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LG Gram SuperSlim review: solid productivity and style, but falls short on a number of fronts
8:30 am | April 29, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops Windows Laptops | Tags: , | Comments: Off

LG Gram SuperSlim: Two-minute review

LG launched a separate laptop in its Gram lineup called the LG Gram SuperSlim, which borrows heavily from the adjacent 2023 LG Gram Style model in terms of its looks. However, the latter was a disappointment in terms of performance, despite my loving the extremely thin and light chassis and aesthetically pleasing design. 

So color me suspicious about the SuperSlim and whether it could impress me. What I’ve found is a mixed bag, with middling benchmark results and surprisingly solid productivity performance that could rival even the best laptops. However, some drawbacks still hold this laptop back.

At first glance, the SuperSlim is in a less impressive black color than its counterpart, but it makes up for that by its 15.6-inch weight and measurements beating out the 16-inch sizes of the Style and matching the 14-inch version. The result is an absolutely dreamy lightweight and razor-thin chassis and, unlike the Style, it doesn’t have that cheap plastic feel to it. 

There’s still a slight wobble to the hinge but all around it feels far more stable and solid, with a superior build quality. I also enjoy the material of the chassis, which has a more textured feel to it.

Ventilation has much improved, with the laptop staying cool even during heavy workloads, which is another improvement over the Slim, which suffered from overheating issues. LG seems to have addressed many build issues between these two laptops.

An LG Gram Superslim on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The keyboard still features snappy and responsive keys, which are nice and wide and perfect for a variety of finger sizes to type on with little chance for typos. Thankfully the touchpad has been restored to a much more standard one, and it’s perfectly responsive, unlike the haptic feedback nightmare on the Style.

An LG Gram Superslim on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The display’s resolution did take a hit compared to the Style’s 2.8 or 3K, as the SuperSlim is now FHD. It still thankfully retains the OLED screen and supports HDR, giving the display that sharp and bright look. 

The webcam is pretty standard, which is to say not particularly great but is fine for conference calls. The sound quality is quite solid, able to differentiate between various instruments as well as reproduce a deep bass. Its volume is also a noticeable improvement from the Style, as it can get pretty loud without losing too much in quality.

LG Gram SuperSlim: Benchmarks

Here's how the LG Gram SuperSlim performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 16,447; Fire Strike: 4,842; Time Spy: 1,778
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 8,275 points
GeekBench 5: 1,842 (single-core); 9,783 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 5,495 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 14 hours, 55 minutes
Civilization VI (1080p, Ultra): 42 fps; (1080p, Low): 25 fps

Though on paper through benchmark tests its performance is about the same as the Gram Style, in practice it functions much better. Productivity-wise, it’s capable of having tons of tabs open for both work and play including video conference meetings, word-processing documents and spreadsheets, video streaming, and more. Unfortunately, that means its CPU benchmarks are still below that of other similar Ultrabooks.

An LG Gram Superslim on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The LG Gram SuperSlim is made for office work and casual use through and through with almost no heavy-duty gaming capabilities. It’s all thanks to the bog-standard mobile GPU, which is rather offensive considering the steep price of the machine.

Other laptops for a similar price are equipped with a proper gaming GPU, so why LG refuses to make the upgrade is mind-boggling. Even a laptop like the Dell XPS 17 (2024) has better specs for a similar price point, and the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch (2023) doesn’t have a gaming GPU but the M3 chip is far superior to Intel’s silicon.

By far the biggest improvement over the Style is its extraordinary battery power, though, which gets close to rivaling even the best MacBook and best MacBook Pro models. During our battery tests, it was even able to last around 15 hours and that was under the stress of constant movie playing.

All in all, the LG Gram SuperSlim is something of a mixed bag, with some fantastic performance in terms of productivity and battery life, but don't expect much more from it than that.

