Acer Aspire 5 review (A515-57 model – a fair budget laptop)


  1. Ron

    October 18, 2022 at 6:39 am

    There is Acer software for power modes. I had Acer Aspire and there was this little app that looked very primitive but had option to change profiles.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 18, 2022 at 9:21 am

      Hmmm, thanks, but I haven't noticed it on any of the recent Acer laptops that I've tried. Do you remember what it was called?

      • Aurelio

        October 25, 2022 at 1:01 pm

        "Acer Quick Access"
        There is an option, under "Acer Signature Features", on "System Usage Mode", between Silent, Normal and Performance.

        Maybe this was the software he was talking about?

  2. NikoB

    January 4, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    Andrei, have you checked the HDMI capabilities on this series? Why you write about obsolete 1.4b, if Acer claims HDMI 2.1 (8k@60 with DSC loss compression), and apparently it full version with at 48Gbps?

    It is also interesting – does the TB4 port support 2 x 4k monitors at the same time or not through the hub?

    Also, a question for you – it's not clear, with 1255U/1235U/1240p variants without the external gpu, exactly 2 heat pipes and 2 coolers installed?

    And could you add a cache and memory test from AIDA64 to your reviews (screenshot). In all profiles of work, including from the battery? Usually it is 6-8 screenshots. This says a lot about RAM/Сache (L1/L2/L3) performance. For example, AMD versions always lose very strongly in these tests to Intel versions, especially in 2022. Up to 2 times…

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 5, 2023 at 9:49 am

      The HDMI part was an error. I don't have an answer to your other questions about this sort of entry-level laptop.

      • NikoB

        January 6, 2023 at 2:25 pm

        In reality, this "starter" series is capable of doing some gaming laptops bundled with eGPUs.

        The i7 1260p is faster than the i9 12900H with an external desktop GTX4090, as proven by real world benchmarks.

        I like this series, if only Acer would sell them with normal 2.5k/4k@120Hz screens with 100% sRGB and normal RGB (for each key separately) keyboard (with normal numpad) like Legion series. 4k@120Hz from the AUO retails around $180-200, which is quite bearable. An RGB keyboard is another $100. As a result, with a normal cooling system, I see no problem selling it for $1000, instead of $600 in the junior series. And for $ 1200-1300 in high series ones with such hardware.

        I don't understand why Acer, MSI, Asus, Gigabyte always ruin keyboards with a broken numpad. Or spoiled totally or an arrow to the right in place of the insert button.
        They themselves are killing their own mass sales with such a damaged keyboard, unsuitable for fast blind typing…

  3. NikoB

    January 4, 2023 at 11:57 pm

    And a couple more questions that many do not pay attention to – is it possible to set up S3 (Suspend to RAM) sleep mode on this model (and others), instead of the inconvenient S5? People write that on AMD it has problems with Zen3+ on AMD, but on Intel it works (at least if you patch the Windows registry).

    Also for laptops, the following important details in sleep S3 mode are important, about which almost no one writes:
    – is it possible to disable waking up from the keyboard (only by the power button and nothing else) and waking up from opening the screen lid? At home, waking up from the keyboard is very annoying if it is not disabled, as, for example, in some Lenovo series. Everything is easily turned off on my Dell G5, which is very convenient, I can’t accidentally turn on the laptop from the keyboard.

    And it would be nice to introduce an eGPU test in the future, because it is becoming more and more popular. In addition, as has been proven in various tests, the H series performs worse with eGPUs than the U / P series, which have the TB4 controller built right into the SoC. The H series has to connect an external chip.

  4. NikoB

    February 2, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    I tested a model with a QHD screen and 100% sRGB – it's not bright, but with good color reproduction, viewing angles are not the best (claimed 170/170, 75% AdobeRGB 8 bit, 16M colors, 20ms response, 15k hours of backlight and 3H hard coating, ADS type/oxide IPS), but not bad . Panel backlight with multi-row 10S5P stips. The screen is very good for movies and TV series in complete darkness (contrast 1200:1+, no light bleeding), but it spoils the fact that 2.5K resolution is not compatible with fhd and 4k video, because. neither 3840 is divisible by an integer by 2560, nor is 2560 divisible by an integer by 1920. The result is a slightly muddier picture than if a 4k panel was installed and preferably at 120Hz. Their prices have already dropped significantly. In addition, on a 4k screen it is easy to set 200% scaling right away and get the same size as on the fhd panel, but with a huge difference in font clarity, especially in cloudy Chrome, where Direct Write is not disabled from version 50, unlike FireFox, where hazy irregular anti-aliasing is easily turned off with one setting. In addition, you can compile FireFox yourself from source and remake it as you need.

    I disagree with the author about a normal cooling system. It is bad, despite 2 heat pipes, a large radiator and 2 coolers. With 1235U, the noise is clearly audible even from a meter, despite the fact that it is not turned on for only 2-3 minutes.

    There is no protection against hot air being blown directly onto the screen panel electronics.

