“The Acer Aspire Vero is an admirable attempt at sustainability, but fails to deliver a complete package.”
- Easy to upgrade
- Uses sustainable materials for a budget laptop
- Comfortable keyboard
- Decent performance
- Lots of ports
- Poor battery life
- Desaturated screen
- Touchpad is clunky
Windows 11 is here, and with it, a new era of laptops. While many of these new devices want to emphasize a sleek new design or powerhouse performance, the new Acer Aspire Vero has a different ethos in mind. Sustainability.
The marketing material makes some ambitious claims about the environmentally-friendly way the Acer Aspire Vero was made, and I would assume those choices are costly. When you look at the display, battery life, and touchpad on this budget laptop, that becomes obvious.
As much as I’d love to give Acer props, the Acer Aspire Vero ends up cutting too many corners to be worth its price.
The Aspire Vero is supposed to be an eco-friendly laptop, and Acer doesn’t want you to forget it. The whole look and feel of its chassis is a constant reminder that this isn’t made from your standard plastic. The post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic is a speckled light grey color, and I like how unique it is. The palm rests and lid also have a textured feel to the touch that, again, reminds you that this isn’t the slick but wasteful plastic used in your basic laptop.
I’m aware that a lot of that is more about marketing than saving the world, but it makes for a unique overall package among the sea of silver and black
As a budget or midrange laptop, the Aspire Vero’s environmental stance is fairly unique.
Acer claims that 30% of the Aspire Vero’s chassis and 50% of its keycaps are made of PCR plastic. If you aren’t blown away by 30%, you’re not alone.
So, while this is a first for Acer, it’s certainly not new for the industry. Does that mean Acer is hyping up the Aspire Vero’s sustainability a little more than it should? Yes, to a degree. Then again, as a budget or midrange laptop, its environmental stance is still fairly unique. Most of the
I’ll happily give kudos to Acer for applying better environmental standards to its cheaper
Acer also touts the Aspire Vero as more sustainable from a longevity standpoint. The bottom lid is easier to remove than your average laptop, thanks to the use of standard screws. No special tools required! Once you’re in, you’ll see that the memory, storage, and Wi-Fi module are all replaceable. Upgradability, perhaps more than using PCR, is an important aspect of sustainability that many laptop manufacturers don’t include.
Of course, there are negative elements of this laptop’s design that have nothing to do with environmentalism and more to do with the limitations of the budget-minded “Aspire” brand. The 16:9 aspect ratio feels out of date, with many
The build quality also leaves something to be desired. It has a significant weak spot in the middle of the hinge and lid. That’s common in plastic
For the performance it has, the Aspire Vero is also quite chunky. It’s 0.7 inches thick, which matches
Then again, it matches the
The Acer Aspire Vero features a good mix of ports, though it’s a bit old-school. On the left side, you’ll find two USB-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet jack, a USB-C port, and the laptop’s proprietary charging port. Unfortunately, this is the only way to charge up the laptop while using the device, as the USB-C port can only juice up the battery while powered off. Too bad.
On the right side, you’ll find the headphone jack and Kensington lock. I would have preferred at least one of the USB ports on this side for convenience’s sake, especially if you plan on docking up your laptop to other peripherals in a home office setting.
As for wireless connectivity, the laptop supports both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
The Acer Aspire Vero has a comfortable key keyboard that I adopted as my main typing device without any large pain points. The keycaps don’t wobble too much, and the 1.5mm of key travel feels adequate.
I’d have preferred larger keycaps, though, especially for this large of a laptop. It leads to fewer typos and more confident typing. The laptop includes a number pad off to the right and a large touchpad below. The “R” and “E” keys are stylized to be written in reverse (to stand for Acer’s environmental values), which stands out as a bit odd.
The keyboard backlighting is extremely limited on the Acer Aspire Vero. Only one level of brightness control is offered — so it’s either on or off. That’s not terribly helpful.
The touchpad is where my nitpicks become annoyances.
The touchpad below is where my nitpicks become annoyances. Touchpads are infamously bad on cheap
The fingerprint reader is located in the top left corner of the touchpad, which is one of my least favorite locations, though the touchpad is large enough to avoid hitting it all the time.
