A515-56-36UT Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop with 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor, WiFi 6, and Amazon Alexa.
Do you need a computing device that is fully functional than your tablet or phone? Do you miss using a physical keyboard whenever you are using your tablets? Well, this is the notebook you want to check out if you want a “complete” Windows laptop that you can use comfortably on your lap without spending a fortune.
But keep in mind, this notebook is not meant for heavy video editing or heavy games. So where does this device excel? Read further.
To begin with, let’s talk about how it looks. The Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT has a sleek and clean design. With its simple silver-ish chassis, it appears to look like a Macbook, and surprisingly, it weighs almost as light as the MacBook Pro 15″! This laptop weighs 4.19 lbs, while the MacBook Pro weighs 4.02 lbs, so not much difference in weight there. Plus, you don’t need to spend an extra 1k dollars.
It’s not the lightest notebook in the market, but for a 15-inch laptop, it is still a lightweight device. This means you will be able to easily tuck it into your bag, and carry it all day long without even realizing it is inside your backpack or bag.
If you travel a lot and want to have a 15-inch laptop this is the ideal choice. 15.6″ screen can give you a proper view of your sheets, and other documents. And because it is economical, you won’t be much bothered about accidentally breaking or dropping it somewhere.
How does it handle my PC tasks?
Reading specs can be very boring, however, it is still worth checking before purchasing a new laptop. So check the primary technical features quickly.
|Product:||Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT Slim Laptop | 15.6" Full HD Display | 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor | 4GB DDR4 | 128GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Amazon Alexa | Windows 10 Home (S Mode)|
|Display||A 15.6″ Full-HD ComfyView 1920 x 1080 Screen|
|Processor||11th Generation Intel i3-1115G4 (3.0 GHz – 4.10 GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics|
|RAM||4GB DDR4 SDRAM (Upgradable)|
|Storage||128GB SSD (Upgradable)|
|Connectivity||1x HDMI, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port|
|Other features||Webcam, 2x Stereo speakers, built-in Microphone, Wi-Fi 6, BlueTooth 5, Alexa|
|Strength & Weakness||VIEW|
A515-56-36UT vs A515-46-R14K
Research before purchasing a laptop is important so you know your options. Here is what we found. In reality, this unit has siblings with slightly different features. We encourage you to check them out.
|A515-56-36UT (our guy)||A515-56-363A||A515-46-R14K|
|CPU||i3-1115G4 (3.0 – 4.10 GHz)||i3-1115G4 (3.0 – 4.10 GHz)||AMD Ryzen 3 3350U (2.1 – 3.5 GHz)|
This laptop does not have the best specs in the world. Also, if you are a gamer, you will immediately know by reading the main specs above, this A515-56-36UT was not built for intensive gaming. That being said, if you are looking forward to playing newer high-end games, look for a gaming laptop instead.
This laptop uses the latest generation, the 11th Gen of Intel i3 processor chip. Consider this one if you want the i5 version. For surfing the internet, watching movies, and do office-type works, the i3 CPU will perform well, and even faster than Intel’s Celeron processors that you often see in the laptops in this price range.
The 11th Gen i3-1115G4 CPU clocks in at 3.0 GHz performing on two cores with a 4.10 GHz Turbo boost clock. With this specification, this i3-1115G4 easily outperforms the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U which equipped Acer Aspire 5 last year’s bestseller. See the synthetic benchmark below.
In terms of performance, this chip is also comparable with the 10th Generation of i7-1065G7. In short, the processor in this laptop is the true winner.
RAM & Storage Flexibility
For the memory, this A515-56-36UT only comes with 4GB of RAM, which is the minimum RAM that you can have in today’s notebook. A few would say, it is lame, but I think this should be the compromise they had to make to be able to offer more on this laptop at its price. For any tasks that do not require saving files locally, like streaming movies, surfing the internet, this bare minimum RAM would be sufficient enough.
The 128GB storage is also quite generous at this price point as SSDs are very expensive. They are extremely fast, compact, and also running silently as they don’t have moving parts. Just don’t plan to save all of your files on this laptop. For saving photos, movies, or documents, we advise you to get cloud storage or an external hard drive.
Thanks to its SSD storage, the laptop boots fast. You can turn it on and it will run in under 30 seconds, then you are ready to go.
What is also nice, Acer includes an expansion set up for you so you can add your memory and hard drive to this laptop. When you have done it, you will have a laptop that has the same power as a $700 range laptop does.
However, if you don’t do more than basic computing, you will not need to do any upgrade. Though it’s always nice to know that you still have the option to do it down the road.
Alternatively, you can look at these units I compiled, that have similar price points (when this was published), but double the memory and hard drive space. One of them even has a touchscreen if you need it.
How is the screen?
Acer Aspire 5 11th Gen i3 model features a Full-HD 15.6-inch display. The Full-HD 1920 x 1080 screen resolution makes the display bright and crisp, also offers a wider viewing angle.
Is it a touchscreen panel? No, but that is what your tablet is for. This A515-56-36UT is a straightforward device and has no gimmicky stuff.
Missing a backlit keyboard
Despite being thin, this laptop has a Numpad on its keyboard, which makes it easier if you work with long strings of numbers a lot. As we saw in our comparison table above, the keyboard has no LED backlit feature, but all keys are painted black with white letters on them, so it’s still easy to work with them in dimly lighted rooms.
Other than the Numeric keypad, this laptop also has an Ethernet and a full-size HDMI port. It becomes rare these days to have these ports, especially the Ethernet port in a slim notebook.
Like many laptops in this category, the trackpad does not have a glass surface but has more than adequate feedback.
For the ports, this Acer Aspire 5 i3 model includes 4x USB ports, one of them is a USB-C with a fast data transfer speed.
Lite Gaming & Battery Life
As we all know, the processor in this laptop was not designed for gaming, it was more design for a thin and lightweight laptop that has great battery life. The 11th Gen Intel’s Core i3 processor comes with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics which is not suitable for performance-thirsty games, but you can still play light gaming such as Minecraft, SIM 3, etc.
If you want to play more games, you can stream via Steam, it will give you more juices of the performance, thanks to its Ethernet port, so you can stream your games with stable internet.
For the battery life, due to its lower-power processor, this Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT slim laptop has however a decent battery life. Depending on how many tasks you are running, the battery life will last up to 7.5 hours.
What You Need to Know
The A515-56-36UT slim laptop here comes with Windows 10 “S” mode Operating System. Microsoft set it up to secure your computer from unknown apps. So you can only install apps that are available in the Microsoft Store only since they are checked thoroughly before even being allowed to be in the Store. For example, for editing photos, you are locked in to use Microsoft’s default photo editors. Another example, for playing music, you are also locked into Microsoft’s music player, and so forth. This said you can leave it as-is if you are happy with Microsoft’s apps or software.
However, you can easily change this S mode to the full version of Windows 10. We are not going to write the steps in this review, as we have posted the guide here.
The upgrade process is free and will take only a few minutes, but keep in mind, once you switched it, you cannot go back to the S mode.
Is this a bargain?
If you are looking for an inexpensive laptop possible that can get the job done, like a basic home office or homeschooling your child, this is absolutely a bargain. But if you want a high-end fancy laptop I am afraid this is not what you want.
This unit offers good value for the cost;
- A slim attractive laptop, also very lightweight
- Newest Intel’s CPU
- Full-HD 15.6″ screen with 1080p resolution
- Full-size Keyboard with a Numpad
- SSD Storage
- Good battery life
- Latest Wi-Fi 6 and Alexa onboard
- An HD built-in webcam
- It has an Ethernet port for a stable internet access
- USB-C technology
Overall, this notebook is not going to win any powerful laptop awards, but it does what it is supposed to do for an everyday laptop. The Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT is an excellent value for what it offers.