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Acer Aspire V3-331-P982 Notebook Review Update

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/20/2014

Enduring. Despite the low price of around 450 Euros (~$597), Acer's 13.3-inch laptop can boast with very good battery runtimes. Read in our report whether that is the only thing the computer has to offer.

For the original German review, see here.

The build of the Aspire V3-331 is identical with the Aspire V3-371 (Core i3-4030U, HD Graphics 4400) that we recently tested. The processors used in the two models differ though. While the V3-371 is available with Core processors, the V3-331 is powered by a Pentium processor. Despite its fairly low price, the V3-371 attracted attention with good battery runtimes. Our test report reveals whether the V3-331 can keep up in this regard.

One contender of the Aspire is found in Lenovo's M30-70 (Core i3-4010U, HD Graphics 4400). This model is also a low-priced 13.3-inch laptop.

Since the Aspire's build is identical with that of the V3-371, we will not go in-depth about the casing, input devices, connectivity or speakers. Corresponding information can be found in the review of the Aspire V3-371.

Case & Connectivity

Unlike the Aspire V3-371 that is available in either black or white, the V3-331 is presently only available with a black casing. The only difference between both color options is found in the pattern on the lid's back.

Black casing (V3-371 and V3-331)
Black casing (V3-371 and V3-331)
White casing (V3-371)
White casing (V3-371)

Display

The Aspire sports a matte 13.3-inch screen that operates with a brightness of 189 cd/m², which is not a good rate. The screen's contrast of 234:1 and black level of 0.82 cd/m² are not outstanding either.

205
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
193
cd/m²
185
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
178
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
172
cd/m²
194
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 205 cd/m²
Average: 189 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 192 cd/m²
Black: 0.82 cd/m²
Contrast: 234:1

The screen's average DeltaE 2000 shift is about 8.83 in state of delivery. Thus, the screen scores marginally better than most screens that we have assessed to date (DeltaE of 10 to 12). However, the Aspire's screen does not come remotely close to the target range of DeltaE less than 3. Besides that, the screen has a visible bluish cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
The Aspire outdoors
The Aspire outdoors

As might be suspected from the laptop's price level, the screen only offers limited viewing angles - but we did not expect anything else. The laptop is quite suitable for outdoor use owing to the screen's matte surface. However, extremely bright surroundings should be avoided.

Performance

Acer has a basic 13.3-inch office laptop in its lineup with the Aspire V3-331. The device deals with routine tasks such as browsing, Skype, typing, as well as video playback. Users who want more diversity should take a device from the identically built V3-371 line. This range, for example, offers models with a matte Full HD screen and/or solid state drive.

Processor

A Pentium 3556U processor beats inside the Aspire. This dual-core processor (Haswell) clocks with a speed of 1.7 GHz. It does not have a Turbo. Intel specifies the CPU's TDP with 15 watts. The full processing power is available in both AC and battery mode. The processor ran the CPU tests of the Cinebench benchmarks at full speed in both cases.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.41 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.78 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
64 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
122 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
13.57 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.75 Points ∼38%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.73 Points ∼37% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
0.74 Points ∼37% -1%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.8 Points ∼40% +7%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.04 Points ∼52% +39%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.41 Points ∼8%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
1.34 Points ∼8% -5%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.8 Points ∼10% +28%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.03 Points ∼12% +44%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.52 Points ∼14% +79%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly and no problems occurred. The direct comparison shows that the V3-331 only scores marginally worse than the Aspire V3-371 (Core i3-4030U, HD Graphics (Haswell)) in the PCMark benchmarks. The V3-371 sports both a stronger processor and GPU. Both Aspire models are equipped with a hybrid hard drive (hard drive with an integrated SSD cache). The PCMark benchmark clearly benefits from these kinds of hard drives and achieves better results with them than with conventional hard drives. PCMark 8 was divided. The partial benchmarks Home, Creative and Work hardly benefit from hybrid hard drives, and thus they allow a better comparability of the results.

