Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) looks premium at first sight – it has an aluminum lid with a matte finish that feels solid and gives the device a more expensive look. The notebook comes with a modern and efficient 10th gen Intel Ice Lake CPU – Core i5-1035G1.
This laptop is one of the most affordable devices that have a 1080 IPS screen alongside Ice Lake CPU and 1TB of storage. For the ones who seek more graphics power, the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55G) can be configured with decent low-end graphics cards.
In short, that is a compact 15-incher that has a good look, boasts a decent and modern processor, and the machine is fairly portable so you can take it outside with you. Oh, yes, and the price tag is budget-friendly as well. For more in-depth impressions you can have a look at the rest of our review down below.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-5-a515-55-a515-55g/
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55 / A515-55G) - Specs
All Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55 / A515-55G) configurationsSee all Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) review – a good daily driver with PWM-free display and decent battery life configurations
What’s in the box?
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) comes in a standard cardboard backing. Inside you’ll find a 65W charger, the laptop is protected by a white cloth, and as always the usual manuals are put in place.
Design and construction
In terms of dimensions, the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) is similar to Acer Aspire 5 (A515-52G) – 1.90 kg of weight and an acceptable18mm profile. Unlike the latter, our sample has an aluminum lid with a matte finish (instead of the brushed one). At first glance maybe you can think that the other parts of the shell are made of aluminum just like the lid but it’s not like that – the rest is just a plastic material which doesn’t feel that cheap and imitates aluminum really well.
The aluminum lid cannot be opened with a single hand but it’s stable and you can’t bend while you’re opening it. One good thing – the hinges are significantly upgraded and they are much stronger than the last years’ model.
The area around the keyboard isn’t very sturdy if you apply some force on it. The most bendable sides are the left and the right one (between the keyboard and the edges above the I/O) – the rest is fine for an almost all-plastic device. Unfortunately, the keyboard isn’t very pleasant for both typing and gaming because the key travel is shorter than usual and the feedback is too soft. The whole key feedback is so inconsistent – sometimes one key is softer than the other, some of them have a “click” sound while the others don’t have it. There is a backlight that is an optional feature and it’s region dependant.
Luckily, the Touchpad is another story. The usable area is big enough for comfortable usage, it’s fast, precise, and it supports multi-touch gestures.
On the bottom side, we can spot a large ventilation grille alongside two speakers with typical cut-outs. The hot air is blown-out in the area between the body and the display.
Quick words regarding the ports. The left part of the machine has a power plug, an Ethernet connector, an HDMI connector, two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports and a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port. The right side isn’t rich in ports – a USB Type-A 2.0 port and a headphones jack. There is no Thunderbolt connection but at least the USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) persists which is a small consolation.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
If you want to disassemble the device, the whole manipulation isn’t that hard – remove 11 Phillips-head screws and then pop up the bottom plate with a pry tool or credit card.
The cooling looks modest and it’s clearly visible why it’s like that. There is just a single cooling fan and one shared heat pipe (which is rather thick) for the processor and video card – this isn’t the most effective engineering solution but we will discuss it in a minute.
On the left side, you can spot a 2.5″ SATA slot which is already “busy” with an HDD. Тhe right side is presented by a single RAM slot which supports up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and there is an NVMe M.2 slot too.
As usual, the battery is a 48Wh unit – this one has been unchanged for years.
Our Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) has a Full HD IPS display with a model number AUO B156HAN02.1 (AUO21ED). It’s a 15.6″ panel (39.62 cm) with 1920 х 1080 resolution. The screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density is 142 ppi, with a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″).
Viewing angles are very good. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
The measured maximum brightness of 278 nits in the middle of the screen and 263 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 14%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6600K – almost matching the sRGB standard of 6500K, which is a fair-enough result
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.
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. The contrast ratio isn’t among the best but it’s fine – 1170:1.
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 (A515-55)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers just 55% 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 (A515-55) 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 = 25 ms.
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 (A515-55)’s display is completely PWM-free no matter the brightness level. The panel is comfortable for long gaming or working sessions, without harming your 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 (A515-55)’s display has an IPS display with a 1080p resolution, good viewing angles and decent contrast ratio. The main advantage of the panel is that it doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment at all. Its biggest con is the really low 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 (A515-55) configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS AUO B156HAN02.1 (AUO21ED).
*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.
This laptop’s speakers are okay. Low, mid and high tones are clear of deviations.
All the drivers and utilities for Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) are available here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8192?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. The notebook has a 48Wh battery.
The good news is that battery life is decent and above-average – 8 hours and a half of Web browsing and 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.