LG Gram SuperSlim: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $1,649 / £1,299 (about AU$2,530)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK

The LG Gram SuperSlim is an Ultrabook is currently retailing at  $1,649 / £1,299 (about AU$2,530), with availability in both the US and the UK. Unfortunately, this particular model has been discontinued in Australia, so buyers out there would have to import it, making it even more expensive.

As for pricing itself, while it’s overall a superior model to the Style with some much-needed changes and enhancements, it’s still a hard sell compared to other similarly priced products like the Dell XPS 17 (2024) and the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch with M3, which both boast more well-rounded usage and better specs.

Unless the price drops down significantly, it would be difficult to make the SuperSlim more appealing to buyers. This is a shame since it does have a great niche as an incredibly portable laptop that works for offices and during commutes and events. If you can buy this laptop with a decent discount, then it's definitely worth considering.

LG Gram SuperSlim: Specs

As of now, the only model available in both the US and UK is this setup:  Intel Core i7-1360P CPU, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD of storage. There's also no way to customize or upgrade the SuperSlim either.

Should you buy the LG Gram SuperSlim?

An LG Gram Superslim on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Buy the LG Gram SuperSlim if...

You want solid productivity performance
This laptop can handle plenty of productivity work including video calls, documents, web surfing, and more. It's the ultimate workhorse in a gorgeous chassis.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget
This is an Ultrabook, meaning it has a premium price tag attached to it. Unless you have plenty of spare change, this is not the laptop for budget-minded buyers/

LG Gram SuperSlim: Also consider

If my LG Gram SuperSlim review has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...

How I tested the LG Gram SuperSlim?

  • I tested the LG Gram SuperSlim for several weeks
  • I tested it using productivity and creative applications, as well as gaming
  • I stress-tested the battery using the TechRadar movie test

First, I tested the general weight and portability of the LG Gram SuperSlim by carrying it around in a laptop bag. After I set it up, I ran several benchmarks to thoroughly test out the processor and graphics card. Finally, I used a variety of programs and applications to test out both battery life and general performance during work-like conditions, as well as gaming benchmarks to test the RTX 4050 GPU.

The LG Gram SuperSlim is meant to be a portable laptop with a thin and light chassis. I had to spend a good amount of testing not only on performance issues but also looking for any ventilation issues. I also tested out battery life to see how long it could last off AC power.

I've tested plenty of gaming PCs and laptops, making me more than qualified to understand benchmark test results and how to properly stress test machines to see how well they perform as a work machine.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Acer Swift X14 review: a powerhouse machine with Ultrabook looks
2:30 pm | February 4, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops Windows Laptops | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Acer Swift X14: Two-minute review

Let’s get the easy part out of the way: I’m a fan of the Acer Swift X14. The short version of it is the fact that Acer managed to put a powerful CPU and GPU, not to mention a gorgeous OLED screen, in a slim Ultrabook package.

While it doesn’t feel as premium as a MacBook Pro 14, it truly belongs among the best Ultrabooks right now. There are certainly some trade-offs as the price is nowhere near close to the best cheap laptops and the battery life suffers a little since it has to power an Nvidia graphics card. I find the trackpad to be annoying to use as well. And, for a device legitimately vying for attention among the best laptops out there, it surprisingly skips out on a Windows Hello-capable webcam.

That said, the pros vastly outweigh the cons, especially if you don’t want to lug around a gaming computer and prefer the experience of using Ultrabooks, but still want the power of a gaming computer, whether that’s for booting up Cyberpunk 2077 or for some photo and video editing. When it comes to competing with the Dell XPSes of the world, the Acer Swift X14 may be one of the most surprising laptops I’ve used. 

Acer Swift X14 open front

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? Starting at $1,099 (about £870 / AU$1,670) 
  • When is it available? Available now 
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia 

The Acer Swift X14 is not the most affordable laptop out there. While its most basic configuration is available for $1,099 / AU$2,699 (about £870), which is certainly affordable – this is a model that comes with an 13th-Gen Intel Core i5 and a last generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, not to mention 512GB of RAM and a lower 1600p resolution – it seems to only still be available in the US and Australia.

