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[Review] Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL Shut Up and Take My Money!

Landing on an affordable gaming laptop is downright a challenge in and of itself. Often times we find decent models starting off at the 1000 dollar mark but even that's a challenge. With that in mind, today we take an inside look onto a model that's on sale right now for 679 dollars, a price point that will be pretty hard to beat.

We're talking, of course, about the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL, an attractive gaming laptop that packs a dedicated Nvidia chip, RAM that's expandable up to 32 GB and a pretty good Intel Core i5 quad-core processor. Without further ado, let's get to know this laptop in-depth as we dive headfirst into this review of the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL gaming laptop.

Who's the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL for?

This laptop is perfect for those looking to buy a gaming laptop but don't want to spend a lot of money in the process. It's also great for those who don't want a gaming laptop that looks like one as its slick design allows it to be used in professional or educational environments without calling much attention to itself. It's also perfect for those who aren't afraid to open up the laptop and expand the internal RAM from 4 GB to something more impressive.

In-depth review of the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL

Design and Display

We'll start things off talking about the overall design of the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL. In that regard, we must confess that we're quite impressed as it doesn't flaunt the excessive weight or "bulkiness" typical of most gaming laptops. Specifically, it portrays a slim design that could easily be confused for a standard laptop that's not focused on its gaming properties.

Weighing just 2.2 kilograms and measuring just 21 mm, this laptop comes with a slick figure on a black matte finish. Sure enough, it doesn't get confused for a premium laptop but it does look pretty attractive all things considered.

The display might be its only flaw as it comes with a 15.6 inch  LED  screen with an HD resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Being a gaming laptop we would've appreciated a Full HD resolution but considering its restrained price point we can't really argue with the overall choice.

On the sides, there's a multitude of connectivity options which we'll get into later on in this review and its keyboard is of the island style with a dedicated numeric pad placed on the side of the device for those times when you really need to start crunching numbers.

Performance, performance, performance

Moving onto the key set of specs on the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL, we've got a pretty impressive Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor that has a base clock speed of 1.6 GHz and can go all the way to 3.4GHz when pressed for more demanding tasks. This is the latest generation of Intel Core processors and being an i5 it's one of our personal favorites as it manages a perfect balance between performance and power consumption.

What's it good for? This processor is good for a variety of tasks such as editing videos, doing some image editing, working with virtual machines, browsing the web and handling heavy-duty software. Of course, it's a great processor for gaming but that's a separate point we'll get into soon enough.

The Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL under review also packs 4 GB of DDR4 RAM. We'll be pretty honest here and say that that's not really enough for intensive multitasking. 

However, a very good thing about this laptop is that it allows for the RAM to be upgraded all the way to 32 GB. 32 might be a bit of an overkill from our point of view but for great gaming and professional performance you should consider at least upgrading the RAM capacity anywhere between 8 and 12 GB for optimal performance.

How's storage? What's battery life like?

Being a budget gaming laptop means you need to neglect stuff like hybrid storage or SSD storage units and that's precisely what the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL has done. In that regard, we've got a standard 500 GB Hard Drive that operates at a standard speed of 5400 RPM. 

This is enough to store games and a media library but it's not the fastest kind of storage to really kick things up a notch. In that regard, if after a year of using this laptop you seem to feel like it could be faster we would advise towards implementing an SSD unit to complement the internal storage.

When it comes down to the battery life of the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL, Acer doesn't disappoint and we've got a 3220 mAh battery capacity that allows for up to 7 hours of standby time. Sure enough, gaming laptops are hardly known for their extensive battery lives so we should probably expect a more realistic 3-4 hours of gaming with said battery.

Let's talk gaming...

Moving onto the gaming segment of this review of the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL, we've got a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 GB of dedicated SDRAM. What does this mean? Well, it means that we're looking at a pretty decent graphics chip for playing games at high definition settings.
It's not Nvidia's best but it gets the job done much better than any integrated graphics chip. To be specific, you can expect frame rates above the 30 fps mark on games such as Star Wars Battlefront 2, Need for Speed Payback, Call of duty WWII as well as Destiny 2, Elex and many more games. 

We should remind you that this laptop packs an HD display and not a Full HD display so gaming at a solid frame rate is all the easier once this is the case.

What's connectivity like? Anything else worth knowing about the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL?

Finally, as we seek to wrap up this review, we should probably point out that it comes out of the box with a Chinese version of Windows 10, which means you'll probably need to re-install the system to update the language. Other than that we've got 1 USB 3.0 port, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, a USB Type C port, an SD card reader, a webcam, an HDMI output as well as an ethernet port and Bluetooth support.

It's also worth pointing out that the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL comes with a WiFi ac antenna which supports download speeds up to three times faster (with a compatible router) than tradition WiFi b/g/n standards that are more commonplace with this price point.

Wrapping things up; Is it worth buying?

Deciding if a laptop is worth its purchase is a very subjective decision. Sure enough we recommend this model after doing a thorough review of the Acer A515 - 51G - 59WL but in the end it comes down to what the consumer is looking for.

The display could've been better, other than that we love the fact that RAM can be upgraded to 32 GB, internal storage is big enough to manage a media library, we've got a discreet design that allows us to use this laptop for myriad of tasks and not soley as a gaming machine and of course the dedicated graphics means that we're looking at a powerhouse laptop at a bargain price.

This laptop doesn't come with all the "cool features" that typically escalate the price such as an aluminum chassis, a fingerprint sensor or a Full HD display but it does pack the punches where it really counts betting on a quad-core processor, a solid battery life and a great graphics chip. 

All in all, we would definitely advise its purchase if you're looking for a gaming laptop that doesn't also empty your bank account. Of course, you should be quick to upgrade the RAM for a very fluid performance but other than that it's an excellent choice that you shouldn't miss out on.