Acer Aspire V5 touchscreen laptop

Don't be put off by the Pentium; this laptop actually goes alright

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  • User Reviews (9)
  • Buy Now 2
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Acer Aspire V5 touchscreen laptop
  • Acer Aspire V5 touchscreen laptop
  • Acer Aspire V5 touchscreen laptop
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    2.50 / 5 (of 9 Reviews)

Pros

  • Decent performer
  • Good amount of features
  • Good size for the price

Cons

  • Screen ripples at the sides when you touch it
  • Touchpad could be better

Bottom Line

This is an inexpensive touchscreen laptop with decent speed and features. At 14in, it's not too big or heavy to carry around on a daily basis, and it's comfortable enough to use for long typing and Web browsing sessions. The touchscreen adds an extra bit of versatility to the unit, too. A good unit for the home or the classroom.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 2 stores)

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It's nice to see the Pentium brand still kicking around after all these years, and Acer has put it to good use in its Aspire V5 laptop, creating a touch-based, 14-in solution for under $700. It's zippy enough for everyday tasks, it stays cool under heavy workloads, and its battery life is decent, too.

Features and user comfort

The Acer Aspire V5-431P-997B4G50Mass (that really is the full name Acer has given this product on its site) has a complete configuration that makes it useful as a machine for home or school work. It comes with a built-in DVD burner, as well as three USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0), HDMI, a headset port, and an SD card slot. There is also a proprietary port for a dongle that can supply VGA output and Gigabit Ethernet. The weight is 2.2kg and, while it feels quite heavy, it is a relatively slim laptop.

The base is about 16mm thick on its own, but it tapers at the edges, and this is one of the reasons the Gigabit and VGA ports have been relegated to dongle status. Not only that, there really isn't that much room left on the edges when you take into consideration the other ports, the optical drive, the speakers (which should not be relied upon for high-quality listening) and the cooling vent. Indeed, it's a base that's chock full of gear already, while on the inside it also has Bluetooth and dual-band, 802.11n Wi-Fi (an Atheros AR5BWB222 module).

Despite being an inexpensive unit, it looks quite stylish and its build quality is not awful. The finish of the palm rest is smooth and the area is large, giving you plenty of space to rest your hands as you type. The touchpad is 97x66mm and it feels smooth. However, it's set to perform two-finger scroll gestures in the reverse direction by default, and we couldn't get it to scroll normally, despite disabling the reverse direction in the driver.

The performance of the pad overall was decent, but the cursor did jump off the spot occasionally during double-tap actions, and the Windows 8 swipe-in gestures were a little too sensitive. It's a very similar pad, in terms of how it behaved, to the pad on the Toshiba Satellite P840 — although that's meant to be a premium laptop.

We like the keyboard on this laptop and think it's very comfortable to use for long periods of typing. The chiclet styling leaves plenty of space between the keys and they are soft and responsive to hit. We like the space that's been left around the arrow keys, and also the slight gap between the Backspace and Enter keys, and the Page and Home keys on the far right column.

With a 14in screen, the V5 is more portable than the 15.6in models that are usually found at this price point, and it's also a 10-point touch-enabled screen. This means you can use both the touchpad or the screen to navigate the Windows 8 system. Being an inexpensive laptop though, the screen's quality isn't great: you have to put up with narrow viewing angles, lots of reflections, and also plenty of rippling along the edges when the screen is touched — don't be too rough with it when you touch it. Nevertheless, for basic tasks around the home or in a classroom, it will be fine.

Performance and battery life

A dual-core Pentium 997 with a frequency of 1.6GHz gives the Acer V5 its processing power. It's joined by 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, a 500GB, 5400rpm hard drive, and integrated Intel HD graphics. As far as modern laptop configurations go, it's nothing special, but it's very good if you just want a simple machine for writing, emailing and browsing the Web. We also found it to be fine for Internet video streaming, and even for playing a few games from the Windows Store (using the keyboard, not the touchscreen, since this laptop can't be turned into a tablet).

You don't get quite as much power as an Intel Core-based laptop when it comes to multitasking, but in a straight line, the speed of the Pentium can hold its own. It recorded 1min 34sec in our Blender 3D rendering test, 1min 19sec in our iTunes MP3 encoding test, and it took 36min to convert a DVD file to an MP4 using Handbrake. These times are noticeably slower than what a typical Core i5-based laptop can get in the same tests — a 1.7GHz model will do the Blender and iTunes tests in 49sec and 60sec, respectively, and will take about 23min to do the Handbrake test.

Storage is handled by a 500GB hard drive, and it put up transfer rates that are decent considering the budget nature of this notebook. In CrystalDiskMark, it recorded 100 megabytes per second in both the read and the write tests. Graphics performance was also decent from the integrated Intel HD chip, which recorded 3158 in 3DMark06. You can use this notebook to play many basic games obtained through the Windows Store.

Battery life on this laptop is decent considering its 14in size. In our rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, it lasted 3hr 21min. That's not far off the average for 13.3in Ultrabooks, for example, which last about 3hr 30min in this same test. If you lower the brightness and use the laptop for basic Web browsing (that is, not browsing Flash-heavy pages) and typing tasks, it could last up to five hours before needing its power adapter.

Conclusion

We were a little concerned when we looked at the specs and saw the Pentium CPU topping the list, but we ended up enjoying this Acer Aspire V5 model a lot. Its performance turned out to be decent (even for viewing Flash-heavy Web sites and Internet video streams) and it also ran at a cool temperature throughout our test period. Even when it had been processing Flash video for hours from NBA.TV, with CPU usage at 30 per cent, the base did not get warm.

