Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N Review

$352.00 $379.99 SEE AT AMAZON

8.2 Total Score
EXCELLENT

The Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N is one of the best budget full-size laptops you can buy today. It checks most of the right boxes: well built, slim and fairly light, affordable and performs well.

PROS
  • Strong 11th-Gen quad-core CPU
  • Decent 1080p IPS screen
  • Excellent all-day battery life
  • Superior expandability
CONS
  • Chassis is too flexible
  • Subpar webcam

The new Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N arrives with a lot of expectations, as its sibling the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-32DK has been the best budget laptop around, owning a spot on our best budget laptops list. With everyone somehow working from home and kids prepping for the new school year, there’s demand for excellent affordable laptops, and your hopes can rise as you see most pack either 12th Gen Intel CPUs or brand-new AMD Ryzen chips.

With the new Acer Aspire 5, you’re not getting ultra-slim bezels, a sleek modern chassis or a smooth low-profile keyboard but that doesn’t mean this laptop isn’t worth considering. As mentioned, the Acer A515-56-347N is excellent value for money. That’s why we thought it’s one of the best laptops under $500.

While it might look old-school now, the Acer Aspire 5 is actually a workhorse. It has an 11th Gen intel Core processor with fast m.2 SSD. Then, factor in 8GB RAM, decent battery life and 1080p IPS panel and what you’re getting is pure reliability.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N Specs

Here is the Acer Aspire 5’s configuration in this Digital Weekly review:

  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080), IPS
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth 5
  • Weight: 3.64 pounds
  • Size: ‎14.31 x 0.7 x 9.39 inches

Price and Availability

The Acer Aspire 5 A515 is offered in various configurations, outfitted with a choice of either 11th generation Intel processors or the latest AMD Ryzen chips. Most laptops in this range feature 15-inch FHD screens, but you can get a few with 17-inch screens.

Our review unit, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N is the base model in this range, with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, 128GB SSD, and 8GB RAM; then, there’s the Acer A515-56-36UT with a similar feature set at the base model, but its screen lack IPS technology.

The Acer A515-56-702V sits at the very top in this mini-Series, with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 512GB SSD, and up to 16GB of memory. Still, there are other Aspire 5 configurations, giving you lots of alternatives to choose from depending on your needs.

Design and Features

At just under 4 pounds, the Aspire 5 is surprisingly light for an inexpensive 15-inch laptop. Most budget-priced 15-inch laptops are often defined by the cheap build quality, and heavy materials molded from plastic. The Aspire 5 sports a silver and black color scheme, which, while understated, works well.

The body isn’t metal, not surprising, but that plastic not only keeps the weight down but also emphasizes the laptop’s budget nature. Again, this laptop isn’t particularly thin, either, but that at least means Acer has managed to put in a decent range of ports, including full-size USB ports, HDMI, Ethernet, and a single USB-C.

The 15.6-inch screen is a decent size but is surrounded by thick bezels, which again makes it feels a little old-fashioned. We’ve seen super-thin bezels on more expensive Ultrabooks, especially the InfinityEdge display on the Dell XPS 13 and the NanoEdge display on the Asus ZenBook S13 looks fantastic, but they cost a lot more.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N keyboard

The 1080p resolution is fine for a budget machine, but it doesn’t look as appealing as more expensive laptops with higher-res screens, especially the MacBook Air. That also means that the screen isn’t the brightest or the most vibrant we’ve used either, it gets a yellow tint that once again emphasizes the budget nature of this laptop.

The non-backlit keyboard feels a bit cheap and lacks that much travel, which means it doesn’t give you the most satisfying typing experience that more expensive laptops with tactile keyboards offer.

Having a backlit keyboard isn’t just a show-off feature that comes with gaming laptops; rather, it allows you to see which keys you’re hitting in dark environments. This means that the Acer Aspire 5 is tricky to use at night for people who are not familiar with touch typing.

Performance

Sale
Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N Slim Laptop - 15.6" Full HD IPS Display - 11th...
  • Powerful Productivity: 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core processor delivers...
  • Visibly Stunning: Experience sharp details and crisp colors on the 15.6" Full HD IPS...
  • Ergonomic Typing: Ergonomically designed hinge lifts the keyboard for comfortable typing,...

Being a budget machine, the Acer Aspire 5 model that we review here isn’t any close to being the most powerful laptop out there. It’s a laptop that will do the basics, allow you to binge on the latest movies, run office productivity tasks, respond to office e-mails, and nothing more.

While it has a recent 11th generation Intel processor, the A515-56-347N model features a dual-core Intel Core i3-1115G4 designed for basic mobile devices. In the same lineup are the faster Intel Core i5 and Core i7 models that offer more cores and therefore remarkably faster.

Also, there are some models of the Acer Aspire 5 models with dedicated GPUs, our review model has integrated Intel UHD graphics. While this is perfectly fine for day-to-day tasks, and watching movies and TV shows, it’s not going to handle intensive photo and video editing, and don’t even think of 3D or CGI animation.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N screen

The 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD this model comes with are pretty enough for daily tasks, which explains the decision to use Windows 11 Home in S Mode, a lighter version of the latest operating system that’s comparable to Google’s Chrome OS for Chromebooks.

In day-to-day use, however, the Acer Aspire A515-56 is fine, for as long as you remain within the realm of basic computing. If you set your expectations right, the Acer Aspire 5 in S Mode is a decent enough laptop for browsing the web and making presentations, but if you want to run the complex application, you’re going to be disappointed.

Battery Life

Acer promises around 8.5 of battery life with the Acer Aspire 5, but in the benchmark test, it lasts a few minutes less. Looping a 1080p video gives seven hours 55 minutes of battery life, thanks to the lower-power processer.

While you can do a few things to prolong the battery life, such as throttling the number of apps you run at once, and tone the screen brightness down a bit, this means you’re going to gamble to get a whole work day’s use out of it.

Should I buy the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N?

This 2022 Acer Aspire 5 avoids typical budget laptop pitfalls. Windows laptops sold at this price or below tend to make extreme cuts. You’ll be lucky to heck decent day-to-day performance form most low-price machines, not surprising though. This laptop does none of this. It delivers the bare minimum for an enjoyable Windows 11 experience and does so at a very reasonable price.

I’d love to say that the 2021 Acer Aspire 5 maintains its place as our best budget laptops under $500. And sure, it does so without being too expensive. Over the Acer Aspire 5 (2020 model), the Aspire 5 A515-56-347N adds an IPS screen that’s better that its predecessor, it gets better battery life, and includes useful port options, including USB-C. That counts for a lot, especially when Acer didn’t see the need to hike the price despite using an 11th generation processor on this Aspire 5.


Recommended

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-32DK Slim Laptop | 15.6" Full HD IPS Display | 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor | 4GB DDR4 | 128GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Windows 11 Home in S Mode

$379.99
$300.00
 in stock
46 new from $269.99
7 used from $237.59
Amazon.com
as of January 29, 2023 10:53 am

 

All said, for the decent performance, solid feature set and worthwhile extras over its predecessor, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N is hard to beat. It’s our newest Editors’ Choice for budget laptops.

Last update on 2023-01-29 at 10:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N Review
Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-347N Review
$352.00 $379.99
Digital Weekly
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