Acer Aspire 7 (2022) Review: Bang for the Buck

Acer Aspire 7
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Acer’s Aspire 7 Laptops are positioned as a step up from their budget Aspire 5 lineup. But most often, older Aspire 7 go for similar or even lower prices, making them extremely value for money. As such my review of the Acer Aspire 7 (2022) will focus more on the “value” aspect of this every day (+ casual gaming) laptop and how it fares against something like the newer Aspire 5 which goes for about the same price right now. Moreover, everyday laptops that can game on the side are my personal favorites just because of the balance they strike between work and fun. Before we start, let’s take a quick look at the specifications of the Acer Aspire 7 (2022).

Acer Aspire 7 (2022) Review: Specifications

  • Design & Build: Aluminum lid/plastic chassis, 362.3 (W) x 237.4 (D) x 19.9 (H) mm, 2.15 kg
  • Display: 15.6-inch IPS panel, 60Hz refresh rate, Acer Comfyview (matte), 260 nits peak brightness
  • Resolution: FHD (1920 × 1080 pixels)
  • Keyboard: Chiclet keys
  • Trackpad: Windows Precision TouchPad
  • Processor: Ryzen 5 5500U (6C/12T, 4.0 GHz max turbo frequency, 15W TDP)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 4GB GDDR6 VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 (Upgradable up to 32GB)
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
  • I/O Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x combo audio jack, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ45, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C 
  • Battery: 48Wh battery, 65W AC power adapter (19.5 V, 6.95A)
  • What’s inside the box: Laptop, power adapter, quick start guide
  • Price in Nepal: NPR 80,000 (Ryzen 5 5500U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
  • Buy Acer Aspire 7 (2022) here

My unit here with the Ryzen 5 5500U processor, GTX 1650 graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD costs around 80,000 rupees here, 55,000 INR in India, and 650 dollars in the US.

Compromising on just the right amount to not feel lacking while toughing out when needed to, it’s a delicate balance to master, and this Aspire 7 here is quite close to achieving that equilibrium.

Acer Aspire 7 (2022) Review:

Design and Build 

  • 362.3W x 237.4D x 19.9mm, 2.15 kg
  • Plastic lid and chassis

The design doesn’t have too many talking points. It’s made out of plastic and features an ACER text logo on the center of its lid. It has an overall minimally bold aesthetic with its “ASPIRE” branding on the hinge part. Acer Aspire 7 passed my one-handed opening test which is cool to see. And I didn’t find any immediate compromises on the build quality as well. There’s little flex on the display, and the keyboard chassis is SOLID with no flex at all.

The placement of the barrel jack is a bit bizarre though. It is halfway on the right side of the chassis between the exhaust vent and the USB 2.0 port. As such, I am worried about the longevity of the charging cable when it is routed from the top. On the other hand, plugging in from the bottom side obstructs the USB port and things get messy.

Acer Aspire 7 Design

Keyboard and TrackPad

  • Backlit chiclet keyboard
  • Windows Precision trackpad

The Keyboard is also a level above the one on the Aspire 5, and they feel good to type on and are backlit too which you often don’t find at this price point. From my experience, the key travel is a bit on the lower side and although not a deal breaker, it’s something you’ll notice if you’re used to something with a bit more feedback. The addition of a number pad is appreciated by someone who often finds themselves using Alt codes during work (that’s me).  But the lack of a Caps-Lock indicator is a bit annoying, especially if you’re used to seeing that glow when you’re ALL CAPS.

The trackpad is decent for everyday browsing and scrolling and works well with multi-finger gestures. The left and right clicks work as intended. Using the laptop on my lap didn’t feel tiring or hot and the keyboard and trackpad functioned as usual. As such, I don’t have any complaints here either.

Acer Aspire 7 Keyboard

Display

  • 15.6” FHD IPS LCD panel
  • 45% DCI-P3, 260 nits peak brightness

The display on the Aspire 7 is nothing special. Much like the Aspire 5, it sports a 15.6” IPS LCD panel of FHD resolution. But the overall viewing experience is definitely more enjoyable on the bigger brother, with better viewing angles and higher brightness. Still, it’s not mind-blowing or color accurate -like at all, but you should be fine using it indoors for browsing the web, watching YouTube, and playing games.

In my testing, the panel covered 64% of the sRGB and 46% of the NTSC color gamuts so graphics designing and color correction might be out of the question due to the limited color coverage. Using it under the sun is going to be a struggle too, especially since the brightness peaked at 263 nits.

Speaker and Webcam 

Moving on, the speakers are decent too. They are just about what you’d expect. The down-firing dual speaker setup doesn’t sound very open or very rich and doesn’t get super loud either. Having said that, they are perfectly fine for watching YouTube or streaming movies-though I would use external speakers for the latter. Similar is the story with the webcam and microphone, which work well enough for conference calls or online meetings. Just know you won’t be blowing anyone’s socks off with that 720p resolution. 

Performance

  • Ryzen 5 5500U CPU (6C/12T, Up to 4.0 GHz)
  • GeForce GTX 1650 graphics (4GB GDDR6)
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD

Let’s move on to performance. While the Ryzen 5 5500U isn’t winning awards anytime soon, it’s an efficient processor capable of everyday use. In Cinebench R23, it scored 1092 pts in single-core and about 7030 points in multicore which is mediocre even among the ‘U’ series CPUs. But as I mentioned before, for light workloads and casual multimedia, that won’t be an issue. 

