Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Review

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7.8 Total Score
GOOD

The Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z is a 17-inch laptop that’s good in a pinch. It is a solid workhorse that won’t strain the purse, but offers many tidings, including an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU and decent battery life.

PROS
  • Affordable
  • Full keyboard layout
  • Upgradeable
CONS
  • Mediocre trackpad and keyboard

The new Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z has a lot of expectations to meet, as its predecessor – the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS holds a top spot on our best budget laptops list. With everyone working from home and kids resigned to a corner with the computer for school time, there’s need for affordable workhorse laptops, and your hopes may rise as you see most choice pack either 11th Gen Intel CPUs or brand-new AMD Ryzen chips.

With the Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z, Acer has introduced an AMD Ryzen 5-powered models alongside other Intel models for 2022, that boasts the latest an AMD Ryzen 5 and makes a few meaningful changes to the chassis design.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Specifications

CPUAMD Ryzen 5 5500U
GPUIntel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage256 GB NVMe SSD
Display15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
Size‎14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches
Weight‎3.88 pounds

Pricing and Configurations

The 2022 Acer Aspire 5 is available in various configurations, both outfitted with 11th generation Intel processors and the latest AMD Ryzen architecture. However, most laptops feature 15-inch screens, and only a handful come with 17-inch screens. Our review unit is the 15-inch AMD-based model featuring an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage, and AMD Radeon graphics.

Other configurations include the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS, with a 15-inch screen (1080p) and a Core i5 chip, or the beefier Core i7 version (Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP) with upto 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and up to 512GB of storage. All Aspire 5 models have 1920 x 1080 pixel displays and a 48Wh battery.

Design

The Acer Aspire looks like its premium rival, the MacBook Pro – with a thin, sleek and understated styling that makes it pleasing to the eye without being overly flashy. When closed, the aluminum lid looks great and is held firmly against the chassis, with its super-smooth surface. As you open it, the first thing you notice is the minimal black bezel surrounding the display.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z

It measures 0.7 inches at its thickest point, but at the very least, this laptop is easily upgradable with an easily accessible motherboard. Altogether, the package weighs 3.88 pounds, a bit heavier than its 15-inch sibling, but still portable to carry around in the house, and easy to tote around a day in college.

Port selection is excellent. For your peripherals, you’re getting two USB 3.2 ports, one USB 2.0 port and a single USB-C port for your modern devices. There’s also an Ethernet port for hardwiring, and HDMI port for an external display, a Kensington Lock connector and a standard headphone jack. Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi 6.

Display

Nowadays, a 1080p display is pretty standard on budget laptops, and the 15.6-inch display keeps that tradition. It will get the work done, though the matte screen sometimes catches a glare from external light. It averages 259 nits, is a bit dim, but is brighter than competing models – the Asus VivoBook 15 and Lenovo Yoga C740, with 247 nits and 251 nits, respectively.

Nevertheless, the screen is fine for working at night-time work, but very bright light may make the Aspire 5 screen a bit uncomfortable. The screen’s color saturation is more intense, and helps boost the vibrancy of dull scenes. You’ll enjoy watching movies and surfing the web on the Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z, but if you’re looking at photo editing and media creation, you might need an external monitor with better color reproduction.

Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV lid

Keyboard & Touchpad

The full-sized keyboard is among the few features you’ll like on the 15in Acer Aspire 5 specs sheet, and it includes a number pad for seamless data entry. The keyboard is comfortable enough for typing, and going by the massive build, small hands will find this keyboard even more comfortable for multitasking. You can use it in a dark room, thanks to the subtle backlighting, just like you have on Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops.

For the touchpad, Acer strives to give the trackpad the same aluminum finish as the chassis. There’s a fingerprint reader embedded into the touchpad, but you might have to turn off the multitouch gestures, as the touch-drag-mechanism can be too fussy to use. Surprisingly, there’s a Function key that turns off the trackpad, especially when you’re in serious typing sessions.

Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV keyboard

Performance

In this Acer Aspire 5 review, our unit features an 11th generation Intel AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor (hexa-core), 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD storage and AMD’s Radeon graphics card. This laptop’s configuration sits in between the powerful Ryzen 7 and the entry-level Ryzen 3 models, with enough power to deliver on most day-to-day tasks. The Ryzen 5 processor can handle Chrome, Spotify and Firefox all running processes simultaneously.

Most people will find the Acer Aspire to provide perfectly acceptable performance for all but the most demanding processor-based tasks. Unless you’re buying for complex tasks, the Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z is a reasonable choice in terms of performance. Everyday tasks like browsing the internet, streaming media, editing photos and video will work like a charm.

Considering this new Acer Aspire 5 uses an integrated video card, you won’t be playing modern games here. Latest AAA releases will not render properly, and everything will likely stutter. If you need a budget gaming laptop, we recommend the Asus TUF Dash 15 (2021), a budget gaming laptop with a 144Hz screen and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Slim Laptop | 15.6" Full HD IPS | AMD Ryzen 5...
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Mobile Processor with AMD Radeon Graphics
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
  • 8GB DDR4 Onboard Memory and 256GB NVMe SSD

Acer Aspire 5 Review: Battery Life

As it turns out, the Acer Aspire 5’s battery is a better performer as compared to last year’s model that had an underwhelming battery. Acer claims that it will last 8 hours on a single charge, but in real-life use, you’re getting just under 7 hours, which isn’t bad at all.

Bottom Line

The latest Acer Aspire 5 laptop isn’t a game-changer, but it gets the job done well (with reason). Its design is all too familiar and its Ryzen 5 processor, though new in the market, won’t blow you away with its performance. But the Acer Aspire 5 price is a boon for most budget buyers looking for Full HD screen, and it serves up a solid design and has enough power to get the job done. Anything from writing up a report, video chatting with family or Netflix binge, it won’t disappoint at all.

However, if you’re looking for more power, longer battery life and a better screen, the LG Gram 17Z90P is a great choice, with a WQXGA (2560×1600) screen, over 17 hours battery life, an intel evo 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD and includes Thunderbolt 4.

You’ll pay slightly more for the sleek design and added power, but it’s worth every dollar you spend. That said, if all you need is a laptop that can handle remote or in-person learning and work, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z is a good choice.

Last update on 2022-06-23 at 23:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OUR PICK

Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Slim Laptop | 15.6" Full HD IPS | AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Mobile Processor | AMD Radeon Graphics | 8GB DDR4 | 256GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Backlit KB | Windows 11 Home

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as of June 23, 2022 11:40 pm
Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Review
Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z Review
$369.99 $399.99
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