We all love using our mobile phones or tablets to do basic tasks like browsing, watching movies, and playing games. But there are also times when we need a fully functional laptop with a bigger screen and more capabilities. This is why Acer has produced these attractive and affordable laptops that not only do they look elegant, but are also capable to do your daily basic PC task. All these thanks to its processor, the AMD Ryzen 3 3350U chip. You got it, we are going to review Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB with this CPU today.
Without wasting so much time, we will get on with this review with the specs quick look first. To be honest, nothing of them is exceptional, but the main and extra features at this price (about 400) are extraordinary.
|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
|15.6″ Anti-glare IPS Full-HD Display (1920 x 1080) 100% sRGB, 300nits
|Quad-Core AMD Ryzen 3 3350U (2.10 GHz – 3.50 GHz)
|Integrated AMD Radeon™ Vega 6
|4GB DDR4 (Expandable)
|128GB SSD (Expandable)
|Ports & Connectivity
|1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, Webcam, 2x Stereo speakers, built-in Microphone, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, Alexa, Fingerprint reader, Backlit Keyboard
|Strength & Weakness
After the specs, it’s time to discuss its extra details more.
The A515-46-R3UB comes with a bunch of features that I find cool at its price. Here we go;
As for build quality, I am impressed by what Acer did here. Although this Acer Aspire 5 laptop comes with a budget price, the build quality is far from the “budget” category. It has a premium attractive look and modern design. The Aluminum top silver cover makes the overall design very sturdy. Aluminum cover at under 400? wow!
The tactile finish unibody prevents smudges and fingerprints. Being only 0.71 thick, this laptop is sleek and slim. What’s more, it weighs less than a 15″ MacBook Pro (3.99 vs 4.02 pounds)! Meaning, this laptop is very portable, which makes it easier to carry around while on the road.
The visibility of its backlit keyboard is what I love the most, we will talk more about it soon.
How is the Performance
The performance section is always an interesting topic when we are getting a new laptop. This time, Acer includes the new AMD CPU with this A515-46-R3UB model, which we really appreciate considering its price point. The Ryzen 3 3350U processor is the newer generation of Ryzen 3. In fact, the last year’s Acer Aspire 5 bestseller has the predecessor of this chip, and costs surprisingly higher than our guy here. You got it, you are getting an updated laptop at a lower price, this is the most important point.
For the performance, when we compare it with its predecessor (R3 3200U), there is a 16% performance boost. It’s a substantial boost when we are speaking about processor speed.
The next improvement of this updated chip is its cores. The older generation has only 2 cores, a dual-core, meanwhile, the 3350U has 4 cores or a quad-core which performs faster. The base frequency of this CPU registers at 2.1 GHz and boosts up max to 3.50 GHz when needed with its 4 Threads.
So all in all, the CPU of this laptop is new and sufficient enough for most PC tasks.
Ability to game
As far as gaming goes, we have seen the specification of this laptop at the beginning of this review. The price point also shows that this A515-46-R3UB is not designed with gaming in mind. If you want an appropriate machine to mainly play games, look for a gaming laptop.
However, we would like to point out that the R3 3350U chip packs the AMD Radeon Vega 6 integrated GPU. Sure, it is not a dedicated GPU, but for casual light gaming like Minecraft, Roblox, and other light PC games, this iGPU is pretty usable. The older generation of this laptop has less powerful specs, and we saw people have even mentioned that they can play Skyrim, WoW, and many others on it!
The performance of this Graphics chip is comparable to the dedicated Graphics NVIDIA GeForce MX230 and MX150.
In short, you are not going to get a powerhouse machine to play AAA games with high fps, but it is capable to play simple games.
Despite its price point, this laptop comes with many features that only expensive laptops have. Let’s list them.
This device ships with Windows 11 S mode (not Windows 10 S). The S mode is there to increase the security of your PC. This mode will only allow you to install apps from the Microsoft Store.
If you want to install apps outside the Store, with just one simple step, you will be able to enjoy the Windows 11 full version potential.