For everyone else or those wanting a current gen 4000 series GPU, you’re looking at $1,499 / £1,429 (about AU$2,277). That gets you a faster 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 2880 x 1800p screen. And, if you’re in the UK, there are some slight variations as you can pay £170 more for 32GB of RAM.

The Acer Swift X14 isn’t the only light and thin laptop to come with a powerful GPU. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra covers a lot of the same ground. In fact, our Galaxy Book3 Ultra review unit, which is the base model, has the same specs as the Acer Swift X14 including the screen (well, it’s AMOLED vs OLED), but goes for a much pricier $1799.99 / £2,649 / around AU$4,875. Of course, you can pay even more – $2399.99 / £3,049 / around AU$5,610 – for a configuration with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070.

That said, many Ultrabooks come with that premium price tag without the kind of hardware to keep up with a gaming laptop. For instance, as great as its performance is, the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 only has Intel Iris Xe graphics and goes for $1,399.99 / £1,440. At least, it has that same OLED screen with HDR.

Value: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14: Specs

There are basically two configurations of the Acer Swift X14. The more affordable one isn’t available in the UK, and comes with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i5, a last-generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, and 512GB SSD. 

The more expensive configuration that we've reviewed here upgrades the CPU to an i7, the GPU to a 4050, and the SSD to 1TB of storage. And, in the UK, you can spend a little more for 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB. 

Beyond the internal components, there aren’t any additional variations as there aren’t different colorways except for the screen. If you go with the cheaper model, you also have a slightly lower resolution (2560 x 1600p). 

Acer Swift X14 closed lid

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Design

  • Gorgeous display with HDR and accurate colors 
  • Trackpad has issues with dragging and dropping 
  • Webcam doesn’t support Windows Hello, but fingerprint reader does 

The Acer Swift X14, like most Ultrabooks, comes in an elegant if discreet shade of gray called 'Steel Gray'. It doesn’t quite set itself apart from the pack visually, but it certainly looks good and is light and diminutive enough for easy on-the-go computing.

The display is probably the most impressive outward-facing feature on this laptop as the 14.5-inch OLED screen comes with a sharp 2.8K (2880 x 1800) resolution that runs natively at 120Hz for smoother results. Plus, it comes with Vesa Certified Display HDR True Black 500 to really make the colors pop.

The colors are definitely impressive. Not only is it incredibly accurate, measured at Delta E of 0.09, but it has fantastic color coverage, making this laptop more than good enough for video and photo editing. Specifically, it has 195% sRGB and 138.1% DCI-P3.

The keyboard is good enough, though I wouldn’t consider it to be the most comfortable I’ve ever used. The trackpad, however, gave me some issues. It’s nice to the touch and moving the cursor around is smooth, but the trackpad didn’t seem to want to cooperate when dragging and dropping unless I had my fingers positioned very accurately.

Acer Swift X14 keyboard and trackpad

(Image credit: Future)

At least the port selection is robust enough for an Ultrabook with two USB-C ports (that are also Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4), two USB-A, an HDMI, and a microSD reader, along with the requisite headphone jack. Those worried about security will be happy to note that there’s a Kensington lock as well.

Beyond that, there’s a 1080p webcam that unfortunately doesn’t support Windows Hello Facial Recognition. However, there’s a fingerprint reader in the power button for that purpose.

There are some aspects of the Acer Swift X14 that are a bit hard to pin down but worth mentioning and that is in regards to its use in AI tech. The laptop supports Windows Copilot, enhancements for the webcam and mic, as well as using AI to accelerate the performance of a number of apps.

