Acer Aspire 5 (2022)

Acer Aspire 5: Two-minute review

When looking at Acer’s website, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Acer Aspire 5 is an expensive, high-end laptop that includes a 12th generation i7 processor and powerful GeForce graphics card. But, as we’ve found with Acer in the past, the company’s website tends to just focus on its top-of-the-range models, and leaves you to find out about other options that might be available.

In this instance, it turns out that the Aspire 5 is available with a wide range of different models and specifications - in fact, there are more than 60 different configurations listed on Acer’s US website, including 17.3-inch and 15.6-inch displays, with both Intel and AMD processors. And, if you search long enough, you may even find the entry-level 14-inch version of the Aspire 5 that we review here, which is based on an older 11th generation i5 processor.

That’s clearly not the powerful laptop “for accelerated photo and video editing performance” that Acer promises, but if you judge the Aspire 5 on its own merits then it does make a perfectly respectable entry-level laptop for routine web browsing and productivity tasks.

Spec Sheet

Here is the Acer Aspire 5 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 @ 2.4GHz
Graphics: Integrated Iris Xe
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Screen: 14-inch, 1920x1080 resolution
Ports: 1x USB-C, 3x USB-A (3.2), 1x audio, 1x HDMI, 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 720p
Size: 0.71 x 12.9 x 8.8 inches (18 x 327.7 x 223.5mm)
Weight: 3.75lb (1.7kg)

Acer Aspire 5 laptop on a desk, lid closed

(Image credit: Future)

 Acer Aspire 5: Price and availability 

  • Around $600 in the US, and £450 in the UK 
  • Available now in the US and UK, with limited availability down under
  • Wide range of models, some from Acer, some from online retailers 

Acer’s pricing and sales information can also be a bit confusing. Some of the models listed on its web site can be bought direct from Acer, while others are sold through online retailers and high street stores - such as Currys in the UK - so you may need to search around online if there’s a specific model that you require.

As mentioned, we tested an Aspire 5 model with 14-inch screen, which also includes Windows 10 Home, a quad-core i5-1135G7 processor running at 2.4GHz (up to 4.2GHz with Turboboost), along with 8GB memory and 512GB solid-state drive. Acer’s US web site actually lists two different prices for that specification - $669.99 or $599.99, depending on which web page you look at.

You can’t buy that model direct from Acer in the UK, although it is available from a number of online retailers for around £450.00. Australia, oddly, just gets a single Aspire 5 model with a larger 15.6-inch display and i7 processor for AU$1399.00.

  • Value: 4/5

Acer Aspire 5 laptop keyboard viewed top-down

(Image credit: Future)

 Acer Aspire 5: Design 

  • Bright 1080p display
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet
  • Just one USB-C

You’re not going to get cutting-edge design at this price level, and the Aspire 5 has a fairly conventional clamshell design, with chunky borders around the edge of the screen that look a little dated. Acer’s website - unclear as ever - indicates that it’s available in a variety of colors, but the models sold on its website all seem to just be either black or silver. 

It gets the basics right, though, with a sturdy chassis that should be able to cope with a few bumps in a backpack or bag when you’re traveling. And while it’s no ultrabook, the Aspire 5 only weighs 1.7kg and measures 18mm thick, so it’s perfectly portable when it needs to be. The keyboard feels firm and comfortable for typing, and there’s a fingerprint sensor on the trackpad for security. The only real weakness here is the thin L-shaped power connector, which sticks out from the side of the laptop and looks a little vulnerable.

The 14-inch screen only provides 1920x1080 resolution, but it’s bright and clear, with good viewing angles. We’re also pleased to see that it has a matte finish that helps to reduce glare and reflection. The 720p webcam is a bit basic, but the image quality was better than we’d expected - it gets a bit grainy if the light is low, but some decent daylight produces an image that’s sharp enough for video calls.

The built-in speakers are a bit feeble, though. The sound is fine for just watching some videos on YouTube, but if you want to listen to some decent music then you’ll need to plug some headphones or speakers into the audio socket on the right-hand edge of the laptop. However, connectivity is a bit of a mixed bag, with just a single USB-C port, and three USB-A (3.2) for connecting peripherals and other devices. Thankfully, the Aspire 5 does include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity, with Gigabit Ethernet also available for wired networks, and HDMI for an external display. 

  • Design: 3.5/5

Side-on shot of Acer Aspire 5 laptop showing ports

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Aspire 5: Performance

  • Respectable performance for office software
  • Casual gaming only

3DMark: Night Raid: 12,300; Fire Strike: 3,015; Time Spy: 1,280
Cinebench R23: Multi-core - 4,800
GeekBench 5: 1,417 (single-core); 4,440 (multi-core)
PCMark 10: 4820 points
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 6 hours, 35 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 6 hours, 37 minutes

Rather than the i7 processor and GeForce graphics that Acer boasts about on its website, this entry-level model is equipped with a more modest i5 processor, with integrated Iris Xe graphics. Even so, it still provides respectable performance for a laptop in this price range, with a score of 1,417 for single-core performance and 4,440 for multi-core. For real-world applications, the PCMark 10 test suite gives the Aspire 5 a score of 1280, which qualifies as a perfectly respectable ‘office laptop’. Admittedly, that score leaves it just below the halfway mark in the PCMark 10 results tables, but that’s not bad going for an i5 laptop in this price range, and the Aspire 5 will be fine for web browsing and running productivity software such as Microsoft Office.

The Aspire’s integrated Iris Xe graphics won’t win any awards either, with 3DMark scores that generally leave it in the ‘less than 20fps’ category. But, to be fair, 3DMark does use very high graphics settings, so if you don’t mind turning the graphics quality down a little you might even be able to get a bit of casual gaming done every now and then. 

  • Performance: 3.5/5

Acer Aspire 5: Battery Life

  • 6.5 hours for movies
  • 6.5 hours for productivity software

Acer’s website goes typically overboard, boasting up to 10 hours of battery life for the Aspire 5. In fact, our tests recorded very similar scores of just over 6.5 hours for both playing movies and the applications-based PCMark test suite. 

Even so, that’s not too bad for a low-cost laptop such as this, and if you’re not using wi-fi then the Aspire 5 should give you a full day’s work when you’re on the move.

  • Battery life: 4/5

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First reviewed June 2022

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