PC Mark
PCMark 8 Home v21848 points
PCMark 8 Creative v21564 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1848 Points ∼37%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1981 Points ∼40% +7%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
2023 Points ∼41% +9%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2158 Points ∼44% +17%

Storage Devices

Acer installs a hybrid hard drive from Seagate in the Aspire. It has a capacity of 500 GB and spins with 5400 revolutions per minute. An integrated, 8 GB hard drive ensures that frequently used applications open faster. The drive offers overall good transfer rates.

Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Sequential Read: 96.37 MB/s
Sequential Write: 94.14 MB/s
512K Read: 34.35 MB/s
512K Write: 52.51 MB/s
4K Read: 0.416 MB/s
4K Write: 0.816 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 0.923 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 0.808 MB/s

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics core takes care of graphics output. It supports DirectX 11.1 and operates with speeds ranging from 200 MHz to 1000 MHz. The 3DMark benchmark scores are as we expected from the GPU. The Aspire cannot compete with the scores of the V3-371 because of its stronger graphics chip.

3D Mark
3DMark 11555 points
3DMark Ice Storm25637 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2366 points
3DMark Fire Strike304 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
555 Points ∼4%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
374 Points ∼3% -33%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
774 Points ∼5% +39%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
786 Points ∼5% +42%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
786 Points ∼5% +42%

Gaming Performance

The Aspire is able to run a few up-to-date computer games in low resolution using low quality settings smoothly. A few more frames can be retrieved by installing a second working memory module. The working memory would then operate in dual-channel mode, which would make better use of the GPU and could - depending on the game - achieve up to 20% higher frame rates. A higher price would have to be paid should gaming suitability be a purchase criterion. Gaming capable, 13.3-inch laptops are available from approximately 900 Euros (~$1194). Two recommendable devices are, for example, Acer's Aspire S3-392G and Asus' Zenbook UX32LN. Affordable, gaming-suitable laptops are only found in a 15.6-inch size. We would mention Acer's Aspire E1-572G (Core i5-4200U, Radeon HD 8750M) as an example. It is currently sold for less than 500 Euros (~$663).

low med.high ultra
Trackmania Nations Forever (2008) 11345.1fps
Far Cry 3 (2012) 18.711.4fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 30.214.28.1fps
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) 19.914fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 58.219.6fps
Risen 3: Titan Lords (2014) 13.39.7fps

Emissions

System Noise

The Aspire overall belongs to the quiet laptops of its kind. The device is virtually silent when idling. At most, the hard drive's noise can be heard in very quiet surroundings. The fan spins with higher speed during load, but the produced noise level still has to be called very moderate. It looks similar in the Aspire V3-371. The fan in the V3-371 only increased its speed a bit more during the stress test.

Noise Level

Idle 30 / 30 / 30 dB(A)
HDD 30.3 dB(A)
Load 35.8 / 36 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
Intel Pentium 3556U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo M30-70
Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
Intel Core i3-4030U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Noise
-2%
-1%
0%
Idle Minimum *3031.2
-4%
29.8
1%
31.3
-4%
Idle Average *3031.2
-4%
30
-0%
31.3
-4%
Idle Maximum *3031.2
-4%
30.2
-1%
31.3
-4%
Load Average *35.833.5
6%
33.8
6%
31.6
12%
Load Maximum *3638.2
-6%
39.6
-10%
35.7
1%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The Aspire in the stress test
The Aspire in the stress test

The Aspire's exterior temperatures were within an acceptable range when idling. The temperatures only increased slightly in the stress test. 40 °C was exceeded only on two measuring points. Overall, the Aspire heats up a bit less than the Aspire V3-371. Both the CPU and GPU processed the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour) at full speed in AC and battery mode (CPU: 1.7 GHz; GPU: 1 GHz). The CPU's temperature settled to approximately 60 °C in the stress test.

