Trending February 2024 # Review: Lxory’s Dual Wireless Charger Is An Affordable And Versatile Option With Usb # Suggested March 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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We covered the release of the LXORY Dual Wireless Charging Pad back in January. The new charger offers three input options — including USB-C and Lightning — and an affordable price tag. Now, we’ve had a chance to use the new wireless charger for several weeks, read on for our full review.

LXORY’s new offering seems to be the first wireless charger to offer three input options for powering the device. These include USB-C, Lightning, and microUSB.

Other pros to this wireless charger include an affordable price tag of $34 (includes power adapter and cable), black and white variants, and the option to charge three devices at once.

Specs

Charges two iPhones wirelessly at 7.5W max for iPhones (9W for other devices)

Three power input options: USB-C up to 18W, micro-USB at 10W, or Lightning at 5W

Additional USB-A output at 5W

Includes 18W power adapter and USB-C to USB-A cable

Built-in heat sensor to protect from overheating

Qi compatible

Materials & build quality

LXORY’s Dual Wireless Charger is made out of plastic. While I wouldn’t describe its build quality as robust or overly solid, but it feels fine enough for such an affordable product.

I tested out the black version which features a matte black base with a glossy black top. The bottom also features four anti-slip rubber feet.

The charger features two LED status indicators, a red one for when the unit is receiving power and a blue light for when your iPhones are charging.

As for why there isn’t an MFi certification for the Lightning port, LXORY told us that it doesn’t apply to this scenario since the connection just delivers power to the charger, and doesn’t connect directly to an iPhone.

LXORY offers a generous guarantee that simply states “If we can’t fix it, you’ll get your money back” without mentioning any timeframe.

In use

The first thing I noticed about this product is how convenient it is to have a dual wireless charger. My wife and I often end up needing to charge our iPhones at the same time and we’ve found it really useful to have this charger in our kitchen.

As for flexibility, I really like that the Dual Wireless Charger offers multiple input options. It comes with the USB-C cable and 18W power adapter, but having Lightning functionality is handy as well.

In my testing with the 18W power adapter, I gained 25% battery charge in 55 minutes and it took 1 hour 51 minutes to increase 50%. While it’s no surprise that wireless charging is slower than fast charging via a USB-C to Lightning option or even 12W adapter with a standard Lightning cable, I think the convenience of wireless charging has many handy use cases.

With the glossy finish on the top I’ve found that a naked iPhone, (particularly X or 8) will sometimes slide/vibrate off the charger. This isn’t specifically a problem with LXORY’s charger, as it happens will all wireless chargers, but it’s something to keep in mind.  Keeping a case on my iPhone while charging solved this issue (I’ve also used the charger up against a wall to keep a naked iPhone in place).

Another thing I noticed that had me a bit disappointed was that this charger doesn’t seem to work with a USB-C to USB-C cable connected to a MacBook Pro. However, it may be a limitation on the Mac side, as this did work when I used a USB-C to USB-C cable to power the charger with my HyperDrive USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 Hub attached to my 15-inch MacBook Pro.

One last quibble is the LED indicators. They are quite bright and can be disturbing if using the charger in your bedroom. Luckily, it’s easy to position an iPhone on an angle to cover the lights, but continue charging.

Conclusion

Overall, I think the LXORY Dual Wireless Charger is worth picking up if you’re considering picking up a wireless charging solution. With flexible input options, an included power adapter (some major brands omit these) black and white and a great price, there’s a lot to love.

Pick up the LXORY Dual Wireless Charger for $34 on Amazon Pick up the LXORY Dual Wireless Charger direct from LXORY

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Review: Plugbug World By Twelve South, The Versatile Little Charger Apple Should Have Made

Aren’t you sick and tired of those unsightly, clunky wall chargers lying underneath your desk? I’m all for simplification so solutions that cut down the number of power adapters needed to juice up my devices are bound to win my attention.

Twelve South’s PlugBug World is a cute hybrid charger which connects to any MacBook brick or Apple USB wall charger.

By integrating an additional 2.1-Amp USB port, this compact accessory can quickly recharge any iOS device, or a lower-powered USB device, while feeding power to a MacBook at the same time.

Continue reading as I let you in on the PlugBug’s little secrets, such as its cunning adaptability, versatility and smart design choices that make it stand out from other products and turn it into an indispensable companion in your mobile arsenal.

What is it?

In a word, it’s the charger Apple should have made itself.

Basically an international edition of the multi-purpose PlugBug that Twelve South originally launched as an accessory for MacBooks, the World includes five different snap-on plugs so you can use it with most power outlets around the world.