Design: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14 left ports

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Performance

  • Fast render scores 
  • Powerful gaming performance 
  • Good thermal performance 
Acer Swift X14: Benchmarks

Here's how the Acer Swift X14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 27,076; Fire Strike: 13,642; Time Spy: 5,730
GeekBench 6: 2,500 (single-core); 12,118 (multi-core)
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm:
92.030fps @1080p
25GB File Copy: 13.7
Handbrake 1.6: 7:46
CrossMark: Overall: 1,924 Productivity: 1,847 Creativity: 2,022 Responsiveness: 1,872
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 7:26:37 @ 60Hz 

Whether that AI acceleration puts the Acer Swift X14 over the top or it’s just a matter of powerful components, the performance of this laptop is a dream. With its 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, and 16GB of RAM, it’s no wonder that it can easily handle day-to-day work without breaking a sweat.

But, it can handle much more intensive workloads as well. Taking a quick look at the benchmarks, its 3DMark scores are much higher than the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 mentioned before and its Handbrake score, which measures how quickly a computer can render video, is two minutes faster. This is surely due to that powerful GPU.

I was also able to capably game on this laptop as well, running titles like Starfield and Gotham Knights on fairly high settings, certainly on par with settings I’ve used on gaming laptops equipped with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050.

Acer Swift X14 screen

(Image credit: Future)

Since the screen is an OLED panel with HDR as well as that great color coverage and accuracy, images pop and look rich and vibrant.

Really, every aspect of the Acer Swift X14’s performance is to be lauded in my opinion. Even its thermal performance is good, with it only really heating up underneath a bit when pushed.

The webcam is clear and sharp with auto framing, and comes with a feature that can make it look like you’re making eye contact with whomever you’re on a video call with (rather than looking down at the screen).

The audio quality is, as it is with most laptops, passable. It lacks some low-end and can be just a little hollow sounding, but it’s not bad and about what I would expect from a laptop like this.

Performance: 5 / 5

Acer Swift X14 underneath venting

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Battery life

  • Good battery life considering hardware 
  • Fast charging on hand 

Since the Acer Swift X14 has to power some robust components, it’s no wonder that it doesn’t have the battery life of a lot of other Ultrabooks. 

Make no mistake, a benchmark score of 7:26:37 for the Battery Informant test (though at 60Hz) is pretty good when compared to gaming laptops with similar internals, which are considered to have amazing battery lives when reaching the same scores, but don’t expect the 15 hours that you would get with a MacBook. And, if you run this laptop hard, expect that battery to go down pretty quickly.

It does seem to charge up pretty quickly when plugged in. However, it does seem to not quite hold onto its charge as well as it should when the lid is closed. But, this seems to be something that most Windows laptops don’t do as well as they should.

Battery life: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14 screen close up

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Acer Swift X14?

Buy it if… 

Don't buy it if... 

Also consider

If our Acer Swift X14 review has you considering other options, here are two laptops to consider...   

How I tested the Acer Swift X14

  • Tested for a couple weeks 
  • Used for regular work as well as gaming 
  • Used regularly unplugged 

Acer Swift X14 angled

(Image credit: Future)

I used the Acer Swift X14 for a couple weeks as a work computer. I did a decent amount of writing here, including this review. I also used it to do some gaming to see if it really had what it takes (clearly, it does). I took a look at all the features, not to mention used it regularly to see how it does unplugged.

After spending time with the Acer Swift X14, I was impressed by the fact that its power is more on par with a gaming computer than with its Ultrabook competition.

I’ve spent the last few years reviewing tech gear for gaming and otherwise, where I’ve gotten a feel for what to look for and how to put a piece of kit through its paces to see whether it’s worth the recommendation.

