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[Review] Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R5RE: A No-Brainer for Most of us

  • Great Battery Life
  • Quad-Core CPU with 8 GB of RAM
  • Full HD Display
  • 256 GB of SSD storage
  • Slightly "boring" design
  • No USB Type C port.

In our extensive experience in the laptop review space, we have encountered several different models. Some laptops are way too overpriced or "overspeced" for the use most people will give them whilst others fall short one way or another and simply don't make the cut.

Today we have an incredibly rare occurrence; a laptop that's just right for most people at a price that's incredibly balanced. We're talking, of course, about the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R5RE.

 A well-balanced machine that has managed the unimaginable; an almost unanimous 5-star rating from the moment it became available. Acer's latest venture onto the mid-range segment comes with everything we'd hope for, no more and no less. Without further ado, let's get on with this review.

Battery Life7

Who is this for?

The A515-43-R5RE is a great option for anyone looking to purchase a laptop for everyday tasks such as surfing the web, editing documents, streaming movies and so forth. It's not as "interesting" as Acer's high end model and not as limited as the more affordable models. However, it's the perfect choice for most users that don't want to overspend on features they will never use.

An underwhelming yet efficient design

As stated, this laptop does not pack anything particularly impressive - beyond its balanced specs to price relationship - and that extends to the design first and foremost.

In this regard, you won't find anything particularly compelling. This is a simple laptop that boasts a simple design with a silver body and a plastic case that doesn't feel all that cheap yet falls flat from the premium touch offered by more expensive models.

There's a chiclet-style keyboard - which is backlit - with a dedicated numeric pad on the side and a pretty smooth trackpad. There's no special type of keyboard here with a reduced key travel distance or anything of the sorts -which some of us hate - but instead your standard laptop keyboard we've been seeing for the last decade.

When it comes to the screen, we've got a nice Full HD resolution on an LED-backlit IPS display with a 178 degree viewing angle in case you wanted to share your screen with the person sitting next to you.

Finally, this isn't the most portable of models, weighing in at almost 4 pounds and stretching to a height of 0.7 inches. A long way from the 2.6 pounds we saw on the popular Acer Swift 3 we talked about last week.

Overall, standard laptop dimensions and display for a 15.6 inch model.

What's the deal with the performance? What should I expect?

Moving onto what's truly important about the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R5RE, let's talk about performance.

Equipped with a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 that clocks in at a maximum 3.7 GHz coupled with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a compelling 256 GB SSD unit - a massive upgrade if you come from a standard HDD -, Acer's latest laptop manages to present itself as an efficient, quick and smooth laptop for day to day tasks.

Specifically, you can expect the A515-43-R5RE to work properly on tasks such as surfing the web, streaming movies or music, editing documents, and even doing some advanced image and video editing with programs like Photoshop from time to time - though for a constant use we would advise towards a dedicated graphics chip.

Sure enough, if you attempt to do all of this at once you will quickly run out of RAM -which you may upgrade with another 8 GB module -and you will manage to overheat your CPU.  However, to the average user who's looking for a laptop to work with comfortably the Aspire 5 presents itself as a more than interesting contender.

It should also be pointed out that you may also increase the storage capacity, should 256 GB fall short for you.

What about battery life and gaming?

Beyond the general performance, something that most people care about is autonomy or battery life. In that regard, Acer has always stood out and the A515-43-R5RE is no exception.

Specifically, whilst Acer is quick to tout the number of 7.5 hours our review would seem to point at roughly 5-6 hours under normal usage  - web browsing, a few videos, medium brightness settings - which is still pretty good for most of us and should allow us to live without having to carry the charger everywhere we go.

In terms of gaming, let's get one thing out of the way; this is not a gaming laptop. That said, you could manage to play some games such as Fifa, Fortnite or GTA V at a decent frame rate in low settings.

That said, we would be remiss if we where to recommend this laptop for gamers, for that crowd something like the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-5812 would be far more useful and just slightly more expensive.

Connectivity features worth noting

Finally, as we approach the end of this review of the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R5RE we would like to take a minute to point out its connectivity features.

On the sides of this laptop you'll find a couple of USB 2.0 ports a standalone USB 3.0 port, HDMI output, ethernet port as well as an audio jack and power input. As is the trend over the past year there's no SD card reader on this model and as expected for a 2020 laptop there's no CD/DVD reader. Unfortunately, there's no USB Type C port, though this is hardly something most people will even use.

Something we really like about this model is that it also packs a dual-band WiFi card with the 802.11 ac standard which basically means you can get internet speeds which are up to three times faster than the previous 802.11 b/g/n standard.

Conclusion: What's the verdict?

In closing, after extensively studying this laptop, we can positively say that the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R5RE is a great choice for the average user looking for a laptop to get some work done, stream some movies and not have to depend too much on the battery.

Sure enough, this model isn't particularly compelling in terms of design but its balanced set of specs alongside its affordable price point make it a great choice that's bound to satisfy most user's needs and budget.