 32.3 °C32.2 °C32 °C 
 31.6 °C30.6 °C29.5 °C 
 27.2 °C27.5 °C28 °C 
Maximum: 32.3 °C
Average: 30.1 °C
32.1 °C36.5 °C35.2 °C
29.5 °C29.5 °C32 °C
28.3 °C27.8 °C28.8 °C
Maximum: 36.5 °C
Average: 31.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  33.1 °C | Room Temperature 23.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
Intel Pentium 3556U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo M30-70
Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
Intel Core i3-4030U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Heat
3%
-4%
6%
Maximum Upper Side *3744.6
-21%
41.8
-13%
41.1
-11%
Maximum Bottom *43.238.6
11%
45.3
-5%
43.5
-1%
Idle Upper Side *32.330.6
5%
32.3
-0%
26.8
17%
Idle Bottom *36.529.8
18%
34.9
4%
30.1
18%

* ... smaller is better

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We did not record any anomalies in power consumption. The power requirement ranged within the field that we expect from this hardware platform over the entire load range. The power consumption stayed below 10 watts in idle mode - like we know from Haswell processors.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 5.3 / 6.6 / 7.9 Watt
Load 23.5 / 27.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
Intel Pentium 3556U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo M30-70
Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
Intel Core i3-4030U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Power Consumption
6%
-3%
-0%
Idle Minimum *5.33.9
26%
4
25%
4.7
11%
Idle Average *6.65.6
15%
6
9%
6.3
5%
Idle Maximum *7.98.4
-6%
9.9
-25%
7.1
10%
Load Average *23.520.9
11%
23.5
-0%
28.8
-23%
Load Maximum *27.432.1
-17%
34
-24%
28.8
-5%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Websites are opened automatically every 40 seconds in the practical Wi-Fi test. The energy-saving profile is enabled and the screen's brightness is set to approximately 150 cd/m². The Aspire achieved a runtime of 6:27 h, which is on par with the Aspire V3-371 (6:34 h). Lenovo's M30-70 (3:37 h) cannot compete with either laptop because its battery has a considerably lower capacity (32 Wh) than the Acer contenders (48 Wh).

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
6h 27min
Battery Runtime - WiFi (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
HD Graphics (Haswell), 3556U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
387 min ∼14%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
214 min ∼8%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
217 min ∼8%
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
394 min ∼15%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
871 min ∼32%

Verdict

The Aspire V3-331 is virtually identical with the recently tested Aspire V3-371 - apart from the casing's color. Both have the same strengths and weaknesses in common. They offer very good battery runtimes, have matte screens, and they feature decent keyboards. However, the installed screens are dark, low in contrast, and they have a bluish cast. Additionally, neither have a maintenance cover. The Aspire V3-331 sports a slightly weaker processor, and thus the device operates a bit quieter and does not heat up quite as much. Like the Aspire V3-371, the Aspire V3-331 is recommendable as a portable, 13.3-inch typewriter and browsing machine. Buyers looking for an affordable compromise of size, mobility, and endurance should look closer at the V3-331. The surcharge for the Aspire V3-371 is worthwhile for users who require high multi-thread power. The Core i3-4030U has more to offer than the Pentium in this regard.

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In review: Acer Aspire V3-331-P982. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Acer Aspire V3-331-P982. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

Specifications

Acer Aspire V3-331-P982

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, single-channel, two memory banks (one bank filled)
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Core: 200-1000 MHz, 10.18.10.3496
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AU Optronics B133XW01 V3, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 420 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR5BWB222 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.2 x 327 x 228
:: Weight
1.46 kg Power Supply: 0.275 kg
:: Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion
:: Price
449 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD webcam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Acer Video Player, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3, Cyberlink PowerDirector 10, McAfee LiveSafe - Internet Security (trial), MS Office 365 (trial), Nero BackItUp 12 Essentials, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

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Pro

+Very good battery runtimes
+Matte screen
+Quiet operating noise
+Decent keyboard
+Inexpensive
+24-month warranty
 

Cons

-No maintenance cover
-Screen's bluish cast

Shortcut

What we like

The good battery runtimes and the matte screen. We don't often find the latter in affordable laptops.

What we'd like to see

A maintenance cover.

What surprises us

Rarely are very good battery runtimes combined with a low laptop price.

The competition

Lenovo M30-70, Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2, Dell Latitude 3340, Lenovo IdeaPad S300.

Rating

Acer Aspire V3-331-P982
08/16/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
72 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
73%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
55 / 95 → 58%
Weight
69 / 78 → 79%
Battery
89%
Display
72%
Games Performance
54 / 85 → 64%
Application Performance
57%
Temperature
89 / 91 → 98%
Noise
93%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
70%
77%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Aspire V3-331-P982 Notebook Review Update
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-08-20 (Update: 2014-08-20)