Ever since the new AMD Ryzen 4000U processors got released, manufacturers are slowly but surely flooding the market with AMD versions of their laptops. Ultimately, this is because of the superior performance of the new Red CPUs, which also come at a lower price, compared to their Intel counterparts.
The Aspire 5 (A515-44G) is such a device, which is derived from the A515-55. We’re not going to lie, it is probably the same outfit, with only the motherboard (and the everything on it) swapped.
In addition to the laptop, we’re going to see how the “new” AMD Radeon RX 640 performs. Well, we put the word “new” in quotes, because it is not exactly a newly released GPU. Instead, AMD has rebranded their Radeon RX 550X.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-5-a515-44-a515-44g/
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44 / A515-44G) - Specs
All Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44 / A515-44G) configurations
What’s in the box?
Inside the package, we found some paper manuals, and a 65W power brick, which is pretty small in size.
Design and construction
Having the exact same body as the Aspire 5 (A515-55) confirms that this notebook is made from plastic, except for the lid cover, which is aluminum. The build quality is not particularly bad, especially considering the budget nature of the device. Also, it’s dimensions make it quite easily portable with a thickness of 18mm and a weight of 1.80 kg.
Our unit was incapable of letting you open its lid with a single hand. Thankfully, when you manage to open it you will see slim side bezels and a camera, located above the display, housed by the thick top bezel.
Next, we have the base, which is home to the keyboard, touchpad, and eventually – a ton of fingerprints. By the way, some models will ship with a fingerprint reader, located onto the touchpad, which is good. Speaking of the touchpad, while it has a decent size, its nothing more than an average Windows unit, with its tracking being hindered by fingers that are not pristinely clean.
As for the keyboard, our unit lacks a backlight. However, it has quiet feedback, whose click can be felt by the finger, making it comfortable for typing. On the other side, the key travel seems to be a bit short to our likings. Another thing you can see from the images is the NumberPad section, which sports half-sized keys. This is pretty interesting because the experience we got from the Aspire 5 (A515-55) was completely different both regarding the keyboard and the touchpad.
Lastly, the speakers of the laptop are firing downwards, so don’t be surprised if your movies are muffled, should you be watching them in your bed. Then, there is the ventilation, which traditionally draws cool air from underneath the machine and then exhausts through a grill located in between the lid and the base.
On the left side, you can see the power plug, as well as an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI connector, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, and one USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) port. Then, on the right, you will find a USB Type-A 2.0 port, and an audio jack.
Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance
So, you have 11 Phillips-head screws that you need to undo. After you do so, pry the bottom panel away with a plastic tool. Pretty standard.
Here, we see a pretty unimpressive cooling solution, comprising of a single heat pipe and a fan. This means that both the CPU and the dedicated Radeon RX 640 are cooled by the same component, which is unfortunate.
Thankfully, there is one RAM SODIMM slot, which supports 16GB of DDR4 memory. Together with the integrated 4GB modules, it totals to a maximum of 20GB. Storage-wise, there is one M.2 slot for NVMe drives, and a 2.5-inch SATA drives bay.
Interestingly the 48Wh battery is held in place by… nothing. Just a simple tape.
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G) comes with a Full HD IPS panel, model number LG LP156WFC-SPD5 (LGD065А). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 142 ppi, their pitch – 0.18 x 0.18 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 60 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are good. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 262 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 245 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 10%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7040K (average) – slightly colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 53% Brightness (White level = 142 cd/m2, Black level = 0.12 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1160:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display is limited just to 53% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 26 ms.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)’s backlight is not PW-modulated at any brightness level. This ensures comfort to the eyes in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and a non-flickering backlight. Its only disadvantage here is the limited color coverage.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G) configurations with 15.6″ LG LP156WFC-SPD5 (LGD065A) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)’s speakers produce a clear sound with decent quality but with a rather low maximum volume. Thankfully, its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.
