Notebookcheck

Acer Extensa 2520-59CD Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/05/2016

Pulled parking brake. Apart from its quiet operating noise, Acer's 15.6-inch device does not attract any attention. Unfortunately, the installed Core i5 processor cannot develop its full computing power.

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For the original German review, see here.

Acer's Extensa is a basic 15.6-inch office laptop powered by a Skylake processor. Devices such as HP's 250 G4HP's 350 G2, and Lenovo's B50-50 belong to its circle of rivals.

The Extensa's build is identical to that of Acer's Aspire E5-552G that we have previously tested. Thus, we will not go into details about casing, connectivity, input devices or speakers. The corresponding information can be found in the review of the Aspire E5-552G.

Acer Extensa 2520-59CD (Extensa 2520 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, Core: 300-950 MHz, single-channel, 20.19.15.4501
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3-1600, single-channel, two memory banks (one bank filled)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel 100 PPI, ChiMei N156BGE-E32, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Toshiba MQ01ABF050, 500 GB 
, 440 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo audio, Card Reader: SD, TPM 2.0
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
Slimtype DVD A DA8AESH
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 24.9 x 381.6 x 256 ( = 0.98 x 15.02 x 10.08 in)
Battery
37 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, McAfee LiveSafe Internet Security (trial), MS Office (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.4 kg ( = 84.66 oz / 5.29 pounds), Power Supply: 286 g ( = 10.09 oz / 0.63 pounds)
Price
579 Euro

 

See our Top 10 Notebooks: » Multimedia, » Gaming, » Lightweight Gaming
» Budget Office, » Business, » Workstations
» Subnotebooks, » Ultrabooks, » Convertibles » Top 10 under 300 Euros, » under 500 Euros
» Best Notebooks for University Students
» Top Windows alternatives to Apple's MacBook series
» 
Best Notebook Displays
Top 10 Tablets / Smartphones:
» Tablets, » Windows Tablets
» Smartphones

Case & Connectivity

The Extensa is based on the same casing as the Aspire E5-552G. The only differences  are found in the base unit's upper side (Extensa: black; Aspire: gray). The laptop does not have a maintenance hatch, and the base tray has to be removed for accessing the innards. First, the DVD burner has to be taken out. Three flat-headed screws that have to be released are in the drive's bay. After that, all other screws on the underside have to be removed. Finally, the base tray can be removed with a putty knife.

The installed memory card reader is one of the slow models. A maximum transfer rate of 27.5 MB/s is reached when copying large data blocks. Transferring 250 JPG image files (approx. 5 MB each) is performed at 22.7 MB/s. We tested the memory card reader with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
22.7 MB/s ∼100%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.5 MB/s ∼100%

Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi module has an Intel chip (3165) on-board. In addition to the 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi standards, it also supports the fast ac standard. The transmission rates that we determined in ideal conditions (no other Wi-Fi devices in the vicinity, short distance between laptop and server PC) were good.

Networking - iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
274 MBit/s ∼100%

Display

Pixel grid
Pixel grid

The Extensa's 15.6-inch, matte screen has a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. Its brightness (199.6 cd/m²) and contrast (491:1) are too low. The screen exhibits PWM at a frequency of 1000 Hz. This high frequency should not cause eye problems and headaches, even in sensitive users.

