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Limited purchase-time configurations and upgrade options
Tech companies have a mixed reputation when it comes to climate change and sustainability issues, but with its recently launched Vero line of 'green PCs', Acer hopes to boost its credibility in this area. There are a number of products in the Vero range, including laptops, desktop PCs and monitors, but the main offering for business users is the 15.6-inch TravelMate Vero running Windows 11 Pro.
In many ways, this is a fairly conventional laptop, but Acer states that the Vero's chassis consists of 30% PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) plastic, which helps to reduce CO2 emissions from the manufacturing process by around 21%. The keycaps on the keyboard also use PCR, and the packaging materials are entirely recyclable. And, just to let your clients know how on-trend your business is, the Vero's BIOS allows you to customise the logo that appears on start-up.
Design & features
Recycled plastic aside, the TravelMate Vero has a fairly traditional clamshell design. Its black, speckled casing is quite smart, but the chunky border around the screen looks decidedly dated. It's well built, though, measuring just 18mm thick, and weighing 1.8kg, which isn't a bad weight for a 15.6-inch laptop. But, as we've mentioned in previous reviews, Acer's use of a spindle-like power connector that juts out from the side of the laptop looks like a potential weak point.
The 15.6-inch screen means that the chassis has room for a full-size keyboard and separate numeric keypad, plus a large touchpad with an embedded fingerprint reader. The keyboard panel also feels firm and responsive when you're typing quickly. The FHD (1920x1080) IPS display isn't going to win any awards, but it's bright and clear, with good viewing angles if you need to give an impromptu presentation when you're out of the office. Acer studiously avoids any mention of the colour standards supported by the display, so this isn't a laptop that's designed for creative users, even though its 11th-generation Core i7 processor will be perfectly adequate for basic photo or video-editing for presentations.
Connectivity is another area where the Vero looks a little behind the curve. It offers just one USB-C port, and three USB-A ports -- and one of those is USB 2.0 for some inexplicable reason. There's HDMI for an external display, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet and a 3.5mm headphone jack, but no Thunderbolt support, DisplayPort or SD card reader.
The 720p webcam isn't great either, with a slightly grainy image that won't be ideal for remote workers' video calls. Thankfully, the Vero does include Wi-Fi 6, along with Bluetooth 5.0 to provide good wireless connectivity.
Price & options
You're not overburdened with options on the TravelMate Vero. Acer's website states clearly that the Vero boasts the 'potent processing power' of an i7 processor, and the review unit provided by Acer did include a quad-core Core i7-1195G7 processor running at 2.9GHz (up to 5.0GHz with TurboBoost), along with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. But, not for the first time, we found the pricing and sales information on Acer's website to be somewhat unclear.
At the time of writing, the Core i7 configuration was only available in the UK, priced at £899.99 (inc. VAT) -- that's approximately $1,130. Acer's US website currently offers just an entry-level model with a Core i5-1155G7 processor for $899.99, so US customers will have to wait a little longer for the i7 version of theTravelMate Vero to ship.
Performance & battery life
That's a shame, as the Core i7 in our review unit proves to be the TravelMate Vero's saving grace, delivering solidly respectable performance for a laptop in this price range.
The Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark reported scores of 1645 for (single core) and 5525 (multi core), which is in line with more expensive Core i7 laptops such as HP's Elite Dragonfly G2.
The Vero relies on the Core i7 processor's integrated Iris Xe Graphics, which achieves a score of 85fps for graphics performance with Cinebench R15, which will be perfectly adequate for simple photo- or video-editing work. However, a modest 10fps with the more demanding Unigine Valley benchmark makes it clear that the Vero is best suited to general productivity software such as Microsoft Office, rather than heavy-duty content creation work.
That impression is confirmed when running the PCMark 10 productivity test suite, with the Vero recording a resolutely mid-range score of 5174 that places it at almost exactly the halfway point in PCMark's overall performance ranking.
It's a similar story with battery life, which is respectable without being particularly outstanding. Acer's VeroSense app comes in useful here, as it provides a number of eco-friendly power plans in addition to those already built into Windows itself. The VeroSense app provides both Eco and Eco+ options, with the latter lowering fan speed and disabling features such as USB charging in order to preserve battery life.
Acer's website -- unhelpful as ever -- quotes battery life of 'up to 9.5 hours' on one page, and 'maximum 7 hours' on another. In fact, we were able to get 7.5 hours of streaming video from the BBC iPlayer when using the VeroSense Eco+ power plan, with brightness set to a perfectly viewable 40%. If you're not using wi-fi all day long, you should be able to get a full day's work from the TravelMate Vero between charges.
If you or your business are particularly eco-aware then the TravelMate Vero's use of recycled plastics might be a deciding factor in your purchasing decision. However, this laptop's eco credentials must be balanced against its slightly dated design and features. To be fair, the Core i7 model reviewed here delivers respectable performance and battery life for a laptop in this price range, but -- other than its recycled plastics -- the TravelMate Vero has few features to help it stand out in a competitive market.
TravelMate Vero (TMV15-51-71YY reviewed), battery, AC adapter
$899.99 (US, Core i5) / £899.99 (UK, Core i7)
Alternatives to consider
Acer's consumer-oriented Aspire Vero is only available with Windows 11 Home, but it has similar green credentials to the TravelMate Vero, and offers both Core i5 and i7 configurations. And, of course, there are many laptops costing around $1100 available from rival manufacturers.