These country-specific tips give intrepid world travelers the flexibility to use the accessory with standard US/Canada/Japan wall plugs, three-blade UK/Hong Kong/Singapore plugs, two-tube Continental Europe ones, diagonal blade Australia/New Zealand plugs and a straight-blade system used in China.

How does it work?

The accessory packs in a power adapter, a USB charger and a metal tip. The built-in USB port puts out 10 watts of power at 2.1 Amps, allowing you to juice up a power-hungry iPad or fast-charge an iPhone (which ships with Apple’s 5W USB Adapter) or any lower-powered USB device.

Its multi-purpose metal tip makes it easy to snap the World conveniently onto the standardized metal prong found on Apple’s cleverly designed MacBook and USB chargers with the white removable duck-head.

In addition to recharging both your Mac notebook and an iOS device, attaching it to Apple’s USB adapter effectively doubles the number of USB ports.

Versatility and Uses

As mentioned before, sliding the PlugBug onto a MacBook brick and attaching a mobile device to its USB port enables a scenario where both your Mac notebook and a favorite iOS device charge simultaneously. This is the most common use of the World that the vast majority of users will immediately recognize.

A less-obvious scenario calls for attaching Twelve South’s charger to an Apple USB Power Adapter. This configuration gives you two USB ports so you can simultaneously charge, say, an iPhone and iPad.

Of course, it can charge other USB-powered mobile devices as well, such as LTE hotspots, non-Apple tablets and smartphones, portable wireless speakers and so forth. Finally, the World can act as a standalone charger: simply slide a third section of the PlugBug into the main body for seamless appearance.

Design and Build Quality

The PlugBug World bears all the hallmarks of Twelve South’s sophisticated and enduring design. Its smooth plastic enclosure is sturdy and glossy, giving the World a premium feel. Twelve South’s design language isn’t just a visual dichotomy between the sexiness of the World’s striking red appearance and the coldness and neutrality of Apple’s snow white chargers, but also serves a very practical purpose.

As in, red makes the World easily identifiable on travels, making it stand out in your backpack. I’ve also found that the World’s fire-red appearance has made it a lot easier to spot my power supply in an instant.

So that’s design.

Now, I’m cognizant of the fact that some people have complaints on build quality of Twelve South’s products. I’m not really sure where that’s coming from as this has not been my experience with the PlugBug World, or other Twelve South products for that matter.

As someone who blogs for a living, I write in a variety of settings. I must have plugged my World into dozens of different wall outlets in hotel rooms, dormitories, apartments, coffee shops and restaurants.

Even though it’s been my daily driver for the past six months or so, it has yet to show any signs of wear and tear stemming from daily use.

Verdict

The PlugBug is compact and charming.

Measuring 2.57 inches (6.53 cm) wide, 2.44 inches (6.2 cm) tall, 1.14 inches (2.9 cm) deep and weighing 0.22 pounds (102 grams), it’s comparatively smaller than a MacBook brick, slightly bigger than an iPad charger and a tad taller than the original PlugBug.

A handy, small pouch is included to stowe both it and the plugs inside while you travel, commute to work and so forth.

By the way, Apple is now shipping its iPad Air 2 and iPad Air with a 10W USB Power Adapter. The iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2 come with a 10W USB Power Adapter, while the original iPad mini (and all iPhone models) include a 5W USB Power Adapter in the box.

Final Thoughts

The crazy-useful PlugBug World is the only travel charger you’ll ever need.

It’s incredibly versatile and way more capable than Apple’s $40 World Travel Adapter Kit. For just a $5 extra over Apple’s kit, the PlugBug World frees up USB ports on your Mac while giving you double the power of many existing wall chargers.

Now, I’m perfectly aware that a $45 charger may not be your cup of tea. But bear this in mind: price is important but satisfaction is what you pay for.

In that regard, Twelve South’s nifty little charger delivers.

Summing up, the World simultaneously charges your MacBook and your favorite iOS device, or any USB-powered accessory for that matter. It includes handy world adapters for hassle-free plugging into most wall outlets you’ll encounter.

And piggy-backing it on Apple’s own 10W/12W USB power adapters turns it into a standalone charger with double the number of USB ports so you can charge two iOS devices at the same time.

What more could a power user ask for?

Pros

Convenient — compact design, carrying bag included, provides twice the power of many chargers, frees USB ports on MacBooks

Versatile — adds a 2.1-Amp USB port to any MacBook brick, can be used on its own or in conjunction with Apple’s wall chargers to double the number of USB ports

Global — ships with 4 different slide-on AC plugs for use with non-American-styled wall blades that are interchangeable between iPad/iPhone USB chargers and MacBook power bricks

Good value — Costs just $5 more than Apple’s World Travel Adapter Kit while replicating its functionality and doing so much more

Cons

Not upgradeable from the previous PlugBug model

Power plugs are non-collapsable

Does not put out 2.4 Amps of power like Apple’s 12W wall charger does

Interested?