There are many ways to switch to the full version of Windows 11 but the easiest is just when you want to install an app outside the Store, your PC will ask you if you are sure about it and therefore want to get out of the S mode. After you agree, it will then direct you to the Store and you can easily switch the S mode out from there.
No Glossy Screen
These days, it is quite hard to find a laptop with a matte screen (with an anti-glare coating). So you will love this laptop if you are looking for a new laptop with a matte finish display.
It has a very nice 15.6″ 1080p resolution (Full-HD) IPS display with great viewing angles in all lighting conditions and acceptable color accuracy. If the 14-inch screen unit is what you need, consider this device.
The matte finish prevents the screen from creating glares and unpleasant reflective effects which can harm your eyes. This simply means it is easier to read or watch movies for a longer period of time on this laptop.
Thank God it is not a touchscreen either, otherwise, you would see a lot of your fingerprints on your display, which really can be annoying to always wipe them away.
A Lighted Keyboard
The A515-46-R3UB features not only a full-size keyboard but also a backlit one. Every laptop should come with it, none wants to squint at their keyboard to find a certain key in the dark. Too bad that not all laptops have a backlit keyboard, even the more expensive ones, but this one has it. Using your laptop day or night is painless!
There is also a Numpad on this thin laptop, so it is ideal for people who like to work with spreadsheets. To sum up, this unit has an amazing keyboard for its price.
Lifesaver Fingerprint Reader
I am really glad that Acer added the fingerprint reader which is located in the upper left of the trackpad. This is a handy feature that you can use to log in to your desktop in seconds with a single touch.
If you like, you have the option to register your fingerprints as many as you want and it detects them to unlock your laptop in seconds. This is a really nice touch for a pretty low-cost notebook. However it is optionally available, so you choose whether or not to use this feature.
Respectable Battery Life
The battery life of this A515-46-R3UB puts a lot of laptops to shame. It has an excellent battery life, which can easily complete half your day in school or college (6-8 hours). Obviously, the lifecycle of the battery depends on your usage.
For lower power usage, you will get longer battery life than casually gaming. And it does not take long to fully charge the device, about 2 hours. So overall, the battery is good. What is also nice, the size of the power brick is also smaller than most laptops have.
Acer Aspire 5 line has been known for its flexibility, this one is no exception, both the hard drive and the memory are upgradable. However if you just need it for an online class, school, and college, you don’t need to upgrade it. It is just nice to have this option available.
So for the upgrade, the A515-46-R3UB comes with an empty slot to install a 2.5″ drive and replace the included SSD if you want to. For the memory, the 4GB DDR4 RAM stick is preinstalled, however, you will get an empty RAM slot to add your own. I suggest running them in dual-channel if you can.
Plenty of Ports
In addition to the attractive design and many features we have mentioned, this A515-46-R3UB surprises us with plenty of ports and connectivity.
Unlike a lot of other laptops in the price category, this laptop includes a good amount of ports you would need. On the left-hand side, you will find an Ethernet RJ-45 port, HDMI v2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1, and a USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 1
And on the right-hand side, you will locate 1x USB 2.0, and an Audio Combo jack. Those are ports that you would want, from USB 2 to USB 3, including the USB Type-C port!
Ethernet Port Onboard
Acer managed to squeeze in an Ethernet port at this sleek design beside the functional wireless feature. So for users who prefer to use a wired connection, this feature is a big plus. This is ideal if you are working from home, so you can get the most stable and fastest internet network.
Also for homeschooling, the ethernet slot can be the best option since you don’t want to have a dropped network while participating in an online lesson. Ethernet port can really be handy in some situations, and this laptop comes with one.
If you hope to see a powerhouse laptop that you can use to encode while playing heavy games in 4k resolution, wait and save for +1k + laptop elsewhere. But if you are looking for an inexpensive laptop that you can take around without being worried in case you accidentally drop it on the ground, you cannot go wrong with this model.
It’s a good laptop for school, work from home, online meetings, and more. The fingerprint reader and the backlit keyboard are features that you can hardly get somewhere else for this price. You can’t go wrong with this A515-46-R3UB, especially in today’s computer chip rarity.