Wednesday, January 19, 2022
LaptopsWindows laptops

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) review – decent budget daily driver with some flaws


This time we have in front of us the Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) and it looks almost identical to the Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-52) that we have reviewed in 2020. As a TravelMate device, this one should be a laptop on the go, even Acer is describing it as “for the professional on the road”. So, we’ll see how portable and capable this device is.

In terms of hardware, everything looks alright – we have a bunch of Intel Tiger Lake-UP3 CPUs and some iGPUs for the people who don’t need additional graphics power.

If you need a more powerful dGPU, there is an optional NVIDIA GeForce MX330 (2GB GDDR5, 25W) – these devices have a “G” suffix. In addition, the machine comes with a 1080p IPS panel, while for storage, it supports both SATA and NVMe devices. At least on paper, this laptop looks like a good notebook that doesn’t cost too much.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-travelmate-p2-tmp215-53-tpm215-53g/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) – Specs

HDD/SSD

up to 512GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD

Intel Optane

1x 2280 PCIe NVMe

OS

Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro

Dimensions

363 x 255 x 19.9 mm (14.29″ x 10.04″ x 0.78″)

Body material

Plastic / Polycarbonate

Ports and connectivity

  • 3x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • VGA 1
  • Card reader SD
  • Ethernet LAN 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack 3.5mm Combo Jack

Features

  • Fingerprint reader optional
  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard optional
  • Microphone 2 Microphones
  • Speakers 2 Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slotKensington Lock Slot

What’s in the box?

The package is standard for such a device – a 45W power adapter, some manuals, and a laptop.

Design and construction

We are in the budget category and it’s not a surprise that this laptop has an all-plastic build. The chassis isn’t the most rigid one that we have tested – the whole base is a bit bendable if you apply some force on purpose. On the bright side, the laptop weighs 1.80 kilos and the profile is 19.9mm.

Sadly, the lid cannot be opened with a single hand and we saw some flexes during the process. However, the bezels around the display are thin (of course, not the thinnest, especially the “chin”) and we can spot an orthodoxly positioned Web camera with a hardware shutter for additional privacy while using the machine.

This laptop can be configured with an optional backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader (optional as well) but the device that we have bought lacks these features. Now, the keyboard isn’t that great for typing, the key travel is okay but the feedback is too mushy. Moreover, the NumberPad section is too small as well as the “Up” and “Down” Arrow keys. Actually, the “arrows” are close to other keycaps so accidental presses could possibly happen often. The touchpad is pretty good – it’s accurate and big enough for normal usage.

The bottom houses a big ventilation grill (the speakers are positioned on the base) while the hot air is exhausted from the back of the laptop.

Ports

The left side of the machine has a power plug, an RJ-45 connector, a VGA port (wait, what, really?), an HDMI connector, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) that supports both Power Delivery and DisplayPort capabilities, an SD card reader and an audio jack. The right side feels lonely – it has one USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port and a Kensington Lock Slot.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

Removing the bottom panel isn’t a hard job. There are 12 Phillips-head screws that have to be undone and after that, you can pry the bottom plate with a plastic tool.

The cooling solution is rather basic. It has one heat sink, one heat pipe, and a single fan.

However, the upgradability options are great – we have two RAM SODIMM slots, an M.2 NVMe slot, and a SATA slot. Not bad for a budget offering like this one here.

Just like last year’s device, the battery is the same 50Wh unit – this kind of capacity seems normal for an affordable 15-incher.

Display quality

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) has a Full HD IPS panel with a model number BOE NV156FHM-N48. Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution is 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are good. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The measured maximum brightness of 217 nits in the middle of the screen and 213 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 11%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6280K – a little warmer than the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1310:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 50% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 27 ms

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53)’s display doesn’t flicker only at max brightness. However, the 1000 Hz frequency is too low and this could possibly harm your eyes in the long run. Luckily, our Health-Guard profile fixes that.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusion

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53)’s panel in this configuration has an IPS panel with a 1080p resolution, good viewing angles, and a decent contrast ratio. Despite that, the color coverage is limited (50% of sRGB) and the display isn’t PWM-free, except at the maximum brightness level.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS BOE NV156FHM-N48.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at bg.laptopmedia@gmail.com.

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming - screen profile

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard - screen profile

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

All

Sound

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53)’s speakers can offer a sound with decent quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8689?b=1

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The battery life of this particular machine is good- we got 8 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing and 6 hours and 15 minutes of video playback.