The PlugBug World is $45 over at Amazon.

Which third-party chargers are your favorites and why?

Surfshark Vpn Review: Affordable, But Is It Reliable And Secure?

The digital world is essentially a slippery slope in 2023. One wrong step online, and before you know it, your data and your identity might be at risk. However, many rely on Virtual Private Networks (or VPNs) to mask their identity online. But in a market full of attractive VPN service offerings, it’s difficult to get behind a VPN company that does what it says without making false promises. One such contender in this market is Surfshark, a VPN service provider promising total security while being light on the wallet. Does it live up to these claims? Well, I put that to the test and bought a membership recently. I’ve been using Surkshark VPN for a few days now, and here’s what I think about the service. I will be talking about the VPN’s best features, speed and performance, the ability to unlock certain streaming services, privacy policy, and pricing in detail.

Surfshark VPN Review (2024)

While my review will cover Surfshark’s offerings in detail, you can always look at it all from a glance using the section below. However, I strongly suggest reading the entire review to find out if this VPN service is a good fit for your needs or not.

Surfshark VPN: Cut to the Chase

Poised to protect an online user’s privacy and security, Surfshark is a VPN service that creates a secure connection and anonymizes all the browsing activity of the user. Using the fastest and secure WireGuard Protocol, Surfshark gives no substantial drop in the VPN speed while maintaining privacy with a prejudice online.

With a slew of added features, including Multi-Hop, Split Tunneling, Kill-Switch, no device limit, and a friendly privacy policy, Surfshark is an impressive VPN service. Top that off with prices that start at as low as $2.5 per month, recommending Surfshark is an easy call to make.

Surfshark VPN: Pros and Cons

PROSCONSConsistent speed and performanceBrowser extension could use more settingsFast WireGuard Protocol with capable alternativesOccasional server-loadFriendly privacy policyCleanWeb feature doesn’t work well on all browsersRock-bottom pricesSome users might not like the VPN’s shift to the NetherlandsEasy to use platform appsKnowledgable and responsive customer support

Surfshark VPN: Plans and Pricing

When it comes to VPNs, it’s always better to go in for the long haul compared to paying out monthly. Since Surfshark isn’t the only kid on the block, I decided to check out the prices of its competitors as well. However, I was pleased to find out that Surfshark has one of the most affordably priced VPN services on the market. Moreover, Surfshark unlocks all the premium features once you get a subscription instead of holding back some of them (via a different ultra-premium plan) to extort more money from you.

Compared to players such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost, Surfshark offers the most value for money in its 2-year plan. Moreover, the company itself regularly holds sales that offer discounts going as high as 81%. And if you’re someone anxious about dumping a chunk of money on a VPN at once, Surfshark also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. With that said, here’s how much you will have to pay to get a Surfshark VPN subscription:

Subscription Plan TenurePrice1-month plan$12.951-year plan$47.88 or $3.99/month2-year plan$59.76 or $2.49/monthWith a healthy variety of affordable plans, Surfshark can be for everyone

Surfshark VPN User Experience

As a typical online user who is always short on time, I look for apps that are easy to use and still do the job effectively. Surfshark nails that right from the very beginning. A simple download and sign-in got me up and running within just 2 minutes. The VPN comes with a unified scheme of apps available on PC, macOS, iOS, Android, and even as extensions for your favorite browsers.

Mac and Windows Desktop App

Surfshark incorporates a simple two-column design on its apps and extensions. Connecting to a server itself is as simple as tapping on a country’s name. That’s it. Within a few seconds, your connection will be established, and you will be located in New York. While I would have appreciated a map selection to sort through countries, the list itself is to the point, and you have flags to represent the countries.

Android and iOS Mobile App

The Surfshark VPN mobile apps on Android and iOS share the same simplicity that is demonstrated by a clean and sleek design that just works. A quick tap on a server got me to the country, and I could see the finer details at a glance, including my new IP address, encryption status, and more.

Like the PC apps, the Settings tab holds a lot of options, but if you’re someone not wanting to touch anything, you can simply connect and forget about everything else. Throughout my time using these apps, I didn’t encounter any major bugs or issues that caused me grief. While my iOS app did have trouble connecting to a Boston server twice, that little annoyance didn’t happen after that.

If you’re a daily joe who wants to connect to a VPN server without jumping through hoops, you will love Surfshark’s no-nonsense approach. It makes a potentially frustrating process really simple.