All of the drivers and utilities can be downloaded from here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8377?b=1
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop’s 48Wh battery lasted for 7 hours and 23 minutes of Web browsing and 7 hours and 16 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
This notebook is sold in configurations that include the Ryzen 3 4300U, Ryzen 5 4500U, and the Ryzen 7 4700U – all processors that lack multithreading, but feature high-core amount dies.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
In addition to the integrated RX Vega GPUs, you can pick the laptop with the dedicated Radeon RX 640 graphics, which comes with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
As you can see, the Radeon RX 640 is disguised as an RX 550X, and even most software can recognize it.
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||70 fps||66 fps||54 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||101 fps||65 fps||30 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|AMD Ryzen 3 4300U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)||3.50 GHz (B+30%) @ 78°C||3.21 GHz (B+19%) @ 81°C||2.84 GHz (B+5%) @ 81°C|
|Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14)||3.70 GHz (B+37%) @ 73°C||3.64 GHz (B+35%) @ 86°C||2.99 GHz (B+11%) @ 66°C|
Apparently, this notebook’s cooling is off that of the Ideapad 5 (14) by quite the margin. Even though it manages to maintain a clock speed higher than the base one throughout the entire test, it works at 150 MHz less than its opponent and some good 15C higher, when it comes to the temperature at the end.
|AMD Radeon RX 640||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)||664 MHz @ 71°C||664 MHz @ 71°C|
Interestingly, we are getting pretty much half of the promised boost speed for that GPU. So either, there is something sketchy with the drivers, or this is how the full potential of the cooling looks like.
Comfort during combined load
Well, the laptop wasn’t particularly loud, but you can definitely hear the fan spinning quite swiftly. Thankfully, the surface temperatures remain mostly in check.
You know what… this laptop is quite good for the money. Even though you can easily see where Acer has cut some corners, the performance is better than that of its Intel counterpart – the Aspire 5 (A515-55).
What is even more interesting is, that it comes at a significantly lower price. That’s something that Intel would really want to fix when they launch their next-gen CPUs, or they will be having a hard time selling their CPUs to laptop manufacturers – less than a year after they lost Apple as a customer.
So, let’s get back to today’s laptop, and discuss its downsides. One of them is cooling. Indeed, we didn’t get the highest tier AMD processor, but even the lowest one gave the notebook a hard time. Well, compared to the smaller Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14), of course. But if we have to be honest, it isn’t the CPU that is making the cooling solution suffer – it is the GPU.
Despite its boost clock of above 1200 MHz, we didn’t see our unit hitting more than 670 MHz in the long run. Of course, this might be due to the drivers, but keep in mind that the laptop was getting a bit loud after 30 minutes of gaming and the temperature of the graphics card was 71C – we don’t really see a big of a headroom.
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44G)’s IPS panel (LG LP156WFC-SPD5 (LGD065А)) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and a non-flickering backlight. Its only disadvantage here is the limited color coverage.
At least you will be able to enjoy more than 7 hours of battery life during light loads and you actually get an IPS panel. Also, there is the option for an Ethernet connection, as well as an HDMI output, but you have to forget for an SD card reader, a Thunderbolt port, or other expensive wallet killers.
So, if you want to check something a bit better, for a bit more money, take a look at our review of the Lenovo Ideapad 5 (14). The Ideapad has a significantly better build quality and battery life but has the downside of being smaller.
- Features Ryzen 4000U processors at a great price
- Comfortable viewing angles and good contrast ratio from the IPS panel (LG LP156WFC-SPD5)
- Doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels (LG LP156WFC-SPD5)
- Decent battery life
- Supports memory and storage upgrades
- Lacks a Thunderbolt connector and an SD card reader
- Covers only half of the colors of the sRGB gamut (LG LP156WFC-SPD5)
- The Radeon RX 640 is hardly any better than the integrated graphics card
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-5-a515-44-a515-44g/