Price (MRP): $444.80
- Light and portable
- Good specifications
- Good battery life
- Lots of potential for upgrades
- Poor keyboard layout and quality
- Average display quality
- Lots of bloatware
Ratings (out of 5)
- Design: 3
- Display: 3
- Performance: 4
- Software: 4
- Battery life: 4
- Value for money: 3
- Overall: 3
Where to buy: Amazon
Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-52G design
Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-52G specifications and software
There are several variants of the Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-52G, so make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. Our review unit has the designator NX.H57SI.002 and has the best specifications of the lineup. At its heart is an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, from Intel’s recently refreshed Whiskey Lake family. It has four cores with Hyper-Threading and runs at 1.6GHz with a maximum turbo speed of 3.9GHz. Along with this is the entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete GPU with 2GB of VRAM of its own.
There’s 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive as well as a 16GB Intel Optane Memory module that acts as a small but very fast cache to accelerate reads and writes to the hard drive. This isn’t visible to users, it just works in the background. Acer has chosen to market this laptop as having 24GB of memory (though that is qualified as “16GB Intel Optane Memory + 8GB DDR4 Memory”) right on the huge sticker on the wrist rest.
Such potentially confusing wording is thankfully missing from the description on Acer’s website, but we can imagine that a lot of shoppers who see this laptop in a store alongside many others could be misled. For a full rundown of how Optane Memory works, you can read our full review of it. In short, it’s better than nothing but not as good as having an SSD.
The 15.6-inch screen thankfully has a resolution of 1920×1080, which is good enough at this size, though not especially crisp. Windows was set to scale to 125 percent by default but we preferred the spaciousness of the standard 100 percent. Acer claims that the 4-cell battery can last for eight hours of Web surfing, which doesn’t sound too impressive.
Moving on, we have Bluetooth 5 and Gigabit-class 2×2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac which is one of the key features of Intel’s Whiskey Lake platform. Of course you’ll have to have a compatible router to take advantage of this. The USB Type-C port works at USB 3.1 Gen 1 speed (5Gbps) and does not support video output but can be used to supply 4.5W of power to charge external devices.
According to Acer, you can upgrade this laptop with up to 32GB of RAM across two SODIMM slots. There’s obviously an M.2 slot for the Optane Memory module and a 2.5mm bay, so there is significant upgrade potential here if you’re willing to pop off the entire bottom panel.
Our review unit came to us running Windows 10 Home and a lot of third-party software was preloaded. Some users might appreciate Norton Security but we found its constant popups and subscription prompts intrusive. Firefox and Amazon were pinned to the taskbar, and several of the apps and Web shortcuts pinned to the Start Menu, including Lazada, Ebay and Agoda aren’t even relevant in India. Polarr Photo Editor, Cyberlink Power Director and Cyber Link Photo Director are at least potentially useful. There’s a Wild Tangent Games launcher and over 25 shortcuts to specific games in its store. That’s all in addition to Acer’s own Acer Collection S app store, Product Registration, and Care apps.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-52G performance