Acer Aspire 5 (2022) | creative block
The Acer Aspire 5 (2022) is an affordable laptop with modern specs, and it’s aimed at people who want a laptop that can handle the basics without costing big bucks. However, digital creatives may find the Acer Aspire 5 struggling with some tasks, despite its modern specs.
The Acer Aspire 5 is the latest iteration of the company’s laptop lineup aimed at delivering aspirational devices without the huge price tags that rivals like Dell and HP demand. This no-nonsense approach doesn’t mean it’s a boring device, but it offers a decent amount of power without some of the ‘flasher’ excesses of other laptops (although it’s by no means one of the most powerful laptops), and makes it a decent laptop not only for working in an office, but also when you need to use it in front of clients. In short, this is a potentially decent deal as a reasonably priced student laptop or business laptop.
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 (four cores)
Chart: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8 GB
Filter: 14 inch, 1080p, IPS LCD screen
Storage: 512 GB SSD
Ports: Ethernet, USB Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
Cut: 17.95 x 328 x 223mm (H x W x D)
However, in order not to be disappointed by the Acer Aspire 5, you have to know its limits, and what this notebook does not bring. Although it comes with an 11th Gen Intel processor and 8GB of RAM, there’s no dedicated graphics card, which isn’t surprising for a laptop of this price, but it does mean that its use as a serious creative workstation is fairly limited. It’s certainly unlikely to make it into our best laptops for Photoshop or most powerful laptops guides.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it entirely. It’s well-built and can handle day-to-day tasks, such as browsing the web, sorting budgets, and sending emails. It’s also good for crafters, and it’s on our list of best laptops for Cricut list. Above all, it’s much cheaper than many other laptops, while still offering access to full Windows 11 apps unlike the best Chromebooks.
To test this laptop, we ran a series of benchmarks and spent a few days using it as our main machine. We took it out and about to see how portable it is, tested a variety of creative apps and put the battery to the test by evaluating it, looping a 1080p video and also seeing how long it lasted during general use.
Acer Aspire 5 review: price
The best thing about the new Acer Aspire 5 is the price, as you can get it for around £399 right now. That’s a very tempting price for a laptop that runs Windows 11, and that means it should let you use any Windows app you’ve used in the past.
That gives it greater flexibility than Chromebooks, which also come in at around that price, but run Chrome OS, a much more limited operating system that doesn’t have all the apps that Windows 11 or macOS have. , and for digital creatives who need certain apps, such as Photoshop, then the Acer Aspire 5 may be a better buy.
However, there’s a reason you don’t often see Windows 11 laptops at this price because manufacturers have to cut corners, usually on components, which lowers laptop performance.
Acer Aspire 5 review: design and display
The Acer Aspire 5 won’t win any design awards, but it’s not a laptop for people who want a flashy device. This is, after all, an affordable laptop, rather than an expensive MacBook, and with that in mind, it’s not a bad laptop.
The silver and black color scheme is understated, but works well. The body isn’t metal, however, but plastic which keeps the weight down, but also highlights the budget nature of this laptop.
It’s not particularly thin either, but at least that means Acer was able to fit a decent range of ports, including standard full-size USB, HDMI, Ethernet and a single USB-C. This means that for many people you won’t need an adapter to plug in your peripherals. The HDMI port means you can easily connect it to a monitor or projector, which is certainly handy. There’s no memory card slot, which is disappointing.
Unlike many modern laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 does not charge via USB-C. Instead, there’s a small port that you plug the proprietary charger into. It looks like an old-fashioned way, 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 rather thin connector that feels like it could easily bend, which is a concern.
The screen is 14-inches, which is a decent size, but it’s surrounded by chunky bezels, which again feel dated. 1080p resolution is decent, but 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 yellowish tint that again underlines the budget nature of the laptop.
The keyboard also feels a little cheap, with little travel, which means it doesn’t give you as satisfying a typing experience as larger laptops with more tactile keyboards.
The keyboard is also not backlit. It’s not just a feature that comes with gaming laptops to show off some bling; Backlit keyboards make it easy to see the keys you’re pressing in dark environments. This means that the Acer Aspire 5 is difficult to use at night for people who cannot type on a keyboard.
Acer Aspire 5 review: features
The rather simple design of the Acer Aspire 5 means that there aren’t a lot of features on offer here. The decent selection of ports, which we mentioned earlier, is certainly good for content creators, and the large trackpad under the keyboard also features a fingerprint scanner, allowing you to quickly log into Windows 11 just by putting down your finger on the sensor.
This is a great feature that makes it much faster to access Windows 11, while keeping your files safe. The Acer Aspire also comes with a 720p webcam, which always comes in handy in these days when many of us work in a hybrid fashion and need to make regular video calls with colleagues and clients (as well as keep in touch with friends and family).
Acer Aspire 5 review: performance
Geek Bench 5: 891 (single-core), 2781 (multi-core)
Cinebench: 1535 (single-core), 4048 (multi-core)
Drums (loop video): 5 hours, 55 minutes
Battery (PC Mark 10): 5 hours, 58 minutes
Due to its affordability, the Acer Aspire 5 model we’re reviewing here is far from the most powerful laptop on the market. Although it has a recent 11th generation Intel processor, the model we have is a mid-range Core i5 quad-core processor.
Although some models of Acer Aspire 5 come with a dedicated GPU, the model here features Intel Iris Xe graphics. While it’s fine for everyday tasks and for watching movies and TV shows, it won’t be able to handle intensive photo and video editing, and don’t even think about trying to do 3D animation or CGI.
The 8GB of RAM that comes with this model is also the absolute minimum we 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 16 GB of memory, but that also increases the price.
Something else to keep in mind, this model comes with 512GB of storage on its SSD. That’s a decent amount, and should mean you have enough capacity to save your projects.
In day-to-day use, however, the Acer Aspire 5 didn’t impress us. It was fine for the price, but Windows 11 felt rather sluggish at times, and intensive apps like Photoshop took a while to launch and were far from smooth to use.
If you set your expectations correctly, the Acer Aspire 5 is a pretty decent laptop for browsing the web and giving presentations, but if you want to do anything more, you’re going to 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 lasted significantly less. Looping a 1080p video gave us five hours and 55 minutes of battery life. Not awfulbut not great either, especially when cheaper Chromebooks can handle three times that.
We also ran the PC Mark 10 battery test, which emulates medium-intensity use, such as document creation and video calls. Here the Acer Aspire 5 lasted a similar five hours and 58 minutes before shutting down.
While there are things you can do to extend battery life, like limit the number of apps you run at once and turn down the screen brightness a bit, it still means you’ll struggle to get a full working day’s use. outside of that.
Back when we were 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 further, we were always aware of the rapid battery drain.
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 use it for simple tasks, then the Acer Aspire 5 isn’t a bad cry. The fact that it can run Windows 11 programs puts it ahead of cheaper Chromebooks.
However, for those looking to do something more ambitious, especially with creative work, then this is a laptop not worth buying even at this cheap price. You better save a little more and go for something with more RAM and maybe even a dedicated graphics card. This will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.
Read more: The best Windows laptops