Review: Acer Aspire V5-122P, The Return of the Netbook?

AMD strikes again

Our score: 2/5
Reviewed: October 25, 2013 11:25 AM
39 want this Me too!
PRICE HISTORY  
E-MAIL ME  
E-mail me when the price drops below:
£
REPORT PRICING ISSUE:  
STORES avail Price £ P&P
Amazon 290.31 + 0.00 See offer  
Very - 349.00 - See offer  
PC World - 349.99 - See offer  
Currys - 349.99 - See offer  
Published: October 25, 2013 11:25 AM
Updated: January 24, 2014 3:07 PM
By Rémi Jacquet
Translated by: Hugh Ehreth
The Acer Aspire V5-122P is an 11.6-inch laptop computer with an AMD A6-1450 processor inside. Acer is boasting its thin, lightweight frame, but we can't help but wonder: is this the return of the netbook, that species of laptop that went extinct several years ago after tablets and ultrabooks took over? Is the Aspire V5-122P just an anachronism, or does it really have something to offer in today's world?

Design2/5



Sporting an all-plastic body, we can't say the Aspire V5-122P is starting out on a good foot. The plastic doesn't smudge easily, it's true, but it doesn't give off the most elegant vibes, either. The bottom half of the chassis is offset with black plastic, only confirming our bad first impression.

Acer Aspire V5-122P

The keyboard has chiclet keys with a slack, flabby stroke. Your fingers seem to stick to the keys so much that it gets laborious to type on. The only positive thing here is the backlighting, only it isn't adjustable. Like most computers this size, the touchpad is only 9 x 5 cm. That's small, but it's precise and responsive enough not to make it too much of a handicap. It recognises only a bare minimum of commands, such as zooming, scrolling and the Windows 8 touch gestures.

Yet again we find a touchscreen that serves no real purpose, in our opinion. Touch functionality comes in handy in the Start Menu interface, but much less so on the classic Windows desktop. After all, standard laptop designs don't particularly beckon your fingers to reach up and tap and swipe on the screen.

Acer Aspire V5-122P
Acer Aspire V5-122P


As to be expected with an 11.6-inch laptop, there isn't much connectivity: just a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, a mini-RJ45 Ethernet port (adapter included), a headphone/microphone combo jack and an SD card reader. That's not much—just about the same as the 11" MacBook Air.

Acer Aspire V5-122P
Heat readings with the components under stress (°C)
Images taken using a Fluke Ti25 thermal imaging camera
 
Heat isn't a problem, though, as the body never gets above 39°C (102°F), nor is the fan noise, which never goes over 36 dB(A).

Display4/5



The Aspire V5-122P goes against the grain for laptop computers, in that the display is actually the strong point, whereas usually it's the weakest. The display is an IPS touchscreen with 1366 x 768 pixels, a technology that offers better viewing angles than TN panels.

The viewing angles are even further aided by the 1,350:1 contrast, which is quite simply one of the best ratios we've seen on a notebook. However, the brightness is 200 cd/m² at most, making the screen subject to reflections and glare when you have the lights on.

Acer Aspire V5-122PGrey colour temperature
 
Acer Aspire V5-122PGamma
 
Acer Aspire V5-122PDelta E


The colour fidelity is acceptable, I guess, with a Delta E of 5 (the ideal figure being 3 or less), but the colour temperature is nearly perfect at 6,300 K.

Audio3/5



There's nothing to say about the sound through the headphone jack. It's high in fidelity, dynamic, has a good stereo image and is loud enough to feed most external speaker systems.

Acer Aspire V5-122P

The built-in speakers completely lack sound at both extremities of the spectrum (lows and highs) and has low volume that thankfully helps it avoid over-saturation.

Configuration:

The model we were sent to review features an AMD A6-1450 processor, 6 GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 8210 video chipset and a 500 GB hard drive. Everything mentioned above refers to all versions of the Acer Aspire V5-122P, whereas the sections below apply only to the model we tested (see inset below).

Processing Power1/5



The AMD A6-1450 processor is extremely low in performance. It got a score of 35 in our in-house rating system (the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite has the same CPU and got 43, which we already thought was low). Any task that requires even the slightest amount of processing power will take time.

Comparing this to the similarly rated Sony Vaio Fit 15E, which has an Intel Core i3-3217U, it took this Acer almost three times as long (1 hour and 20 minutes) to perform our standard tests as the Sony (30 minutes).

Gaming1/5



The AMD Radeon HD 8210 graphics chipset (3DMark06: 2542) is no gamer's ally. Games that don't require much power, like FIFA 13, run fine with acceptable detail in the screen's native resolution, but that's about it. Don't even think about running something like Crysis 3, or your computer might explode.

Battery Life3/5



The Acer Aspire V5-122P holds out for 3½ hours of video playback (in airplane mode with the screen brightness at 100 cd/m², the keyboard backlighting turned off and headphones plugged in). That isn't much for a laptop, but at least it matches what Acer says. Not all brands would be so honest.

This isn't the lightest 11-incher out there (it weighs 1.4 kg, compared to the MacBook Air's 1.08 kg), but it will fit easily into a backpack or large purse.

2/5 Acer Aspire V5-122P DigitalVersus 2013-10-25 12:25:00

Pros

  • Good screen
  • Clean audio
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Very mediocre performance
  • Low battery life

Conclusion

The Acer Aspire V5-122P reminds us of the long-departed netbook, both for its body and its performance. Even the battery is disappointing. It's an even greater shame given that for once we find a laptop with a decent screen. For the over £350 that our model costs, you might as well get a tablet.

OUR SCORE 2/5
ADVERTISING
I'm looking for

DigitalVersus on...

Compare
HP Officejet 7610HP Officejet 4630
HP Officejet 7610HP Officejet 4630
Compare these products in the Face-Off
Find prices