Acer Aspire 3 (A315-55G) aims to be the ultimate multimedia laptop for people that are not willing to part ways with a huge amount of their money. Most of the time, this means that the user is offered some features that are thought to be most appealing for multimedia consumers. Such features are a “dedicated” GPU, 8 GB of memory, a Full HD display, lightweight chassis and more.

However, most of the time, the manufacturers are not giving you some extra details that you have to know. Of course, you can’t expect anything premium at a sub $500 price tag. So we are also going to keep our expectations appropriate for the model. For example, this device has a TN panel and has a plastic body, which are the two main ways of cost-cutting.

Stay with us to find more about the Aspire 3 (A315-55G)!

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-3-a315-55g/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer Aspire 3 (A315-55G) – Specs


HDD/SSD

up to
512GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD


Dimensions


363.4 x 250.5 x 20 mm (14.31″ x 9.86″ x 0.79″)


Body material


Plastic / Polycarbonate

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-A 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • HDMI
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Audio jack 3.5 mm combo

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Speakers 2 Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the packaging, the laptop comes in a protective anti-static bag. It is then surrounded by two cardboard pieces that are meant to protect in cases of mishandling the box. In a separate box, you will find the 65W power adapter, as well as a cable for the specific region you are living in.

Design and construction

This laptop features a design that is inspired by a low budget and is infused by some unwritten laws of 2019. It has thin bezels, which make the overall footprint of the laptop smaller. Additionally, you can find the shape of the notebook pretty standard, unlike the yester-year model, which had some interesting curves on its back. In terms of measurements, the laptop weighs only 1.90 kg and has a profile of 20 mm. While the sub-2 kg weight is great, it is not like we didn’t expect that, given the plastic nature of the notebook.

Despite that, the laptop seems pretty solid structure-wise. Its weakest point seems to be the lid, which bends when you press it on top. Perhaps, you should avoid placing small, heavy objects on top of it. By the way, if you want a device that can be opened with a single hand, then this laptop is not for you… or actually, none of the representatives of this price range.

At the base of the laptop, you are going to find the keyboard, which is free of a backlight. In addition to that, its keys are on the small side with the NumPad area looking like s bunched up too tightly. Thankfully, though, the keyboard is okay for typing, with average key travel and decent tactile feedback.

Here, you can also experience some bending, mainly in the area around the space bar. Traditionally, it is one of the weakest spots of laptops as there is less material between the space bar and the touchpad. Speaking of which, the trackpad is not the best out there and is neither the most accurate. However, we found it to be good enough for the price point.

Then at the bottom, you will see a large ventilation grill, placed right over the fan. Additionally, the Aspire 3 (A315-55G) is equipped with two speakers, placed in the front-side corners. Expectedly, the hot air comes out from around the hinge cover area.

Ports

The left side of the laptop is home to the power adapter, an RJ-45 connector and an HDMI port, as well as two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports. On the right, you will see a single USB Type-A 2.0 port and an audio jack.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To take this laptop apart, you first need to remove the bottom panel. It is held in place by 11 Phillips-head screws and some plastic clips. As it is extremely easy to break those clips and to damage the fragile plastic surface of the notebook, make sure you are gentle and you use plastic tools for the job.

In terms of cooling, this laptop is not the most efficient out there. Acer has used a single heat pipe to cool both the CPU and the GPU, which usually is not a great idea. However, our unit features a Core i3-8145U and an MX230 graphics card, which are incredibly efficient by themselves.

When it comes to upgrades, you have a single RAM DIMM that fits 16GB of DDR4 memory, as well as a 2.5″ SATA drive slot and an M.2 on the right side of the battery, that supports NVMe drives.

Lastly, there is the 37Wh battery pack.

Display quality

Coming soon!

Drivers

You can download all of the drivers and utilities for this laptop from here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/7996?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. Obviously, 37Wh is not a crazy battery size for a 15-inch laptop.