Storage performance

Our laptop is equipped with a 512GB NVMe drive with a model number HFM512GDJTNI. The storage benchmark is showing 337 MB/s of bandwidth which is a good result for a budget laptop like the one we have.

CPU options

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) offers a decent variety of Intel Tiger Lake-UP3 CPUs including the  Intel Core i7-1165G7, Intel Core i5-1135G7,  and Intel Core i3-1115G4.

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.

GPU options

In most cases, you will rely on iGPUs like the Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU), Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (80EU), and Intel UHD Graphics Xe G4 (48EU). The Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53G) variant comes with a GeForce MX330 (2GB GDDR5, 25W).

Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53 / TPM215-53G) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.

Gaming tests (internal display)

cs-go-benchmarks

Gaming tests (external display)

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i3-1115G4 (28W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) 3.29 GHz (B+10%) @ 77°C @ 19W 3.20 GHz (B+7%) @ 90°C @ 20W 3.10 GHz (B+3%) @ 87°C @ 18W

The basic-looking cooling solution struggles even with a dual-core processor like the Core i3-1115G4. At least the CPU boost is always above its base clock (but not by much) but in short and medium loads, the processor reaches ~87°C – 90°C. Let’s say it again – this is just a dual-core processor.

Gaming comfort

The cooling fan is audible under heavy stress but it’s not crazy loud at all. Unfortunately, you’re going to hear the fan noise no matter the load. Thermally-wise, the upper part of the shell gets warm during stress – the left part of the keyboard is warm but not too much so comfort during load is just fine.

Verdict

At the end of the day, the Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) is a decent budget offer. This device can be a good daily driver if you pick it with a 4-core CPU like the Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7. These CPUs are fast enough for 4K video content and even for some light and casual gaming on Low settings.

Our laptop has an Intel Core i3-1115G4 (with two cores and four threads) and Intel UHD Graphics Xe G4 (48EU) and because the memory is in dual-channel mode, it can run some games on Low settings like CS:GO, League Of Legends, Minecraft. So, yes, even with the least power CPU variant, you can play light games after work, if your device has two RAM sticks.

Unfortunately, the display is a mixed bag. The 15.6″ 1080p IPS panel (BOE NV156FHM-N48) has comfortable viewing angles and a good contrast ratio but on the other hand, its sRGB color coverage is low and the panel isn’t PWM-free unless you bump the brightness to 100%. Another thing that left us with mixed feelings is the keyboard/touchpad combo – the trackpad is definitely a good unit while we cannot say exactly the same for the keyboard. The latter isn’t very good for long typing sessions because of its mushy feedback and in addition, the NumberPad section is too small as well as the “Up” and “Down” Arrow keys.

If you like to use your device in a dimmed room, the optional backlight can be a handy extra. The optional fingerprint reader can be a useful feature for people who need this kind of feature. Last but not least, the Web camera has a hardware shutter which adds additional personal safety and privacy when you’re online.

Upgradability-wise, this is the area where this laptop shines bright. It has two SODIMMs, one M.2 slot, and a SATA slot. Moreover, the I/O is good given the end price of the machine – it has three USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports and a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) with DisplayPort and Power Delivery capabilities. Oh, yes, and a VGA port!

The cooling solution isn’t optimal and it struggles in medium and long loads even with a dual-core CPU like the Intel Core i3-1115G4 – the processor boosts always above its base clock but the chip is hot at the same time. However, for this kind of a price tag, the Acer TravelMate P2 (TMP215-53) comes with a good amount of goodies – it has an IPS screen with good viewing angles, the Intel Tiger Lake-UP3 CPUs perform well enough for daily usage, the upgradability options are good as well as the amount of the I/O ports.

Pros

  • Decent upgradability with two SODIMMs, M.2, and SATA ports
  • Keyboard has an optional backlight
  • Wide viewing angles and good contrast ratio (BOE NV156FHM-N48)
  • Optional fingerprint reader
  • Good I/O options and USB Type-C port with DisplayPort and Power Delivery capabilities

Cons

  • Covers only 50% of sRGB (BOE NV156FHM-N48)
  • Uses harmful PWM for all brightness levels, except the maximum (our Health-Guard profile fixes the issue) (BOE NV156FHM-N48)
  • The keyboard is mushy

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-travelmate-p2-tmp215-53-tpm215-53g/





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