Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP Review
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP is a mid-range laptop that packs Intel’s new 11th Gen processors and enough power for all day-to-day tasks: it has long battery life, performs most tasks well, plays media fine, all for a compelling price
- Up-to-date components
- Good build quality
- Decent performance
- Well priced
- Not as light as competing laptops
- Screen isn’t the most vibrant
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP has a lot of expectations to fulfil, as its predecessor the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK was the best budget laptop around, owning a slot on our nest laptops list. Now that everyone is working from home and kids are resigned to a corner for school time, there is need for excellent affordable laptops, and hopes may rise when you see them pack either 11th Gen Intel CPUs or the brand new AMD Ryzen chips.
Updated with 11th-generation Intel core processors, this more than competent notebook ticks all the boxes you’d expect from a day-to-day laptop. The Acer Aspire 5 has proven once again that mod-range machines are the way to for work and school. And, as long as your needs are exclusive of video editing or design work and editing, this might be the best laptop to buy in 2021.
The Acer Aspire 5 is plain, with an aluminum lid, which is rare at this price range. And, if you wanted a laptop that’s super-slim, the Aspire A515-56-73AP isn’t. 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 under 4 pounds, light enough for lagging around the house, but heavy to tote through a day in college.
Port selection is excellent. For your peripherals, you’re getting three USB-A ports 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.
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, but if you’re looking at photo editing and media creation, you might need an external monitor with better color reproduction.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The Aspire 5’s chiclet keyboard is full-size, has a number pad on the right side 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.
Our version of the Acer Aspire 5 – the A515-56-73AP – features an 11th Generation 2.8 GHz (upto 4.7 GHz) Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD storage and Intel Iris Xe graphics card. This laptop’s configuration is midrange, and you’ll get solid performance from this laptop. The quad core (8 threads) chip used on this machine can handle most productivity tasks, ranging from excel spreadsheets, light media creation to Microsoft Suite processes.
Most people will find the Aspire 5 to provide perfectly acceptable performance for medium-complex processor-based tasks. Unless you’re buying for complex tasks, the Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP 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. Even at the lowest settings. It uses Intel Iris Xe graphics, that offers some video creation muscle, but are not best matched for gaming.
For around the same price, the Lenovo Legion 5 is a gaming solution, with a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1660Ti graphics card, AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD and a 144 Hz refresh rate on a Full HD screen.
As it turns out, the Acer Aspire 5’s battery is a better performer as compared to last year’s Acer Aspire 5 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.
If you’re looking for a mid-range laptop that won’t cost the earth, but one that isn’t compromised with cheap build quality and dated components, then the Acer Aspire 5 is a great choice.
The range of configurations available means there’s a good chance you’ll find an Aspire 5 model that easily suits your budget – while our review model isn’t too capable when it came to graphical oomph, there are options to get an Aspire 5 with a dedicated graphics card.
Battery life is similarly good, so if you’re looking for an inexpensive laptop that can reliably handle day-to-day task without needing to be constantly plugged into a power socket, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP is excellent choice.