Gaming

Now, let’s talk about the GTX 1650 in Aspire 7. Undoubtedly, it is one of the main “value” propositions of this laptop. We are used to seeing entry-level MX graphics in affordable notebooks and rarely see a U series CPU paired with a more powerful GPU. Those are often reserved for “gaming” laptops and more expensive machines. So, this time I made sure to take my sweet time testing some of the more popular games, and here’s what I have to say about it. 

Acer Aspire 7 Gaming

For non-AAA titles or older ones, you can hit 60 frames pretty consistently. This list would include games like GTA V, Overwatch 2, Valorant, CSGO, and such. In my opinion, this is more than enough for your casual gamer playing with friends over the weekend.

Acer Aspire 7-GTA V

GTA V on high settings had an average fps of 83 with a 1% low of 47 fps. Just for fun, I dialed back the settings to normal to see how much fps the laptop could pump out. I was getting over 100 fps on average and it dipped down to 60 fps 1% low. But since the fps fluctuated a little too much for my liking, I stuck to high settings on GTA V.

Acer Aspire 7-Valorant

Valorant on medium settings had an average fps of 166 with a 1% low of 69 fps. This time around dialing back the graphics to low didn’t seem to improve the performance by a whole lot. And over 150 fps should be plenty enough for an enjoyable gaming experience.

Acer Aspire 7-CSGO

On CS: GO, with most graphics set to ‘High’, I was getting closer to 150+ fps with a 1% low of over 65 fps. Dialing back some of the settings to ‘Medium’, the average fps rose to 175 and the 1% low was 76fps.

Acer Aspire 7-Overwatch

Overwatch 2 played as expected with a smooth 150 + fps gameplay dipping down to 60 fps on the 1% low. Graphics Quality was set to “High”.

Does the Aspire 7 struggle? 

With Control, I started off by setting the Quality Preset to “Low” and V-Sync On.  I got 60 fps on average with a 1% low of 36 fps. Feeling confident, I ramped it up to “Medium” and while the game was still playable at 37 fps average and 26.5 fps 1% low, I’d suggest going with a custom preset with most settings on medium and some on low to get the best of both worlds.

And similar was the story with “CyberPunk 2077”. At Low Settings, I was getting somewhere from 45 – 55 fps on average. The game is still playable on Medium settings but you’ll only get 30 -45 fps. So although the 1650 doesn’t outright struggle, it is important to keep expectations in check when running newer, more demanding titles.

Battery Life 

  • 3-cell 48 Wh Li-ion
  • 65W power adapter

The battery life on the Aspire 5 is typical of a multi-media notebook. I was getting anywhere from 4 to 5 hours of screen time under casual use involving a dozen or so Chrome tabs, Microsoft Word, and some light Photoshop. It lasts a bit longer – an hour or so if you’re just streaming video back to back like in the case of marathoning a show or anime.  You can always toggle the power mode to “Best Efficiency” and lower the brightness to get a bit more. Gaming on battery (unplugged) is less than ideal and would only last you an hour or two at best. The charger that ships with the Aspire 7 is a 65W brick with a 3-pin adapter. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the laptop.

Connectivity and I/O

  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

Aspire 7 proudly presents its WiFi 6 capabilities on the sticker. As for the port selection, you get an RJ45 port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type C port, and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports on the left. The right side houses a barrel jack, an old-fashioned USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack. 

Acer Aspire 7 (2022) Review: Conclusion 

In, conclusion if you’re looking for an affordable multimedia laptop that can do gaming on the side, it’s almost perfect. But I do wish it were a little lighter.  With the charging brick, the laptop weighs more than 2.5 kilos and that can be a deal-breaker for some, especially if you’re looking to carry it every day.

Initially, I was skeptical of the 5500U CPU and whether it would undermine the GTX 1650’s capabilities – and in gaming, to some extent it does. But as I tested the laptop for everyday use, I came to realize that the U series processor is more than capable of browsing the web and editing documents. I think it was the right choice not to go with an “H” series processor as it’d have severally impacted the battery life. If it were an Intel machine, “P” processors would’ve probably been a suitable replacement but that too would ramp up the price.

And despite the card’s age, the 1650 is still holding up giving 60+ fps in a lot of the less demanding titles. Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable laptop for work or school but don’t wanna miss out on gaming over the weekends, this could be a great pickup. It may not be a gaming laptop but it sure is a laptop ….that can game.

Acer Aspire 7 (2022) Review: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Upgradable RAM and storage
  • Nice backlit keyboard

Cons:

  • No fan or performance controls
  • A bit on the heavier side
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design and Build
Display
Keyboard
Trackpad
Performance
Audio
Webcam
Battery
Value for Money
acer-aspire-7-2022-reviewAn everyday laptop that can game. Thanks to the GTX 1650 inside, Aspire 7 can run most titles just fine. The Ryzen 5500U processor preserves battery life during casual use. It is an ideal combo for your casual gamer looking for an affordable multimedia machine.