The Acer Aspire Vero sets the standard for a laptop that is both usable, and impeccably sustainable. We tested the Aspire Vero, and list the pros and cons of this green piece of technology below.
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Acer launched the Acer Vero series as a green product range made with recycled materials.
When the company reached out to me to see if we were interested in giving a Vero Aspire a test-drive, I jumped at the chance.
Here’s my take on the Acer Aspire Vero. Spoiler alert – I love it!
Acer Aspire Vero 512 GB
Highlight: Super sustainable, user-friendly, high-quality laptop with great audio and video quality, a really cool aesthetic and a fun touchpad.
Note: I received the Acer Aspire Vero, model AV15-51-75QQ with a 512 GB hard-drive and 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7. There’s also an Aspire Vero (AV15-51-5155) with an 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor, 8GB DDR4 memory and a 256GB hard drive.
- Bigger screen and more functionality than Lenovo ThinkPad
- Sustainable materials
- 100% recyclable packaging
- EPEAT silver certified
- Very energy efficient + Eco-mode option is impressive
- Elegant, high quality feel
- Loud fan is distracting
- Large size for a laptop
My experience with the Acer Aspire Vero
Acer got in touch about its Vero series the same day my Lenovo ThinkPad experienced a dog-related accident (leaving me worried I’d be sans laptop and unable to work). Fortunately, the Lenovo lives to fight another day and remains my overall favorite sustainable laptop.
However, I’m so happy I got to give the Vero a test run and can highly recommend this laptop for anyone in the market for a more eco-friendly, green laptop. In fact, for many users, the Vero is probably going to be better than the Lenovo ThinkPad, simply because it has a bigger screen and much more upfront functionality than the minimalist ThinkPad. If you like your tech and you’re eco-minded, the Aspire Vero is a fantastic choice.
Before jumping in, here’s some quick info on the Acer Aspire Vero.
First, the Acer Vero series is made using:
- Post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR)
- Recyclable packaging
- Ocean-bound plastic waste.
For the Aspire Vero model I received, fully PCR plastic makes up 30% of the chassis and 50% of the keycaps. Acer documents that the chassis alone saves around 21% in CO2 emissions, demonstrating the importance of reusing post-consumer plastic.
The Red Dot Award-winning (2021) packaging is 100% recyclable and made with almost 100% recycled materials. You can also reuse and upcycle some of the packaging, which is a really nice touch (more on this below).
The Aspire is also EPEAT Silver-certified, which means it satisfies a whole bunch of sustainability criteria both for the environment and social responsibility. These include:
- Substance management
- Materials selection
- Product longevity
- Energy consumption
- Carbon footprint
- Corporate environmental performance and social responsibility.
The Acer Aspire Vero comes with VeroSense™ built in. This is Acer’s software that makes energy saving a breeze. Instead of running your laptop at full tilt constantly, the software offers prompts to toggle settings to save energy and can automatically streamline processes to conserve energy in a way that doesn’t compromise performance.
Some basic specifications about the Acer Aspire Vero
The Aspire Vero comes with Windows 11 Home installed and ready to go. It also boasts a whole whack of features, so here’s a quick run-down.
- A 15.6” FHD IPS display with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology
- Full HD 1920 x 1080
- Acer ComfyViewTM LED-backlit TFT LCD
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- 45% NTSC color gamut
- Wide viewing angle up to 170 degrees
- Ultra-slim design
- Mercury-free, environmentally friendly
- 90% recyclable screen
Processor and graphics
- 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1195G7 processor with 12 MB Smart Cache
- 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 up to 5.0 GHz DDR4 or LPDDR4x
- Intel® Iris® Xe graphics supporting OpenGL® 4.5, OpenCLTM 2.2, Microsoft® DirectX® 12
- DDR4 SDRAM support with 8 GB of onboard DDR4 system memory and 8 GB of dual-channel SO dim DDR4 system memory
In addition, the Aspire Vero offers WLAN:
- Super reliable Intel® Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201
- 802.11 a/b/g/n+acR2+ax wireless LAN
- Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
- 2×2 MU-MIMO technology
- Supports Bluetooth® 5.1
- Wi-Fi CNVi Interface.
The laptop measures 363.4 (W) x 238.5 (D) x 17.9 (H) mm (14.31 x 9.39 x 0.7 inches) and weighs 1.8 kg (3.97 lbs.) with 3-cell battery pack and one solid-state drive.
