Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-59W2 is a slim laptop that ticks pretty much all the boxes you’d want for a day-to-day laptop, it executes most tasks well, plays media fine and has very good battery life, all at a compelling price.
- Good battery life
- Up-to-date components
- Solid build quality
- Decent performance
- Screen isn’t the most vibrant
- Lacks an SD card reader
Not always that you budget can accommodate a laptop that costs a thousand bucks, and fortunately, that doesn’t imply you have to settle for a piece of junk. No, you won’t get sexy or exciting for under a grand. But if you’re careful, you can nab great performance, battery life, and impressive features – especially if you go for the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54-59W2) slim laptop.
What are you getting for so little money? In terms of components, there’s the latest 10th-gen quad-core Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe solid-state-drive (SSD), and a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display. Others include a comfortable backlit keyboard with a fingerprint reader, and that’s just about the best you can get at this price point.
Acer’s Aspire 5 line of laptops do a nice job feeling thinner and lighter than they are. Our review model, the Aspire 5 A515-54-59W2 is no different: Yes, it is above the scales at nearly 5.75 pounds, but at just 0.7 inches thin, the Aspire 5 manages to feel reasonably light, especially given its 15-inch footprint.
For a budget laptop, the slim aluminum lid and tapered shell make it look fairly stylish than it costs. Once you open the lid, you’re welcomed by svelte right and left bezels, and an “Aspire” logo along the bottom hinge, and a silver-colored chassis offset by the black keyboard.
When you turn the laptop upside down, you find a pair of small speaker grilles near the front and a large cooling vent near the back.
The Aspire 5’s section of ports comprises both new and legacy options. The left side has a full Gigabit Ethernet port, something you rarely see on modern thin laptops. You also get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port for connecting newer USB-C-equipped peripherals and storage devices.
On the right side, you have a lean selection of ports: USB 2.0 Type-A, and a combo audio jack. Its rather disappointing nit to have a memory card reader, which means you won’t be able to. Pop in memory cards from your Android phone or digital camera.
When it comes to the Acer Aspire 5 display, it appears like you’re getting a standard 15-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution screen across the line. It is an IPS (in-plane switching) panel that offers solid viewing angles, with the display looking relatively bright and readable even when viewed from the sides, above or below. The matte ‘ComfyView’ design does a lot to minimize glare, though it takes a hit on direct outdoor sunlight.
On the downside, the display on this particular model is painfully dim – at just 201 nits, its well below the 250 average. That means that even if the display looks bright enough indoors, it begins to fade noticeably when used outside in the shade, and it looks even worse in direct sunlight.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The Aspire 5 offers a spacious, backlit keyboard with a 10-key numeric keypad. The numeric keypad is too squeezed for our liking, but we’re satisfied it’s there. The keys themselves feel good to type on, delivering sweet bump and springy rebound on each keystroke. Beyond that, travel feels rather skimpy compared to other productivity laptops we’ve reviewed.
As if designed to compensate for the keyboard’s flaws, the roomy keyboard is smooth and responsive. Of course, you’ll notice occasional jittering across the screen as your palms drag over the trackpad surface while typing.
Acer bills the Aspire 5 A515-54-59W2 as a laptop for daily productivity tasks, and for the most part it succeeds at these. The solid-state drive (SSD) keeps Windows 10 feeling pretty fast, while the 8GB of RAM and quad-core Intel Core i5-10210U processor offer reliable multi-tasking potentials. For day-to-day computing applications, the Aspire 5 does a fine job – it doesn’t feel quite as peppy as more expensive notebooks, like the LG Gram, but for regular use it’s absolutely fine.
The IPS screen is decent, but a little washed-out, and the contrast isn’t as quite as strong as we’ve seen other (but expensive) laptops. We very much welcome the Full HD (1920 x 1080) screen, which makes movies and photos look way better than on lower-res laptops, and Acer has included its color Intelligence technology. To be honest, you’ll have a good experience for standard day-to-day tasks and the screen should be fine, especially with that Full HD resolution; however, if you’ll be editing photos or videos, you may want to consider an alternative laptop.
Also, if you’re a gamer then you should certainly elsewhere, as while the integrated Intel 620 UHD graphics will handle photos and videos, and maybe a undemanding game or two, for the most part most modern games will not run well on this laptop. Seriously, that’s not what this what it’s been built for. For gaming on budget, you can look at our Editors’ Choice the Asus TUF FX505DT-AH51, or if your budget can stretch a little, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S offers all the muscle you need to run modern titles at high settings.
Acer packed in a 48 watt-hours battery into the Aspire 5 A515-54-59W2. That doesn’t sound like much for a 15.6-inch Full HD but it does manage just over 9 hours on a single charge; that’s something its peers fail to achieve. That means that for the typical productivity worker, there’s a very good chance you’ll get a full working without carrying a charge. And that’s a lot.
If you’re looking for a mid0range laptop that offers real value for the buck, and isn’t compromised with cheap build quality and dated components, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great choice. Also, the range of configurations available means there’s a good chance you’ll find an Aspire 5 model that perfectly suits your needs and budget. On our review model, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-59W2, battery life is excellent, the 10th-gen CPU can dependably handle day-to-day tasks, making it definitely worth considering.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U, 8GB DDR4, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit KB, A515-54-59W2, Silver
5 used from $649.63