Acer Aspire 5 (A515-43-R19L) review: A budget AMD Ryzen 3 workhorse with middling battery life

Other Aspire 5 models in the same price range manage to wring more life out of their batteries.

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Battery life

Here’s the Aspire’s one performance result that’s a genuine disappointment. In this test, we check how long it takes to drain a laptop’s battery by looping a 4K video using the stock Windows Movies & TV app. During the test, we make sure the screen brightness is at about 250 nits (which, in the case of this particular laptop, meant dialing the brightness to 97 percent) and turning the volume up to 50 percent with headphones plugged in.

acer aspire 5 a515 43 r19l battery rundown Ben Patterson/IDG

The Ryzen 3-powered Aspire 5's battery life pales in comparison to the Core i3 and i5 models.

The 402-minute (or 6.7-hour) result for this Ryzen 3-powered Aspire 5 sounds pretty solid on its own, but it pales compared to the 585- and 542-minute scores for the Core i5 and Core i3 Aspire 5 models that we’ve previously reviewed. To make a direct comparison, the Core i3 Aspire 5 lasted about two hours and 20 minutes longer than the Ryzen 3 Aspire, surprising given that both laptops have roughly the same 49 watt-hour battery.

Granted, you could still expect the Ryzen 3 Aspire’s battery to last you a good chunk of the day, but the Core i3 model (which has a list price of just $50 more) will get you considerably closer to the coveted “all-day battery” mark.

Bottom line

There’s a lot to like about this inexpensive Ryzen 3-powered Acer Aspire 5, including its slim and light chassis, and its solid performance when it comes to mainstream computing tasks. However, the middling battery life on this particular Aspire model is tough to overlook. If you have a $310 budget and you can’t spend a penny more, you could do a lot worse than this productivity-minded workhorse. However, we recommend spending an extra $40 for the (as of this writing) $350 Core i3 version of the Aspire 5, which comes saddled with the same 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD but boasts significantly better battery life.

 
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At a Glance
  • There’s a lot to like about this inexpensive Ryzen 3-powered Acer Aspire 5, including its slim and light chassis and its solid performance when it comes to mainstream computing tasks, but the middling battery life on this particular Aspire model is tough to overlook.

    Pros

    • Bargain price tag
    • Solid productivity performance
    • Slim and relatively light design

    Cons

    • Middling battery life
    • Cramped solid-state drive
    • No USB-C ports
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