Acer ConceptD 5 CN515-51 laptop review: Kaby Lake G lightweight struggles with cost cutting


Acer has created an unusual multimedia laptop with the ConceptD 5 CN515-51.

It looks different from other models of this class and has a strong focus on a low weight, thanks to its chassis materials. That is a good thing, but the weak screen lid seems to be a negative side effect of this focus on a low weight. As for the ports, Acer did not include Thunderbolt 3. Also, an extremely slow SD card-reader is used, which is completely misplaced in a multimedia laptop that expensive. The same is true for the outdated Wi-Fi module, which doesn’t even support the newest Bluetooth standard. Both commendable and objectionable is the upgradability: While the RAM is completely soldered, the mass storage capacity can be upgraded quite easily, thanks to the free M.2 2280 slot.

The screen of the Acer notebook has a great color gamut coverage, its lower than promised brightness and relatively strong backlight bleeding do disappoint us though. In terms of performance, the ConceptD delivers roughly what we were expecting of Kaby Lake G. A good performance for a multimedia laptop, but many other laptops with newer Intel CPUs and dedicated Nvidia GPUs do deliver better performance. Unfortunately, this does not result in better battery life in return. Instead, the battery ruins the equation, since it is too small. Also, we have to negatively weigh in the coil whine, the performance limitation when the device runs on battery power and the worse than average speakers (for a multimedia laptop).

Not without compromises: Acer unfortunately decided to cut costs at crucial components. It can not compete with the more expensive competitors.

For us, it is unclear to whom Acer wants to market the ConceptD 5 CN515-51. The most prominent positive feature is the low weight and then the colorful screen. With these two strengths, it seems to be destined to be a photographers dream. This group however will probably be extremely annoyed by the slow SD card reader. Also, the low battery life is a problem on the go. The ConceptD can be used to play games, but it is not really made for that either.

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