First reviewed February 2024 

Dell XPS 17 (2022)
2:40 am | July 26, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops Windows Laptops | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Editor's note

  • Original review date: July 2022
  • Newer Dell XPS 17 with updated components now out
  • Launch price: $1,749 / £2,099 / AU$3,999
  • Target price: $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,999

Update: January 2024. The model we reviewed here is almost two years old now, but it still remains one of the best laptops you can buy. This is because its powerful components are still very good, and the slim and light design remains one of the best you'll find on a 17-inch laptop, which can often be big and bulky due to their larger screens. This particular model is no longer sold directly by Dell, but can be found at other retailers, often with a nice price cut that makes it better value. Dell has also released more modern models of the XPS 17, so if you fancy getting this larger laptop with even more powerful components, you've got that option as well. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Dell XPS 17 (2022): Two minute review

If the Dell XPS 17 looks familiar, that’s because it is. Physically, this revised 2022 model is a dead ringer for last year’s XPS - and the one from 2020, too. But that’s no bad thing given this is one of, if not the slickest and sleekest laptops around. 

What actually is different can be found inside, most notably Intel’s latest 12 Gen CPUs. Our review unit is rocking the Intel Core i7-12700H, which packs six performance cores plus eight efficiency cores and turbos up to 4.7GHz. 

Honestly, it ought to be enough CPU for even the most demanding users, making it one of the best laptops around for productivity and business users. But if you really insist you can pay extra - and an awful lot extra because the upgrade typically forces more expensive components in other areas - for Dell to stick in a Core i9-12900K, which has the same core count but peaks at 5GHz. We wouldn’t bother, since you’ll barely feel the difference, if at all.

Dell XPS 17 (2022) Key Specs

Here is the Dell XPS 17 (2022) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core 17-12700H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
RAM: 32GB DDR5
Screen: 17-inch 3,840 x 2,400, 500 nits
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Ports: 4 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x  SD card reader
Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: 720p with IR
Weight: 4.79 lbs | 2.17 kg
Size (W x D x H): 14.74 x 9.76 x 0.77 ins (375 x 248 x 20 mm)
Battery: 97WHr

Elsewhere, one thing the XPS isn’t is an out-and-out gaming laptop. Our configuration runs an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU with 4GB of graphics memory. It’s dandy for a spot of casual gaming and will also add some welcome grunt to GPU-accelerated productivity and content creation apps. But it’s not a 4K powerhouse, nor is the RTX 3060 chip offered as an upgrade, which it ideally would need to be given the specification of the XPS’s screen.

Indeed, we’ve got the optional upgrade panel which packs 3,840 by 2,400 pixels - more than standard 4K thanks to the taller 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s a stunner of a screen rated at a punchy 500 nits and with 100 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB gamut, so it’s fully capable of content creation workflows. It also supports HDR, but isn’t a new-fangled mini-LED panel, so keep expectations in check. The HDR experience is OK rather than eye-popping.

The screen looks all the better thanks to those signature Dell XPS slim bezels on all four sides. It’s a design feature that keeps this two-year-old design looking bang up to date, and also minimizes the laptop’s overall footprint. It’s not just the screen that stands out, so does the sound quality. The XPS 17 really packs an audio punch, with remarkably dynamic sound including decent bass, good stereo separation and strong volume.

Rounding out the best bits of this revised 2022 model of the Dell XPS 17 is battery life of over 10 hours during light workloads, which is outstanding for this big a beast. On the other end of things, this isn’t anywhere close to being as portable as the best Ultrabooks, but no 17-inch laptop will ever score very highly in that regard. 

But if you do take it with, you can genuinely get a day’s work done away from the mains, which makes it one of the best student laptops for anyone about to head off to uni in a couple of months.

So whether you're a student, a content creator, or just want a gorgeous device, the Dell XPS 17 (2022) retains its place as possibly the best Dell laptop ever made that's not called the XPS 13.

Dell XPS 17 (2022): Price and availability

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)
  • Starting price looks appealing
  • Quickly gets pricey with options

The Dell XPS 17 (2022) kicks off at $1,749 in the US, £2,099 in the UK and AU$3,999, the apparent discrepancy outside of the US accounted for by a higher spec base CPU. Anyway, if that’s not exactly cheap, things only get worse when you add upgrades. 

