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Acer Aspire 5551 - Keyboard, Touchpad & Audio-Visual

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Getting onto usability, we're not disappointed by the Aspire 5551's matt-black, isolation keyboard. It has an excellent layout with a proper UK-style Enter key and a full number pad with a full-size Insert/0 key. Despite their shallow appearance, the keys offer a good amount of travel with reasonably positive feedback - though it's not quite as well-defined as on some earlier Aspire models we looked at. There's also some flex towards the centre, but it's not enough to spoil a generally pleasant typing experience.

Acer Aspire 5551 keyboard

With its large, smooth surface the multi-gesture touchpad is likewise a pleasure to use, and its positioning means it never interferes with typing. Both of the pad's buttons are incorporated into a single rocker switch, which is just a tad too stiff for our liking but still usable.

Acer Aspire 5551 touchpad

As far as the 15.6in LED-backlit screen goes, aside from its aforementioned glossy finish it sports a 1,366 x 768 resolution. In a reversal of the usual bias, our greyscale tests revealed that it favoured light detail over dark, giving you pure whites at the cost of dark detail in games and films. Viewing angles are also pretty mediocre, with vertical ones slightly above average but horizontal ones letting the side down, leaving you with quite a narrow field of view.

On the positives side there is minimal banding, backlighting is even without distracting light-bleed, and excellent sharpness results in good legibility of small fonts. As with most laptop displays, that of the Aspire 5551 is absolutely fine for daily productivity, but it's not the best for entertainment and certainly not suited to graphical work.

Acer Aspire 5551 front facing

Acer's 3D Sonic speakers are more impressive. Aside from some distortion at their maximum volume and a slight lack of bass that's common to most laptop efforts, they produce a decent soundstage with a bit of punch and clarity. A good set of headphones will give far better performance, but here that's a recommendation rather than a necessity.


July 30, 2010, 7:22 pm

I havve just bought acer 5551 from currys digital with excellent service. i am ver pleased with it as one of the main reasons was to store and play classical music.Audio Reproduction is excellent. It is a pleasure watching missed programs on iplayer. I recommend.

simon 23

August 13, 2010, 4:26 am

i bought this laptop from pcworld about 1 month ago and... i just love it the design the features ram processor sound everything jst is wow only one defect synaptics drivers do not like other mouses plugged in so i had about 3 hours of kicking the computer for my mum to press fn f7 to fix it so if u want to install a usb mouse dnt bt apart from tht i wud recommend it to anyone and hope they love it as much as i do

simon 23

August 13, 2010, 4:37 am

also to add to my last comment i forgot to say that this review is quite an under statement there was alot of camparing rather than looking at the computer itself and it deserved a little better than it got


August 13, 2010, 7:35 pm

Bought from Argos for £399 and it is amazing!! can play games like Spore or The Sims really well! :) battery life is brilliant too :) but i am disappointed with the speakers :/ but i had to change the EQ and the settings to get it okay..... but overall amazing! :)


September 28, 2010, 11:21 am

I bought the acer aspire 5551 about a week back, the only problem i have with it is when i plug in any flash drive, it doesn't show the content of the flash, the only thing it show are shortcuts of the content. Can anyone please help me with this problem?


September 13, 2013, 3:09 pm

amazing laptop. Running 7 on it and it plays many of my games and software with no issues.


October 25, 2013, 6:01 am

does it play battlefield 3


October 27, 2013, 9:16 pm

Do you still aprove?


November 8, 2013, 12:48 am

CRAP laptop, apparently it has a faulty chip in the mother board that was a know manufacture effect...yet never was recalled. will last a max 3 years.


January 9, 2014, 5:23 am

this laptop was good once. iv had it for 3 years and 3 months.and its on its deathbed but still keeps going. processor is good and has room to take more ram and it has taken a hell of a bashing with case cracked and stuff and the keyboard doesnt work with keys missing too.. there is a fault that seems to make the laptop cut out randomly sometimes. but there is one major problem with it! the GPU is absolutely god awful. i cant even run any games from 2008 period unless they at low - mid graphics. few years ago was a good buy but now most basic laptops will pretty much be on par if not outperform it.

John Colborne

January 5, 2015, 9:44 pm

not true. I have had mine now for over 4 years. no issues. still have all original hardware.

Christine Ó Cheallaigh

March 17, 2015, 12:22 pm

That explains a lot. I bought mine in 2011 and it gave out on me in 2013, I have no idea what happened to it, it just quit working. It would come on but would not go past the diagnostics screen, I ran everything I could think of on it and nothing worked, it would not go to start screen at all and finally just quit powering on. I had to eventually buy a new laptop because my Acer had totally died. Now I own a Toshiba Satellite that I bought in August 2013 and have had no complaints yet.

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