The Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV is a mid-range laptop that ticks pretty all the boxes you’d want in a day-to-day laptop with a big 17.3-inch screen: it performs tasks well, plays media fine, and has good battery life, all for palatable price.
- Aggressively priced
- Sleek silver exterior
- Excellent battery life
- Decent power for everyday computing tasks
- Mediocre build quality
- Imprecise touchpad
Laptops like the Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV are a staple in the budget and midrange laptop market, allowing users to get their hands on a laptop that can handle productivity work, streaming, email, and web browsing. First time I used an Aspire 5 in 2018, and needless to say, the product line has been refined since then with a far modern look and enhanced performance hardware.
Now, we have one of the latest Aspire 5 models in for review, with product number A517-52-59SV. It packs almost the same components as its stablemate, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-73AP that we reviewed a few weeks ago, but instead of a 15.6 IPS display, it gets a bigger, 17.3-inch IPS display, alongside powerful components and a solid performance while keeping the price affordable and accessible.
Updated with 11th-generation Intel Core processors, this more than competent laptop ticks all the boxes you’d want for a day-to-day laptop with a big screen. The Acer Aspire 5 has proven once again that mid-range machines are the way to go. And, provided your needs don’t include a whole lot of video editing or designing, with its large screen, this might just be the best laptop for you.
Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV Specs
- Laptop Class: Budget, Desktop Replacement
- Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
- RAM (as Tested): 8 GB
- Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested): 256 GB SSD
- Screen Size: 17.3 inches
- Native Display Resolution: 1920 by 1080
- Touch Screen: No
- Panel Technology: IPS
- Graphics Processor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Dimensions (HWD): 15.89 x 10.38 x 0.78 inches
- Weight: 4.72 pounds
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
The Big Picture
The large Aspire 5 is a welcome reminder that a self-mandated price limit for your next laptop doesn’t have to restrict your choices to a boring laptop that will struggle to get you through a night homework or a day of answering emails at the office. The Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV’s star attraction, of course, is a roomy 17.3-inch, full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) display.
Most laptop shoppers aren’t looking for screens this big, which means they’re quite scarce at pretty much every price point. So, the fact that you can get your hands on a laptop this cheap, with few compromises is a major win from the get-go.
With a bright silver finish inside and out – alongside an aluminum exterior, the Aspire 5 looks modern from every angle. The black screen bezels are an exception of the silver expanses, but are slim enough not to be obtrusive. If you’re expecting to get an ultraportable at this price, however, you’ll have to get realistic: The Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV weighs 4.7 pounds and measures 15.89 x 10.38 x 0.78 inches. Compare that with the slimmest 17.3-inch ultraportable we’ve reviewed, the LG Gram 17, just 0.7 x 15 x 10.2 inches and 2.98 pounds.
Port selection is good, with most ports that you’ll find useful on a daily basis including: two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0, a USB-C, Ethernet and SD memory card port. All these give you plenty of options for connecting your peripherals.
Usual Aspire 5 Keyboard and Pad
While the touchpad does include a built-in fingerprint reader, it doesn’t feature dedicated left-and right-click buttons below it. Instead, what you have is an entire surface on the pad that’s clickable, but it’s unfortunately flexible which results in some noticeable mushy feel whenever you click.
Again, the pad lacks tracking precision, which becomes an issue when you want to drag onscreen elements. Increasing the sensitivity level in the Windows Precision Touchpad settings makes it a little better.
The backlit keyboard above the touchpad is comfortable. Given the flexibility of the rest of the chassis, the keyboard is remarkably sturdy with little give even when you strike the keys forcefully. There’s a dedicated number pad on the right side, but unlike the main part of the board, its keys are not full-size.
A Pleasing Productivity Partner
Our version of the Acer Aspire 5 – the A517-52-59SV – features an 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1135G7 processor, 8GB 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 A517-52-59SV 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 IdeaPad Gaming 3 is a gaming solution, with a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics card, AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a 120Hz refresh rate on a Full HD screen.
Good Enough Battery Life
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 around 7 hours 12 minutes, which isn’t bad at all.
Overall – Should you buy the Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV?
On a more expensive ultraportable laptop, a chassis with mediocre build quality, a middling touchpad, and uninspired speakers would be dealbreakers. On the Aspire 5, however, the combination of a pleasing, 17.3-inch 1080p display, decent travel weight, and a palatable price mean that the laptop’s main drawbacks are mere compromises to just note in advance instead of reasons not to buy.
Whether these drawbacks carry the weight depends on your priorities. On a performance basis, you can do better but you’ll settle with a bulky machine that will weigh down your backpack. In the end, the most important considerations are how much you are willing to spend and what you plan to use this laptop for. If all you’re looking for is a big-screen machine for day-to-day tasks and don’t have so much money on the table, the Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV is a proper contender for your cash.
Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-59SV, 17.3" Full HD IPS Display, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard
5 used from $636.09