Our test laptop is equipped with Core i5-1035G1 – a 10nm 10th gen Intel Ice Lake processor with 15W TDP and an integrated graphics that stays between UHD 620 and UHD 630 in terms of performance.
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)
Our variant is the non-G version and that means that it has an iGPU only. For our sample, it’s the Intel UHD G1 Graphics with 32 EUs.
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)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||36 fps||– fps||– 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.
|Intel Core i5-1035G1 (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55)||1.98 GHz (B+98%) @ 79°C||1.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 79°C||1.52 GHz (B+52%) @ 79°C|
|Acer Swift 5 Pro (SF514-54GT)||2.88 GHz (B+188%) @ 80°C||1.62 GHz (B+62%) @ 64°C||1.65 GHz (B+65%) @ 67°C|
|HP 340S G7||2.71 GHz (B+171%) @ 92°C||2.42 GHz (B+142%) @ 93°C||1.77 GHz (B+77%) @ 72°C|
|Dell Inspiron 5593||2.53 GHz (B+153%) @ 99°C||2.14 GHz (B+114%) @ 94°C||1.88 GHz (B+88%) @ 87°C|
|Dell Inspiron 17 3793||2.75 GHz (B+175%) @ 98°C||1.97 GHz (B+97%) @ 91°C||1.79 GHz (B+79%) @ 89°C|
|Intel Core i5-1035G4 (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo Yoga S740 (14)||2.64 GHz (B+140%) @ 100°C||1.89 GHz (B+72%) @ 83°C||1.66 GHz (B+51%) @ 69°C|
Acer’s cooling isn’t very effective. This is the worst performing i5-1035G1 in our test so far. Even when the load is short the frequency drops immediately to around 2GHz and if a longer and heavier load persists it goes all the way down to almost 1.5Ghz. It’s not entirely bad, it almost has the same performance as Acer Swift 5 Pro (SF514-54GT) but the cooling left a lot to be desired from it. The temperatures are under control – always below 80°C.
Comfort during full load
The device is silent only if you apply a low load such as Web browsing with a few opened tabs. Above that, the cooling fan produces high levels of noise. During stress testing, it becomes something like a little vacuum cleaner. At least the upper part of the shell stays reasonably cool but the heat is consolidated under the WASD area and you will definitely sense it all the time if you play a game.
The Acer Aspire 5 (A515-55) in an unpretentious device that has its pros and cons like every other notebook. The build is nothing spectacular – the plastic dominates almost the whole build except for the lid which is made of aluminum and adds a bit of premium feel. Well, after opening the lid you will face a very well-built base. Both sides of the keyboard are susceptible to bends if you apply a bit more force on the body. Let’s be more specific – the base isn’t that easy to bend but there some visible flexes all the time For instance if you aren’t careful, and if you type something fast, or you press the keycaps harder than usual.
The other drawback is related to our specific configuration. The hard drive (WD Blue 1TB) rotates at just 5400rpm – sure, it helps for better battery life, it’s not hot, and it’s silent all the time, but it’s too slow for a system drive. The processor is not a slouch but the amount of system memory is too low for a device with an iGPU – just 4GB of RAM. The result is the following – if you want to play a game it’ll load slowly, in some titles the iGPU takes a hefty piece of the system memory – up to 1.8GB RAM. Additionally, in those cases, the laptop is out of RAM and it’ll need a bigger page file that is placed on a really slow hard drive, while in most of the games, there is lag and noticeable hiccups because of the insufficient RAM and slow hard drive. If you want exactly the same configuration just add additional 4GB of RAM and everything will be fine. For a snappier system, you know the drill – SSD drive.
Ok, enough with the drawbacks, let’s face the good side of the laptop. It has a stylish look, its dimensions are compact enough for a walk in the park with it and the weight is acceptable. Battery life is long enough so it’ll take some time before draining its juice – maybe an entire workday of continuous use. The display has decent contrast, comfortable viewing angles, and it doesn’t use PWM no matter the brightness levels.
Keep in mind that the CPU is snappy and if you provide it with at least 8GB of RAM and an SSD you’ll like the day to day performance of this machine.
- Decent battery life
- Efficient processor
- PWM-free display (AUO B156HAN02.1)
- Acceptable dimensions and weight
- The body is almost entirely made of plastic
- The keyboard isn’t comfortable for typing
- Low sRGB coverage – 54% of sRGB (AUO B156HAN02.1)
- Mediocre performance caused by the slow HDD
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-5-a515-55-a515-55g/