The gorgeous UHD+ touchscreen, for instances, adds $300 / £300, doubling the RAM to 32GB will sock you for $150 / £200 and the 1TB SSD costs an extra $100 / £100. All told, as configured here, you’re looking at $2,749, £2,599 in the UK and AU$4,798 down under.

  • Value: 3.5 / 5

Dell XPS 17 (2022): Design

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)
  • Super slim bezels
  • Gorgeous build quality

The design of the Dell XPS 17 (2022) is a dead ringer for last year’s model and the year before, but we're grateful for that. 

The XPS is super sleek and beautifully built, with the main chassis and screen cover in machined aluminum and the palmrest in carbon fiber. It still looks modern too, thanks to ultra-slim bezels on all four sides of the display. And that despite still squeezing in a 720p webcam up top with Windows Hello facial recognition support.

The chassis is very solid and the keyboard bed fairly stable, though a little flex is present. The large trackpad is about as good as it gets on a Windows laptop. Only Apple’s MacBooks do trackpads better. 

Image 1 of 3

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 3

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 3

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, this is still a big machine weighing in at well over 2kg and measuring in excess of 14 inches across, but that's the case with all of the best 17-inch laptops; they're simply never going to be compact. That said, the slim bezels ensure about as small a footprint as possible and ensures that if you've got to have something this large you at least get the absolute most out of its size. 

The XPS 17 is about as haulable as 17-inch laptops get, with the possible exception of the featherweight LG Gram 17, which is slightly wider in terms of footprint but much lighter at 1.35kg.

If we do take issue with the XPS’s proportions, it’s how they map to the port selection. On the one hand, the quartet of USB-C ports all support full Thunderbolt 4 functionality with power delivery and DisplayPort alt mode, which is great. 

There’s also a full-sized SD card slot and an audio jack. But that’s it. There’s no USB Type-A, no full sized HDMI socket nor a LAN port, but that's the price you pay for the slick looks and chiselled chassis sides.

  • Design: 4.5 / 5

Dell XPS 17 (2022): Performance

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)
  • Grunty 12th Gen Intel CPUs
  • Good cooling
  • Not a true gaming laptop

With six performance cores and eight efficiency cores, the XPS 17’s Intel Core i7-12700H has as many cores as the top Core i9 processor from Intel’s latest 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU family. It just runs at slightly lower clockspeeds, but not that you’d notice. 

As CPU performance goes, this laptop has everything you could ask for. It’ll tear through everything from video encodes to 3D renders with ease. Alder Lake’s world-beating single-core performance also guarantees that this laptop feels snappy in day-to-day tasks like web browsing. 

Indeed, with fully 32GB RAM, you’re rarely going to run out of memory, which makes multi-tasking a breeze. With that much RAM, swapping application data to the SSD will hardly ever happen. Even if it does, there’s a fast PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD ready to minimise the performance hit of disk swapping. Overall, it really is a very speedy machine, this XPS 17.

Benchmarks

Here is how the Dell XPS 17 (2022) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Night Raid: 27,398; Fire Strike: 11,908; Time Spy: 5,439
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 17,747
GeekBench 5 Single-core: 1,682; (Multi-core) 13,725
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 6,810
Battery Life (Techradar movie test): 10:14
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 48 fps; (1080p, Low): 121 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 44 fps; (1080p, Low): 96 fps

If there is an exception, it involves graphics performance and gaming. As tested, our review unit runs Nvidia’s GeForce RTYX 3050 mobile GPU with 4GB of video memory. It is a big step up over plain old integrated graphics, to be sure. As our benchmarks show, you can get playable frame rates at 1080p in modern games. But only just. It’s not a truly high performance gaming GPU.

You can optionally go for the RTX 3060, which will improve your frame rates. But even that GPU isn’t nearly powerful enough to play games at the XPS’s native 4K-plus screen resolution. Even Nvidia’s fastest mobile GPU, the RTX 3080 Ti, is only just capable of that.

