Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R07: An affordable 3rd generation Ryzen laptop with throttling problems
The latest Acer Aspire 5 is another sturdy, well-made and affordable laptop. The device has a decent keyboard and trackpad, along with a decent number of ports. While there is no USB Type-C, there are three USB Type-A ports, a full-sized HDMI port and Gigabit LAN. There is no memory card reader either, despite there being space to include one.
The device is well-priced too at €500 (~US$554), especially as Acer includes a 1 TB SSD, 8 GB of RAM and an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor. The latter incorporates a Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU too, which is considerably more powerful than its Intel counterparts like the UHD Graphics 620. There is even space for a 2.5-inch drive and socketed RAM, should you be into tinkering with your devices.
However, the device cannot make the most of its SoC. Typically, AMD APUs have the edge over Intel CPUs in multi-core tasks, but the opposite is the case with our Aspire 5 review unit. Its performance is so lacklustre that it scored over 30% less than the Ryzen 5 3500U powered HP ProBook 455R G6 and Lenovo V155-15API. We suspect that the cooling solution that Acer has used is the source of the problem, but the single-channel mode in which it runs will not help performance either.
In short, the latest Aspire 5 falls short of expectations, despite having so much going for it. Please see our Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R057 review for our full thoughts about the device.