Unboxing Acer's Aspire 5, a 15.6-inch FHD laptop with an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD, all for $549.99.
Interestingly, the scores from this PC aren't too different from the scores that I got on the Ryzen 5, which has six cores and six threads. I also included the Ryzen 7 4750U on there, and while that's a PRO chip, it's got AMD's version of what Intel calls hyperthreading, so it's eight cores and 16 threads. There are also scores from Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3, which uses last-gen Ryzen 3000 processors, and of course, scores from PCs that have Intel's latest and greatest.
As far as battery life goes, I got a solid six hours of real work from this laptop with the screen at 50% brightness and the power slider at the first notch above battery saver. AMD says you can get up to 10 hours, and I have no doubt about that. It all depends on what you use it for; for example, if you turn the brightness all the way down and stream local video, you might even do better than that.
For one thing, there's no Windows Hello, and that includes the lack of a fingerprint sensor. My biggest issue is the bare bones USB Type-C port. Not only does it not support charging, which is a complete deal-breaker for me, but I was also unable to use it to connect a USB Type-C monitor. Other than that, everything is great. As long as you're OK with using the charger that comes in the box and typing a PIN when you log into your PC, the Aspire 5 is pretty great, and it provides a lot of value. The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U offers top-tier performance, and with a 512GB SSD, you've got plenty of storage. It has a nice and big anti-glare display that you can easily use outdoors, and as an overall package, it's a pretty good deal for $729.