Ports and power
- A very light power adapter (3-pin 65 W AC adapter)
- A 48 Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery
- One USB Type-CTM port: USB 3.2 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
- Two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports with one featuring power-off USB charging
- USB 2.0 port
- HDMI® 2.0 port with HDCP support
- 3.5 mm headphone/speaker jack, supporting headsets with built-in microphone
- DC-in jack for AC adapter
- Ethernet (RJ-45) port.
Firmware, software, hard-drive and security
- Microsoft Cortana
- Acer TrueHarmony™ sound
- Acer PurifiedVoice™ with AI noise reduction.
This laptop definitely feels very secure, with potential for BIOS user, supervisor, and HDD passwords and a Kensington lock slot.
As for the hard drive, this is a solid-state drive with 512 GB PCIe Gen3, 8 Gb/s, NVMe. Even I’m going to struggle to fill 512 GB, but I’ll sure try (that’s a lot of baby photos and dog pictures!).
Webcam and audio
The webcam on my ThinkPad stopped working a while back, as did the mic, so I really could have done with this new laptop when putting together the Leaf Score eco-nursery course. If I had recorded it on the Acer Aspire Vero, the sound quality and video would have been amazing (as was the content, obviously). This is thanks to a HD webcam with 1280 x 720 resolution and 720p HD audio/video recording.
The one thing I’ll say about using the webcam and mic, though, is that the included antivirus software initially blocks most applications from accessing these pieces of hardware. You’ll definitely want to have a trial run of Zoom, Google Meet, or whatever platform you want to use, ideally well before your meeting. You may, like me, need to fiddle around with some settings to tell the antivirus and firewall software that it needn’t be quite so bullish.
Keyboard and touchpad
As mentioned, the keyboard is huge and includes a ton of functions not often found on laptop keyboards. These include media control keys (printed on keyboard), for play/pause, stop, previous, next, volume up, and volume down.
The FineTip backlit keyboard has an independent numeric keypad, international language support, and a power button.
The touchpad is super fun to use! It took me a while to learn all the gestures, but now I absolutely love being able to control the volume in a single swipe, minimize windows and switch between applications, and scroll like a champ. I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the multi-gesture and fingerprint functions, so you’ll have a blast figuring them all out and finding those that make multitasking a breeze.
Out of the box
The Acer Aspire Vero arrived in a sturdy cardboard box with another sturdy cardboard box inside. The inner box is 100% recyclable and made with 85% recycled materials and is printed with soy ink. When I opened the product box I was really pleasantly surprised at how thoughtful Acer was with its design. No wonder the company won an award for this packaging from Red Dot!
The laptop nestles in two cardboard brackets made from 100% recycled paper pulp and is protected by a non-woven laptop bag made with 100% industrial recycled PET. There’s also a keyboard sheet inside the laptop made with the same recycled non-woven material.
The cables are housed in a simple paper sleeve and cardboard box. And here’s my favorite part: you get simple instructions showing you how to turn that box into an adjustable laptop stand. I’ve been using the stand for months now and it’s so handy, especially for an older laptop that tends to overheat when I demand too much of it (read: refurbished, heavily used ThinkPad).
You’ll also find some cute ‘Speak-out’ green stickers in the box. These are also made with 85% recycled paper and are designed to promote eco-friendliness.
What you won’t find in the packaging for the Acer Aspire Vero box is any virgin plastic, which really makes this a stand-out product for the industry.
First impressions of the Acer Aspire Vero
Right away, upon unsheathing the laptop, I was smitten with the neutral gray aesthetic, accented by cheery yellow in just a few key places (like the screen attachments and rubber grips on the bottom.
Instead of a smooth, painted chassis, this laptop has a lovely (lightly) textured feel. And because it’s made with recycled plastic, you can see tiny specks of white, blue, and yellow in the mix. These are really subtle but make for a distinctive and quite stunning look. It’s also nice to know that the lack of paint means fewer virgin materials and resources used and no issues with greasy fingerprint marks and chipped or faded paint in the future.
Upon opening the laptop, my copyeditor’s eye immediately spotted a cute feature: Acer has mirrored the letters on the R and E keys and given them a yellow tone instead of white. It’s subtle, but it’s a nod to the Vero series’ core values of rethinking, recycling, and reducing.
Another thing I noticed immediately about the Aspire Vero is that it is a lot bigger than my current ThinkPad. Sure, the ThinkPad is tiny, but the Aspire seems especially huge to me. It’s also quite a bit heavier, which offers some reassurance of it being pretty robust should more toddler/dog accidents occur.
