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Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2 Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 08/08/2014

Got stamina? The first thing you notice about this flat 13.3-inch notebook is its white case, but its most striking feature lies elsewhere: The Aspire V3-371 provides very good battery life at a moderate price. But is the Aspire a persuasive offer overall? Our review reveals the answer.

For the original German review, see here.

Acer's Aspire V3-371 is a flat, handy 13.3-inch subnotebook. Theoretically, everything needed to make the device a great home surf station is on board. But does the theory work in practice? Read on to find out.

Just recently, we reviewed one of the Aspire's competitors, the Lenovo M30-70 (Core i3-4010UHD Graphics 4400). The two computers are based on a similar concept and lie in the same price range.

Case & Connectivity

The Aspire immediately draws attention with its completely white case. However, those who shrink from the idea of owning a bright white notebook can take a deep breath: The device is also available in black. Most of the case is constructed out of plastic; only the backside of the lid is made of aluminum. The case's stability is reasonably good. The base unit proves to have a weakness we see on many notebooks: Under pressure, the edges bend a little bit. The base unit can be twisted only ever so slightly. The lid gains stability from its aluminum backside, but it too can still be twisted. We are fans of the hinges: They hold the lid tightly in position and hardly bounce at all. The Aspire does not have a maintenance hatch.

The Aspire does not offer a plethora of connectivity options: Acer selected only the most important connections. Unfortunately, the computer's weak WLAN connection stands out. Even in the direct vicinity of the router (about 3 meters away), Windows never showed more than 2 to 3 bars. However, we did not experience any decrease in the data transfer rates.

Left side: audio combo, memory-card reader (Image: Acer)
Left side: audio combo, memory-card reader (Image: Acer)
Right side: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, power connection (Image: Acer)
Right side: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, power connection (Image: Acer)

Input Devices

The Aspire's input devices (Image: Acer)
The Aspire's input devices (Image: Acer)

Acer outfitted their Aspire with an unlit chiclet keyboard. The flat, roughened keys offer a short travel distance and a clear click point. The keyboard bends a little during typing, but this does not have a negative effect on the overall typing experience. All in all, Acer provided their notebook with a reasonably good keyboard that should be comfortable even for those who type a lot. A multitouch-capable ClickPad serves as the device's mouse replacement. The pad measures 10.5 x 6 cm (~4.1 x 2.4 inches), and its smooth texture helps fingers glide across the surface easily. The pad has a short travel length and a clearly audible and tangible click point.

Display

Acer equipped their Aspire with a matte 13.3-inch display. The panel has a resolution of 1366x768 pixels and offers a maximum brightness level of 200.2 cd/m². This number is typical for a notebook in this price class and therefore not particularly impressive. The display's contrast (406:1) and black value (0.5 cd/m²) are on a similar plane -- not good, but certainly respectable.

209
cd/m²
197
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
189
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 216 cd/m²
Average: 200.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 203 cd/m²
Black: 0.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 406:1

Out of the factory, the panel's average DeltaE 2000 deviation came to 9.73. This number is normal for the notebook's price class as well. A DeltaE 2000 deviation of less than 3 would be ideal. The display has a noticeable blue cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - Color saturation
The Aspire in outdoor use
The Aspire in outdoor use

The Aspire houses a TN panel, which means the display content is only visible from a limited range of angles. Thanks to the matte display surface, outdoor use is certainly possible, though it would be best to avoid extremely bright environments.

Performance

The Acer Aspire V3-371 is a simple 13.3-inch office notebook. The device's performance is more than sufficient for everyday tasks. Our test device is currently for sale for about 500 Euros (~$670). Those who can make do without a Windows operating system can purchase the device for just 450 Euros (~$605). Alternative configurations do exist; the notebook is also available with a Full HD display and/or a Solid State Drive.

Processor

Core i3-4030U takes on the role of processor in the Aspire. This Haswell generation dual-core CPU runs at a speed of 1.9 GHz. There is no turbo. The processor supports Hyper-Threading (each core can process up to two threads simultaneously). The CPU's full performance is available in both AC power and battery mode. The system completed the Cinebench benchmark's CPU tests at 1.9 GHz in both modes.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
5434 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
7997 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
3715 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5237
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
6285
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2813
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.8 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
15.39 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.03 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
19.21 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
191 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
76 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.8 Points ∼40%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.73 Points ∼37% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
0.74 Points ∼37% -7%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.04 Points ∼52% +30%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1.3 Points ∼65% +63%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.03 Points ∼12%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
1.34 Points ∼8% -34%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.8 Points ∼10% -11%
HP ProBook 430-G1
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
2.5 Points ∼14% +23%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.52 Points ∼14% +24%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
2.95 Points ∼17% +45%

System Performance

The system runs robustly and fluidly; we did not run into any problems. In keeping with our subjective experience, the results from the PCMark benchmark are good. The hybrid hard drive (hard drive with built-in SSD cache) is to thank for this, as the device profits greatly from its SSD cache in this benchmark.

