Acer Aspire V5 review: A touch-screen Windows 8 laptop for less

Acer offers about two dozen configurations of the V5, but that includes different screen sizes and models with and without separate number pads. This exact Core i5 configuration is $729, but I've seen it available for $699. The most interesting version is the Best Buy exclusive V5-571P-6648 SKU (this is the V5-571P-6499), which is on sale for $529 right now. It trades down to a Core i3 CPU, but otherwise largely mirrors our review unit, including the touch screen.

The 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U CPU in the Aspire V5 is the same processor found in the majority of new Windows 8 laptops we've tested. Not surprisingly, the performance difference among these systems was very slight; any would be fine for everyday use, including HD video playback, office tasks, Web surfing, and even some very basic gaming. With only Intel's HD 4000 graphics, you won't get great performance out of newer games, but the low screen resolution at least means you can't crank the settings beyond 1,366x768 pixels.

One area where the Aspire V5 was bested by the competition is battery life. Despite the low-power components, low screen resolution, and large body (which could, in theory, hold a big battery), the system ran for only 3 hours and 44 minutes on our video playback battery drain test. That's one of the lowest scores we've seen in a Windows 8 laptop thus far, and really not enough for a full day of on-the-go work. Acer's own very similar Aspire M5 ran for more than two additional hours.

The Aspire V5 includes a standard one-year mail-in parts-and-labor warranty. Acer has gotten better about making online FAQS and documentation easier to find, and offers e-mail, chat, and phone support. Note that you'll have to enter a serial number for the Acer Web site to display the tech support phone number, but it's 866-695-2237.

Conclusion
Acer's middle-of-the-road 15-inch Aspire V5 is neither inspiring nor especially disappointing. It stands out by adding a touch screen to Windows 8 at a very reasonable price, and especially caught my eye because of some holiday/Black Friday price breaks. At $699 or so, it's worth a look. If you can find one for much less, it's hard to beat for value.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Load test (average watts)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations
Acer Aspire V5-571P-6499
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 128MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm + 20GB SSD Hybrid

Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB ADATA XM11 SSD

Toshiba Portege Z935-P300
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Toshiba SSD

Sony Vaio T13
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Acer Aspire M5-481PT
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 128MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm + 20GB SSD Hybrid

HP Envy 4-1102
Windows 8 Pro (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Acer Aspire V5-571P-6499

Part Number: NX.M49AA.006

MSRP: $799.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Color silky silver
  • Weight 5.3 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - fixed
  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3317U / 1.7 GHz
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