204
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
197
cd/m²
189
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 219 cd/m² Average: 199.6 cd/m² Minimum: 18 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 216 cd/m²
Contrast: 491:1 (Black: 0.43 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.53 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 11.85 | - Ø
61% sRGB (Argyll) 39% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.25
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
TN LED, 1366x768
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
TN LED, 1366x768
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
TN LED, 1366x768
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
TN LED, 1920x1080
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
TN LED, 1366x768
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
TN LED, 1366x768
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
TN LED, 1920x1080
Response Times
8%
20%
1%
9%
21%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
52
42
19%
43
17%
58
-12%
47
10%
45
13%
Response Time Black / White *
31
24
23%
24
23%
27
13%
26
16%
22
29%
PWM Frequency
1000
806
-19%
1000
0%
Screen
2%
7%
-1%
-7%
6%
-1%
Brightness
200
203
2%
231
16%
221
11%
198
-1%
238
19%
196
-2%
Brightness Distribution
83
83
0%
86
4%
84
1%
85
2%
88
6%
76
-8%
Black Level *
0.43
0.49
-14%
0.53
-23%
0.49
-14%
0.48
-12%
0.42
2%
0.34
21%
Contrast
491
449
-9%
474
-3%
486
-1%
425
-13%
583
19%
588
20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.53
8.95
15%
7.92
25%
11.19
-6%
11.62
-10%
10.49
-0%
11.54
-10%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.85
10.59
11%
8.9
25%
11.53
3%
12.3
-4%
11.47
3%
12.98
-10%
Gamma
2.25 107%
2.51 96%
2.18 110%
2.41 100%
2.22 108%
2.52 95%
2.58 93%
CCT
13758 47%
12049 54%
9917 66%
13057 50%
13244 49%
13286 49%
14060 46%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
39
41
5%
41
5%
38
-3%
36
-8%
38
-3%
36
-8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
61
65
7%
65
7%
60
-2%
56
-8%
60
-2%
56
-8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
5% / 4%
7% / 7%
10% / 3%
-3% / -5%
8% / 6%
10% / 4%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1000 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 456 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 10420) Hz was measured.

The screen has a DeltaE 2000 color deviation of 10.53 in the state of delivery. A rate less than 3 would be desirable. In addition, the screen suffers from a clear bluish tint.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
31 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 78 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
52 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 28 ms rise
↘ 24 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 250 (maximum) ms. » 83 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.9 ms).

Acer has equipped the Extensa with a viewing angle dependent TN panel. Consequently, the screen is not legible from every position. Due to its screen's low brightness, the laptop is not really suitable for outdoor use.

The Extensa outdoors (sun behind the device)
The Extensa outdoors (sun behind the device)
Discussion

Performance

With the Extensa 2520, Acer has a basic 15.6-inch office laptop in its lineup. The laptop has enough computing power for all common application scenarios. Our review sample is priced at approximately 550 Euros (~$618). Other configurations are also available.

Processor

The Extensa is powered by Intel's Core i5-6200U (Skylake) dual-core processor. The CPU is a power efficient ULV processor (TDP: 15 watts). The processor clocks at a base speed of 2.3 GHz, which can be boosted to 2.7 GHz (both cores) or 2.8 GHz (one core only) via Turbo. A look at our comparison chart reveals that the results of our CPU test lag behind the Core i5 processor's potentials. The CPU does not utilize its Turbo and does not even clock at its base speed. We cannot state any exact speeds. All tools (CPU-Z, HWInfo) reported that the CPU clocked at full speed. The results disagree with this assertion. The Core i5-6200U achieves roughly the same results as those we know from a Core i3-6100U.

