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[Review] Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R2SA: A stellar PC with no Pretenses

The Acer Aspire 5 lineup has stood out over the past few years thanks to its stellar devices that bring good quality computing to the masses and the Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R2SA was not going to be an exception to this.

It is a device that does not sacrifice elegance for the sake of economy, and that offers added value with top-of-the-line components: an eight-core Ryzen 7 4700U processor, a 15.6-inch Full HD screen, and a remarkable variety of ports, all in a slim, lightweight aluminum chassis in a sober silver tone. Today we set out to review the Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R2SA and uncover everything there is to know about this interesting top-seller.

 Who's it for?

The Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R2SA is an inexpensive PC that doesn't feel cheap: with a solid design and a sober look it is a light and thin computer that's perfect for students or professionals looking for something very portable that doesn't sacrifice in performance. 

Its technical specs allow for intensive use but it should not be used for gaming as it does not come with a dedicated graphics card. 

The Full HD display allows for a comfortable multimedia viewing experience and the fact that it comes with a long-lasting battery means you don't need to be a wall hugger with this laptop. Overall, a powerhouse device suitable for most users looking to get the most out of their investment at an unbeatable price.
 Technical specifications 
  •  Make / Model Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R2SA 
  •  Dimensions 36.34 x 25.04 x 19.55 centimeters
  •  IPS LED panel | 15.6 inch 
  •  Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels)  
  •  AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Processor | 8 cores | Up to 4.1 GHz 
  •  8 GB RAM (DDR4) 
  •  AMD Radeon Graphics Controller 
  •  Storage 512 GB (NVMe SSD) 
  •  3-cell battery (Lithium) 
  •  Windows 10 Home Operating System 
  •  Wi-Fi 5 connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 Ethernet USB 2.0, USB 3.2 (Type-C) USB 3.2 (x2, one with charging capability) HDMI Audio combo jack HD webcam Digital microphone 

Design and Display

A light but very solid chassis

With this laptop, Acer offers us a design that is already a classic within its lineup: flexible aluminum cover and interiors with plastic keys. 

The silver color of the set, with the very "macbooky" black keyboard, offers an elegant appearance, which refers to more expensive equipment and a professional atmosphere. The keyboard, with wide corridors and spacing between the keys, is comfortable and responsive with a backlight that's perfect for low-lighting situations. 

One of the most attractive features of the A515-44-R2SA is its Full HD display with a 15.6-inch diagonal. It's an IPS display so you've got good viewing angles and, as we've come to expect, the laptop boasts thin bezels on the sides to deliver a more "immersive experience". 

Honestly, due to the fact that the upper and lower bezels look totally normal, this design feature doesn't really do much for us.

A feature we actually are quite fond of in this laptop is the Acer BlueLightShield technologyEssentially it's a filtering system that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen. A type of light that, due to its low wavelength, emits more energy and can cause eye fatigue. 

We've also got the Acer Color Intelligence technology which manages and defines a wide range of colors, producing a bright and vivid image, whether in video or high-density graphics. 

Basically, what this means is that the display is alright for a laptop within its price range. Don't expect a display on par with Apple's laptops but overall you've got a display that delivers good color accuracy and a nice and sharp resolution to stream content.

Let's talk about Performance

Powerful performance 

The Acer Aspire 7 A515-44-R2SA may have the standard look of its lineup, but underneath its chassis is an exceptional processor: the octa-core Ryzen 7 4700U, a CPU that clocks in at a basic 2.0 GHz and can go all the way to 4.1 GHz when we do more CPU intensive tasks. 

With the Ryzen 7 4700U, AMD  has developed a processor that has broken records in performance benchmarks surpassing even those set by Intel's Core i7-1065G7. Basically what this means is that, within consumer laptops, we're looking at one of the best performing processors currently available in the market.

Of course, it would be pointless to feature a great CPU if it didn't feature enough RAM to run through your programs. 

In that regard, this laptop comes with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. This is standard these days and you'll be hard-pressed to find a laptop that comes out of the box with more RAM unless you're already spending a few hundred dollars more. 

However, 8 GB is more than enough for most users and if you ever need more RAM you can always opt to increase it down the line thanks to the slot made available to that end as many users have already confirmed.

What about storage? 

With 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, the A515-44-R2SA gives you all the space you need to store documents, photos, and videos, and install programs and games seamlessly. 

That said, as is the case with the RAM, you may also increase storage capacity through an available 2.5-inch SATA port. In that regard, you can opt to increase storage either with a Hard Drive or through the use of a Solid State Drive (SSD).

What tasks can you accomplish with this set of specs?  

With this set of key specs, you can expect a laptop that is well suited for most tasks, as many customers have pointed out. You can edit office documents, stream movies, edit pictures (not professionally), do some programming through the use of virtual machines as well as browse the web, and anything else you've come to expect from a mid-range laptop.

Graphics and Battery Life

No dedicated graphics, but enough for simple games

As far as the GPU is concerned, this laptop does not feature a dedicated graphics card having to settle for an integrated Radeon card instead. In that regard, as we've pointed out previously, this is not a gaming laptop and should not be purchased with that intention in mind. 

Sure, you might be able to play some simple games such as Fifa and the likes but don't expect to play AAA games on this device. If that's what you're looking for then you'd be far better off going for Acer's affordable gaming lineup; the Acer Nitro laptops, one of which we reviewed here.

Very comfortable battery life

When it comes down to battery life, Acer has made a very conscious effort over the last few years to excel in this department and the A515-44-R2SA is no exception to this. 

Specifically, the company boasts about this laptop featuring a 10-hour battery life. However, as we've learned through the years, it's best to manage expectations when it comes to this feature and a solid 6-7 hours seem far more realistic when looking at its specs considering everything we know.


Finally, in a quick rundown through the connectivity features, we've got an ethernet port, a couple of USB 3.1 Type-A ports, HDMI port, Kensington lock, USB type C port, as well as a standalone USB 2.0 port to connect peripherals and such. There's also an audio jack and curiously enough this laptop does not feature an SD card reader.

As you'd expect, Acer's flagship also features a WiFi 5 connectivity and Bluetooth support in case you wanted to connect a Bluetooth mouse or whatever. 

By the way, if you've never heard of WiFi 5 before today then you should know it's the standard that was previously known as WiFi 802.11 ac and it's up to three times faster than the more popular 802.11 b/g/n WiFi standard (now known as WiFi 4). 

Verdict: Is it worth it?

So, should you buy the Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R2SA reviewed today? Well, that's going to ultimately depend on your needs. Overall, what we've seen today is that the latest laptop within Acer's Aspire 5 lineup boasts an impressive resume of specs that are going to be hard to beat at a similar price point. 

Sure enough, it doesn't deliver "gimmicky features" such as a fingerprint reader or a display trackpad but the specs that it does feature deliver a high-end performance that will get the job done for most power-users. Ultimately,  as long as you're not looking to use it for gaming and you know this is not a 2000 dollar laptop we can't see anyone being disappointed by this machine.