June 13, 2024

Acer breaks down plastic with a nice Shmick Eco laptop

The Acer Aspire AV15-51 is a green machine, with the biggest selling point being what went in rather than what you get out of it.

Unlike many other laptops that pride themselves on the mix between functionality and usability, the Acer is more interested in environmental impact.

While these considerations are still relatively new to consumer technology, the Acer Aspire AV15-51 seems to do a pretty good job of getting things going. Let’s stick with it.

The Acer Aspire AV15-51

WHAT IS IT?

Acer’s first eco-friendly laptop

PRICE

$999

LIKE IT

Keep the environment central—a nice $1,000 laptop with acceptable casual performance.

laptop

NO LIKE

The sound is a bit quiet. Only one configuration is available in Australia.

green machine

The Acer Aspire AV15-51 is a laptop that asks its user to care more about their impact on the environment. It doesn’t pretend to be a powerhouse or anything. Still, rather it’s a pretty basic laptop, perfect for basic uses like social media, communication apps, and anything you could want in a Chrome browser.

So let’s talk about the obvious point of this laptop because if you were talking about performance, it’s a pretty bland experience.

The AV15-51 prides itself on its durability, being made from 30 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, which Acer claims has saved about 21 percent in emissions. That’s still 70 percent newly introduced plastics, but it seems like a good place for such technology to start. In addition, the keys are made of 50 percent PCR plastic, and the chassis is designed for easy access, with screws that can be easily removed and a layout that won’t penalize you for opening the machine.

The packaging was also well thought out. The box is made entirely of cardboard, the plastic bag inside (in which the laptop is packaged) is made from recycled materials, the pulp in the box is made from 85 percent recycled materials, and the ink on the box is made from soy.

The effort this laptop puts in to tell you that it’s durable is phenomenal. While the chassis isn’t painted, I’m not convinced the chipped plastic flake design makes any sense (it seems that various sources of plastic make up the machine’s chassis). This design trend seems to go hand in hand with sustainable technology, with the same plastic flake color scheme as on the Microsoft ocean plastic mouse. In addition, in the corner of the device “Pos,t-consumer recycled” is engraved, where you would expect a sticker.

The R and E keys are reversed and colored lime green to reinforce “the crucial message” of reduce, reuse, and recycle, as Acer says on its website. Below the device are the words “For planet Earth” and an arrow pointing to an Earth with a leaf on it.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Go eco mode

Please make no mistake, this is not a performance computer, nor does it want you to think it is a performance computer. It’s a fairly basic laptop, perfectly suited to laptop stuff (documents, browser-based stuff, maybe some odd graphics-intensive program). Still, otherwise, it’s not like we’re dealing with a monster computer.

Running past the spec sheet, the laptop has an i5-1155G7 Intel processor mixed with Iris Xe Graphics. A backup of both is 8 GB DDR4 RAM.

The screen is a hefty 15.6 inches with a 1920 x 1080 resolution (LCD). The keyboard features a backlight that turns off when not in use (this makes specific keys a little hard to find in low-light environments).

On the sides, you’ll find an HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.2 ports, a USB-C 3.2 port, a headphone jack,, an Ethernet port, and the charging port.

Perhaps the most disappointing spec of the Acer Aspire AV15-51 is the storage, which comes in at just 256GB. This is not a small amount, don’t get me wrong, but it will fill up quickly if you’re not careful. I would be cautious if you flood this computer with large folders, media, and games.

In Cinebench, the laptop’s processor scored quite well. In the single-core test, the laptop scored 1,459 and finished in 2nd place; in the multi-core test,, the laptop scored 5,661 and placed 9th. When testing how many active YouTube tabs I could have opened in Google Chrome before noticing performance loss, the computer started stuttering at 21 bills while working on a Google Doc (each other account was playing a separate YouTube video) ). At 25 charges, the entire laptop froze for 10 seconds before continuing to stutter until I started closing tabs.

The battery performance was pleasantly surprising. I ran the computer with every setting turned on; I streamed Avengers Endgame from Disney+ and logged the battery drop every hour. It dropped from 100 percent to 78 percent in the first hour. By hour two, up to 61 percent, and by hour three, 44 percent. Since the speakers are under the unit, it’s a shame that the movie’s sound wasn’t great. It wasn’t very interesting and muted, so if you get this laptop, I’d recommend a pair of headphones next to it.

The Acer Aspire AV15-51 is next to a 2021 MacBook Pro. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Should I buy it?

If you’re looking for a more eco-centric laptop, it’s hard to look beyond the Acer Aspire AV15-51. Its commitment to eco-friendly design goes way beyond on the market today. However, we may see this change as companies develop more eco-focused approaches to technology development.

While I can’t recommend the Acer Aspire AV15-51 to an experienced user, it’s fine for home use as a regular computer.

Where to buy the Acer Aspire AV15-51

Acer $899 | Harvey Norman $898

Louise J. Robertson

I've been blogging for over ten years now and have found that writing is one of the best ways to express my thoughts and feelings on various topics. I am a passionate blogger who writes about topics like health and wellness, personal finance, cooking, tech, beauty and fashion, food and cooking, and other lifestyle topics. I love blogging because it's so easy and flexible; I can write anytime and anywhere I want!

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