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Acer Aspire 3 (A315-34) review – the most affordable one of the bunch

Here is another Acer Aspire 3 iteration. We’ve yet seen the A315-55G, the A315-42 (which was equipped with an AMD chipset, and now we have the A315-34, which is the most affordable of the bunch. It still features the plasticky, yet surprisingly good looking design.

IN terms of display, however, you shouldn’t expect anything more than a TN panel with a Full HD resolution. Additionally, you get entry-level processors to choose from. They top out with the Pentium Silver N5000. Yes… this is how low-budget this notebook is. After all, it is made mostly for students and just for an everyday device, that you can do some Word and Excell work on.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-3-a315-34/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer Aspire 3 (A315-34) review – the most affordable one of the bunch - Specs

  • Innolux N156HGA-EA3 (CMN15F5)
  • Color accuracy  7.5  2.9
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 256GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD
  • RAM
  • up to 8GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, No OS, Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Pro
  • Battery
  • 36Wh, 2-cell, 4810 mAh, 2-cell, 37Wh, 2-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • 363.4 x 250.5 x 19.9 mm (14.31" x 9.86" x 0.78")
  • Weight
  • 1.94 kg (4.3 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth
  • 4.1
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5 mm combo
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Speakers
  • 2 Speakers
  • Optical drive

All Acer Aspire 3 (A315-34) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

Apart from the laptop, there are some paper manuals inside the package, as well as a 45W power brick.


Design and construction

As we said, the laptop is built entirely out of plastic. From the first touch, you can tell that we are not talking about a high-quality build. The entire machine is prone to flex and bends, but on the bright side, there are no squeaks and crunches when you press upon it. In terms of measurements, it has a profile of 19.9mm and weighs 1.94 kg.

Expectedly, the display cannot be opened with a single hand. However, the side bezels are thin and this gives the user an illusion of a more premium experience.

Then let’s take a look at the base. First, there is no backlight, illuminating the keyboard, and honestly, nobody should be expecting one at this price point. When it comes to the typing experience, we think that it is okay – there is a satisfying click that meets you when you press a key, but the travel is a bit on the short side. However, what is impressive about the notebook – its touchpad. It is very accurate and responsive, in comparison to other devices in this price range.

Turning the laptop upside down, we see a ventilation grill and two speaker cut-outs.


Ports

On the left side, there is the power plug, which uses almost a needle-sized connector. What follows is an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI port, a USB Type-A 2.0 port and a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port (the blue one). On the other side, there is another USB Type-A 2.0 port, as well as a headphone jack.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

After you unscrew all 11 Phillips-head screws and pop the panel open with a plastic pry tool, you are going to witness a weird view.

We can clearly see a fan. And we can clearly see the cooling solution. However, in this case, both things may not really be meant to be used together. So, the cooling itself represents a single sheet of metal placed above the processor. Its purpose is to dissipate the heat and hence – passively cool the CPU. However, the fan placed next to it is designed to blow upwards – where usually you will find a heat spreader and a heat pipe attached to it. So what is the purpose of this fan?

Well, what Acer did here is – they placed the ventilation grills on the bottom plate to be just underneath the metal plate. This way, the air sucked by the fan is going through the grill and past the heat spreader, thus removing some of the heat out of it – ultimately meaning, that the fan is a sucker, rather than a blower.

In terms of memory – there are 4GB soldered to the motherboard. Additionally, there is a RAM DIMM that can double the amount, and more importantly, this results in a dual-channel memory. How about storage? Well, there is a single M.2 slot that we understand fits only SATA drives, while on the right empty space, you can put a 2.5″ SATA device.

At the end of the day, you have a 37Wh battery to power the energy-efficient notebook.


Display quality

Acer Aspire 3 (A315-34) is equipped with a Full HD TN panel with a model number Innolux N156HGA-EA3 (CMN15F5) – the same found on the Aspire 3 (A315-42). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 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).

As expected from a TN panel – the viewing angles are terrible. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The measured maximum brightness of 254 nits in the middle of the screen and 231 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 13%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6020K – warmer than the optimal for 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 mediocre – 320:1.

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 Aspire 3 (A315-34)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 53% 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 Aspire 3 (A315-34) 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 = 13 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 Aspire 3 (A315-34)’s display uses PWM to adjust its brightness up until 65 nits. Additionally, the flickers have a very high frequency, which makes it comfortable for long use periods in this aspect.


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 Aspire 3 (A315-34)’s TN panel has a Full HD resolution, quick reaction times and a comfortable backlight in terms of PWM. However, it has narrow viewing angles, poor contrast ratio, and modest color coverage.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer Aspire 3 (A315-34) configurations with 15.6″ FHD TN Innolux N156HGA-EA3 (CMN15F5).

*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

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

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

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.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Acer Aspire 3 (A315-34)’s speakers produce a rather crisp sound. Its low, mid and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

You can download all of the drivers and utilities for this notebook from here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8063?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.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.


CPU options

The laptop comes with a choice of three entry-level processors. They include the dual-core Celeron N4000, and the quad-core Celeron N4100 and Pentium Silver N5000.


GPU options

Since there is no dedicated graphics card option, you are left with either the UHD Graphics 600 or the UHD Graphics 605, depending on your processor choice.

Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)