Supported Countries and Server Locations

When it comes to location, Surfshark has made sure to spread out its servers across the world. Whether you are in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific or the Middle East, and Africa, there are a plethora of servers distributed. While you might encounter a loaded server once a week, the healthy variety of servers means you can easily switch to a different one and still have a fast and secure experience.

Speed and Performance

No matter how well a company packages a product, it is no good if it cannot perform. To see if the Surfshark VPN can actually give me a decent connection speed, I decided to connect to 5 different servers around the globe (London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Using a connection that offers me native download and upload speeds of 387 Mbps and 304 Mbps, respectively, it was now time to put the shark to the test.

The VPN service handled them all on the chin as my connection maintained extremely fast connectivity. The download speed never went below 320 Mbps, and I actually gained 10Mbps on upload speed in Singapore. The connection itself happened within seconds and was stable. I also checked the connection for packet loss by running the VPN through multiple games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, and even GeForce NOW. I encountered no packet loss, which was something I was afraid might happen.

Consistent Performance Across Protocols

One of the reasons for the high speed and stable connection is Surfshark using the new, fast, and secure WireGuard Protocol. This allowed me to connect to any server of my choosing and still retain the Internet performance I have come to know and love.

With fast speeds around the globe and over 3200 server locations, Surfshark is a VPN made for speed. While using the different protocols might affect your experience, I loved the general consistency and stability that Surfshark offers when it comes to connecting and expecting good bandwidth from a VPN service.

Is Surfshark Good for General Browsing?

When it comes to general browsing, Surfshark is as plug-and-play as you would expect. By simply choosing the country of your liking, you can open a web browser and get on the Internet. As you would expect, websites recognize you from the virtual country you’re now in and show settings based on that. Furthermore, if you’re a user living in a place that blocks VPN ports, you need not worry as Surfshark’s Camouflage aka Obfuscation mode can grant you access while using the OpenVPN protocols.

However, Surfshark performs exceedingly well when it comes to using the Internet casually and accessing websites and apps that have been geo-locked.

How Good Is Surfshark for Streaming?

Surfshark has a reputation for unblocking over 30 Netflix libraries around the world and a plethora of other streaming sites. As a Netflix user, I decided to put that to the test and connected to a few different VPN servers, including Japan, Canada, Australia, France, the US, and the UK. Surfshark performed exceptionally well when it came to streaming Netflix movies and TV series from around the globe. There was a glitch on the PC version that didn’t allow me to connect initially, but I fixed that by restarting the app.

I experienced no drop in quality or performance, and Netflix did not detect the presence of a VPN during the streaming. With geo-locked shows now at my disposal, I had fun watching Japan-exclusive Netflix shows and anime while sitting in India.

However, I didn’t stop there. I tested Surfshark out on other services including Disney+, AppleTV, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, and even YouTube TV. My overall experience was amazing, and like before, I had no drop in performance or having to sit for the video to buffer. I managed to do that for all three of my devices simultaneously, considering Surfshark has no device limit.

How Secure Is Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark by itself is designed in a way where you don’t have to worry about security. No matter which server you’re connected to, nobody can see what you’re up to online. It is powered by Surfshark’s audited no-logs policy. This means that VPN itself keeps no records about your activity online, including what you do, download, and even your IP address. Surfshark has been audited twice by Cure53 testers to see if these claims stand true, and they still do.

The company used to operate under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, but has since shifted its HQ to the Netherlands. While the Netherlands is under the Nine-Eyes Alliance, the VPN company maintains it’s under no obligation to log any of our data which means the no-logs policy stands. Users get the added benefit of RAM Only servers, which means no data can be physically taken and is wiped right after use. Besides the excellent no-logs policy, some of the Safety Surfshark features that impressed me were:

Encryption and Tunneling Protocols

Encryption is the process of ciphering data, so it’s unreadable to third parties. Like other VPN services, Surfshark also has data encryption support. However, what’s refreshing is that instead of the standard AES-256 encryption, the Surfshark VPN offers AES-256-GCM, which is an updated and more secure version of encryption. So if you’re worried about what little data you share not being secure, don’t be.

Even though I did mention the various protocols Surfshark offers, it’s easy to recount them because of their sheer performance. The most modern and fastest remains WireGuard which Surfshark uses in most cases. However, the company claims that your mileage may vary, so experiment with other protocols to find the best fit if you do end up getting a VPN subscription.

Multi-Hop Makes Things More Secure

A thing I was concerned about was the VPN leaking DNS queries, so I resorted to checking it out myself. Using a DNS Leak Test, I found that Surfshark VPN was extremely airtight and did not leak any of my information.

Kill-Switch

Like other VPNs, Surfshark too has a kill-switch feature that will completely disable your Internet unless you’re connected to a VPN. This is especially helpful when it comes to protecting your real digital identity from being leaked.

