Acer TravelMate P2 (P216-51-TCO) Review: Big-screen workhorse keeps the basics covered

A good value, big-screen laptop for home and office workers – Asus and Lenovo could offer you even more though

The Acer TravelMate P2 on the ITPro background
(Image: © Acer website/Future)

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Big 16-inch screen

  • +

    Powerful enough for mainstream productivity tasks

  • +

    Good value


  • -

    Screen lacks colour depth

  • -

    Just the one USB Type-C port

  • -

    Sub-par 720p webcam

The Acer TravelMate P2 is a great example of how the mainstream business laptop is – quite literally – growing up. Until fairly recently this class of laptop, a basic workhorse for small businesses and corporate employees, would have had a 15.6in screen with a full HD resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio, but increasingly we're seeing manufacturers shift to a taller 16in display with 120 extra rows of pixels and a 16:10 format. The depth of the keyboard deck extends to match, and the result is a device that's not significantly larger or heavier, but the screen looks bigger and seems to provide more working space.

Beyond that, this is very much a value laptop for cost-conscious IT buyers and small businesses, focused less on style, innovation, or high performance and more on delivering a decent user experience and set of features on a budget. It's not going to turn heads like Asus's superb Vivobook S16, but then it costs roughly £450 less.

Acer TravelMate P2: Design

In terms of looks, the TravelMate P2 could be described as pedestrian. Despite the grey metallic finish, the shell is plastic, though the construction feels robust and there's no excessive flex in either the keyboard deck or lid. The 359 x 260mm desktop footprint means it's not a great fit in small spaces, while the 23mm thickness and chunky rubber ridges towards the front and near the rear mean your wrists and hands sit at a slightly elevated position while you're typing, though the large palm rests on either side of the trackpad help make that feel more comfortable. At 1.87Kg, this isn't a laptop for spending every working day on the go, but it's light enough for a daily commute without too much strain.

A bigger laptop usually means more connectivity, but here the TravelMate P2 is slightly disappointing. You get a single Thunderbolt 4/USB Type-C port on the left, along with a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port and an HDMI out. On the right, there's another USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, along with a Gigabit Ethernet port and a 3.5mm headset socket. 

It's good to see the HDMI and Ethernet ports on a laptop that may see frequent use on a desk in the office, but the single Type C port is an issue when it's also used for charging – and even more so when the USB Type-A ports are limited to 5Gb/sec speeds.  Want to hook up a fast external SSD? You won't be able to while you're hooked up to the mains. Still, wireless connectivity is better, with both Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 onboard. 

The Acer TravelMate P2 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Acer TravelMate P2: Keyboard, touchpad and webcam

Acer has made the most of the space here by stretching out a full-sized keyboard between the two speaker grills, along with a half-width numeric pad. The layout of the former isn't perfect - I'm not a fan of the split Shift and Backslash key on the left or the minuscule function keys running along the top – but there's nothing that's really going to slow you down while working, and the numeric pad is a definite plus for spreadsheet jockeys. The backlighting is also welcome, though it only comes with two levels of backlight and the illumination comes mostly around the edges, rather than through the legends on the keycap.

There's plenty of travel on the keys along with a decent bounce back after actuation, but the action feels slightly loose. It's the sort of keyboard you grow used to after several days rather than one you're likely to love from the off. The touchpad isn't bad, though. It's one of Acer's OceanGlass efforts, with the surface composed of recycled ocean plastics, and it's large, smooth, and thoroughly responsive.  What's more, it has a fingerprint scanner in the top left corner, allowing a near-instant sign-in to Windows.

The Acer TravelMate P2 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

The webcam is one area where Acer might have gone too cheap. While a 1080p infra-red Windows Hello-compliant webcam is featured on more expensive versions of the TravelMate P2, our Core i5 test version shipped with a basic 720p webcam. Image quality isn't terrible – there's not too much grain and pictures look mostly well-exposed in both natural and artificial lighting – but it can't match the detail or clarity of 1080p webcams, and there's some smearing on fast movement under poor to average light.

