The Acer Aspire V5-571 laptop may not wow you with fancy features or premium performance, but it will definitely help you save a few quid. This budget desktop replacement laptop cuts its price to £445 without sacrificing productivity by offering an Intel Core i5 processor normally seen in ultrabooks. Trimming the price requires a few small sacrifices, such as an all-plastic construction and a small battery, but none of these compromises take away from the core functionality of the laptop.
The V5-571 brings a classy look to the budget laptop category. While the plastic construction is on the bland side, the semi-gloss finish and the three different colours available (black, blue, or silver) make for a look that's a slight cut above the plain designs seen on many other value-priced systems.
The V5-571 has a full-size keyboard, with chiclet keys and a compact numeric pad – the number keys are narrow, but still perfectly usable. The clickpad combines the right and left mouse buttons with the touchpad surface instead of using individual buttons.
The 15.6in 1,366 x 768 widescreen display has a 16:9 aspect ratio, and white LED backlighting makes it reasonably bright. The laptop's audio capability gets a software boost thanks to Dolby Advanced Audio v2, but you'll probably want to stick to headphones or an external set of speakers, as the sound quality is only fair to middling.
Measuring 381 x 254 x 23mm (WxDxH) and weighing 2.3kg, the V5-571 is a little heavy when compared to some of the slimmer machines out there, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 which weighs 1.7kg (see our review of the U310 here). While it's not very portable, the V5-571 is nonetheless light enough to slip into a backpack to carry across campus or on a commute.
In terms of connections, the V5-571 boasts one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports (one with power for charging while asleep), an HDMI output, and a combined LAN/VGA port. The combined port uses an included adapter to provide both a VGA monitor connection and fast Ethernet, but the adapter is a Y-cable so you'll need to carry it around for both functions even when you may only need one or the other. An integrated card reader lets you pull images from your camera's memory card, and a tray-loading DVD+-RW drive takes care of your disc-burning needs.
The V5-571 comes with a 500GB hard drive, but you may need to do some cleaning up on the new system, as it arrives loaded with a fair share of bloatware, including a number of Acer branded programs like Acer Backup, Acer Games, and Acer Instant Update. The laptop is covered by a one-year warranty on parts and labour.
The V5-571 is equipped with a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor, the same low-voltage, dual-core processor found in the Lenovo IdeaPad U310. The V5-571 also has 4GB of memory on board, the same as the U310.
In Cinebench R11.5, the V5-571 matched the score of the Lenovo U310, hitting a very respectable 2.39 points. When faced with PCMark 7, the V5-571 scored 2,438 points, but fell behind the similarly-equipped Lenovo U310 which hit 3,570 points. The V5-571 completed Handbrake and Photoshop in 2 minutes and 59 seconds, and 4 minutes and 34 seconds respectively, which indicates better multimedia performance than is generally found in the budget laptop category.
As it uses Intel's integrated HD Graphics 4000 GPU, it’s no surprise that the Aspire V5-571 didn't produce top notch scores when it came to gaming. That said, its 3DMark 2006 scores of 5,772 points (standard resolution) and 3,168 points (native resolution) were better than expected.
In order to cut down on weight, the V5-571 comes with a slim 4-cell 37 Whr battery. Consequently, when tested with MobileMark 2007, the laptop lasted 4 hours and 51 minutes – although we’ve seen worse than this, certainly. The Lenovo U310 lasted close to 7 hours, though – but then, it is £200 dearer.
The budget category is a difficult one to shop in because it's easy to give up core functionality in the pursuit of a lower price tag. Thankfully, the Acer Aspire V5-571 doesn't require that sort of Faustian bargain. It’s a solid performer in general and multimedia terms, and a well-built budget laptop on an overall level. This notebook won’t knock your socks off, but it will help to keep your bank manager happy.
Manufacturer and Model
Acer Aspire V5-571
Value, Desktop Replacement
Intel Core i5-3317U
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Screen Size Type
1,366 x 768
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Storage Capacity (as Tested)
Primary Optical Drive
Wireless Display Capability (WiDi)
37 Whr (Watt hours)