There was a time when this feature used to cut off the Internet even if one deliberately turned the VPN off. Surfshark has since fine-tuned Kill-Switch to only turn it on when the connection drops. The kill-switch is a must-have if you dabble in sensitive work online.

Clear Privacy Policy for Once

To sum it up, Surfshark promises that it does not collect important data like IP Addresses, your browsing history, traffic, or your overall network usage. This means you are free to use this VPN without being worried about timestamps or data leaks. However, the company does collect some information, including anonymized analytical data and some account information.

This is necessary to get the service working but never more than that. You even contact Surfshark and have them modify or further restrict what little data they have. There are also no third-party cookies that the company uses, which is good to hear. So yeah, as far as services go, Surshark is pretty transparent about it, and it shows on their website and offerings.

User Reviews and Customer Support

If you feel I’m being too positive about Surfshark, you’re not alone. Do some digging online, and you will see this VPN regularly receives praise from users and reviewers alike. That’s hardly a surprise given this VPNs performance. But does Surfshark help you out if you run into a problem?

Surfshark has wonderful customer support, which includes a full-scale knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, and E-Mail support should you need it. My experience of browsing through the knowledge base was swift as the info dump had answers to all sorts of questions.

Want Even More? Get Surfshark One

While the Surfshark VPN itself is a pretty good deal, there is even more in store if you’re willing to pay just a little extra. Introduced a little while ago, Surfshark One is an added list of services that can help you better protect your data and stay safe online. Surfshark One contains three added offerings – Surfshark Alert, Surfshark Search, and the new Surfshark Antivirus.

Surfshark Alert lets you protect your most important credentials, including your personal identity numbers, ID, passwords, and even credit card. In the event of a breach that involves your data, it will inform you of the same immediately, and you can take the necessary action.

Surfshark Search is essentially a search engine free of trackers that only displays organic results. This search engine is on its way to becoming one of the best Google alternatives. And finally, Surfshark Antivirus protects you from viruses and malware system-wide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q. What Is a VPN and What Can I Do with It?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software that creates a secure connection between your computer and the Internet. A VPN does that by encrypting and running your data through a virtual tunnel on servers based in remote locations. This encryption allows you to hide your identities, including your IP Address, browsing activity, and other connection details.

You can do all sorts of things with a VPN. However, most casual VPN users get it to unblock geo-locked content such as Netflix and Apple TV libraries from other countries. They also use it to visit websites their ISPs have blocked and engage in P2P file-sharing (Torrenting). A VPN keeps your data hidden while you go about your business.

Q. Why Can’t I Just Get a Free VPN?

You can, but you shouldn’t. Most free VPNs that offer their service do so with low data quotas. Once you exceed that, your connection is terminated, and you cannot use it until it’s reset. However, what’s concerning is that many free VPN services have shady terms of service that might dabble in sharing your data with third parties. It exposes you to all sorts of malicious things. Always try to opt for a paid VPN service.

Q. Should I Read the Privacy Policy Myself?

Absolutely. While Surfshark has a really user-friendly policy written in plain English, your luck might be different with other companies. Nevertheless, whenever you decide to go for a VPN service, take some time to read their policy and usage contracts. This will not only give you a better idea of what to expect, but you can see for yourself if the company does in the fine print what it claims on the website banner.

Q. Are VPNs Even Legal? Q. Can I Use a VPN on My Phone?

Should I Get Surfshark VPN?

I had always heard of Surfshark VPN but didn’t try it out until now. Now that I have, I can safely say that I am pleased by the experience Surfshark VPN has to offer. With extreme safety features like multi-hop, split tunneling, RAM Only servers, and a privacy policy I could actually understand, I felt safe using this service.

Get Surfshark VPN (starts at $2.5/ month for a 2-year plan, 82% off)

Acer Aspire 5 Review: An Affordable Laptop That’s Enjoyable To Use

Pros

Affordable price

Rugged build

Great keyboard

Good selection of ports

Cons

Subpar webcam

Annoying bloatware comes pre-installed

Touchpad is a little hard to use

Our Verdict

With its affordable price, decent performance, and robust build, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great budget option for most people.

Best Prices Today: Acer Aspire 5

Retailer

Price

$421.00

View Deal

Are you in the market for Windows laptop? Don’t want to spend more than $500? Then an Acer Aspire laptop is likely near the top of your list. Aspire laptops routinely take the top slot in Amazon’s list of best-selling laptops with some models dipping as low as $369.99. The model we tested for this review is the best of both worlds. It’s reasonably priced and it delivers pretty good performance.