This performance, along with the good array of connectivity and overall user comfort make the V5 a laptop worth considering, particularly if you want something smaller than a 15-incher, but with a similar feature-set. Its touchscreen also adds some extra versatility. We only had issues with its touchpad (it's far from terrible, but could still be better) and also with the quality of the screen, but we expected that at this price point.

Related Windows 8 laptop reviews:

Toshiba Satellite P840 touchscreen notebook
MSI GT70 Dragon Edition gaming notebook
ASUS VivoBook S400C touchscreen Ultrabook
Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T hybrid tablet
Venom Blackbook Windows 8 gaming notebook
Sony VAIO Duo 11 Windows 8 tablet
ASUS VivoTab 810 Windows 8 tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist (3347-3EM)
Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T (XE700T1C-A02AU)
HP Envy X2 hybrid PC
HP Envy Touchsmart 4 Ultrabook
Toshiba Satellite L850 Windows 8 laptop
ASUS Taichi 21 Windows 8 hybrid Ultrabook
Medion Akoya S4216 (MD 99081) Windows 8 Ultrabook
Toshiba Satellite U920T hybrid Ultrabook
Dell XPS 12 convertible Ultrabook
ASUS Vivo Book F202 touchscreen notebook
Acer Aspire S7 touchscreen Ultrabook

Alternative Windows tablet products

Microsoft Surface Pro tablet
ASUS Vivo Tab RT Windows Tablet
Microsoft Surface RT

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Read more on these topics: notebooks, acer

Dawn

1

I brought this laptop and am so disappointed after 3 weeks of using it, it slowed down completely and kept freezing. At the moment it has been randomly shutting off. Regret buying Acer ever again

aktivexkontrol.blogspot.com.au

2

* Screen ripples at the sides when you touch it
Touchpad could be better - for fuss people only

pip

3

I bought acer aspire laptop in December 2012, its battery life is max. 1 hour 40 min's. when on charge, on charging side -it gets so hot that can't take in lap. i am disappointed and even they never return/change. I bought from hervey norman and they said i have to show this in outside. i spoiled $$$. just recommend to everyone- DON'T BUY ANY ACER LAPTOP :(

jahi

4

was wondering if anybody could tell me how to activate the touch screen on the acer v5 please let me know.... thanks

Qat

5

I purchased this laptop four months ago and haven't had a problem with it. Purchased for $570 from JB and then got a $79 cashback from Acer... Bargain. My only complaint would be that it does get quite hot but you can hear the fan working to fix that. From my experience with the v5 so far, I would recommend it.

Didie

6

Dont buy an ACER expecting to get the CASH BACK offer. IT DOESNT SEEM TO HAPPEN. IT IS A HUGE RIP OFF!!!

archer

7

I'd been used this laptop for 8 months now., It is good for web browsing, streaming videos, writing ddocuments, there's a things i dont like just like the hub to connect to a projector, it not in the side of the laptop instead in an adaptor., and if i forgot to bring it, i cant proceed to my report and need to go back home to get that adaptor. Also not quit good for PC games it suddenly heat. Well for normal use, it is GOOD.

Acer inquiry's

8

I bought acer touch laptop & the screen has done on it help to fix it

queeny

9

I was surprised to see the right side of my Acer Aspire V5-431P Touch to be like this. Haha. When I checked on the internet, it's supposed to have a button to eject the cd-drive thingy and also a mark that says "DVD" and stuff.. I am most certainly wondering why... Is this some sort of a factory defect or something? Thanks.

queeny

10

By "like this" I meant it's all black, nothing written, no eject button for the cd drive, although it has an outline of a normal cd drive on other laptops.. I just don't know why mine doesn't have a button to eject it.

Hex

11

My touch screen refuses to work after about four months of having my Acer Aspire V5-473P.
I restarted it, and it worked for about five minutes before turning off again.
When I attempt restarting again, the function ceases to exist.
I bought this for the touch function and I am very disappointed, now I cannot' receive any sort of income for my work because I cannot provide it.

Chris Baylis

12

This review is spot on, it is cheap and good for what it is. I installed an SSD drive - which is a pain as you have to pull the whole thing apart - which helps with speed. All in all, a good buy. I also find myself reaching to touch screens on other laptops i use. Having the touch screen is a nice feature.

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joy korus

1.0

1

Pros
aspire v5
Cons
aspire v5
• • •

Have had my aspire laptop for about a month and it is very problematic. Unbelievably slow loading the net and outlook express. I'm unhappy with it and will be contacting the company. Appears as thouogh this is the complaint a lot of us have after using it for a few weeks!

Uzma

5.0

2

Pros
touchscreen, windows 8, fast and good quality, easy to work and study with, battery life, speed
Cons
nothing at all
• • •

I had this laptop for quite a while and it's really helpful. It's easy to carry around and not too heavy. It's really fast and handy for emergency moments. It takes a few seconds to switch on to my desktop.

Qat

5.0

3

Pros
Touchscreen, Battery life, Speed with handling multiple tasks and Price
Cons
Nothing
• • •

Purchased the v5 four months ago and haven't had a problem with it. Mainly used to do uni work, web browsing, downloading/watching music & tv shows and a bit of gaming. I have a bad habit of always having too many browser tabs open but it seems able to handle it. Purchased for $570 and then received a $79 cashback from Acer I'd say it was a bargain. Very happy with it, no complaints from me.

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