    I want to emphasize a critical thing – the maximum temperature of the QHD panels is 50C. This means that you cannot use this laptop with the screen lid closed (as many people like as a system unit) – 100% guaranteed overheating, for example, when backing up the system volume using dism in esd compression mode. And these are standard Windows tools.

    Even the 2019 Lenovo S340 with a single cooler and heatpipe is much quieter with the R5 3500U than this laptop. It is literally inaudible when the video is running on YouTube from half a meter in the latest version of Chrome 109.

    The author writes that the keyboard is suitable for people who need a numpad. I am such a professional. NOT suitable. I own fast blind typing and in this mode using numpad as a navigation block is IMPOSSIBLE. The memory of the hands is constantly poked into the missing 4th row. Tactile is also bad. This is a complete ugliness from Acer (and the same is in Asus in a number of models). They themselves stupidly reduce their sales by orders of magnitude because of such an ugly keyboard, instead of the classics like in Thinkpad earlier with a key travel of 1.8mm at least. The new P16s from Lenovo already have an ugly keyboard in terms of tactile feedback. It is not suitable for long blind typing.

    Also, as a right-hander, I didn’t like that the audio jack on the right – when you use it on the couch, reclining – the headphone cord gets tangled on the mouse pad and hand (and they headphones have cable only 1.2-1.4m long).

    I didn't like the BIOS at all. After 10 minutes of ordeal (and knowing about Ctrl+S) I was unable to turn off safe mode and boot from the flash drive in CSM (Legacy) mode. Safeboot/Legacy page fully disabled and no instruction from Acer for bios in manual. Acer NOT support Linux for drivers and service utils.

    All newfangled WinPE ISO images (for endf 2022) cannot detect the built-in SSD and touchpad. So if sell it to you with eShell (where Acer programmers don’t even increase the font by 2-3 times – everything is very small on QHD), to test the laptop, you need to bring your wired or radio mouse to the store.

    The laptop starts from the BIOS for a very long time, monstrously long. The stupid power button(inside numpad ulgy block) does not turn off the laptop after 3-4 seconds, like on all normal laptops. Its behavior is unpredictable by the shutdown time. The overall impression of his thoughtfulness is several times worse than that of the 3500U in the S340, where everything is very fast. And Asus N550JK starts even faster with i7 4700HQ – literally 10 (ten) times!

    The memory works in Gear2 slow mode, and not in Gear1 fast mode for the memory controller, despite the fact that Acer saved on DDR5, so the build-in potential and support for TB4 with two 4k monitors, and even more so in parallel HDMI (2.1 is most likely a lie – the usual 2.0b) is unrealistic with such a slow memory.

    A laptop with a QHD screen (its only advantage for it and TB4 port for Intel versions) with a 16GB/512Gb SSD and 1235U costs $850-900.
    I don't think that this series can cost that much, given the many obvious shortcomings and critical problems like overheating of the QHD panel with max working temp 50C – this huge problem with close lid. Moreover, I have already seen a video from Asia, where they changed burnt panels on this series…

    The red price for this model with QHD 16/512 1235U is $600-650. It is not worth more, taking into account all the associated risks and only 1 year warranty with us.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 3, 2023 at 12:16 pm

      Good feedback, thank youy! You have some over expectations from this class of laptop imo, but most of the points that you're mentioning are valid.

      • NikoB

        February 4, 2023 at 2:19 pm

        The most surprising thing is that there is plenty of space for a full-fledged keyboard with a full numpad even in 15.6 "models, but such a keyboard is installed by Acer only in 17.3. But ironically, in 17.3” there are no 2560×1440 panels, at least in Asprire 5, and there text pixelation is already significant – why I will never buy a 17.3 with a fhd screen, the grain is too large, the text is already grainy… With 2.5k it was at least about 170ppi…

        I also noticed that the cable for connecting the screen to the 15.6" Aspire and the webcam / microphones is very short and close to the loops.
        Because of the same jamb in the N550JK, the block is shaking, because. the cord is short, very stiff and shakes it in the connector, and there is no metal retainer plate, as in normal series as in my old Thinkpad and other laptops. As a result, the Asus N550JK apparently frayed the short cable when bending and the panel burned out exactly 1 month after the end of the 2-year warranty, I changed it, and for the block I made a home-made aluminum bracket and clamped it with bolts from above and now, once again, I try not to cover the screen close.
        Here, apparently, there will be the same problem with time, only the warranty for the series is only 1 year, but I would like to have 3 years out of the box like the Travelmate series. In general, I don’t want to take Intel in the U series at all, but I want something of the 6600/6800U level with USB40 ports, but AMD(Lisa) itself recently admitted at the end of the year that they deliberately do not sell large batches of processors in order to keep the price high… It's disgusting, but there's nothing we can do about it. Therefore, it is not surprising that for the whole of 2022 there were practically no reviews on the 6600/6800U in the 15.6”+ class with a full keyboard. And the availability of such laptops in the world is minimal – they are in terrible short supply even in the United States – “out of stock” always.

