We first saw the Acer Aspire Vero back in March. It had an 11th-Gen Intel processor and felt like a decent, middle-of-the-road laptop which was great because its existence, first and foremost, represented an exercise in sustainability. Now, here’s the 13th-Gen update. The market has moved forward and so, how does the latest green laptop fit in to the market?
Table of Contents
|Screen||15.6-inch, matte, 60Hz, 1,920 x 1,080, IPS display|
|Processor||3.4-4.6GHz Intel Core i5-1335U CPU|
|Memory||8GB LPDDR5-5200 RAM|
|Graphics||1.25GHz Intel Xe|
2 x USB-C 4
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
3.5mm audio jack
|Extra Security||Fingerprint reader|
|Dimensions||360 x 237 x 18mm|
Features, Ergonomics and Design
The physical appearance of the Acer Aspire Vero hasn’t changed. So, like we said the first time round:
Acer says that the Aspire Vero is Volcanic Gray but our gut reaction is that it’s ‘Unpainted, recycled plastic’ colour. This is no bad thing… there’s nothing else out there that looks like it. The lines are sharp enough for it not to look cheap and the stamped ‘Post Consumer Recycled’ logo on the right-hand side of the palm-rest is a refreshingly original design element. The Acer logo on the lid is also very discreet – it too has been stamped into the plastic to save on resources. We also like the mirrored R and E keys on the keyboard which supposedly reinforce the reduce, reuse recycle mantra (that we think Bob the Builder might have coined).
Since we first saw it, both the rhetoric and the laptop-vendor policies regarding sustainability have accelerated meaning that this is now less of a technical exercise in sustainability and more of a guiding-light forward for the industry.
The chassis feels solid and has minimal flex while the white-outlined-backlighting of the Scrabble-tile keys looks unique and impressive. The keyboard itself is quite firm, but still very comfortable and accurate to type upon. The keys themselves feel a little different to other laptops, but in a good way. They’re firm and smooth and feel very high quality. The up-and-down arrow keys are squished but that’s a minor grievance. Impressively, Acer has even managed to squeeze in a reduced-width number pad.
The trackpad is also smooth and accurate and it’s buttons are well weighted. There’s a fingerprint reader integrated into it, but it’s not Windows Hello-login compatible.
The Full HD screen displays a bright, crisp and clear Windows Desktop with decent colour vibrancy. Multimedia performance is also good with above-average contrast that reveals details in shadowy areas and only loses a little clarity in highlights. Colour gradients do exhibit light banding though, and this becomes blocky in monochromatic equivalents. This isn’t uncommon for notebooks and it’s still generally an impressive display.
The 60Hz screen means that fast moving objects can get somewhat blurry and the pixel response time is (in this day and age) rather average, so it’s not great for gaming – although this isn’t a gaming laptop.
The UHD, 1,440p webcam does a very good job when webconferencing, even in low light. The microphone array also does well at removing background noise and maintaining clear vocals.
The speaker layout isn’t detailed but it’s above average. There’s not much bass or volume but fidelity, across the board, is reasonable. We’ve heard worse.
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All in all, the Acer Aspire Vero remains a very good laptop to interact with for general computing tasks.
Acer Aspire Vero review: Photo flourish
We took the Vero to another product launch – for Dreame’s new robot vacuum. They also had a prototypte robodog on show. What better way could there possibly be to furnish our Acer Aspire Vero review with images?
Inside this version of the Acer Aspire Vero is a low-power, 3.4 – 4.6GHz Intel Core i5-1335U processor with two Performance cores and eight Efficiency cores. In the PCMark 10 general computing test, it scored 5,364 which isn’t high, but is impressive for a mid-range, i5 processor. It’s enough to support our experience of no slowdowns under general usage.
In the Cinebench processor rendering tests, the Acer Aspire Vero scored 1,364 in the quick R15 test and 7,456 in the longer R23 tests. These scores demonstrate that it’s not great for rendering and you’ll be twiddling your thumbs during any large workloads. It’s not completely incapable though.
The Acer Aspire Vero’s 3D Performance comes via the 1.25GHz Intel Xe GPU that’s integrated into the processor, so we didn’t expect much. It wouldn’t run the challenging 3DMark ray-tracing tests, Speed Way and Port Royal. It did just about manage to run the 3DMark AAA-gaming tests, Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme, scoring 1,421 (average 7.5fps) and 2,028 (average 9fps) respectively. Again, this isn’t a gaming laptop.
The Acer Aspire Vero also scored just 8,561 in 3DMark Night Raid which is an average framerate of 44fps. If you drop the resolution and detail settings significantly, it might just play casual and competitive games.
We were impressed by the Acer Aspire Vero’s cooling technology too. Only when it was under a sustained, heavy load did the fans ramp up to a consistent low whoosh. It happily ran silent after that.
Ports and Connectivity
Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. That’s a useful complement of modern ports.
Portability and Battery Life
The Acer Aspire Vero’s chassis is impressively stiff and robust and it impressively fends-off scratches and buffs. That said, it’s a bit like an old-school Land Rover Defender in that we weren’t worried about it getting scratched as it comes furnished with a re-used patina. Your views may vary.
Either way, it’s solid and stiff enough to survive life on the road and being carted around. Even the lid flexes little when a twisting force is applied.
At 1.776KG it’s a fly’s weight under our 1.8KG ultraportable threshold. However, the power brick and cables only weigh 288g so, overall, it’s an impressively portable package in terms of bulk.
Meanwhile, the small(ish), 56Wh battery ran our PCMark 10 Modern Office battery test for an excellent 14 hours and 20 minutes which is pushing two days usuage out of the office.
Price and availability
The Acer Aspire Vero is available now and costs just $1,399 (other specs can be found, here) which makes it one of the best value laptops on the market. There aren’t too many super-green rivals (in terms of construction) both Lenovo and HP make big efforts in their green credentials.
Conclusion: Should you buy the Acer Aspire Vero?
The original Acer Aspire Vero felt like a technical exercise, not unlike Dell’s Concept Luna laptop which is an unavailable technical exercise that’s designed to push the boundaries of sustainable manufacturing. However, now the Acer Aspire Vero just feels like a great value, general-purpose laptop.
It’s not the most powerful and it’s not a gaming machine, but it’s fine for office work and multimedia consumption. If having a chassis constructed of recycled material produces lower prices and better value, then we’d like to see the whole industry take heed.
Impressive battery life
Genuine green gredentials
Not very powerful
Acer Aspire Aero Review Scores
The Acer Aspire Aero isn’t just a green technical exercise, it’s a great value, general-purpose, portable computer.