Acer A515-46-R3UB Review

$329.99 $399.99 SEE AT AMAZON

7.6 Total Score
GOOD

There’s a lot to like about this inexpensive Acer A515-46-R3UB, starting with its slim and light chassis, and solid performance on basic mainstream computing tasks. And the decent battery life and extras like a backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader are more reason to buy it.

PROS
  • Bargain price tag
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Slim and relatively light design
CONS
  • Minimal Storage & RAM

If this particular Acer A515-46-R3UB, looks familiar, it’s certainly because its predecessor, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R14K has been sitting atop bestseller lists for months. It’s easy to understand why. With a very low price than most competitors, this AMD Ryzen 3-powered Acer Aspire 5 packs an enticing feature set, including a Full HD 15.6-inch display, a very trim chassis and runs on Windows 11 Home (but in S Mode). The result is solid performance when it comes to day-to-day computing tasks.

For a sub-$400 laptop, we never expected a few extras like a backlit keyboard and a fingerprint reader. But looks like Acer really needed to give more than you’re paying for. In fact, it’s not every day that you get a Full HD (1920-by-1080) resolution screen at this price point. All these are worthwhile features that make this a standout laptop for the home-office or college.

Acer A515-46-R3UB Specs

Cracking open the hood of this model, we find:

  • Laptop Class: Multimedia, Personal, Student
  • Processor: Quad-Core AMD Ryzen 3 3350U (2.10 GHz – 3.50 GHz)
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p)
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 6
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4 (Expandable)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD (Expandable)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home (S Mode)
  • Extras: Fingerprint reader, Backlit Keyboard

Price and Configuration

The new Acer Aspire 5 Ryzen model is available in almost half-dozen configurations, ranging from a $350 (list price), to the somewhat basic model we’re reviewing all the way to the $750 for a considerably beefier Octa-core Ryzen 7 model with a healthy 12GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and AMD Radeon graphics.

Most of these Aspire 5 versions boast a 15.6-inch display, but we’ve at least seen a mix of 1080p and 720p resolutions.

Acer A515-46-R3UB lid

Design and Features

Almost all other laptops in Acer’s Aspire 5 line feel thinner and lighter than they are, and this AMD model of the Aspire 5 fits that description well. At just 0.7-inch thick and under 4 pounds, the Aspire A515-46-R3UB manages to feel light, given its 14.3-by-9.9-inch footprint.

The laptop’s chic aluminum lid and tapered shell give it a stylish look. When you open the lid, it reveals a 15.6-inch display with thin left and right bezels, and an Aspire logo along the laptop hinge, as well as a silver-colored chassis offset by the black keyboard.

For a budget system, port selection is pretty solid, although there’s at least one surprising omission. The left side has a Gigabit ethernet port, a full HDMI port, a pair of USB 3.0 port and a single USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port. You’ll need these USB ports for connecting external storage devices, given the Aspire’s cramped 128GB solid-state drive.

On the right side, there’s a USB 2.0 Type-A port and a combo audio jack. Surprisingly, a built-in memory card reader is missing, meaning you can’t access memory cards from your digital camera or your Android phone without using a USB adapter.

Acer A515-46-R3UB ports

Display

The 15.6-inch display on this Acer Aspire 5 is spot-on; rated at 267 nits the Full HD (1920 x 1080) is bright enough for daily productivity and entertainment. Of course, we’ve seen far brighter screens (about 300 nits and higher) in more costly laptops, but anything above 250 nits is great for a budget model like this. Surprisingly, the Core i7-equipped Aspire 5 has a far dimmer screen despite costing about $200 more.

You’ll also love the display’s 1080p resolution, which is very ideal for a screen this size. Its uses IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology to deliver impressive viewing angles, making it easy to collaborate or share the screen with a colleague.

Keyboard & Touchpad

Acer’s Aspire 5 line offers comfortable keyboards, and some extra features that we’ve not seen at a budget. Our review unit, the Acer A515-46-R3UB has a roomy backlit keyboard, complete with a narrow 10-key numeric keypad. The individual keys feel good to type on, with satisfying feedback with each keystroke.

However, key travel is a little shallow compared to other productivity-minded laptops we’ve reviewed. Nevertheless, for a budget system, the comfortable typing experience and the backlight feature count for a lot.

Below the keyboard is a similarly spacious trackpad that feels smooth and responsive, and does a good job rejecting incidental swipes from palms as you type. The trackpad model of the Aspire 5 includes an integrated fingerprint reader, however.

Another feature worth mentioning is the audio quality. You get decent sound for a budget laptop, with a respectable amount of detail and dash of bass, albeit slightly thin. Given we never expect too much when it comes to speaker quality on a sub-$1000 mainstream laptop, the Aspire 5’s speakers aren’t the worst around.

Acer A515-46-R3UB keyboard

Performance

The Acer A515-46-R3UB we’re reviewing packs the same features as the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R14K that we reviewed last year, but instead of Windows 10 Home (S Mode), it features the latest Windows 11 Home (S mode). Like its predecessor, this year’s model of the Aspire 5 is a workhorse that will handle day-to-day productivity tasks and some more.

It’s capable of handling all your daily emails, YouTube movies on the bright 15.6-inch screen, documents and school work. In fact, this Aspire 5 straddles the niche between budget office laptops and college machines, as it delivers well on both at no extra cost, with a robust feature set that’s hard to beat at tis price point.

It uses an integrated GPU, while siblings like the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS use the newer Intel Iris Xe graphics, but you can still get away with basic media creation and editing, as well as casual games on games like Minecraft. Anything above casual will be marred with delays, if you must run modern games and run mid-high media creation, the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 is a good choice.

Battery Life

The Ace Aspire 5 comes with a 48Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery, which Acer rates at 10 hours of battery. In real-world use, that involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the laptop lasts 7 hours 53 minutes, which isn’ t bad for a budget laptop.

Verdict – More Than Entry Level

There’s a lot to like about this inexpensive Acer A515-46-R3UB, starting with its slim and light chassis, and solid performance on basic mainstream computing tasks. And the decent battery life and extras like a backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader are more reason to buy it.

If you have a budget of around $350 and can’t spend a penny more, you could do a lot worse than this productivity-minded workhorse. However, if your budget can stretch a little, we recommend spending on the Core i7 version, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-53S3, which comes saddled with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Xe graphics and Windows 11 Home pre-installed.

OUR PICK

Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB | 15.6" Full HD IPS Display | AMD Ryzen 3 3350U Quad-Core Mobile Processor | 4GB DDR4 | 128GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Backlit KB | FPR | Amazon Alexa | Windows 11 Home in S mode

$399.99
$329.99
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as of May 15, 2022 2:15 pm
Acer A515-46-R3UB Review
Acer A515-46-R3UB Review
$329.99 $399.99
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