cer depends on the brand-new Comet Lake hardware, an entry-level GPU from Nvidia and a matte, Full HD panel. Is this an ideal office all-round notebook for everyone who would like to game on occasion?

What precisely can be an all-round laptop? So far as we are concerned, this consists of cheap devices with a good system performance, good display, large storage solution and an entry-level graphics card for everyday gaming. For a long time, the Acer Aspire 5 series has been proof the manufacturer’s capability to produce budget laptops with solid components.

Lately, we reviewed the 8th generation Whiskey Lake i7-8565U-based Aspire 5 A515-52G with the entry-level GeForce MX250 twelve months ago.

Since then, the maker hasn’t only upgraded to Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake architecture but also redesigned the chassis. Today, we will look into Acer’s new Aspire 5 A515-54G model, which includes been popular & most likely will be again because of its customizability both regarding the purchase price and the hardware. The purchase price ranges from 690 to at least one 1,000 Euros (~$746 to ~$1,081).

Your competition includes 14- and 15-inch devices that are also built with a matte, Full HD display and a MX250 or MX230.

Rigidity isn’t a strength of the lightweight plastic chassis. The bottom unit could be twisted by a good amount and the same is true for the lid. The hinges contain the latter firmly set up preventing any teetering. Opening the notebook computer one-handed is merely barely possible. The palm rests and underneath plate yield under great pressure in a few areas.

Regardless, the 15-inch notebook is well-built with even clearances no protruding excess materials.

Acer hasn’t only equipped its device with a wired networking interface (Gigabit LAN) but also brand-new AX Wi-Fi 6. Inside our test, the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 achieves good transfer rates as high as 929 MB/s and 837 MB/s for obtaining and sending data, respectively.

With these transfer rates, the Acer outperforms almost all of its opponents that still count on the older Wi-Fi AC.

Regrettably, there are not simply upgrades, Acer in addition has downgraded a couple of things. For example, there is absolutely no more integrated card reader or TPM. Meanwhile, the USB Type-C port supports neither charging nor DisplayPort via USB Type-C.

Since there is no maintenance hatch on the Acer laptop, the complete bottom plate could be removed. The RAM slot, Wi-Fi module, fan and the M.2 SSD slot are then exposed.

The included HDD mounting frame is a good extra, because it allows users to set up yet another, internal 2.5-inch drive (SATA SSD or HDD).

The keyboard keys have a backlight with one brightness level and a reasonably indistinct actuation point in addition to a somewhat spongy feedback and a smooth surface. As the spacing between your keys is good, the tiny arrow keys feel cramped. We commend the maker for including a numpad, because it continues to be preferable for users who work a whole lot with numbers. Unfortunately, its keys are narrow.

The ClickPad is large at almost 13 cm (~5.1 in) diagonally. The travel is quite limited and almost reduced to zero in the upper half. Thus, the feedback of the clicks isn’t very distinct, despite the fact that the acoustic feedback is loud. Lastly, because the key clatter of the keyboard keys is quiet, the Acer notebook computer is well-suited to noise sensitive environments.

Screen Flickering

To dim the screen, some notebooks only will cycle the backlight on / off in rapid succession – a way called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches and even spot the flickering altogether.

Compared: 51 % of most tested devices usually do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, typically 17553 (minimum: 5 – maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

The colors of the panel aren’t very accurate ex-factory with a DeltaE greater than 3. Even our calibration didn’t change this. In comparison, the original grayscale DeltaE has already been low at 1.6 without blue tint.

Colors aren’t a strength of the display, which of them costing only 51% covers the tiniest portion of sRGB in comparison to its competitors. However, none of its opponents are particularly proficient at displaying colors and an sRGB coverage of 88% is the foremost case (HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng).

Outdoor make use of the panel is bound because of the relatively low brightness. Here, some opponents including the HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng specifically with 320 cd/m² in the heart of the display achieve greater results.

The bottom clock of the Intel Core i5-10210U is 4×1.60 GHz with Turbo speeds as high as 4.2 GHz. Acer has soldered 4 GB of RAM onto the mainboard and 4 GB of additional RAM occupy the only available RAM slot. Thus, no more than only 20 GB can be done by installing a 16-GB module.

Coupled with a 512-GB PCIe SSD and a GeForce MX250 (GDDR5), the notebook computer is a force to be reckoned with for office, entertainment and everyday gaming purposes.

Let us have a closer consider the details.

The Intel Core i5-10210U can increase its clock speed to up to 4.2 GHz (or up to 3.9 GHz on all 4 cores) via Turbo Boost. Because of Hyper-Threading, it could process up to 8 threads simultaneously. Much like most smaller laptops with this SoC, it includes a 15-watt TDP.

The Turbo Boost analysis implies that the 10210U temporarily manages to perform at 4.2 GHz in the single-core test, though it runs at 3.9 GHz almost all of enough time. In battery mode, it reaches a peak single-core clock rate of just one 1.8 GHz.

The multi-core test shows a different picture and all cores run at the average clock rate of 2.5 GHz.

By running Cinebench R15 in a loop for thirty minutes, we determine the Turbo Boost sustainability of the SoC and, implicitly, the potency of the cooling solution. Weaker cooling solutions often cause throttling under continuous load, to keep carefully the temperatures in check. In cases like this, our Aspire 5 A515-54G achieves a short score of 586 points, and it throttles and only scores 550 points normally. This means a performance deficit of only 6%. The Asus VivoBook 14 F412FJ demonstrates the performance drop-off could be much more severe.