As life slowly returns to normal in different parts of the country and the world, mobility is making a comeback as an important factor. Because of that, it has again become crucial to have a reliable laptop that you can use on the go. In choosing a good laptop, you’ll have to balance functionality with practicality and tackle questions like how long it’ll last on battery power and what it can do in that time. After all, you can’t lug around your entire desktop with you if you need a good PC on the road.
Acer is one of the biggest names in the tech industry, offering options from desktops to tablets and smartphones. However, they’re arguably most well-known for their laptops. If you’re looking for good units that won’t break your bank, look no further than this review. We’ll be comparing the Acer Aspire 5 A515 with another Acer product, the Acer Swift 3, in terms of their design, performance, and more. Keep reading to find out which Acer laptop you should get.
Acer Aspire 5 A515 vs Acer Swift 3 Comparison Chart
|Model||Aspire 5 A515||Swift 3|
|Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Price||Amazon product||Amazon product|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U|
|Memory||8GB DDR4||8GB DDR4|
|Hard Drive||256GB SSD||256GB SSD|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon Vega 3||Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics|
|Display||15.6″ FHD LED-backlit IPS||14″ FHD LED-backlit IPS|
|Ports||1 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI with HDCP support||1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI|
|Dimensions||0.71″ x 14.31″ x 9.74″||0.71″ x 12.7″ x 8.6″|
|Weight||3.97 lb (1.8 kg)||2.65 lb|
The Swift 3 lives up to its name, being more than a full pound lighter than the Aspire 5.
One of the most important factors in choosing a laptop meant for outside use is its physical dimensions. Thanks to its smaller screen (which we’ll focus on in the next section), the Swift 3 clocks in at only 2.65 pounds. This is more than a full pound lighter than the Aspire 5, which weighs 3.97 pounds. Though both are definitely lightweight, this aspect is still one that the Swift 3 definitely wins over its Aspire counterpart. In terms of dimensions, the Swift 3 is also more than an inch slimmer than the Aspire 5. All in all, it’s shaping out to be the better space-saver, which is definitely a big plus for those of us who commute daily.
Aside from these differences in weight and size, another key aspect the two units differ in is their keyboards. Notably, the Aspire 5 has a full keyboard that’s complete with a dedicated numpad. Its arrow keys are also noticeably larger, with both left and right keys being full-sized unlike the Swift 3, which uses half-length keys for its arrows. This may not be a big deal for some, but it also might be a crucial part of a good laptop keyboard for those whose careers involve a lot of calculating.
The two share some similarities: both have well-sized touchpads that will be useful for when you don’t have a mouse, and they both come colored pure silver. Both are armed with one HDMI port each, along with ports for both USB-A and USB 2.0. However, the Swift 3 has a slight edge here, since it also has one USB-C port.
Both units sport LED-backlit matte IPS displays.
The Swift 3 and the Aspire 5 both have screens that use in-plane switching (IPS) panels. IPS screens are known for their wide viewing angles and vivid color and contrast compared to screens that use TN or VA technology. Though they’re not as fast as TN monitors, their response times are also sufficient for most customers, as long as they aren’t competitive gamers. Because of its great color accuracy, the IPS panel makes either unit a good choice for people who work with photographs or videos.
Both monitors also follow the standard 1920×1080 screen resolution that we’ve come to expect from all computers. Though this isn’t state of the art anymore, Full HD screens still deliver and can satisfy most uses that customers intend their laptops for. Aside from good resolution, both models also have screens that are ComfyView treated, meaning that they have a matte finish. This is a great anti-glare measure that helps reduce eye strain, which will be especially helpful if you’re the type who uses their computer from sunrise to sunset.
The only big difference in display between the two units really lies in their size. The Swift 3 has a lithe 14 inch screen, which is common for notebooks. In comparison, the Aspire 5 is a little bigger and offers you a little more screen real estate. It has a 15.6 inch display – which makes it almost two inches bigger than the Swift 3. Whether this is an important difference lies in how big of a significance you put to screen size and how helpful those extra inches will be for your intended use.
The Swift 3 is a little better-equipped in terms of CPU power.
Different models and configurations exist for these two units. However, for the purpose of comparison, we’re choosing models that are the most similar to each other. Because of that, the two are similar in some respects. Both employ a 256GB SSD, which is large enough for most users. It being a SSD is also useful, since it lends itself to faster loading times for files. The stock memory for both models is at 8GB of DDR4 RAM. All in all, these two are pretty standard for laptops that are good for a wide range of uses.
The two are also almost identical in terms of their GPU. The Swift 3 does not have a dedicated graphics card. Instead, it uses an integrated AMD Radeon chip. Similarly, the Aspire 5 uses an AMD Radeon Vega 3 integrated chip. Though these aren’t bad components, it means that these aren’t really built for heavy gaming – but that’s not really expected from either of these machines, so it’s not a huge deal breaker.
The only huge difference between the two units lie in the CPUs that they use. Both models use chips from AMD, who have been increasing their market share recently and are starting to pose a threat to Intel’s dominance in the market. The Swift 3 uses a Ryzen 5 4500U, a hexa-core chip that can be boosted up to 4.0GHz. Meanwhile, the Aspire 5 has a lighter chip in the Ryzen 3 3200U. This is a dual core CPU with a processor speed of 2.6GHz.
Battery and Cooling
The Swift 3 has a few features that make it cool itself a little more efficiently.
Aside from a better CPU, another thing that the Swift 3 has going for it is its better battery life. The Aspire 5 runs a 3-cell lithium polymer battery with a capacity of 4200mAh. At peak efficiency, Acer says that its maximum battery run time is at 7 hours. This is acceptable for battery life, especially if you’ll have a place you can charge your laptop in anyway, but the Swift 3 still has its competition beat. With its battery, it can stand for 11 hours maximum without being charged.
In terms of cooling, both laptops have the standard fans that help lower CPU temperature. However, one useful feature that the Swift 3 has is that its keyboard has air inlets. This helps it expel up to 10% more heat than models without this feature. Along with its stereo ring fan, this makes the Swift 3 a little less vulnerable to overheating.
Aside from the screen size, the Swift 3 is pretty much the better choice in every aspect.Amazon product
The Acer Swift 3 has its Aspire counterpart beat in pretty much every aspect. It has a better CPU which makes it suitable for a wider range of work on the go. To supplement this, it also has better cooling fixtures that makes your machine run smoothly. Most importantly, it’s smaller and significantly lighter, meaning that it’ll barely make an impact on your bag’s weight when you go out. It should be noted, though, that all these improvements come at a literal price, since the Swift 3 will set you back around a hundred bucks more than the Aspire 5.
For those who are on a slightly tighter budget, the Acer Aspire 5 A515 is still a solid pick. Its Ryzen 3 CPU might not be the best out of the Ryzen line, but its performance is comparable to some of its more expensive Intel competition. The larger screen might also be the push that some customers need to buy, since an inch and a half could make a huge difference in terms of screen real estate for a laptop.
With its powerful CPU and lithe frame, the Acer Swift 3 is a great pick for anyone who wants a good ultrabook for work on the go. The 11 hour battery life and IPS panel don’t hurt its case either.
It depends on your needs. For basic computing, the Acer Aspire 5 A515 is definitely a good pick if you need a good, affordable laptop right now.
Users online estimate that laptops generally last 3-5 years before they absolutely need to be replaced. This lifespan can be extended for a bit longer, though, with a few tweaks like added RAM.
Online reviews say that it’s a complete, all-around laptop for developers. Especially considering its relatively affordable price tag, the Acer Swift 3 is a good choice of ultrabook for programmers whether they’re a student or a professional starting out.