Initially, we assumed that it was due to the Windows installation and thus, reinstalled the system - without success. Then, we swapped the hard drive for an SSD and installed a fresh Windows installation. This did not lead to any improvements either. Finally, we installed the latest BIOS version and Intel's Turbo Boost software that can be found on Acer's website. Again, without success. We believe that Acer has either throttled the processor's speed ex-factory or we had a malfunctioning device.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3505
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9080
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6312
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
87 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
261 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
27.27 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.9 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 15-3570
Intel Core i5-6200U
116 Points ∼61% +33%
Lenovo Ideapad 510-15ISK
Intel Core i5-6200U
109 Points ∼57% +25%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
108 Points ∼57% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 20EV000MGE
Intel Core i3-6100U
98 Points ∼52% +13%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
97 Points ∼51% +11%
Medion Akoya E6422
Intel Core i3-6100U
97 Points ∼51% +11%
Dell Latitude 14 3470
Intel Core i3-6100U
97 Points ∼51% +11%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel Core i5-6200U
87 Points ∼46%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel Core i3-5005U
82 Points ∼43% -6%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
AMD FX-8800P
78 Points ∼41% -10%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P
74 Points ∼39% -15%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
AMD A8-6410
49 Points ∼26% -44%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo Ideapad 510-15ISK
Intel Core i5-6200U
293 Points ∼18% +12%
Dell Latitude 15-3570
Intel Core i5-6200U
290 Points ∼18% +11%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel Core i5-6200U
261 Points ∼16%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
260 Points ∼16% 0%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
257 Points ∼16% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 20EV000MGE
Intel Core i3-6100U
251 Points ∼15% -4%
Dell Latitude 14 3470
Intel Core i3-6100U
250 Points ∼15% -4%
Medion Akoya E6422
Intel Core i3-6100U
247 Points ∼15% -5%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel Core i3-5005U
208 Points ∼13% -20%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
AMD FX-8800P
207 Points ∼12% -21%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P
195 Points ∼12% -25%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
AMD A8-6410
156 Points ∼9% -40%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel Core i5-6200U
5144 Points ∼19%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
4970 Points ∼18% -3%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
4948 Points ∼18% -4%
Medion Akoya E6422
Intel Core i3-6100U
4826 Points ∼18% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 20EV000MGE
Intel Core i3-6100U
4804 Points ∼18% -7%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P
4550 Points ∼17% -12%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel Core i3-5005U
4075 Points ∼15% -21%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
AMD A8-6410
3756 Points ∼14% -27%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
2465 Points ∼53% +11%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
2444 Points ∼52% +10%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel Core i5-6200U
2228 Points ∼48%
Medion Akoya E6422
Intel Core i3-6100U
2191 Points ∼47% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 20EV000MGE
Intel Core i3-6100U
2188 Points ∼47% -2%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P
1944 Points ∼42% -13%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel Core i3-5005U
1928 Points ∼41% -13%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
AMD A8-6410
1270 Points ∼27% -43%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Lenovo Ideapad 510-15ISK
Intel Core i5-6200U
197.37 Points ∼1% +30%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
173.24 Points ∼0% +14%
Medion Akoya E6422
Intel Core i3-6100U (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
165.39 Points ∼0% +9%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel Core i5-6200U (Edge 38)
151.94 Points ∼0%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel Core i3-5005U (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
132.72 Points ∼0% -13%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD A10-8700P (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
109.87 Points ∼0% -28%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 20EV000MGE
Intel Core i3-6100U (IE 11)
93.761 Points ∼0% -38%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
AMD A8-6410 (Edge 25.10586.0.09)
75.677 Points ∼0% -50%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly, and we did not encounter any problems. The PCMark benchmark scores are good to very good. The slowed down CPU is hardly noticed here since the laptop's entire hardware has an impact on the outcome. Increasing the system performance is possible. Installing a second working memory module would enable dual-channel mode, which would increase graphics performance. Replacing the HDD with an SSD would make the system run faster and reduce load times.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2834 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 15-3570
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
3337 Points ∼59% +18%
HP Envy 13-d020ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung MZRPC256HADR-000SO
3246 Points ∼57% +15%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Radeon R5 M330, 5200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3237 Points ∼57% +14%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Radeon R5 M240, 5200U, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
3136 Points ∼55% +11%
Dell Latitude 14 3470
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
3074 Points ∼54% +8%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3043 Points ∼54% +7%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5005U, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
2980 Points ∼53% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 20EV000MGE
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Western Digital WD Black Mobile 500GB (WD5000LPLX)
2965 Points ∼52% +5%
HP ProBook 450 G3
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
2910 Points ∼51% +3%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
2834 Points ∼50%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
Radeon R8 M365DX, FX-8800P, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2806 Points ∼49% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
Radeon R6 M340DX, A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024
2485 Points ∼44% -12%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), A8-6410, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1872 Points ∼33% -34%

Storage Device

A 2.5-inch hard drive by Toshiba serves as the system drive. It spins at 5400 revolutions per minute and has a capacity of 500 GB. The HDD's transfer rates are on a normal level for a 5400 RPM model.

Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Transfer Rate Minimum: 52.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 113.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 87.4 MB/s
Access Time: 17.6 ms
Burst Rate: 232.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6.2 %
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Toshiba MQ01ABF050
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
33%
-2%
11%
1%
29%
35%
Write 4k QD32
0.769
1.287
67%
0.739
-4%
0.892
16%
0.645
-16%
1.239
61%
1.312
71%
Read 4k QD32
0.675
1.116
65%
0.696
3%
0.847
25%
0.987
46%
1.03
53%
1.126
67%
Write 4k
0.782
1.29
65%
0.738
-6%
0.895
14%
0.64
-18%
1.171
50%
1.261
61%
Read 4k
0.375
0.522
39%
0.364
-3%
0.451
20%
0.426
14%
0.419
12%
0.415
11%
Write 512
38.3
42.22
10%
37.42
-2%
42.75
12%
35.65
-7%
49.35
29%
53.66
40%
Read 512
33
38.12
16%
32.44
-2%
36.46
10%
32.58
-1%
36.63
11%
36.71
11%
Write Seq
95.72
99.56
4%
97.84
2%
95.89
0%
90.68
-5%
107.5
12%
108.9
14%
Read Seq
104.7
101
-4%
100.2
-4%
96.35
-8%
102.5
-2%
109.6
5%
110.7
6%

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics 520 graphics unit is responsible for video output. It supports DirectX 12 and clocks at up to 950 MHz. The 3DMark benchmark scores are on a normal level for this GPU. Increasing the performance is possible. Dual-channel mode is enabled when a second working memory is installed. Consequently, the GPU is utilized better and delivers more power.

3DMark 11 Performance
1247 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
AMD Radeon R8 M365DX, AMD FX-8800P
3819 Points ∼7% +229%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
AMD Radeon R6 M340DX, AMD A10-8700P
2681 Points ∼5% +131%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
AMD Radeon R5 M330, Intel Core i5-5200U
1834 Points ∼4% +58%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
AMD Radeon R5 M240, Intel Core i5-5200U
1575 Points ∼3% +36%
Dell Latitude 15-3570
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i5-6200U
1273 Points ∼2% +10%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i5-6200U
1257 Points ∼2% +8%
HP ProBook 450 G3
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i5-6200U
1165 Points ∼2% 0%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i5-6200U
1162 Points ∼2%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i5-6200U
1124 Points ∼2% -3%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Intel Core i3-5005U
968 Points ∼2% -17%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), AMD A8-6410
764 Points ∼1% -34%

Gaming Performance

The Extensa's hardware can render some games smoothly, i.e. games that have only moderate hardware requirements. However, these games also achieve a sufficiently high frame rate only in low resolutions and low quality settings. Games that need high computing power, such as "Rise of the Tomb Raider" and "Hitman", are never playable. Installing a second working memory module (= dual-channel mode) increases the frame rates.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 3017.814.5fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 8.36fps

Emissions & Energy

Fan noise
Fan noise

System Noise

The Extensa is one of the quieter laptops. The fan is often inactive in idle mode, and only the hard drive's noise is audible. Swapping the HDD for an SSD would ensure silence. The fan hardly speeds up during load. We measured a noise level of 36.8 dB(A) in the stress test.

Noise Level

Idle
31.5 / 31.9 / 31.9 dB(A)
HDD
32.4 dB(A)
DVD
36.8 / dB(A)
Load
34.2 / 36.8 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 31.2 dB(A)

Temperature

The Extensa in the stress test
The Extensa in the stress test

Since we could not determine the CPU and GPU's clock speeds, we cannot say how the processor and graphics card behave during our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least one hour). According to our benchmark software, both components clock at their full speeds. The laptop heated up only moderately during the stress test. The temperatures remained below 40 degrees Celsius (~104 degrees Fahrenheit) on all measuring points.

Max. Load
 30.1 °C33.2 °C24.6 °C 
 31.6 °C33 °C24.7 °C 
 26.9 °C28.9 °C28.4 °C 
Maximum: 33.2 °C
Average: 29 °C
24.3 °C27.7 °C27.3 °C
25.3 °C29.9 °C37.3 °C
31.7 °C27.2 °C33.2 °C
Maximum: 37.3 °C
Average: 29.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39 °C | Room Temperature 22.4 °C | FIRT 550-Pocket
Temperature development upper side (load)
Temperature development upper side (load)
Temperature development underside (load)
Temperature development underside (load)
Temperature development upper side (idle)
Temperature development upper side (idle)
Temperature development underside (idle)
Temperature development underside (idle)