Acer TravelMate P2: Display

The best thing you can say about the TravelMate P2's display is that it's going to be fine for everyday office productivity tasks. As we said, the 16-inch size and 1200p resolution gives you plenty of space for your browser, office, collaboration apps, and multi-tasking, while the brightness – 278 nits – is adequate for most indoor conditions, though you will struggle to see much in direct sunlight. Low black levels mean that contrast isn't awful, at 1132.3:1.


Sadly, color reproduction isn't so good. The screen can only display 59.5% of colors in the sRGB color space and a woeful 42.5% of the DCI-P3 gamut. In tests, it recorded an average Delta E of over 5, meaning color accuracy won't be good enough for color-critical image-editing or design work. To be honest, that isn't what you buy a laptop like this for, and for most other purposes this screen will be good enough. All the same, competent isn't what you'd call a ringing endorsement.

It's much the same with the audio. It's reasonably clear and fine for video calls and meetings at low volumes, but there's no real weight or any bass on offer, and as you push the volume upwards the tone gets brittle and shouty. If you want background music while you work, plug some headphones in.

Acer TravelMate P2: Specs and Performance

The TravelMate P2 comes in a high-end variant with a Core i7 1355U, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, or in our test version with a Core i5 1335U, 16GB, and a 512GB SSD. Either way, you're missing out on the superior integrated GPU and built-in AI acceleration of Intel's newer Core Ultra processors, and there's no option for a dedicated GPU. Still, even the Core i5 1335U is no slouch, and it'll comfortably handle quite demanding office tasks without a hint of unwarranted pausing or slowdown. 

The port selection on the Acer TravelMate P2

(Image credit: Future)

In tests, it's no surprise to see the TravelMate P2 falling behind the £1200 Acer Vivobook S16 in the industry-standard PCMark 10 productivity benchmark, with 5458 to the Asus's 6745, and even less unexpected to see it trounced in 3DMark TimeSpy (1348 against 3755) and Cinebench R23 (8409 in the multi-core test against 14,828 from the Asus). The Core Ultra 7's ARC GPU is a major step up from the Intel XE GPU in the Core i5 1335U. But pit the TravelMate P2 against Lenovo's ThinkPad E16, with its AMD Ryzen 5 7530U, and it looks more competitive. The latter scored 5642 in PC Mark 10.

With the 16-inch screen and a 48.5Wh battery, it's no surprise that battery life is reasonable, but not fantastic. The TravelMate P2 made it through 9 hours, 3 minutes of video playback at a reduced brightness level of 170 nits before giving up the ghost, so you may not make it through a full working day with the brightness turned up to full. To compensate, it is fairly quick to recharge, reaching 54% in 30 minutes.

Acer TravelMate P2: Is it worth it?

The Acer TravelMate P2 on a surface

(Image credit: Future)

The TravelMate P2 is nothing if not good value, giving you a big screen and a comfortable working experience for under £750 if you stick to the Core i5 version. It's not perfect,  and buyers will have to live with a screen with mediocre color performance, a single USB Type-C port, the 720p webcam, and unimpressive battery life.

As a mostly desk-based productivity machine, these faults are far from fatal, and the low cost and sheer usability makes up for a lot. However, there are key areas like the keyboard and the battery life where Lenovo's similar ThinkPad E16 comes out on top, while not being substantially more expensive. 

Acer TravelMate P2 specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Display16-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS, 60Hz refresh rate
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1335U
GPUIntel Iris Xe
PortsThunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 2, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, MicroSD card reader
3.5mm audio jackYes
Camera720p webcam
Storage512GB PCIe4 SSD
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth v5.1
Dimensions359 x 260 x 23mm
Battery Capacity48.5Wh
Operating SystemWindows 11 Pro
Stuart Andrews

Stuart has been writing about technology for over 25 years, focusing on PC hardware, enterprise technology, education tech, cloud services and video games. Along the way he’s worked extensively with Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and Chrome OS devices, and tested everything from laptops to laser printers, graphics cards to gaming headsets.

He’s then written about all this stuff – and more – for outlets, including PC Pro, IT Pro, Expert Reviews and The Sunday Times. He’s also written and edited books on Windows, video games and Scratch programming for younger coders. When he’s not fiddling with tech or playing games, you’ll find him working in the garden, walking, reading or watching films.

You can follow Stuart on Twitter at @SATAndrews