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  • Soon Kai Hong

Acer Aspire Vero Review: A Value Eco-Friendly Laptop

To be very frank, as much as we love new electronics and the latest technology, you have to admit that quite a number of us turn a blind eye to e-waste. Acer wants to change that, and it starts with this funky but interesting laptop.

This is the Acer Aspire Vero and according to Acer, it is a green PC made from recycled plastic and it shows their commitment to a more sustainable future.

Now I’m not going to delve in too deep about the whole process and Acer’s plans for the future. That’s a story for another day. But I do want to at least mention what makes this laptop quite unique.

You might’ve already noticed the unique chassis that not only looks different but also feels very different from your typical laptop. That’s because 30% of the chassis is made using post-consumer recycled plastic, which Acer claims helps reduce about 21% in CO2 emissions, as compared to a similar-sized laptop made using standard plastic.

Now you might go thinking that it might be flimsier or less durable, but honestly, it’s not. It actually feels great and it’s kind of a breath of fresh air within this oversaturated market of all kinds of laptops. There’s a slight texture to it that isn’t rough, yet provides a nice grip when you’re just typing away and I find it kind of cool to see key text being debossed into the chassis.

Now yes, I’ll have to admit that it definitely doesn’t look as premium compared to other laptops out there, but it is definitely solid and durable and it’s actually paint-free.

In fact, one key advantage which I found with this chassis is that you barely feel any heat when the laptop is under load. The entire keyboard deck stays relatively cool to the touch even when I was running benchmarks on Cinebench and Resolve.

One other portion which makes use of PCR plastic would be the keycaps, up to 50%. I generally don’t find the texture of the keycaps to be much different from most other laptops. They feel great, I could type for long hours on it without much issue and it does feature white backlighting as well.

Interestingly enough, Acer decided to flip the R and E keys to hone in on the fact that this is supposedly the start of a revolution. Now I’m not too sure about that, but it does make the keyboard a little more unique.

So those factors are what actually make this laptop eco-friendly in nature, which isn’t much, I’ll have to admit. But now let’s go over the standard stuff and see what you actually get with such a laptop.

For a start, you get a standard 15.6-inch 1080p display running at 60Hz. Which isn’t bad… until you hear the rest of the specs. Just about 70% sRGB coverage and a max brightness of about 250 nits.

It’s a subpar display for sure. It’ll get the job done, but it isn’t going to wow you or anything like that and it’s almost unusable outdoors in direct sunlight.

The same goes for the 720p webcam, which is just fine and basically comparable to any other laptop with a 720p webcam.

And the story continues with the speakers, which are decent, just decent.

The trackpad, however, is where things start to get a little better, for it is pretty great. It’s smooth enough, tracks well and even has a fingerprint reader on the top left corner. No qualms about this.

Port selection is also quite great as well.

You get a single USB 2.0 and your headphone/mic combo on the right side, while you get your DC-in, RJ45, HDMI 2.0, two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A as well as a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C port on the left.

My only gripe would be that you can’t charge via the Type-C port, which is quite a shame. And it really is as well, because battery life isn’t that fantastic for such a laptop. It only has a 48 watt-hour battery which would last you just about five hours or so of average use.

Being able to top up via Type-C and a small little GaN Charger would’ve been amazing.

Depending on where you are, there might be several different configurations for the Vero. For us here in Singapore, we have the base model, and that’ll get you an Intel Core i5-1155G7, 8GB of RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD.

Performance is as expected from a CPU of this calibre, dishing out reasonable numbers in both Cinebench R23 and DaVinci Resolve. Thermals are even well in check. Of course, you won’t be doing much of the latter, given the quality of the display.

But for day-to-day use? It’s perfectly fine.

You can even game a little if you want to, though you do have to drop the settings a bit for a smooth experience.

So, what are my thoughts on this laptop?

Honestly, despite its shortcomings, I think it isn’t all that bad, especially if you’re just looking for an everyday laptop for your mom or dad. Sure, the display isn’t all that great and battery life will leave you wanting. But it has the performance and it’s just decent all around.

To wrap it all up, it’s also pretty affordable, coming in at just US$699.99 or S$1,298.

Now I’ll be very frank, it isn’t that eco-friendly of a laptop, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. If Acer could come up with a 14-inch model with a better display and battery life at a reasonable price, I think that would be far more desirable.

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