Just because you can’t spring for a premium laptop that costs thousands of dollars doesn’t mean you should settle for less.
Let me introduce you to the Acer Aspire 5: A budget laptop that offers strong Intel Core i3 performance, a bright 15.6-inch display and long battery life.
The Aspire 5 does have its flaws, including an underperforming graphics card and slightly questionable build quality.
However, if you’re looking to buy a laptop on the cheap, the Aspire 5 is the way to go.
ACER ASPIRE 5 Design
Don’t let the price fool you — the Aspire 5 sports a premium aesthetic, with a silver, aluminum hood.
Even the Acer logo stamped at the center has a premium flair — instead of being a glossy plastic piece embedded in the chassis, the logo is metallic and rises out of the lid.
The top of the lid features two line accents on each end, which look a little awkward.
The interior is pretty standard: silver deck and black keyboard. There’s an Aspire logo on the hinge, which is neat. To top it off, the bezels on the display are surprisingly narrow for a laptop this cheap.
ACER ASPIRE 5 DISPLAY
The Aspire 5’s 15.6-inch panel is considerably bright, and unlike many budget laptops sports a full 1080p resolution.
According to our colorimeter, the Aspire 5’s panel covered 65% of the sRGB color gamut, which is below the budget laptop average (78%), but it surpassed the 62% that both the Aspire E 15 and HP 14 Laptop achieved.
At 276 nits, the Aspire 5’s display killed it on brightness, toppling the category average (213 nits) as well as the Aspire E 15 (227 nits) and HP 14 Laptop (199 nits).
ACER ASPIRE 5 PORTS
The Aspire 5 has an equitable amount of ports.
On the left side, there’s the power jack, an astonishing RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI port, two USB 3.1 ports (one with Poweroff charging) and a USB Type-C port.
Meanwhile, the right side features a Kensington lock slot, one USB 2.0 port and a headphone jack.
ACER ASPIRE 5 KEYBOARD AND TOUCHPAD
Aspire 5 has a number pad as well as white backlighting, which is a neat feature for the price. 70 words per minute was managed on the 10FastFingers.com typing test, which is the current average. The keys are slightly shallow at 1.2 millimeters, which is outside of our preferred 1.5- to 2.0-mm range, but they do require a meaty 78 grams of force to actuate.
The 4.2 x 3-inch touchpad is a good size and offers a decently soft texture, although the buttons are a little shallow. It does have Windows 10 Precision drivers, so gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing worked as intended.
ACER ASPIRE 5 AUDIO
The Aspire 5’s bottom-firing speakers are mediocre, but they could be worse for the price. The vocals of the songs played on it were clear and articulate. However, the percusion, especially the bass, sounded a little hollow. And when more than two instruments were playing at once, the sound turned muddy.
You can (kind of) customize the audio via the built-in Realtek Audio Console. You can find Acer’s TrueHarmony tuning in the app, which features three presets: Music, Movie and Game. Music sounded the best for what was listened to, and having TrueHarmony enabled does help the sound a lot on its own, but you still won’t be getting premium-level audio.
ACER ASPIRE 5 PERFORMANCE
The Aspire 5 packs an Intel Core i3-8145U processor and 4GB of RAM that hurdled through 30 Google Chrome tabs and four 1080p YouTube videos with minimal slowdown while Spotify ran in the background.
On the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, the Aspire 5 scored 8,030, climbing over the budget laptop average (5,504) as well as the Core i3-8130U in the Aspire E 15 (7,871) and the HP 14 Laptop (6,901).
The Aspire 5 took 32 minutes and 53 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark. That’s much slower than the category average (23:05) and slightly behind the Aspire E 15 (31:40).
ACER ASPIRE 5 GRAPHICS
With an Intel UHD 620 GPU, the Aspire 5 scored 59,873 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark, which is better than the 37,818 budget laptop average as well as the 39,950 score from the HP 14 Laptop’s own Intel UHD 620 GPU. However, with the same GPU, the Aspire E 15 surpassed the Aspire 5 with 63,817.
The Aspire 5 crashed and burned on the Dirt 3 benchmark, averaging a mere 19 frames per second, dropping below the 30-fps minimum for playability as well as the 27-fps category average. The HP 14 Laptop (25 fps) didn’t meet our threshold either, while the Aspire E 15 (56 fps) zoomed into first place.
ACER ASPIRE 5 WEBCAM
The Aspire 5’s 720p webcam isn’t winning any prizes with the grainy shots it produced. However, it did provide a decent color, displaying the red and yellow in a Spider-Man shirt quite well with the contrast also not being good.
ACER ASPIRE 5 HEAT
This machine stays incredibly cool even under pressure. After playing a 15-minute, 1080p video, the underside reached a maximum of 88 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well below our 95-degree comfort threshold. Meanwhile, the center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 86 and 79 degrees, respectively.
ACER ASPIRE 5 SOFTWARE AND WARRANTY
Acer has slightly trimmed down the apps it stuffs into your machine, but there are still a few to name. The Aspire 5 is packaged with Acer Product Registration (gives you access to discounts), Apps Explorer (a collection of the “best” Windows apps), Acer Care Center (recovery management and utilities), Amazon, Netflix, Booking.com Partner App and Evernote.
Meanwhile, the Windows 10 bloatware includes Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Candy Crush Friends Saga and Nitrado.
The Aspire 5 comes with a one-year limited warranty.
ACER ASPIRE 5 BATTERY LIFE
The Aspire 5 does not only offers solid performance but also has a long battery life. After it continuously surfed the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the battery lasted 8 hours and 51 minutes, topping the 7:06 budget laptop average. It even surpassed the Aspire E 15 (8:48) and the HP 14 Laptop (6:12).
ACER ASPIRE 5 PRICE IN NIGERIA
The product is worth $400 (which is equivalent to 146,000 in Naira)