Acer Aspire Vero, Unboxing and First Impressions

During the last “Black Friday,” I bought this laptop:

Acer Aspire AV15-51-58J2 39,6 cm (15.6″) Full HD Intel® Core™ i5 16 GB DDR4-SDRAM 512 GB SSD Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) Windows 11 Home. (Intel Evo certified, by the way)

I paid 599 instead of 899 euros, that’s a significant discount (especially for its features, mentioned above and detailed in the post)!

This laptop caught my attention a few months ago due to its “eco” and “green” construction choices. You might want to look at https://www.acer.com/us-en/laptops/aspire/aspire-vero to know more about the recycled materials used for its construction. Besides these “green” appealing characteristics, I immediately found the laptop “beautiful” and pleasant at the touch.

In this blog post, I’ll describe my first impressions.

Here’s the unpacking. As you can see, the packaging is made of recycled paper:

The charger is not USB-C, unfortunately. However, it is pretty light. And the only USB-C port CAN NOT be used for charging, but only for data transfer:

And look: one of the containers can be used as a stand for the laptop (excellent!):

Besides the standard papers and a very minimal getting started guide (pretty useless), there are also some ecological stickers 🙂

Also, the inverted “R” and “E” (for the three words “Reduce”, “Reuse”, and “Recycle”) are a slight distinguishing touch (they’re on the keyboard cover as well):

 

And there are lots of ports (right side: USB 2 and headphone Jack; left: one HDMI, two USB 3, one USB-C – only data, no recharging, and an ethernet port, besides the recharging port). To be honest, I did not find the ethernet very comfortable to use, but maybe I need to get used to it.

This means there’s no SD card reader… Too bad!

The back shows that it should be easy to open the laptop (standard screws), though I still haven’t tried that:

Oh, and there are no painted elements on the laptop: there are engraved symbols and writings:

You see that the surface is anything but smooth, but that makes the laptop very pleasant to touch. Probably the best laptop surface I have ever had! Yes, that part is mostly recycled too, which is ecologically good! 🙂

The two lights on the right will tell you when the battery is charging (“red”: charging, “blue”: fully charged) and when the computer is on:

Unfortunately, these are the only LEDs provided by this laptop. This means that unless the operating system tells you something, you cannot know whether the num lock or the capslock is selected.

When you open the laptop (you can also open it with one hand), the screen slightly lifts the back of the laptop so that the ventilation works better.

Let’s turn it on and enjoy the nice booting logo:

The keyboard is backlit, and the light is good enough to use the keyboard comfortably. Unfortunately, after the backlight turns off because you haven’t used it for a while, just using the touchpad will not turn the backlit back on: you have to press a key.

The keyboard is lovely! At least, that’s the best keyboard I’ve used. Yes, better than Mac air, DELL XPS, and LG GRAM. It’s a great pleasure to type on this keyboard. The only bad part of this keyboard is that the “ENTER” key (“Invio” in Italian) is large enough but too close (actually, attached) to the other key (“ù” in the Italian version). But that’s a problem only for the first minutes of usage. I got used to it.

On the contrary, the touchpad is only “OK”. My other above-mentioned laptops have a much better touchpad. Having said that, this touchpad is usable anyway, though a bit tougher in some external points. If you click on the center, you have no problem. The touchpad is probably too smooth, and if your fingers are wet, you will experience some friction.

Another mechanism I had to change immediately was the function keys. As it happens in several modern laptops, by default, a function key does not behave like a function key but as the other functionality provided by the key (e.g., volume adjustment, light adjustment, etc.). Luckily, I almost immediately found the procedure to achieve that (once and for all) on the Acer website:

  1. Enter the BIOS (you must press F2 while the laptop is booting when you see the “Acer” logo; in the BIOS, you can press Ctrl+S to enable hidden and advanced features; that’s not required for what I need to do in this specific case).
  2. Then, in the main tab, you must change the “Function key behavior” to “Function Key”. Save and restart.

The laptop comes with Windows 11 Home installed. If you read my blog, you know that I’m not a Windows fan 😉 (I have already installed a few Linux distros in multi-boot, and I’ll blog about that in the future). However, Windows 11 is not that bad (well… it’s still Windows 😉 The theme provided by Acer is, of course, “green,” and I like it:

Of course, there were already several updates to apply, which took about an hour! The Windows installation already comes with Firefox installed and several other software. Unfortunately, this includes Norton security, which I had to uninstall immediately (too heavyweight).

The screen resolution is 1920×1080 60,05 Hz and by default Windows already configures 125% scaling. I had to turn it to 150%. Otherwise, it was too fainting for my eyes to using it.

Power consumption is good. I’m used to LG GRAM, Dell XPS, and Mac air, which provide much better battery time. However, this Acer is not impaired in that respect: they say it should provide about 9 hours of battery time. Of course, it’s less, but I found that by using it pretty intensively, you get 5 hours. In that respect, Acer provides its own application (just search for “Vero” in Windows) for choosing a battery profile:

Note that between the usual “Powersave” and “Balanced,” you have an additional “Eco Mode”.

This program also allows you to set the battery charge limit (to increase battery life):

Moreover, there’s also the program “Acer Aspire Center” with other valuable utilities:

To summarize, my first impressions are great! I like this laptop, and for the price I paid, it has excellent features. Moreover, as I said above, I also find it very beautiful. I appreciate the “green” and “eco” ideas and design choices behind this laptop!

Concerning portability, my Dell XPS 13, LG GRAM 16, and Mac air are, of course, better, but in the end, this laptop weighs less than 2 Kg, so it’s heavier than the others mentioned, but still portable enough.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on this laptop, especially concerning Linux on this laptop 🙂

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