Anyway, the point is that the XPS is certainly up for some casual gaming. But if gaming is one of your top priorities and you can afford this class of laptop, we’d recommend going with one of the best gaming laptops instead with at least an RTX 3070 GPU, something which is certainly available at this price point.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Dell XPS 17 (2022): Battery Life

  • Impressive battery life for a large machine
  • Full workday battery life is doable

Large powerful laptops like the Dell XPS 17 (2022) used to be nailed-on certainties for awful battery life. Not these days. In light workloads like watching video and web browsing, you can expect over 10 hours of battery life. That’s true all-day performance. 

Admittedly, if you do anything remotely demanding, that number will tumble dramatically, despite its ginormous 97WHr battery. But this certainly isn’t one of those old-school desktop replacement rigs that had you worrying about battery life the moment you unplugged from the outlet. This thing has legs.

  • Battery Life: 4 / 5

Should you buy a Dell XPS 17 (2022)?

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Dell XPS 17 (2022): Report Card

  • First reviewed July 2022

How We Test

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Acer Aspire 5 (2022) review
4:31 pm | June 14, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops Windows Laptops | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: June 2022
• Newer Aspire 5 with 13th-gen Intel CPUs available now
• Launch price: $600 / £450 / AU$1,399
• Official starting price now: $549 / £599 / AU$1,199

Updated: January 2024. It's been a year and a half since we reviewed this version of the Acer Aspire 5, and you can now snap up a few different configurations (which vary between regions) equipped with newer 13th-gen Intel processors. You can still snap this exact model up from retailers like Amazon - where it's now a fair bit cheaper than the latest version - and we still think the Aspire 5 is one of the best cheap laptops out there, regardless of version. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Acer Aspire 5: Two-minute review

When looking at Acer’s website, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Acer Aspire 5 is an expensive, high-end laptop that includes a 12th generation i7 processor and powerful GeForce graphics card. But, as we’ve found with Acer in the past, the company’s website tends to just focus on its top-of-the-range models, and leaves you to find out about other options that might be available.

In this instance, it turns out that the Aspire 5 is available with a wide range of different models and specifications - in fact, there are more than 60 different configurations listed on Acer’s US website, including 17.3-inch and 15.6-inch displays, with both Intel and AMD processors. And, if you search long enough, you may even find the entry-level 14-inch version of the Aspire 5 that we review here, which is based on an older 11th generation i5 processor.

That’s clearly not the powerful laptop “for accelerated photo and video editing performance” that Acer promises, but if you judge the Aspire 5 on its own merits then it undeniably is one of the best cheap laptops for routine web browsing and productivity tasks.

Spec Sheet

Here is the Acer Aspire 5 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 @ 2.4GHz
Graphics: Integrated Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Screen: 14-inch, 1920x1080 resolution
Ports: 1x USB-C, 3x USB-A (3.2), 1x audio, 1x HDMI, 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 720p
Size: 0.71 x 12.9 x 8.8 inches (18 x 327.7 x 223.5mm)
Weight: 3.75lb (1.7kg)

Acer Aspire 5 laptop on a desk, lid closed

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Aspire 5: Price and availability

  • Around $600 in the US, and £450 in the UK 
  • Available now in the US and UK, with limited availability down under
  • Wide range of models, some from Acer, some from online retailers 

Acer’s pricing and sales information can also be a bit confusing. Some of the models listed on its web site can be bought direct from Acer, while others are sold through online retailers and high street stores - such as Currys in the UK - so you may need to search around online if there’s a specific model that you require.

As mentioned, we tested an Aspire 5 model with 14-inch screen, which also includes Windows 10 Home, a quad-core i5-1135G7 processor running at 2.4GHz (up to 4.2GHz with Turboboost), along with 8GB memory and 512GB solid-state drive. Acer’s US web site actually lists two different prices for that specification - $669.99 or $599.99, depending on which web page you look at.

You can’t buy that model direct from Acer in the UK, although it is available from a number of online retailers for around £450.00. Australia, oddly, just gets a single Aspire 5 model with a larger 15.6-inch display and i7 processor for AU$1399.00.