Expectedly, this resulted in a mediocre battery life of around six hours of Web browsing and 20 minutes less than that of video playback.

CPU options

Our unit came equipped with an Intel Core i3-8145U processor. It has two cores and four threads which work at a base frequency of 2.10 GHz and reach Turbo speeds of 3.90 GHz. In addition to that, it has a TDP of 15W, 4MB of Cache and is built around the 14nm architecture Intel uses for the past several years.


GPU options

GeForce MX230 – the dedicated GPU for this notebook is not the most powerful out there. However, it is very energy efficient with a TDP of only 10W. It has 256 CUDA cores and works at a base clock speed of 1519 MHz. Its memory is GDDR5 and has a 2GB capacity. In contrast to its predecessor – the MX130, this graphics card is part of the Pascal architecture family, rather than just being a rebranded 940 MX.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

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 i3-8145U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Acer Aspire 3 (A315-55G) 3.04 GHz (B+45%)@ 82°C 2.71 GHz (B+29%)@ 80°C 2.60 GHz (B+24%)@ 77°C
Dell Latitude 14 3400 3.42 GHz (B+63%)@ 83°C 3.36 GHz (B+60%)@ 96°C 2.82 GHz (B+34%)@ 81°C
ASUS VivoBook S14 S430 3.34 GHz (B+59%)@ 68°C 3.24 GHz (B+54%)@ 83°C 1.97 GHz @ 56°C
ASUS VivoBook S13 S330 3.58 GHz (B+70%)@ 68°C 3.51 GHz (B+67%)@ 79°C 2.77 GHz (B+32%)@ 72°C

Well, the cooling of this laptop is apparently not the best out there. On the bright side, it manages to keep pretty high clock speeds on its Core i3-8145U without overheating too much. For comparison, the 14-inch Latitude 3400 works at significantly higher frequencies.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce MX230 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
Acer Aspire 3 (A315-55G) 1692 MHz @ 74°C 1612 MHz @ 74°C
Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) 1632 MHz @ 69°C 1532 MHz @ 69°C
Lenovo Ideapad C340 (15″) 1658 MHz @ 74°C 1300 MHz @ 64°C

Despite maintaining higher temperatures and overall noise from its fan, the Aspire 3 (A315-55G) worked at higher clock speeds than its competitors from Lenovo.

Verdict

We started the review by saying that this laptop is aimed to be a multimedia device. However, what is a multimedia notebook? Or more importantly, what should it feature? Well, the first thing that comes to our mind is, sadly for the Aspire 3, an IPS panel. In our view, it is essential if you are going to spend time-consuming content, especially when you don’t do it only by yourself.

On the bright side, this laptop has very efficient hardware that is perfectly suitable for this purpose. We experienced speedy run trough Windows and thanks to the MX230, you can even play titles like DOTA 2 or CS:GO with decent eye candy.

What we would surely recommend, though, is to either pick a configuration that features an SSD or put one by yourself. Thankfully, this can be done pretty easy by poping the bottom panel out and sticking an NVMe drive into its M.2 slot. You can also upgrade the RAM of this notebook, although it only supports up to 16GB, because of its single RAM DIMM.

While the battery life isn’t one of the advantages of this notebook, it is good that you can get around 5 hours and a half to six in Web browsing from the 37Wh battery pack. Usually, manufacturers put significantly larger batteries, and if they want to save some quick buck, they put… well sub 40Wh packages.

Generally, for this price, the laptop is not bad. However, you shouldn’t expect the best build quality or the latest and greatest in terms of I/O. Essentially, if you can find a laptop that features an IPS panel for this money, probably you should choose it instead of the Aspire 3 (A315-55G). However, if you don’t mind the TN panel and mediocre battery life, don’t hesitate – this laptop is a good deal.

Pros

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Efficient and somewhat powerful hardware
  • Supports NVMe drives

Cons

  • Not the best build quality (uses only plastic)
  • No Type-C ports
  • TN panel has naturally poor viewing angles

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-3-a315-55g/





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