I knew there was something off about the Acer Aspire Vero’s display right away. The colors have a sickly desaturated look. It’s not flattering. The degraded color saturation is something we’ve noted in other Acer Aspire notebooks in the past year as well. It’s not quite as bad as the
It’s easy to see exactly where Acer cut some corners. The screen is dim at just 233 nits, has poor color saturation (65% of sRGB), and has mediocre color accuracy. It ain’t pretty. Not uncommon for a laptop around $500, but for the $899 configuration I reviewed, it’s a letdown. You could buy either an M1 MacBook Air or Ryzen-powered Surface Laptop 4, both of which have great screens, for just $100 more. Of course, you’ll get less memory and storage in those base configurations, but the difference in display quality, battery life, and performance will be quite noticeable.
When it comes to the design and display, it’s important to remember that this is a beefed-up version of a $700 laptop. Don’t be confused by starting prices. For example, the MacBook Air has a $999 starting price, but you’ll have to pay $1,399 for a similarly-configured MacBook Air compared to the $900 Aspire Vero.
The speakers are nothing to celebrate either. They’re located on the bottom edge of the laptop, pointing down at the table. The result is serviceable audio for the occasional video, but not something you want to use for long sessions of music or movie-watching.
The Acer Aspire Vero’s performance is handled well, so long as you keep in mind what category of laptop this is. Many
It’s a laptop meant to handle everyday tasks like web browsing, video calls, Office applications, and content streaming. You can stretch its capabilities with some light photo editing or design work, but you’ll hit limitations if you’re trying to encode
But as a standard work computer, tested in the complete PCMark 10 benchmark, the Aspire Vero handles itself as well as I’d expect. It even performed well in Cinebench R23’s single-core benchmark, where it landed the fastest score we’ve tested in this class of processor. The Aspire Vero does this without ever getting too hot, either internally or on the surface.
You can expect better performance and thermals here than from a smaller 13-inch laptop with the same processor. It should be noted that my configuration also came with 16GB of
|Cinebench R23 (single/multi)||Handbrake (seconds)||PCMark 10||3DMark Time Spy|
|Acer Aspire Vero (Core i7-1195G7)||1,583 / 5,156||1,568 / 5,358||167||5,082||1,555|
|Asus Vivobook Flip 14 (Ryzen 5 5500U)||1,102 / 5,432||1,180 / 7,579||131||5,191||1,099|
|Acer Aspire 5 (Core i3-1115G4)||1,215 / 2,544||1,274 / 3,128||300||n/a||652|
|Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1185G7)||1,549 / 5,431||1,449 / 4,267||204||3,859||1,589|
|Framework Laptop (Core i7-1165G7)||1,432 / 4,725||1,444 / 4,725||176||5,054||1,641|
To manage performance and battery life, Acer has an application called VeroSense, which is pretty much exclusively made to switch between the performance and energy-saving modes designed for the Aspire Vero. I say “designed,” but the “ECO” mode is really just a rebranded version of a power saver mode. It adds around an hour of extra battery life and makes the Vero both quieter and less powerful. Lastly, there is an “ECO+” mode, which forces the Windows Battery Saver mode to be permanently turned on. While yes, this is a more efficient mode to operate in, it’s not something that any other laptop can’t just as easily do.
In the default “Balanced” mode, which I ran all my tests in, the system’s fans were more than happy to spin up loudly when under load, but it is fairly quiet at idle.
I wasn’t expecting great battery life on the Aspire Vero, simply because of its price. When I saw that it only had a 48 watt-hour battery, my worries increased.
In my testing, the Acer Aspire Vero fell below average, even on a laptop of this type. It lasted just under six and a half hours in our light web browsing test. In my normal workload, though, the average time on a single charge went down to under 5 hours. The most you’ll get out of the Acer Aspire Vero is around seven and a half hours, which is how long the system lasted during our lightest, which loops a local 1080p video clip until the laptop dies.
The Acer Aspire Vero talks a big game with its sustainability efforts, but its actual contributions aren’t as significant as I’d hoped. I would never fault a company for making even small improvements toward more sustainable packing and manufacturing, but the Aspire Vero’s marketing outdoes the actual contributions.
The Aspire Vero also fills the role as one of the cheaper
Are there any alternatives?
In terms of
The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 is a solid alternative, offering a thinner-bezel design and a brighter screen for around the same price. The Asus Vivobook 15 offers a similar balance of features.
Lastly, the Surface Laptop Go is a smaller device but hits a similar price range for a more premium-level design.
How long will it last?
The Acer Aspire Vero should last you four or five years if you want it to. Coming preloaded with
Unfortunately, you’re on your own beyond the standard one-year warranty you get from Acer.
Should you buy it?
No. The Aspire Vero is slightly too expensive for its quality and doesn’t make up for it with enough truly sustainable initiatives.
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