  • Value: 4/5

Acer Aspire 5 laptop keyboard viewed top-down

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Aspire 5: Design

  • Bright 1080p display
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet
  • Just one USB-C

You’re not going to get cutting-edge design at this price level, and the Aspire 5 has a fairly conventional clamshell design, with chunky borders around the edge of the screen that look a little dated. Acer’s website - unclear as ever - indicates that it’s available in a variety of colors, but the models sold on its website all seem to just be either black or silver. 

It gets the basics right, though, with a sturdy chassis that should be able to cope with a few bumps in a backpack or bag when you’re traveling. And while it’s no ultrabook, the Aspire 5 only weighs 1.7kg and measures 18mm thick, so it’s perfectly portable when it needs to be. The keyboard feels firm and comfortable for typing, and there’s a fingerprint sensor on the trackpad for security. The only real weakness here is the thin L-shaped power connector, which sticks out from the side of the laptop and looks a little vulnerable.

The 14-inch screen only provides 1920x1080 resolution, but it’s bright and clear, with good viewing angles. We’re also pleased to see that it has a matte finish that helps to reduce glare and reflection. The 720p webcam is a bit basic, but the image quality was better than we’d expected - it gets a bit grainy if the light is low, but some decent daylight produces an image that’s sharp enough for video calls.

The built-in speakers are a bit feeble, though. The sound is fine for just watching some videos on YouTube, but if you want to listen to some decent music then you’ll need to plug some headphones or speakers into the audio socket on the right-hand edge of the laptop. However, connectivity is a bit of a mixed bag, with just a single USB-C port, and three USB-A (3.2) for connecting peripherals and other devices. Thankfully, the Aspire 5 does include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity, with Gigabit Ethernet also available for wired networks, and HDMI for an external display. 

  • Design: 3.5/5

Side-on shot of Acer Aspire 5 laptop showing ports

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Aspire 5: Performance

  • Respectable performance for office software
  • Casual gaming only
Benchmarks

3DMark: Night Raid: 12,300; Fire Strike: 3,015; Time Spy: 1,280
Cinebench R23: Multi-core - 4,800
GeekBench 5: 1,417 (single-core); 4,440 (multi-core)
PCMark 10: 4820 points
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 6 hours, 35 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 6 hours, 37 minutes

Rather than the i7 processor and GeForce graphics that Acer boasts about on its website, this entry-level model is equipped with a more modest i5 processor, with integrated Iris Xe graphics. Even so, it still provides respectable performance for a laptop in this price range, with a score of 1,417 for single-core performance and 4,440 for multi-core. For real-world applications, the PCMark 10 test suite gives the Aspire 5 a score of 1280, which qualifies as a perfectly respectable ‘office laptop’. Admittedly, that score leaves it just below the halfway mark in the PCMark 10 results tables, but that’s not bad going for an i5 laptop in this price range, and the Aspire 5 will be fine for web browsing and running productivity software such as Microsoft Office.

The Aspire’s integrated Iris Xe graphics won’t win any awards either, with 3DMark scores that generally leave it in the ‘less than 20fps’ category. But, to be fair, 3DMark does use very high graphics settings, so if you don’t mind turning the graphics quality down a little you might even be able to get a bit of casual gaming done every now and then. 

  • Performance: 3.5/5

Acer Aspire 5: Battery Life

  • 6.5 hours for movies
  • 6.5 hours for productivity software

Acer’s website goes typically overboard, boasting up to 10 hours of battery life for the Aspire 5. In fact, our tests recorded very similar scores of just over 6.5 hours for both playing movies and the applications-based PCMark test suite. 

Even so, that’s not too bad for a low-cost laptop such as this, and if you’re not using wi-fi then the Aspire 5 should give you a full day’s work when you’re on the move.

  • Battery life: 4/5

Should you buy the Acer Aspire 5 (2022)?

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First reviewed June 2022

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