Enter the Acer Aspire 5. This laptop packs an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, and is among the most expensive in the Aspire line. But that doesn’t mean it’s expensive. It has a suggested MSRP of $499.99 and sometimes retails for as little as $479.99. A Windows laptop with a recent Core i5 processor for less than $499.99 might seem too good to be true. Acer certainly makes sacrifices to achieve it. Still, the Aspire 5 is a competent and enjoyable laptop.

Acer Aspire 5 A514-54-501Z specs and features

The Acer Aspire 5 pairs an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 8GB of RAM and a PCIe solid state drive. Buyers interested in graphics performance should note the Core i5-1135G7 packs Intel’s Iris Xe graphics with 80 execution units and a maximum clock of 1.3GHz. This isn’t Intel’s fastest integrated graphics option, but it’s a big leap up from Intel UHD graphics found in most 10th-generation Intel Core hardware.

CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7

Memory: 8GB

Graphics/GPU: Intel Iris Xe

Display: 14-inch 1080p LCD

Storage: 256GB PCIe solid state drive

Webcam: 720p 

Connectivity:  2x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C (data only), 1x Ethernet, 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x 3.5mm combo audio, 1x DC-in barrel plug

Networking: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5

Biometrics: None

Battery capacity: 53watt-hour

Dimensions: 0.71 x 8.88 x 12.9 inches

Weight: 3.75 pounds

Design and build quality

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Acer Aspire 5 is what you get if you show up at Jo-Anne Fabrics and order 14 inches of laptop. They’ll roll it out, cut it, roll it back up, and hand it to you in a tall paper bag. It’s up to you to iron out any wrinkles once you get it home.

What the laptop lacks in flair is excused by its solid, durable feel. I’ll even admit the laptop has something in common with a would-be suitor on The Bachelorette: it’s generic, yes, but admittedly handsome. The silver-and-black trim is businesslike and the black keycaps look attractive. 

Well, there is one quirk. The display lid is slightly more bronze than the rest of the laptop. It’s not that noticeable in real life, though the difference is plain in photos. 

The laptop comes in at .71 inches thick and 3.75 pounds. It’s no featherweight, but it will easily slip into most laptop bags and is light enough that you can forget you’re carrying it at all. The power adapter is small and will slip into a small pocket on a backpack, messenger bag, or purse. 

Keyboard and trackpad

The Acer Aspire 5 has a great keyboard. The key layout is spacious and individual key travel is significant. Key feel is a bit vague but not so bad as to spoil the experience. I spent hours typing and found it to be quick, accurate, and comfortable. So long as the lights are on, at least.

The keyboard lacks a backlight. This isn’t uncommon in the $500 price bracket, but still worth noting, as it makes the laptop difficult to use in a dark room.

You’ll enjoy the Acer Aspire 5 most when it’s on a desk with an external mouse attached. This will let you enjoy the solid keyboard and ignore the lackluster touchpad. 

Display, audio

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Acer Aspire 5 packs a 14-inch, 1080p display with a matte coat. It’s basic, but not unremarkable, as it’s at once better and worse than expected.

Let’s start with the bad. The display has a limited color gamut, coming in at just 64 percent of the sRGB scale. Color accuracy is a bit worse than average as well, though not awful. The narrow color gamut and mediocre accuracy saps vibrancy from the display. 

The disappointing color performance is paired with a strong contrast ratio of up to 1300:1, which is respectable for a budget laptop. Brightness is good, measuring up to 290 nits. That’s high enough to make the matte display usable in nearly all indoor lighting. 

Don’t forget the display’s 1080p resolution. This might seem basic to enthusiasts, but budget buyers often find themselves facing laptops with an inferior 1366-by-768 display. Going with 1080p makes the Aspire 5 easy to use and ensures crisp, sharp text. 

A pair of downward-firing speakers provide the laptop’s audio. They’re loud at maximum volume and tuned towards a clear, crisp mid-range. The speakers are a good match for podcasts, YouTube, and some streaming, as dialogue always stands out. The maximum volume can compete with moderate ambient noise like that from a large fan or office HVAC system.

Webcam, microphone

The Acer Aspire 5 has a basic 720p webcam and a single microphone. Both perform well enough for most Zoom calls but never impress. Those hoping to look crisp in a video conference will need to budget for a decent external webcam.

The good news? The Aspire 5’s top bezel is thick, so most external webcams can perch on top of it without obstruction. The laptop also won’t tip over with a heavy webcam such as the Dell Ultrasharp 4K attached.

Connectivity

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Acer Aspire 5 uses its thick frame to make room for lots of old-school connectivity. There’s a total of three USB Type-A ports (two USB 3.2 and one USB 2.0), one USB 3.2 Type-C supporting up to 5Gbps of bandwidth, full-sized HDMI, Ethernet, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack.

