The Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-378V is a straightforward, capable laptop that can handle remote or in-person learning and work, without sacrificing portability at a very reasonable price
- Plenty of mainstream productivity power
- Impressive battery life
- Fingerprint reader
- So-so dual-core performance
- Mushy keyboard
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-378V is a daily-use laptop that we can’t say is the best around, but like more Aspires 5s, it gets the job done (within means). The Acer Aspire 5 ticks almost all boxes for students who need to participate in remote or in-person learning in the backdrop of the pandemic this year. It looks good, rocks a newer 10th generation chip, has lots of ports and its audio is great, too.
However, middling performance especially when compared with similarly priced notebooks and subpar battery life keep this Aspire 5 from topping any of our top lists. But if all you need is an inexpensive computing option that fits both work and ease with relative ease, the Acer A515-55-378V is a nice fit.
Acer Aspire 5 Design
With the Aspire 5, Acer attempted to offer budget buyers a MacBook feel – and to some extent, they succeeded, only that you don’t get the premium aluminum construction. It’s thin and sleek with minimalist styling, making it pleasing for the eyes without being overly designed.
The lid is held to the body with sturdy hinges, and it’s a little difficult to open with a single hand. Once you open it, you’re welcomed by black, thin bezels surrounding the display, and next is the backlit Chiclet-style keyboard snuggled into the silver casing. There’s also a spacious palm rest that at least gives you the allure to use the laptop for long.
On the touchpad, there’s a fingerprint scanner with Windows Hello, meaning you can lock and unlock the laptop with your fingertip. At 0.7 inches thin and weighing only 4.1 pounds, the Acer Aspire 5 is slightly heavier than competing budget laptops like the ASUS F512JA-AS34 (0.7 inches, 3.75 pounds); but it’s still portable to work or college.
Like most Acer Aspire laptops released this year, the Aspire 5 A515-55-378V has robust connectivity options.
The notebook has a USB 3.1 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Type-A, a single USB 2.0 port, and HDMI 2.0 port, a microSD card reader, Ethernet port, a Kensington lock and headphone/mic jacks.
Display & Keyboard
The Acer Aspire 5 gets a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display that’s bright and produces acceptable color saturation. We’re glad that even at the affordable price, Acer manages to offer a full HD (1080p) screen, unlike the 720p that’s popular at this price range. The colors here are well saturated, warm and rich in color, and the contrast is excellent across the range. Overall, it delivers a solid visual experience, so you can binge-watch your favorite Netflix movies with ease.
Acer offers a highly responsive keyboard with a large palm rest for enhanced support, but you might find the full-sized, backlit keyboard a bit mushy. And, the Chiclet style input isn’t as clicky as I would have liked. Beneath the keyboard is a 4.1 x 3.1-inch touchpad that’s responsive when surfing the web or documents. Its surface is smooth and adept to Windows 10 gestures. Such as two-finger swipes and three finger taps.
Acer A515-55-378V Performance
Powered by a 1.2 GHz Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD and an Intel UHD Graphics card, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-378V is a workhorse, designed to handle all your daily emails, YouTube videos, documents and school work. If you need to do more that basic computing, Acer offers the Aspire 5 A515-55-75NC, that sports the same design, but offers better performance thanks to a 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD for those who need to do more than basic computing.
As mentioned earlier, the Aspire 5 uses an integrated GPU, which I can’t recommend for intense gaming. You’re only getting away with basic games like Minecraft, but if you need something affordable for gaming and work, our Editors’ Choice for budget gaming laptops, the Asus TUF A15 FA506IH-AS53 is worth a look.
The Aspire 5 comes with a 45Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery, that Acer claims to have eight hours of battery life. However, on continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the much you’re getting is 6 hours 58 minutes, which is slightly below the 9:23 mainstream laptop average. Still, that’s enough juice for a day at work or college before you need to hook it up to a power source.
The Acer Aspire 5 (2020 model) is a straightforward, capable laptop. Its design hasn’t changed much from last year’s model, but this one gets a newer 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor and integrated graphics that offer decent performance. While its overall performance won’t blow away you away, but for a seriously affordable laptop, the Aspire 5 serves up solid audio system and has enough power to get the job done.
However, if you’re looking for more processing power longer battery life and a better screen. We’d recommend the AMD Ryzen 7-powered Asus Swift 3 (SF314-42-R9YN), that is both portable and powerful but van be had at a very reasonable price.
That said, if all you need is a laptop that can handle remote or in-person learning and work on a budget, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-378V is one of the few solid choices around.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-378V, 15.6" Full HD Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor (Up to 3.4GHz), 4GB DDR4, 128GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, HD Webcam, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode
2 used from $489.99