The Acer Aspire 5 is a solid all-rounder, but it doesn’t excel in any particular area. While that makes it a good choice for everyday usage, those with specific requirements or a desire for a stylish design should look elsewhere.
The Aspire 5 laptop is one of Acer’s best sellers. And the 2023 model (A515-58M) pairs a 15.6-inch Full HD display with Intel’s 13th-gen processors – the latest at the time of release.
While it’s not currently available in the UK, does it justify the $799.99 asking price in the US? Here’s our full review.
Design, build & connections
The design is primarily about functionality, so the Aspire 5 isn’t much of an eye-catcher.
Its dark plastic exterior (with a Steel Grey finish) cannot be opened comfortably with one hand, while the rather large display bezels make the laptop look old-fashioned.
It does offers one ergonomic advantage: open the screen further shifts the keyboard up slightly, making for a more comfortable typing position.
The Aspire 5 offers plenty of ports, including two USB Type-A, one USB Type-C and a full-size HDMI connection.
The Type-C port supports USB4, so it works with Thunderbolt for fast data transfer up to 40Gbps. By comparison, the USB-A ports can reach 20- and 10Gbps respectively.
While there’s no ethernet option here, you do get the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard. Aspire does not offer LAN, but WLAN with the Wi-Fi 6E standard.
The 15.6-inch display of the Aspire 5 has a Full HD (1920 × 1080) resolution. That gives it a classic widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, even though the boxier 16:10 format makes more sense for most applications these days.
A matte rather than glossy coating on the display helps reduce the interference of reflections, but it’s not perfect. A max brightness of just under 250 nits still makes it difficult to see in direct sunlight.
However, the screen’s major weakness is its poor colour reproduction – both in its coverage of the relevant colour spaces and in colour fidelity. This is insignificant for most office work, but it’s no good for graphical work or video editing.
Acer uses almost the entire width of the base for the keyboard, which is why it has an additional number pad on the right.
However, the latter’s keys are considerably narrower than the large keys in the main field of the keyboard, which guarantee a high hit rate. When typing, the keyboard remains quiet and never feels spongy. But feedback could be more pronounced, and the up and down arrow keys are only half as high as the left and right ones.
The touchpad requires quite a lot of force for the mouse click: since it bounces a bit, it’s also quite loud. Thanks to the non-slip surface, however, the mouse pointer can be positioned precisely, and even multi-finger gestures don’t cause any problems.
Performance & battery life
Acer relies on Intel’s 10-core Core i7-1355U as the processor. Since only two of these cores are performance-focused, it’s much less powerful than other chips in the Raptor Lake range.
In Cinebench R23, the Core i7-1355U is around 30% slower than the i7-1360P and 80% behind the i9-13900H.
In everyday use, this is only noticeable when you use the Aspire 5 for tasks such as graphic design or photo and video editing. And even then, the performance drop-off isn’t as dramatic – usually only around 10-30%.
For all other tasks – with the exception of complex games – the device is barely slower and so works well. In office applications, for example, the laptop really benefits from its fast 1TB NVMe SSD.
Despite the relatively low performance and power consumption, the fan in the Aspire 5 is clearly audible – around 45dB under load. However, the device doesn’t ever get particularly hot.
The advantage of the U-series chip becomes apparent in the battery test: the system’s power consumption is only around 4.5W, which helps the Aspire 5 in terms of battery life. Despite the relatively small 53Wh cell, it can last for nearly 12 hours.
After you do run out of charger, an hour connected to the mains gets you back to 84%.
The Acer Aspire 5 is a real all-round laptop: With its solid design, decent performance and good battery life, it covers most requirements that users have for a . Moreover, it can be used both at the desk and on the move.
Though the Aspire 5 can do many things, it is not outstanding in any particular category. If you’re looking for something specific – be it for working on the go, gaming, performance-intensive tasks or simply something more stylish – you’ll be better off with a different laptop.