The connectivity will be ideal for most buyers. Those looking at a budget laptop will likely use devices that require USB-A and HDMI connections.

Wireless connectivity is the usual combination of Wi-Fi 6 with Bluetooth, both provided by MediaTek’s MT7921 wireless LAN card. Wi-Fi performance was reliable across my home. I had no problems connecting a Bluetooth mouse and headphones.

Performance

So, do the specifications lead to respectable performance?

IDG / Matthew Smith

PCMark 10, a general productivity benchmark, starts the Aspire 5 off on the wrong foot with an unimpressive score of 3,902. That this ends up behind faster Intel Core processors is no surprise. However, the real problem is AMD. Ryzen 5 processors, which are found in mid-range laptops like the HP Envy x360 15.

On the other hand, it’s worth keeping the price in mind. Most Ryzen 5 laptops are priced well above $499. AMD’s Ryzen 3 is more commonly found at $499 and below. The Acer Aspire 5’s score can be excused by the fact it’s by far the least expensive Windows laptop we’ve tested in recent months. 

IDG / Matthew Smith

Cinebench R15 also turns in a fairly anemic result which, as with PCMark 10, is largely due to the Core i5-1135G7’s quad-core design. It can’t keep up with AMD processors that pack more processor cores. As with the PCMark 10 results, the Aspire 5’s must be kept in mind. Laptops in the Aspire 5’s price range often have Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processors with as few as two cores. These will deliver even less impressive results. 

IDG / Matthew Smith

This second test performs the same encode on the same file, but instead uses Intel’s Quick Sync and AMD’s Video Coding Engine to enhance performance. 

Wow. It’s a big leap, isn’t it? 

The Acer Aspire 5 does well, performing the encode in just over four minutes. Its score comes in slightly behind the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, a 14-inch Windows laptop with a Core i7 processor. The AMD laptop, using VCE, slips behind both Intel machines, though its encode is still over four times quicker than before. 

IDG / Matthew Smith

Intel’s Iris Xe graphics power the Acer Aspire 5 to a score of 1,226 in 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark. This is not too far behind the HP Envy x360 15, which we reviewed with an AMD APU packing Radeon Vega 8 graphics. Gamers will find the Aspire can handle older and less demanding games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends with no issues. Demanding titles like Control won’t be playable at 1080p and 30 frames per second even at low detail.

Battery life

Acer ships the Aspire 5 with a 53 watt-hour battery. This is a respectable size for a budget laptop. However, our battery test, which loops a local video file until the battery gives out, reported only six hours and 35 minutes of endurance. That’s not a great result.

IDG / Matthew Smith

Real-world results backed up our test. I used the Acer Aspire 5 extensively for several days and each day pegged endurance at six to seven hours. My workflow consisted of web browsing, writing in Microsoft Word, and photo editing. The battery life is fine for a budget Windows laptop. It can’t handle a full eight-hour work day, but it’s enough for most cross-country flights and more than adequate for use at a local coffee shop. Budget buyers looking for enhanced portability should turn their attention toward Chromebooks like the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 or HP Chromebook x2 11.

Software

The Acer Aspire 5 arrives with a variety of pre-installed software. This includes Norton Antivirus, Dropbox, Firefox, and a taskbar shortcut to Amazon’s main page that simply opens the default web browser (which is still Edge, though Firefox is installed). Additional web links such as chúng tôi can be found in the Windows Start menu. While a tad annoying, these extras aren’t a problem. They don’t hamper performance or generate unwanted pop-ups. Norton Antivirus is by far the most annoying software, but it’s easy to uninstall. 

Conclusion

The Acer Aspire 5 avoids typical budget laptop pitfalls. Windows laptops sold at this price or below often make extreme cuts. They may have a dual-core processor, just 4GB of RAM, or a tiny 128GB hard drive. This laptop does none of this. It delivers the bare minimum for an enjoyable Windows 11 experience and does so at a price just tens of dollars more expensive than less capable alternatives (including other Aspire models). That makes it hard to beat for $499. 

Guide To Dual Boot Chrome Os Without Using A Usb Drive

64-bit PC or laptop with at least 16 GB of empty storage space.

The secure boot should be disabled from BIOS.

Virtualization or Hyper-V should be enabled from BIOS.

The system should support UEFI.

Winrar should be installed on your Windows PC.

If you have taken care of the prerequisites of Installing Chrome OS on your Windows PC. Let’s move on to the process to Install ChromeOS as Dual Boot on your Windows machine.

