Acer Aspire 7, 5 updated with AMD Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs

Acer Aspire 7 (A715 - 42G)
(Image credit: Acer)

For CES 2021, the Acer Aspire 7 and Aspire 5 are getting a boost from the latest AMD Ryzen processors. Not to be confused with the gaming laptops Acer is also updating today, the Aspire 7 and 5 are Acer's answers for the users looking for productivity and performance without having to break the bank.

Acer's decision to go with AMD for these updates continues the trend of manufacturers moving away from Intel. But do Acer's latest notebooks have a chance at making our best laptops list? Let's find out.

Acer Aspire 7 price and availability

The Acer Aspire 7 (A715-42G) arrives in North America in March, with a starting price of $749 (which we may be able to bring down for you with our Acer promo codes). In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, it's coming in February for €899.

The Acer Aspire 5 (A515-45) also hits in North America in March, with a $549 starting price. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, it's due in February for €699.

Aspire 7 (A715-42G) specs, Aspire 5 (A515-45) specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Aspire 7Aspire 5
Display15.6-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel15.6-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel
CPUAMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile processorsAMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650AMD Radeon RX 640
MemoryUp to 32GBUp to 24GB
StorageUp to 1TBUp to 1TB SSD or Up to 2TB HDD

So, while Acer didn't provide entry-level specs, it does look like the Aspire 7 and 5 will be pretty fast and offer a lot of storage. Specs-wise, the laptops; biggest differentiator is in their GPU, as the Aspire 7 has the faster GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and the Aspire 5 packs the AMD Radeon RX 640.

Both laptops have USB-C ports and Wi-Fi 6.

Frustratingly, Acer didn't provide battery life estimates, which lowers our expectations for the laptops. The closest Acer came in its announcements was to state that these laptops are for "more conventional users who particularly care about performance, display quality, weight and battery life."

Acer Aspire 7 design and display

Acer Aspire 7

(Image credit: Acer)

The Acer Aspire 7 is no ultraportable.  Weighing 4.7 pounds, it's the kind of laptop that you're more likely to keep in one place for most of the time, though it's not too heavy if you need to change your location. 

Acer's giving users more control over the Aspire 7's cooling, with a new keyboard shortcut (Fn + F) to toggle between silent, normal and performance cooling modes — you pick the mode that better suits your work.

The Aspire 7's 15.6-inch Full HD panel doesn't have the slimmest bezels, but Acer's working on it, trimming its bezel down to an 81.6% screen-to-body ratio. Colors should be made to look more accurate via Acer's ExaColor and Color Intelligence technologies. The latter dynamically adjusts gamma and saturation in real time, according to Acer. 

Acer Aspire 5 design and display

Acer Aspire 7 and 5 CES 2021

(Image credit: Acer)

Those who want a slimmer design will go for the Aspire 5, which is 0.7 inches thick. Acer's also going for style points with a sandblasted aluminum cover.

Just like the Aspire 7, the Aspire 5 offers a 15.6-inch Full HD panel. And Acer's added BlueLightShield technologies should help you mute the emission of that spectrum of light.

Acer Aspire 7 and Aspire 5 outlook

While not the flashiest laptops, the Acer Aspire 7 and 5 grabbed our attention because of what Acer accomplished under the hood. If the performance means that these affordable (if not cheap) laptops can deliver some value — especially on battery life —then Acer's done it again. 

We can't wait to review them both the Acer Aspire 7 and Acer Aspire 5 to find out, as success here will show whether AMD will continue to thrive as an Intel alternative.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.