It’s not easy finding a great value when laptop shopping. Weighing all the different factors, from performance to price, or parts to portability, can be tough, but the Acer Aspire V5-571P-6627 (available in Canada) does a pretty good job. This slim laptop offers a portable design, a touch display and large touchpad, and a solid collection of ports and features, and combining them all with a price that won’t take your last Toonie. While it’s not perfect—it’s a bit short on battery life—the Acer Aspire V5-571P-6627 is a good value, and an easy recommendation.
The standout feature on the Aspire V5-571P is the 15.6-inch touch screen, which not only gives you 1,366-by-768 resolution, it also puts Windows 8 at your fingertips. The capacitive touch screen tracks up to 10 digits at a time, and looks pretty good while doing it. When tested with the latest trailer for “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” the colors popped, the details were crisp, and the viewing angles were good. You can pull a friend or two over to watch the latest PSY video and everyone will be able to see without any weird color inversions when viewed at an angle.
A full-size chiclet keyboard offers a decent typing experience, with a firm feel to each key, though it does offer the usual shallow depth seen on most laptop keyboards. It also offers a compact numeric pad, which is great whenever you need to fill in a spreadsheet or do your taxes, but the narrow keys of the compact layout may slowdown folks who do lots of number crunching.
Though the Aspire V5-571P has a touch screen, the touchpad is extra-large as well. Measuring 3 by 4.1 inches, the right and left buttons are integrated into the surface of the large clickable touchpad, and it offers support for all of the usual gestures, like pinch to zoom and two-finger scrolling, as well as Windows 8 gestures, like swiping from the right to access the Charms Bar, and from the left to cycle through open apps.
With plastic construction and a slim design measuring 0.86 by 15 by 9.96 inches (HWD), the Aspire V5-571P is slimmer than the 1-inch-thick Samsung Series 3 NP300E5E-A05CA, and lighter too, weighing 4.6 pounds as compared to the Samsung NP300E5E-A05CA’s 4.85 pounds. The silver plastic looks metallic but is not, though few will complain.
Though you might expect a slim laptop to reduce thickness with fewer connectors and ports, the Aspire V5-571P still has a decent selection. The Aspire V5-571P is outfitted with three USB ports (one USB 3.0, two USB 3.0) both HDMI and VGA output for connecting to an external display, and an integrated card reader (SD, MMC). For networking purposes the Aspire V5-571P offers both Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the addition of Bluetooth makes connecting wireless peripherals or syncing your smartphone a snap.
Inside the Aspire V5-571P is a 750GB hard drive, which offers a fair amount of storage, though larger laptops may bump the storage up to a full 1TB. Another welcome addition, which is becoming more scarce on 15-inch and smaller systems, is the inclusion of a DVD+-RW dual-layer optical drive, letting you use software on disc or enjoy your DVD collection.
The Aspire V5-571P comes with Windows 8 (64-bit), but the included software doesn’t stop there. On the start screen, you’ll find apps like Amazon’s Kindle Reader, Evernote, Netflix, SocialJogger, and Skype. Microsoft Office Starter 2010 gives you limited word processing and PowerPoint functionality, and Norton Online Backup and McAfee Internet Security Suite will safeguard your files and laptop for the length of the 30-day trial period. You’ll also be able to connect more easily, thanks to proprietary apps and services, like Acer Instant Connect, for finding and saving frequently used WiFi networks, and Acer Clear.fi and AcerCloud, which make it easy to share media and photos with other devices in your home network. Finally, Acer covers the Aspire V5-571P with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
The Aspire V5-571P is equipped with a 1.8GHz Intel Core i3-3217U ultra-low-voltage dual-core processor, paired with 8GB of RAM. Though the Core i3 is most commonly seen in value laptops—higher priced models opt for the i5 or the i7—the performance is still pretty good.
It completed PCMark 7 with a score of 2,301 points, putting it ahead of competitors that use AMD or Intel Pentium CPUs; the Pentium-powered Asus VivoBook X202E-BH91T-CB scored only 1,589 points, while the AMD-equipped HP Envy M6-1188CA got a bit closer with 2,034. Despite the difference in useful performance, the HP Pavilion M6-118-CA had a better Cinebench score—the Acer Aspire V5-571P scored 1.77 points, as opposed to the HP’s 2.04 points.
The Aspire V5-571P also pulled ahead in multimedia tasks, completing Handbrake in 1 minutes 57 seconds and Photoshop in 7:36. Compared to the Pentium-powered Asus VivoBook X202E-BH91T-CB, the difference is stark (Handbrake 4:54, Photoshop 12:44). However, the Aspire V5-571P’s low-voltage Core i3-3217U processor is easily trumped by its full-powered counterparts, like the Lenovo IdeaPad N581, with an Intel Core i3-3210M processor, completing Handbrake in 1:27, and Photoshop in 5:34.
The low-voltage processor and integrated graphics don’t support high-end gaming—it completed our gaming tests, but not with playable scores—but you shouldn’t expect it to. The Aspire V5-571P will do just fine with casual social games on Facebook, but not serious gaming.
With the thin build and light weight putting such an emphasis on portability, the final performance concern is battery life. The Aspire V5-571P actually falls a bit short, lasting 3 hours 37 minutes in our rundown test. Never mind having your laptop last through the entire workday, the Aspire V5-571P won’t even make it through an afternoon away from an outlet. By comparison, the HP Envy M6-1188CA lasts nearly 6 hours (5:59) and the Samsung NP300E5E-A05CA a bit more than 5 (5:11).
The Acer Aspire V5-571P-6627 may not wow you with performance or take you through a full day on a single charge, but the touch capability and sleek design brings a look and feel that suggests a much higher price tag, making the Aspire V5-571P an easy recommendation for anyone shopping for a touch-enabled laptop.
|Processor Name||Intel Core i3-3217U|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Processor Speed||1.8 GHz|
|Primary Optical Drive||Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW|
|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||750 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc