Nowadays, it's practically a must for every tech product launch to include a segment on sustainability. Many manufacturers also have green initiatives, from the use of recycled materials to reducing e-waste (no bundled charger), and trade-in programs. But the product itself may not be that eco-friendly. At least not to the extent of the Acer Aspire Vero. Like last year's version, the 2022 edition has 30% of its chassis made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, along with several other green features. More importantly, it doesn't sacrifice performance in the name of the environment. The Vero is a capable mainstream laptop with solid performance, and outstanding battery life.
- 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel IPS display
- Intel Core i7-1255U processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics
- Windows 11
My Aspire Vero review set is the Mariana Blue model, which is named after the deepest point in the ocean, and is already polluted by plastic bags. It's an attractive blue with white specks that look like sea salt. I prefer it over the black or grey versions. The texture is slightly rough, with Acer fully embracing the recycled nature of the Vero's plastic chassis. Compared to a unibody metal chassis, the Vero's chassis and lid have some flex, but they didn't feel flimsy. I liked that the logos, such as the Intel Evo certification, are engraved on the chassis — no paint or stickers. Another big plus for the environment and DIY folks: The Vero uses standard Philips screws, making it easy to access the laptop internals for repairs or upgrades.
I wasn't a fan of the relatively dim display on last year's Vero. Acer appears to have fixed that in the 2022 version. The screen is not the brightest, but I no longer feel the need to use it at maximum brightness. Another improvement: The USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port can now replenish the laptop battery. The Vero still retains the barrel-plug power connector at the side, though Acer bundles a USB-C Power Delivery charger. The keyboard is shallow, but tactile. There's a bit of flex if you bash the keys really hard, but it's not noticeable for normal use. However, the touchpad is a tad cramped, especially with a fingerprint sensor taking up the top left corner. I did like how smooth it feels — almost like a glass touchpad — despite being made from ocean-bound plastic.
The Vero's 1080p webcam offers sharp images with auto-framing functionality that keeps my face in focus. But there's no privacy shutter, nor support for facial recognition. The Vero could also do with an additional USB-C port — especially if you happen to be charging it via the single USB-C port. But I'm nitpicking here since its HDMI, and two USB-A ports — in a 14-inch laptop — are probably adequate for most users. I tested the highest-end model, which comes with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Xe graphics, and a 1TB solid-state drive. The Vero felt responsive and quick when I was browsing the web or streaming videos from Netflix. For everyday computing tasks, the laptop was quiet, and only felt mildly warm.
The VeroSense app in the Acer Aspire Vero lets you switch between various power modes, including an aggressive power-saving Eco+ mode. You can also choose to limit the battery's charging capacity to 80% to extend its longevity. But honestly, I think most users probably won't need to enable the power-saving modes unless they forgot to charge the laptop. In our usual video-loop battery test at maximum brightness, the Vero lasted around 9 hours. That's excellent for a 14-inch laptop. To sum up, Acer has fixed most of my complaints about its predecessor in the latest Vero. It's a good, portable laptop that also happens to be greener than most (and wears that eco-friendly look with style). My Core i7 review set costs S$1,498, but prices start from S$1,098 for the base Core i5 model. It's available now from Acer, Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Acer.
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