Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ Laptop Review

The all-new Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ model is an everyday laptop made specifically for people who need above basic computing performance, affordability and reliability housed under the same lid.

Review

It’s hard to get excited about a notebook that’s designed as a jack of all trades, but upon further inspection, this nifty Acer comes at such a bargain price for what you get, it’s actually hard to pass it as another generic laptop.

Specs alone should convince anyone looking to buy a laptop that the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ is worthy of attention, especially considering that for $529 (price available as of this writing), you get a machine capable of handling not only everyday tasks, but also much, much more. Let’s get down to it.

Performance

The Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ comes equipped with a state of the art 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor. Launched in late 2018, this quad-core CPU has a base frequency of 1.6 GHz that goes up to 3.9 GHz while on turbo mode. Cache is rated at 6 megabytes, while its thermal design power of 15 Watts recommends it as a mid-range, do-it-all processing unit. According to cpubenchmark.net, the i5-8265U is rated at roughly 8000 points. Performance-wise, this means it will run multiple programs at the same time with ease.

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System memory is rated at 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM. This means resource-intensive tasks such as photo editing, video editing or heavy browser multitasking will work just fine. While the 8 gigs won’t prove themselves a burden for most people, some folks should consider upgrading their laptops with an additional 8 GB memory stick further down the road.

As for storage space, I’d say the Acer Aspire 5 has enough of it if you’re using it as an everyday work laptop, or school laptop, or if you stream media from the internet (think Netflix or Spotify). However, the 256 gigabyte NVMe SSD will become full in no time if you plan on storing large media collections on it. For that purpose, you may want to purchase an external hard drive or even a backup drive.

The SSD aspect of the storage medium is the cherry on top. Despite its rather average storage capacity, this CPU-RAM-Storage combo would have been seen on expensive, $1000+ ultrabooks just a few years ago, so what you’re getting in terms of performance out of this humble Acer Aspire 5 is a true bargain.

Graphics and display

Considering this new Acer Aspire 5 has an integrated video card, playing modern games isn’t an option. New releases will struggle to render properly, and everything will likely stutter. Even at modest quality settings. That being said, the on-board Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU can handle older games, but not at ultra high settings. Still, this isn’t a laptop that was built for gaming, and no one should be assuming otherwise. Everyday tasks like browsing the internet, streaming media, editing photos and video will work like a charm.

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The 15.6-inch screen on the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ has an industry-standard Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display. It comes with great viewing angles and contrasting colors thanks to its IPS (in-plane switching) technology. Furthermore, unlike other bulky models at this price point, the Acer features a rather thin bezel, making it more elegant and ergonomic in the long run.

Interface options

Interface options are great, as is the case with most Acer notebooks. The USB lineup features three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, out of which one is simple, the second features power charging and the third has the new reversible Type C interface. For good measure, they’ve also included a legacy port: the USB 2.0 protocol.

  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type C
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (one with power charging)
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI w/ HDCP support
  • 1 x Combo audio jack

Networking

The Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ has all the standard options you’d expect from an all-purpose notebook (ethernet, wireless and Bluetooth), but the one thing that sets it apart is the signal quality and bandwidth you’ll get using the wireless adapter. It comes with Dual-Band and MU-MIMO technology, both great for low latency and improved connectivity.

  • Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
  • Dual-Band 802.11ac WiFi with 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Bluetooth 4.2

Portability and battery life

Its 4-Cell Lithium-Ion battery has a total capacity of 3220 mAh. Although that number is similar to what you’d see in modern phones, a full charge will last almost half a day of usage. Estimates range from 9.5 to 11 hours of moderate use before you’ll need to recharge again. By today’s standards, that’s a great result, enabling the user to work from this notebook for a full day at work and still have some battery juice remaining.

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Now, the final issue. Is this laptop easy to carry around or not? Well, it depends. Its dimensions suggest the Acer is a rather thin device, measuring just 0.7 inches. It’s not necessarily heavy to carry around everyday, although (at 4.2 pounds) it can’t compete with ultraportable notebooks either. It has the benefit of having long battery life, meaning the charger could very well be left at home for the day if all you do is commute with it.

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ is a fantastic all-rounder, a laptop that’s sure to surpass its competition thanks to the bundle of quality hardware, more than decent features and competitive price. I’d even say it’s the best notebook in its class and price range, as of this moment.

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Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ
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