Acer Aspire Vero
+ Beautiful eco-friendly design
- Unimpressive display
+ Generous port selection
- Average battery life
+ Sturdy build
+ Easy to upgrade and repair
Today, we're reviewing a laptop that we've never done before, the Acer Aspire Vero, which Acer claims targeted towards the "eco-minded users". With more laptop makers making their efforts on reducing their impact on the environment, Acer's first step is the Aspire Vero. Is it more than just an eco-friendly laptop or that's just it? Read on our full review to find out!
Packaging and Design
Unlike most laptops, the Aspire Vero has been marketed for its environmental credentials from its packaging, materials, right to the laptop itself. Starting from the box that packs the laptop, it is made of 80% - 85% recycled paper pulp along with a paper sleeve that protects the charger. The slot that houses the charging unit inside the box can be easily folded into a laptop stand. Even the sheet placed between the laptop screen and keyboard is made of 100% industrial recycled plastic.
Onto the laptop itself, the chassis is made up of 30% PCR materials, and the keycaps are made up of 50% PCR. While it gives off an earthy vibe with a Volcanic Gray finish and yellow flecked pattern, resembling the texture of cardboard. It might not fit everyone's liking but I personally like its unique design and texture. On top of that, it's paint-free.
Acer is trying to stay true to the eco-friendly branding of this laptop with logos like Acer, Aspire Vero, Intel Core, and PCR (Post Consumer Recycled) engraved onto the laptop. Still, if you flip to the bottom, you'll see the familiar Intel’s Core i7 and Iris Xe stickers.
On the left, there are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, and an HDMI 2.0 port. The right houses a Kensington lock notch, a USB 2.0 port, and a headphone jack.
The underside of the laptop is secured with standardized screws, allowing for easy repairs, upgrades, and recycling.
Display and Audio
Opening the laptop cover, you'll be greeted by a 15.6" IPS Full HD display using Acer ComfyView, an anti-glare matte screen that reduces light reflection for a more comfortable viewing experience. Somewhat disappointing, the display brightness and color accuracy are just average so if you're thinking of buying it for creative work, rethink.
In practice, content looks washed out and a little dull on-screen. Of course, you can still view documents, pictures, and videos daily, but that's about it. You can't expect vibrancy or anything beyond.
One thing to note is that the webcam on top of the display doesn't have a privacy shutter so make sure you have it covered when not in use in case you fall as target of perverted hackers.
As for the audio, the speakers are powered by Acer TrueHarmony technology, which uses high-quality magnets in its speakers to produce a high magnetic flux, and then divided between speakers and results in more realistic sound reproduction.
The speakers at the bottom are loud and clear but without much bass. Since they're bottom-firing speakers, audio can be muffled if you place the laptop on your bed or a sofa. While they are loud and clear at high volumes, there's not much bass.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The backlit keyboard on the Aspire Vero fares decently for everyday use, featuring a row of function keys on the top and a number pad, which can be yay or nay depending on your needs. While I might depend on a number pad from time to time at work, in this case, I'd rather have the number pad gone because it's cramped together with the arrow keys. Which, as a result, I've experienced many typos especially when I'm typing at a faster speed.
To further deliver the eco-friendly message, Acer has purposedly designed the R and E keys in yellow and mirror them to reinforce the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" phrase. It may be a cute design but it could also be confusing for some if you're not used to the layout of the keyboard.
Also, unfortunately, the backlight is not adjustable so you take what you get. It would've been better and more eco-friendly if a multi-level backlight is available because a dimmer setting will reduce energy consumption.
The touchpad is roomy and spacious enough with an integrated fingerprint scanner located at the top left corner, which lets you log in to the laptop via Windows Hello.
Overall, the keyboard has a nice key travel and is responsive to every press. While the plastic touchpad can't beat glass touchpads on other laptops, I'm fine with it as it didn't fail me in terms of sensitivity and responsiveness.
The unit that I received features the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1195G7 clocked at 2.9GHz, integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.
During our synthetic benchmark tests, the Aspire Vero managed to score 1,161 points for single-core performance and 4,402 points for multi-core performance in Geekbench 5.
In the real world, it can handle more than ten tabs on Google Chrome with no signs of slowdowns whatsoever. The Aspire Vero is definitely a laptop for work use so I wouldn't recommend you to run triple-A titles on it because it's going to disappoint you.
Its 48 Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery couldn't even last for an 8-hour workday with it dying halfway after around 5 hours of usage, which is quite a turn-off for me. I could tolerate the underwhelming display but I actually expected better from its battery since the Aspire Vero is not a compact laptop; it's heavy to say.
Buy or no buy
The Aspire Vero is a fairly decent laptop that's wrapped under eco-friendly branding. For RM4,299, it features an Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM, a pretty generous amount of ports, and performs pretty well for everyday tasks. Also, you can save some bucks if you're capable of fixing or upgrading a laptop yourself, thanks to the standardized screws at the bottom.
Nevertheless, I expected a better display option from this one and a much longer battery life. If you're a person who's all about environmental-friendly devices, you might be able to overlook these.