Acer Aspire V5 review

A touchscreen and decent build quality can't rescue this budget laptop

Acer Aspire V5-122p
A touchscreen and decent build quality can't rescue this budget laptop

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Benchmark results:

  • 3D Mark: Ice Storm: 21479 // Cloud Gate: 1860 // Fire Strike: 258 //
  • Cinebench: 1CPU: 215 // xCPU: 580
  • Battery Eater: 92 mins
  • PCMark 8: Home score: 1474 // Battery test: 147 minutes

When it comes to performance, the Acer Aspire V5-112P is a mixed bag.

We've made it clear that the specifications prevent any serious computational gruntwork, so essentially you're going to be using this machine for web surfing, general media usage and producing basic office work like reports, presentations or spreadsheets.

The now-respectable amount of Windows 8 apps also means you can get some casual gaming done as well. But, rather than make this a hybrid device to take advantage of the touchscreen, as with the similarly-spec'd Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 or the high-end Dell XPS 12, Acer has kept it firmly as a laptop.

That does have some advantages. The keyboard is a spacious, isolation-style affair with a reassuring amount of travel and rounded, well-sized keys. In other words, banging out a quick email - and, for that matter, writing this review - isn't a problem at all.

Acer Aspire V5-122P review

We touched on it during the introduction, but the trackpad isn't very responsive. At times the cursor wouldn't respond to contact on certain parts of the pad, and, frequently, the Aspire V5-112P wouldn't register mouse clicks.

Using the now de-facto integrated buttons is good for making the chassis look uncluttered and minimalist, but we take issue when it doesn't actually work all that well.

Acer Aspire V5-122P review

Battery life is another problem. Given the miniscule 289 x 206 x 21mm dimensions and the ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor, we'd expect a lot more from the 3-cell, 2640mAh Li-ion battery. However, a maximum stress test with looped HD video, full performance settings and a Battery Eater program running drained the juice in a mere 92 minutes.

Acer quotes a 3.5-hour runtime for this model of the Aspire V5. But, when we ran a second test using the PCMark 8 benchmarking program it was dead in a (slightly more forgiving) 147 minutes; just under two-and-a-half hours. The accompanying charger won't take up much space in your bag, but that's beside the point.

Connectivity is reasonably well catered for. Acer has included two USB ports, one of which is the faster USB 3.0 variant, as well as an SD card reader for expanding storage. There's also a unique Acer Converter Cable Port. This looks a lot like a mini DisplayPort, and basically works the same way as a digital display output. You can use a mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter to hook the Aspire V5-122P up to an external display. Irritatingly, though, Acer doesn't supply one in the box.

There's no Ethernet connection, so you'll be relying on the 802.11b/g/n wireless to access the internet. This should be sufficient for the majority of tasks we imagine the average user will require, but it is worth noting that the faster "ac" standard is beginning to be adopted in the UK this year.