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Acer Aspire V5-572G Review

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Rating: 8.5/10

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Large bright screen
  • Decent Keyboard
  • Generally well made and portable

Cons:

  • Terrible TouchPad
  • Windows 8 lacks apps
  • Average battery life

The Acer Aspire V5-572G attempts to serve as an affordable 15-inch notebook, but can this refreshed model, with updated specs, make any headway in a crowded segment of the notebook market.

Design

To keep up with the premium look of ultrabooks now a days, Acer uses a simple but nonetheless appealing plastic base case for the Aspire V5-572G. The black, brush metal finish found on all surfaces further increases the utility of the case by reducing the visibility of fingerprints even if it falls short of doing the same for dust.

It weighs only 2 kilograms as opposed to the 2.3 kilograms that the previous models use to weigh. The V5-572G stands out at being very thin at less than 2.5 centimetres (one inch) thick, making it exceptionally versatile and portable due to this slim build.

The display lid’s chassis twists marginally, makes a random clicking noise when moving and has rather stiff hinges. Despite the stiff hinges it is still possible to lift the lid with one hand. The rest of the notebook is generally well built.

Display

The Aspire V5-572G uses a 15.6-inch 1366×768 HD LED LCD display. The panel is great compared to other models in this price range. Brightness levels are above average and the display appears crisp even though it has a rather low pixel density.

Being a glossy glare-type display, the V5’s screen, proved to be inadequate for outdoor use. In direct sunlight, the screen was overwhelmed by strong reflections and the displayed text and images were completely illegible. Despite this the display generally provides a rather pleasant viewing experience.

Audio

The Aspire V5 has four integrated speakers plus a Dolby® Home Theatre audio enhancement.  I found them to be very crisp and clear. It’s also easy to connect your V5 to your home theatre system. With the Dolby® Control Panel you have total control over your PC’s audio settings.

Keyboard

The Aspire V5-572G, uses almost the entire width of the notebook for a full-sized chiclet keyboard complete with a number pad. The 1.5 x 1.5 cm (0.59 x 0.59 inch) keys are made from a black plastic that does not seem to be of a particularly high quality. On the other hand, I had no complaints regarding the stability and workmanship of the keyboard. All keys are cleanly fitted and firmly attached.

The Acer Aspire V5-572G surprised me with a comfortable typing experience. It proved to be precise across the entire keyboard. The keys have a very low travel and emit minimal noise.

Touchpad

The Aspire V5-572G uses an ElanTech touchpad located on the left half of the wrist rest. The touch surface has dimensions of 10.4 x 7.9 cm (4.1 x 3.1 inches) and supports modern multi-touch features such as pinch-to-zoom. The touchpad has precision and ease of movement, only if the user’s hands are dry. If they are not dry the experience can become unpleasant fast. My fingers (when moist) would also get stuck on the touchpad and the pointer would move around randomly. Additionally I found that it did not have a precise clicking ability.

Heat

The laptop runs fairly cool with everyday tasks. With heavy processing loads the temperature does rise but the notebook does not become unpleasantly hot. The touchpad stays relatively cool even when the notebook is being pushed to its limits.

Ports

The only disappointment in terms of ports is that there is only one USB 3.0 port. Most of the ports can be found on the rear of the device, the ports consist of an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet port, mini VGA output, with an included mini to full VGA adapter, two USB 2.0 ports and a USB 3.0 port. The two USB 2.0 ports can be found on either sides of the laptop.

Apart from the 2-in-1 card reader on the right side and the USB port on the left side, all the other interfaces can be found at the back of the computer. Acer has avoided the problems of having all the ports on one side, which was one of the biggest complaints with the previous model.

Performance

The Aspire V5-572G model that we tested had an Ivy Bridge Core i5-3337U 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU, with a Turbo Boost speed of 2.7 GHz and 6 GB of DDR3 RAM, these specs are more than adequate for everyday tasks, it scored a decent PassMark of 1726.5. The one terabyte hard drive was more than sufficient for all my data needs. Using Crystal Disk Mark the V5 achieved sequential reads of 112 MB/s and sequential writes of 112.7 MB/s.

Graphics

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M is an entry-level, DirectX 11 compatible graphics card. Its core is based on the 28nm GF117 chip (Fermi architecture) with 64-bit DDR3 memory. The 3D performance of the GeForce GT 720M beat the GT 630M by over 40% in our performance benchmark tests. Overall, the card is still only in the lower performance segment. Far Cry 3 will run comfortably at 45fps, when all settings are set to low.

Battery Life

The Aspire V5-572G’s combination of sophisticated power-saving hardware and Nvidia Optimus technology allows the ultra-slim notebook to be frugal in terms of power consumption. The 4 cell Li-Polymer battery, lasted just short of six hours with the notebook being used in an everyday manner, with the Wi-Fi and keyboard backlight turned on and the screen backlight set to auto. I found that battery life was decent when working with Word documents and doing web browsing. However, more strenuous tasks drained the battery rapidly.

Windows 8

The learning curve of moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is fairly steep as a lot has changed. The lack of a dedicated start button is one of my biggest frustrations.

Initially, I met Windows 8 with some hesitation but over the past few weeks, I have slowly moved towards liking it. The metro design is the best part of the Windows 8 experience to me and on the downside, I dislike the desktop version of Windows 8 because it feels so disjointed from the metro start screen.

The lack of a touch screen on the Aspire V5-572G makes the Window 8 experience a little frustrating, as most of the apps in the Windows Store have been designed for a touch enabled device.

Verdict

The Acer Aspire V5-572G is a superb ultrabook and if you are in the market for a reasonably priced laptop then this is definitely the right choice.  My only gripe with this machine is the frustrating touchpad and the lack of a touchscreen, other than that I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Specifications on the next page.

Kyle Jordan

Writer and editor for Tech Net Africa.

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