (quad-core)
Graphics: Intel Xe Magazine
Screen: 14-inch, 1080p, IPS LCD
Storage: SSD 512GB
Ports: Ethernet, USB Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Size: 17.95 x 328 x 223 mm (H x W x D)
Weight: 1.45 kg
However, in order not to be disappointed by the Acer Aspire 5, you need to know its limitations, and what this laptop does not provide. Although it comes with an 11th generation Intel CPU and 8GB of RAM, there is no dedicated graphics card, which is not surprising for a laptop of this price, but means that its use as a serious creative workstation is quite limited. It’s definitely not likely to make it to our best laptops for Photoshop or most powerful laptop guides.
But, that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore this. It’s well built, and can handle everyday tasks, such as browsing the web, sorting budgets and sending emails. It is also good for crafters, and it made our list of the best laptops for Cricut list. Best of all, it’s significantly cheaper than many other laptops, while still offering access to full Windows 11 applications, unlike the best Chromebooks.
To test this laptop, we ran a series of benchmarks, and spent a good few days using it as our main engine. We took it out to see how portable it is, tested a variety of creative apps, and put the battery through benchmarking, looping 1080p video, and also seeing how long it lasted through general use.
Acer Aspire 5 review: price
The best thing going for the new Acer Aspire 5 is the price, as you can get it for around £399 at the moment. That’s a very tempting price for a laptop running Windows 11, and it means it should allow you to use any Windows application you’ve used in the past.
This gives it more flexibility than Chromebooks, which also sell for around this price, but run Chrome OS, a much more limited operating system that doesn’t have all the applications of Windows 11 or macOS, and for creative people digital that require certain. apps, such as Photoshop, then the Acer Aspire 5 could be a better buy.
However, there’s a reason you don’t see Windows 11 laptops at this price very often, because manufacturers have to cut corners, usually when it comes to components, which reduces the laptop’s performance.
Acer Aspire 5 review: design and display
The Acer Aspire 5 isn’t going to win any design awards, but this isn’t a laptop aimed at people who want a flashy device. After all, this is an affordable laptop, rather than an expensive MacBook, and with that in mind, it’s not a bad looking laptop.
The silver and black color scheme is sparse, but it works well. However, the body is not metal, but plastic which keeps the weight down, but also emphasizes the budget nature of this laptop.
It’s not particularly thin, either, but that at least means Acer is able to fit in a decent range of ports, including standard full-size USB ports, HDMI, Ethernet and one USB-C. This means for many people, you won’t need an adapter to plug in your peripherals. The HDMI port means you can connect it to a monitor or projector with ease, which is definitely handy. There is no memory card slot, which is disappointing.
Unlike many modern laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 does not charge via USB-C. Instead, there is a small port that you plug the proprietary charger into. It feels like an old-fashioned way of doing things, and it means you can’t easily charge the laptop if you forget the charger, unlike other laptops that can use any USB-C port. The charger uses a fairly thin connector that feels like it could easily bend, which is a concern.
The screen is 14-inches, a reasonable size, but it is surrounded by thick bezels, which again feel old-fashioned. The 1080p resolution is fine, but it doesn’t look as impressive as more expensive laptops with higher resolution screens, especially the MacBook Air.
The screen isn’t the brightest or most vibrant we’ve used either, with a yellow tint that once again emphasizes the laptop’s budget nature.
The keyboard also feels a little free, with not much travel, meaning it doesn’t give you as satisfying a typing experience as larger laptops with more tactile keyboards.
The keyboard is not backlit, either. This isn’t just a feature that comes with gaming laptops to show off a bit of bling; backlit keyboards let you easily see which keys you’re hitting in dark environments. This means that it is difficult to use the Acer Aspire 5 at night for people who do not know how to touch type.
Acer Aspire 5 review: features
The relatively simple design of the Acer Aspire 5 means there aren’t many features available here. The decent selection of ports, which we mentioned earlier, is certainly good for content creators, and the large trackpad below the keyboard also has a fingerprint scanner, allowing you to quickly log into Windows 11 with your finger. rest on the sensor.
It’s a nice feature that makes getting into Windows 11 much faster, while also keeping your files safe. The Acer Aspire also comes with a 720p webcam, which is always handy nowadays when many of us work hybrid, and have to make regular video calls with co-workers and clients (as well as being in contact with friends. and family).
Acer Aspire 5 review: performance
Geekbench 5: 891 (single core), 2,781 (multi-core)
Cinebench: 1,535 (single core), 4,048 (multi-core)
Battery (looped video): 5 hours, 55 minutes
Battery (Mark PC 10): 5 hours, 58 minutes
For its budget price, the Acer Aspire 5 model we review here is far from the most powerful laptop out there. Although it has a recent 11th generation Intel processor, our model is a mid-range quad-core Core i5 CPU.
While there are some models of the Acer Aspire 5 that come with a dedicated GPU, the model here has integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. While this is perfectly fine for everyday tasks, and watching movies and TV shows, it won’t be able to handle heavy-duty photo and video editing, and don’t even think about trying to do 3D or CGI animation.
The 8GB RAM that comes with this model is also the absolute minimum we’d recommend for a Windows 11 laptop these days, and ideally for creatives you’ll need 16GB or more. The Acer Aspire 5 can be bought with up to 16GB of memory, but that also raises the price.
Another thing to remember is that this model comes with 512GB storage on its SSD. This is a reasonable amount, and should mean you have plenty of resources to save your projects.
In day-to-day use, however, the Acer Aspire 5 didn’t wow us. He was fine for the price, but Windows 11 would sometimes feel rather sluggish, and demanding apps like Photoshop took a while to launch, and were far from smooth to use.
If you set your expectations right, the Acer Aspire 5 is a decent enough laptop for web browsing and presentations, but if you want to do anything else, you’ll be disappointed.
Acer Aspire 5 review: battery
Acer promises around 10 hours of battery life with the Aspire 5, but in our benchmark tests, it actually lasted much less. Looping 1080p video gave us five hours and 55 minutes of battery life. No terriblebut not great, either, especially when cheaper Chromebooks can manage three times that.
We also ran the PC Mark 10 battery test, which simulates medium-intensity use, such as document creation and video calling. Here, the Acer Aspire 5 lasted a similar five hours and 58 minutes before shutting down.
While you can do some things to extend battery life, such as limiting the number of apps you run at the same time, and reducing the screen brightness slightly, this still means that you will struggle to use a full working day. out of it.
In our time using the Acer Aspire 5, that’s exactly what we found – it’s fine for a few hours typing away from a power supply, but when we pushed the laptop more, we were always aware of the quickly depleted battery.
Should you buy the Acer Aspire 5?
If you’re looking for a cheap laptop under £400 that runs Windows 11, and you’ll only be able to use it for simple tasks, then the Acer Aspire 5 isn’t a bad call. Because it can run Windows 11 programs run puts it ahead of cheaper Chromebooks.
However, for anyone who wants to do something more ambitious, especially with creative work, then this is a laptop that is not worth buying, even at this cheap price. It would be much better for you to save a little more and go for something with more RAM and maybe even a dedicated graphics card. It will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.
Read more: The best laptops for Windows