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.332.734.32531.131.731.13132.534.132.54031.331.831.35036.735.936.76329.629.229.68027.529.627.51002729.32712526.629.426.616025.628.825.62002429.6242502334.32331522.644.222.640021.246.921.250020.452.920.463019.957.519.980019.263.819.2100019.256.919.2125018.750.518.7160018.450.318.4200018.554.918.5250018.555.418.5315018.859.818.8400018.859.718.8500018.852.818.8630018.951.618.9800018.955.718.9100001955.719125001961191600018.850.718.8SPL31.369.136.934.23231.3N1.623.82.52.11.71.6median 19Acer Extensa 2520-59CDmedian 52.8median 19Delta2.26.72.235.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (62 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 20.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (13.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 49% of all tested devices in this class were better, 14% similar, 37% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 23%, worst was 48%
Compared to all devices tested
» 59% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 32% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 3% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency diagram in comparison (check boxes above can be turned on/off!)

Power Consumption

We measured a maximum idle power consumption of 13 watts. This rate is too high for a device such as the Extensa, and should be below 10 watts. The requirement climbed up to 30 watts in the stress test. The power supply's nominal output is 45 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.16 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.8 / 12.6 / 12.8 Watt
Load midlight 27.6 / 30 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

Our practical Wi-Fi test simulates the load needed for opening websites. The "Balanced" profile is enabled, the laptop's energy saving features are disabled, and the screen's brightness is set to approximately 150 cd/m². The Extensa achieves a runtime of 5:15 hours.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Edge 38)
5h 15min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
5200U, Radeon R5 M330, 41 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
342 min ∼29% +9%
Acer Extensa 2520-59CD
6200U, HD Graphics 520, 37 Wh (Edge 38)
315 min ∼26%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
5005U, HD Graphics 5500, 32 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
295 min ∼25% -6%
HP 350 G2 L8B05ES
5200U, Radeon R5 M240, 41 Wh (IE 11)
291 min ∼24% -8%
Acer Aspire ES1-521-87DN
A8-6410, Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L), 41 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
290 min ∼24% -8%
Lenovo Ideapad 500-15ACZ
A10-8700P, Radeon R6 M340DX, 32 Wh (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
183 min ∼15% -42%
Acer Aspire E5-552G-F62G
FX-8800P, Radeon R8 M365DX, 37 Wh
168 min ∼14% -47%

Pro

+ matte screen
+ quiet operating noise
+ low temperatures
+ good battery life

Cons

- CPU does not clock at full speed
- no maintenance hatch
- dark, low-contrast screen
- no Type-C USB

Verdict

In review: Acer Extensa 2520-59CD. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Acer Extensa 2520-59CD. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

Acer's Extensa 2520 is a basic, 15.6-inch office laptop. The installed processor should completely satisfy the needs of most users. As mentioned before, the Core i5 processor in our review sample could not completely develop its full computing power and is on the level of a Core i3-6100U processor. We assume that we got a faulty device. The laptop operates quietly over the entire load range and hardly heats up. The 500 GB hard drive provides enough storage capacity. Replacing the HDD with an SSD would be possible. However, the casing has to be opened for this since the laptop does not have a maintenance hatch. The installed keyboard made an overall good impression, and the battery life is also decent. On the other hand, the matte screen is not convincing – Acer has installed a dark, low-contrast, viewing angle dependent model.

Acer supplies a quiet office laptop for home use with the Extensa.

We deem the laptop's price of approximately 550 Euros (~$618) as the biggest catch. At this price, the laptop cannot really be called cheap. Users who want to save money can opt for the Extensa 2520-58BE. This model is equipped with the same configuration as our review sample, but comes without a Windows operating system. Consequently, the laptop costs good 100 Euros (~$112) less at a price of 450 Euros (~$506). When a used Windows 7 license is purchased (<10 Euros/~$11) and installed (Acer provides the corresponding drivers), it is still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge (via Media Creation Tools) when desired.

Acer Extensa 2520-59CD - 09/27/2016 v5.1
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
46 / 80 → 58%
Weight
60 / 67 → 85%
Battery
83%
Display
73%
Games Performance
52 / 68 → 76%
Application Performance
64 / 92 → 70%
Temperature
94%
Noise
90%
Audio
44%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
68%
78%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Extensa 2520-59CD Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2016-10- 5 (Update: 2016-10- 5)