Acer Aspire 5 Review: One Of The Best Cheap Laptops For Students!

Do you want a cheap laptop for students that can help your child do their studies easily? Or do you want a decent notebook for your desk job? If you have a tight budget, the Acer Aspire 5 might be what you are looking for!

This laptop is pretty good, striking a fine balance between performance and productivity. Even though it’s not meant for gaming, it gets everything else right. Read this Acer Aspire 5 2023 review to find out why.

Acer Aspire 5 Specifications

Acer Aspire 5 Specifications

The main specifications of the Acer Aspire 5 A515 are:

OSWindows 11 Home
Display15.6” IPS display (1920 x 1080 resolution, 60 Hz refresh rate)
Processor13th Generation Intel Core i5 – 1335U (10 cores @ 4.6 GHz)
GraphicsIntegrated Intel Iris Xe
Storage512GB NVMe SSD
Ports2x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet port, 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x 3.5mm jack
Webcam720p HD webcam
Battery65 W, 3220 mAh Li-Ion battery
Dimensions0.74” x 21.5” x 9.4” (H x W x D)
Weight3.9 lbs (1.8 kg)
ColorsSteel Grey, Charcoal Black

The Acer Aspire 5 price is currently at $549.99. The initial Acer Aspire 5 release date was in April 2019. However, I have tested the latest 2023 variant, released in May 2023.

Acer Aspire 5 Review: My Impressions

After using this laptop for a few days and putting it through all kinds of torturous tests, I can say that it is pretty good – compared to other cheap laptops.

Let’s dive deep into what it has to offer!

Design And Build Quality

Design And Build Quality
The Acer Aspire 5 looks good enough

Regarding the design and build quality of this laptop, its chassis looks pretty solid and sturdy from the outside. However, its design is not attractive and is simple and minimalistic.

It has a clamshell design, and the borders are pretty proportionately chunky. Its bezels are also somewhat thicker than the higher-end laptops that I have reviewed in the past. Even cheaper laptops like the HP Chromebook x360 have thinner bezels.

However, I found it to be pretty portable, thanks to its 4 lbs weight. I carried it around in my bag and felt no discomfort after long hours with it slinging behind me. Plus, its hinges are pretty average, being neither too flexy nor too un-flexy.


The Acer Aspire 5 has a standard 1080p FHD  15.6” display, much like the Acer Aspire Nitro 7. While it may not have a high-quality retina display like the MacBook 12in M7, it’s still pretty good.

The colors are bright and clear, with the default contrast being perfect for my eyes. Plus, I liked the addition of a matte finish on top of the screen, which makes it cool on my eyes and doesn’t strain them too much, considering that I am a night owl.

Keyboard And Trackpad

Keyboard And Trackpad
Good keyboard, not-so-good trackpad

Gamers and writers (like me) love mechanical keyboards. While laptops don’t typically have one, a decent keyboard does the job most of the time.

However, I found the Acer Aspire 5 keyboard to be pretty solid in terms of tactile feedback and durability.

The trackpad might not be large enough (4.3” wide and 2.5” deep) for most people. Therefore, it might not be comfortable and responsive enough for your needs if you have a big hand.

In addition, the trackpad has multi-touch gesture support. However, gesture shortcut users will not like it a lot due to its overall more petite size. This didn’t matter to me much since I hate using trackpads and prefer an old-school mouse instead!


The speakers of this budget laptop are in the front, facing downwards. Fortunately, even if you place this laptop on a table, they are not blocked. This is great since many budget laptops (like the OWS Laptop) are at fault for this.

However, its overall sound quality is subpar at best. Sure, it’s loud, but I found the sound to crackle at a higher quality. Its overall mix is pretty balanced, where the treble and the bass don’t end up drowning each other.

I recommend using Skullcandy headphones, like the Skullcandy Crusher Evo, for gamers and movie lovers. Too bad you cannot use an Apple HomePod Mini with this.


The Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop has a fairly basic webcam. It’s sufficient for video calls as long as the lights are bright. If you have dimmed your lights, then the video and image quality appears to be grainy. 


Enough ports for a cheap laptop

The sturdy chassis of the Acer Aspire 5 has enough room to fit quite a few parts on the sides. It has enough USB ports (see the specification section above) to satisfy most regular users. Considering this is a budget laptop, you should not attach too many USB peripherals.

Regarding wireless connectivity, it has the standard Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. They are pretty reliable, and I had no problem connecting to my Wi-Fi router from a different room.

Battery Life

The battery life is pretty decent, unlike gaming laptops like the Asus TUF Gaming F15 or the Asus ROG Strix Scar II.

It will easily last you approximately 7 hours in most situations. However, if you plan gaming using Xbox Cloud Gaming, it will go down to the 3-hour mark while it’s unplugged.

In terms of heating, I didn’t face too many issues here. However, after the three-hour mark, I did notice the fans getting a bit louder, emanating hot air on my lap.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 battery life will benefit most users.


The Acer Aspire 5 performance is pretty good if you don’t plan on gaming a lot.

When it comes to handling day-to-day tasks, it proves to be pretty efficient. I opened many tabs on multiple browsers like Google Chrome, Opera, and Firefox – without any noticeable lag. Therefore, students and corporates will find this laptop to be good enough for their workloads.

If you are a designer, you might run into some slowdowns. Since I sometimes need to design and edit the images of my posts, I use Adobe Photoshop. Using it on this laptop worked fine. However, I ran into some slowdowns using GPU-extensive apps like Premier Pro and After Effects. While I faced no issues editing 1080p videos, I did face some problems editing 2k and 4k videos.

Even if its performance is pretty good for such work, gaming is something where it stumbles. I reckon this is due to its Intel Iris Xe graphics card. While older games will work fine thanks to its 13th Gen Intel i5-1335U processor, its Iris Xe GPU ends up bottlenecking it. It’s no Xbox One S, for sure.

I played quite a few games at their highest graphical settings to test the Acer Aspire 5 gaming performance. Here is a list of all the frame rates I got:

GamesFPS (Average)
Grand Theft Auto 565
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt45
Red Dead Redemption 232
Cyberpunk 207718
Counter-Strike 288
You can check this video out to get an idea what gaming will be like

Best Acer Aspire 5 Alternatives

If you didn’t like what you read about this laptop now, then here are some other alternatives you may consider:

1. Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5
One of the better cheap laptops if you mean business

Price: $554.99

If you would prefer a laptop with similar performance and a slimmer design, then the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5 would be a good choice. It has a slightly bigger 16” screen, AMD Ryzen 5 7530U processor, integrated AMD Radeon HD graphics, and 16GB RAM. 

2. HP Laptop 17

HP Laptop 17
Bigger screen with a smaller price tag

Price: $649.99

If you want a big 17” screen for Netflix, then you should go for the HP Laptop 17. It has a great screen, with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD + 1 TB HDD storage. However, it has an older 11th Gen i7 processor with the same Intel Iris Xe processor.

Final Verdict

If you want a lightweight laptop for students that fits your budget easily, then the Acer Aspire 5 will be a good choice. It gets the job done well With good battery life, decent performance, and a great screen. However, if you want a budget gaming laptop, it’s best to look elsewhere (and increase your budget as well).

• Good display
• Good keyboard
• Nice battery life
• Lightweight and sturdy design
• Not meant for gaming
• Small trackpad

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Debamalya Mukherjee

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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      Debamalya Mukherjee

      Debamalya Mukherjee

      Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.