Acer’s Aspire 5 often receives high praise as one of the best budget laptops you can buy. But reviews were split this year — people liked the AMD model more than the Intel one. So I’m thrilled that the company is refreshing two Aspire models to feature AMD’s brand-new Ryzen 5000 Series mobile processors.
The Aspire 7 pairs the Ryzen chip with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. That doesn’t make the Aspire a gaming laptop by any means, but it will allow for some light gaming and media work on the go. It weighs 4.73 pounds (2.15 kg) and can come with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. And it supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).
Acer also provides software to improve the viewing experience on the Aspire 7’s 15.6-inch FHD display. Per the company, Acer Color Intelligence and Acer ExaColor adjust gamma and saturation in real time to “deliver highly accurate visuals.”
The Aspire 5 is even more solidly in the budget range; Acer says it’s targeted at amateur bloggers, photographers, and students.
The Aspire 5 swaps out the Nvidia chip for AMD’s entry-level Radeon RX 640 GPUs (also not recommended for tasks beyond basic gaming). You can also get up to 24GB of memory and 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD NVMe storage and / or a 2TB HDD. The 15.6-inch FHD IPS display includes Acer’s BlueLightShield technology, which is meant to reduce eye strain. Like its midrange sibling, this device also offers “superfast data transfer” (though Acer didn’t provide a specific speed) and supports dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).
Both models also offer multiple cooling modes, meaning you can customize fan performance depending on the task you’re doing and how much sound you want to hear. This is a common feature of higher-end gaming and content-creation laptops. It means you can crank up the cooling when you’re doing your most demanding work without needing to hear the fans blasting 24/7.
Both Aspire models are coming to North America in March. The Aspire 7 starts at $749.99, and the Aspire 5 starts at $549.99. Both will also be available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in February, while the Aspire 5 is coming to China this month.