I was also told by Acer that the Vero’s interior structure is “reinforced with honeycomb columns underneath the chassis to enhance rigidity with even more pressure and twist resistance.” I don’t plan on trying to wring out the laptop, but it’s nice to know it resists the twist anyway.
As for why the Aspire Vero is so big, this is partly to accommodate that big, beautiful screen and partly to make it futureproof. The extra space allows for hardware upgrades and repair to extend the lifespan of the laptop. This is all part of Acer’s clever approach to sustainable design, which also includes standard screws rather than glued components. Though the Acer Aspire doesn’t have an iFixIt rating yet, I suspect it would get a really good score.
The Aspire Vero also impressed me with its screen. This offers incredible quality. We gave it a test run with a Pixar movie and couldn’t stop commenting on the image quality and how good the speakers were. I’ve also used this laptop for meetings and it’s so nice to have a good amount of space to see everyone’s face so clearly and when sharing my screen.
As for gaming, that’s not my thing, so I’ll have to just go with other reviewers who say the Aspire Vero performs super well. I’m not surprised, given the quality of the screen and the overall quality of the laptop build.
A summary of what I like about the Acer Aspire Vero
I’ve mentioned a lot of great stuff about the Aspire Vero, so let’s summarize some of its best features (including a few I’ve not yet noted!):
- Easy repairability, recyclability, and upgrade capacity
- Screen panel is 90% recyclable and mercury-free
- Super functional touchpad and keypad
- Really great audio and video quality
- A huge amount of storage space and great memory
- Feels robust and durable while still being attractive
- Made with more recycled plastic than most other laptops.
In addition, because there’s no paint on the chassis, the laptop won’t face issues such as chipped or faded paint or greasy fingerprint marks as befall most black plastic laptops.
Things I don’t like about the Aspire Vero
The main thing I dislike about the Aspire Vero is its incredibly loud fan. It started up almost as soon as I turned on the laptop, and that amount of fan noise always suggests to me that a laptop is struggling. I don’t think this is the case with the Aspire Vero, it’s just that the fan is really powerful and, unfortunately, very loud.
The fan is so loud that I struggle to hear people talking quietly on Zoom meetings. The good news, though, is that it doesn’t seem to stop people from hearing me okay. This is likely because of the AI noise reduction software included with the Aspire.
One other feature built into the Acer Aspire Vero is an eco-mode courtesy of VeroSense™. This software allows you to choose between four modes that have been optimized for energy efficiency to preserve battery life.
The four performance modes are:
- Performance (presumably for high-demand applications, like when gaming or working on huge files)
- Balanced (balancing performance and energy use)
- Eco (to minimize energy use a little)
- Eco+ (for when you really want to eke out of every bit of battery life left).
Interestingly, one way to quieten the fan a little is to switch to Eco or Eco+ mode. This is because the fan speed is 3800 or 4200 rpm in those modes, compared to 4800 in Balance mode and 5300 in Performance mode. Volume settings also drop with Eco and Eco+, with Performance mode clocking in at 46 decibels, Balance at 43, and Eco and Eco+ at 37 and 40 dBA.
Acer says that VeroSense™ is user-friendly, but I’ve honestly not used it more than once, to play around. I tend to forget that it exists as there are no consistent prompts to switch between modes or conserve energy. When you do go into the VeroSense interface, it’s pretty straightforward, but who’s going to remember to do that and who is really going to care to see how much energy they’re conserving by choosing a different mode. While it’s a great idea, it seems a bit gimmicky if it’s not automatic.
Sustainability at Acer
Acer has committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2035 (as part of the RE100 initiative) and is working on reducing its energy consumption across business operations. It also purchases Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset 100% of its energy use in Pan America each year and is considering offsetting residual emissions with carbon offsets. Acer leases its facilities, meaning it is limited in other ways to reduce its energy impact.
Acer was awarded Silver Class in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook for 2022. The yearbook includes (larger) companies scoring top marks on environmental, social and governance measures. Acer has also been listed for eight years on the MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes, with an AAA rating. This index represents the most sustainable companies working in technology hardware, storage and peripherals.
Acer has been on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Emerging Markets Index for eight years and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for six years running.
Final thoughts on the Acer Aspire Vero
If you’re looking for a more sustainable laptop that will earn you envious looks in meetings or coffee shops or just from your spouse, the Acer Aspire Vero is a dream. It is really quite a stunning piece of technology, aesthetically speaking, and it performs incredibly well to boot.
Chances are that if you use this laptop in public, you’ll end up having a conversation about sustainability with a stranger or two. The eco aspects of the laptop are subtle but there to see, and definitely worth talking about!