In order to dual-boot Chrome OS on your Windows PC, we need to disable hibernation and fast start-up on Windows. To do that, open the elevated Command Prompt and execute this command:

This will turn off the hibernation, and next, we need to turn off the fast start-up. Here’s how it can be done:

1. Open Run, type “Regedit“, and press enter, to launch the registry editor.

3. In the popup, change the value from 1 to 0 to disable it.

1. Open an elevated Windows Powershell and execute this command:

wsl –install

2. This will begin the installation of Ubuntu on your machine and you need to stay connected to the network during the installation.

3. Once the installation is done, launch Ubuntu from the Start menu, and create a new username and password.

Note: The password stays blank even though you are typing, just type the password and hit enter.

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y install pv cgpt

This will also take some time to finish updating the apps, you need to stay connected to the internet during the whole update process.

Now we need to create a small partition on your Windows system’s disk to install ChromeOS on it. Follow these steps to create a partition on Windows.

Now you can see this partition in your Windows explorer as an empty hard drive. Open the new partition drive and create a folder named “chromeos” inside it, we will need it later for mounting purposes.

Intel up to 9th generation: rammus

Intel above 9th generation: volteer

AMD(Stony Ride and Briston Ridge): grunt

AMD Ryzen: Zork

Next, we need to install the Chrome OS recovery file to the new partition that we created and for that we need Ubuntu. To do so we need to execute a few commands one by one and make sure to double-check the file or folder locations in the command before executing them.

cd /mnt/(your chromeos folder location)

2. Next, add the recovery image name, this is the file that we extracted from rammus recovery zip file. The second bracket should be filled with the location of ‘chromeos folder’ created inside the new partition drive, eg: e/chromeos/.

sudo bash chúng tôi -src (recovery image chúng tôi -dst /mnt/(chromeos partition folder) -s 20

3. The process will take a few minutes and once it is done, it will give you a command to execute in Powershell. Copy that command and open a Powershell window and execute that command here.

1. Extract the Grub2Win zip package and run the installer, confirm the installation, and once installed, it will open a window.

2. Now go to the new partition, created earlier and open the ‘ chúng tôi ‘ file to copy its contents.

Now, simply restart your computer and you will see a boot menu. Use the arrow keys to go down and select chromeos and press Enter key. This will boot the Chrome OS on your machine and from there you can start setting up your Chrome OS.

The process to dual boot ChromeOS without a USB drive is pretty tedious, but the result is a working dual boot Chome OS with all the features enabled. In case you get stuck at any step, feel free to reach out to us. Stay tuned to GadgetsToUse for more such walkthroughs.

You can also follow us for instant tech news at Google News or for tips and tricks, smartphones & gadgets reviews, join GadgetsToUse Telegram Group or for the latest review videos subscribe GadgetsToUse YouTube Channel.

Save 21% On This Apple Magsafe Wireless Charger – Early Prime Day Deals

Last Updated on July 1, 2023

There is always something for everyone on Early Prime Day deals, and this year is no exception, as you can add an Apple accessory while saving some money.

21% off

Apple MagSafe Charger – Wireless Charger with Fast Charging Capability

Type C Wall Charger, Compatible with iPhone and AirPods

Best Deals

deal @ amazon

*Prices are subject to change. PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

At the time of writing, the Apple MagSafe Wireless Charger is down 21% at Amazon, bringing its price down to $31 from its listed price of $39. That’s a little saving of $8, but it’s worth remembering that most offers on Apple products don’t appear regularly.

Let’s look at what you can get for the new reduced price and why we think this deal is perfect for those looking to upgrade or find the perfect gift idea.

Fast charging: Provide faster wireless charging up to 15W by connecting it with an Apple 20W USB-C power adapter (sold separately). Perfect for those who need to charge their iPhones and specific AirPods models quickly.

Easy setup process: Plug and connect your MagSafe charger using the USB-C connector on an Apple or third-party USB-C power adapter or a USB-C port on a Mac or PC.

Portable design: Carry this slim and simple-like charger around in your pockets to charge devices on the go by attaching it to a compatible power output.

Qi charging compatibility: A Qi-certified charger compatible with iPhone 8 or later and AirPods with wireless charging.

Magnetic alignment: When charging, you can secure your iPhone 12 or later by snapping it on the magnetic alignment.

USB-C integrated cable: Get a 1m USB-C cable (sold together) with the MagSafe charger for a faster charging experience.

What we think Best early Prime Day Apple deals

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Apple 2023 MacBook Air 15.3″ (2023, M2 chip)

Apple 2023 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip: 15.3-inch Liquid Retina Display, 8GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage, 1080p FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works

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Apple Watch Series 8 [GPS + Cellular 41mm] Smart Watch

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*Prices are subject to change. PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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