        You write that I demand a lot from a laptop for $900, but let, Legion 5 Pro c 6800H+3070Ti 16/512 sell in the US in the fall for $1100-1200. Obviously, the Acer Aspire does not even come close to it in terms of quality and features, so I just look at it as a laptop with a very high price and do not understand why I should pay $900 for it, when for 1100-1200$ you can buy in times cooler laptop with 2 times longer warranty and many times better technical support for the future.

        My first attempt to buy Acer was about 7 years ago. There were 2 attempts – at first they took out 3 boxes to me and they all turned out to be defective after the start of testing. After a while, I tried again with 4 copies, but it turned out to be defective. After that, I stopped trying to buy Acer. For the first time in 7+ years, I wanted to personally try the new Aspire 5, but the disgusting keyboard and all the other shortcomings described again put a red cross on Acer, at least for me personally. Maybe I'll try again with 17.3” if I find it with 2560×1440 panel and i5 1240p as minimum, but so far I don't see such options for sale anywhere. 17.3” at least have a full numpad…

      • Andrei Girbea

        February 4, 2023 at 2:26 pm

        The Legion (and others such as a TUF, Nitro, etc) is a different kind of laptop: thicker, heavier. Lenovo also have the pricing power that smaller OEMs cannot match, for multiple reasons.

        At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide on waht best suits your needs. Looks like this Aspire is not right for you, so why not just move on to something else?

  5. NikoB

    February 5, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    Andrei Girbea,
    For me, weight doesn't matter. It is important for me not to overpay for extra functionality. I don't need discrete video cards for a long time. I don't play anymore.

    I have a Dell G5 5587 and an Asus N550JK both bought for less than $900. I see no reason why the Aspire 5 2022 should cost so much – because it is radically worse than both in every way, exclude very good screen 2560×1440. This can be seen at first glance and this feeling only intensifies with a head-on comparison.

    Aspire attracted me with the right set of fast and important ports. But now I understand that HDMI 2.1 is not real there, it is (with the connivance of the HDMI consortium) a cynical wrapper for the old 2.0b. Pleases only TB4 and 3 USB-A ports, the presence of RJ45 (it’s a pity that it’s not 2.5-5Gb / s so necessary for accessing the NAS) and an angular and more reliable (at times) round power plug on the left, convenient for use on sofas, in contrast from idiotic usb-c protruding from the case on the left of many manufacturers (what prevents them from making two usb-c ports on the right and left on the edge or one in the back – it’s not clear, except for greed)

    Legion is good for everyone, but it costs more and with an unnecessary discrete in the appendage, but why do I need it?

    Given the lack of strength of the Aspire 5 case (which is noted in all reviews), I really don’t understand why it strives for low weight in such series – it’s just a scam of an incompetent public for a “portable solution”, which in reality is better not to carry anywhere, because to it is guaranteed to destroyed quickly, including the body and hinges.

    It's a shame that for the home there is no series with 17.3 4k panels or at least 2.5 (16:10) with a normal (heavy and quiet) system cooling, but without a discrete video chip. And a full-fledged keyboard, which was not even in the Thinkpad of the worst series. Increasingly, 1.5mm key travel, almost everywhere a narrowed row of Esc, F1..F12 and damaged numpads. Either completely or with an arrow to the right in place of Insert, as always in MSI/Gigabyte, most Asus models, not to mention the rest of the Chinese. And where the numpad is full – buttons are often narrowed in width, although there is definitely a place for full ones on the case in width. In this sense, for me, the HP Omen 2018 has the perfect case and keyboard (not counting the tactile sensations). There is literally everything right. I almost bought it, but Dell at that moment turned out to be significantly cheaper and, to be honest, I didn’t think that I couldn’t get used to its terrible, tactile keyboard, as if you were tapping your fingers on the board, and not on the elastic keys. One of the first models to switch to 1.5mm and a very weak response for smartphone and tablet lovers.

    But the Dell G5 5587 pleases me for 5 years with complete noiselessness in operation (HP Omen 2018 too noisy) – the coolers do not turn on for hours at all, I recently opened it 4 years later – they are like new – not a hint of dust on their impeller.

    I'd like a 17.3" laptop with 16:10 4k@120Hz (<10ms response on G2G/B2W), powered at the rear or at the very edge of the rear with an angled round plug, left or right. Lots of ports, with RJ45 from 2.5 Gbps, with a full keyboard with a key travel of at least 1.8 mm and without a discrete video chip, but with a TB4 port. If necessary, I can connect an external eGPU. And of course, it is as quiet as possible with a background load on the cores of up to 50%. Weight? That's all for me even if it's 2.8-3kg, I'm not going to drag him around the streets (perhaps a few times a year), but it will often move from room to room and from the table to the bed, sofa and back.
    Therefore, a stationary computer, as an alternative, does not suit me. I have it and not one, but these are other goals.

    But alas, there are simply no such solutions on the market. Why, I don't understand…

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