PC Mark
PCMark 73314 points
PCMark 8 Home v22158 points
PCMark 8 Creative v22243 points
PCMark 8 Work v23160 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2158 Points ∼44%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1981 Points ∼40% -8%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
2023 Points ∼41% -6%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
2111 Points ∼43% -2%

Storage Devices

A hybrid hard drive from Seagate serves as the system's mass-storage device. The drive offers a capacity of 500 GB and runs at 5400 rpm. Seagate outfitted the storage medium with an SSD cache (8 GB). This cache helps frequently used applications to start up quickly. Overall, the drive achieves good transfer rates. The 4k-read/write rates prove to be above average, thanks to the cache.

Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Sequential Read: 108.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 111.2 MB/s
512K Read: 43.33 MB/s
512K Write: 79.05 MB/s
4K Read: 0.76 MB/s
4K Write: 3.605 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 1.797 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 0.972 MB/s

Graphics Card

An HD Graphics 4400 graphics core also makes its home in the Aspire. The GPU supports DirectX 11.1 and runs at speeds of between 200 and 1000 MHz. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are what we would expect of a system with this graphics core.

3D Mark
3DMark 11786 points
3DMark Ice Storm34508 points
3DMark Cloud Gate3603 points
3DMark Fire Strike482 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
786 Points ∼4%
Lenovo IdeaPad S300-MA14CGE
HD Graphics 2500, 2117U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
374 Points ∼2% -52%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
774 Points ∼4% -2%
HP ProBook 430-G1
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
784 Points ∼4% 0%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
786 Points ∼4% 0%
Asus ASUSPRO Essential PU301LA-RO064G
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
843 Points ∼5% +7%

Gaming Performance

Running computer games is not one of the Aspire's strengths. For the most part, the notebook can fluidly render games at low resolution and low quality settings at best. Games that demand little of the hardware can be played at higher resolutions and/or quality settings. This includes titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the various games in the FIFA series, for instance. Anyone looking for a 13.3-inch notebook that is capable of running games with high hardware demands will have to pay dearly for it. Possible options in that segment of the market include the Acer Aspire S3-392G and the Asus Zenbook UX32LN, for example.

low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 36.618.310.3fps

Emissions

System Noise

In idle mode, the Aspire hardly makes a peep. The hard drive is the only component that is even remotely audible. The fan only starts turning when the notebook is under load. Under medium load (3DMark06 running), the fan spins at no more than a moderate speed. Only under full load (stress test, Prime95 and Furmark running simultaneously) is the fan clearly audible.

Noise Level

Idle 29.8 / 30 / 30.2 dB(A)
HDD 30 dB(A)
Load 33.8 / 39.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Noise
Idle Minimum (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
29.8 dB * ∼60%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
31.2 dB * ∼62%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
31.3 dB * ∼63%
Idle Average (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
30 dB * ∼60%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
31.2 dB * ∼62%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
31.3 dB * ∼63%
Idle Maximum (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
30.2 dB * ∼60%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
31.2 dB * ∼62%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
31.3 dB * ∼63%
Load Average (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
33.8 dB * ∼68%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
33.5 dB * ∼67%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
31.6 dB * ∼63%
Load Maximum (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
39.6 dB * ∼79%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
38.2 dB * ∼76%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
35.7 dB * ∼71%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

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

In idle mode, the Aspire's external temperatures are in the green. During the stress test, the numbers only rise moderately, but the case temperatures cross the 40 °C (104 °F) line in several spots. Both the CPU and GPU perform the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running simultaneously for at least an hour) at their full speeds in AC power mode as well as in battery mode (CPU: 1.9 GHz; GPU: 1 GHz). The CPU temperature leveled off at about 68 °C (154.4 °F) during the stress test.

Max. Load
 35.9 °C41.8 °C37.7 °C 
 31.3 °C35.7 °C34.8 °C 
 27.6 °C27.9 °C28.8 °C 
Maximum: 41.8 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
45.3 °C44.9 °C34.1 °C
41.3 °C39.4 °C33.4 °C
27.1 °C26.6 °C25.9 °C
Maximum: 45.3 °C
Average: 35.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  53.3 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
Heat
Maximum Upper Side (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
41.8 °C * ∼70%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
44.6 °C * ∼74%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
41.1 °C * ∼69%
Maximum Bottom (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
45.3 °C * ∼76%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
38.6 °C * ∼64%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
43.5 °C * ∼73%
Idle Upper Side (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
32.3 °C * ∼54%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
30.6 °C * ∼51%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
26.8 °C * ∼45%
Idle Bottom (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
34.9 °C * ∼58%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
29.8 °C * ∼50%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
30.1 °C * ∼50%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The Aspire's stereo speakers are located on the underside of the device and generate a voluminous sound, though the bass is lacking. All in all, the speakers are comfortable to listen to. We have certainly heard worse. The preinstalled Dolby Digital Plus software substantially improves the sound quality.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Under every level of load, the Aspire's energy consumption rates lie in the expected range. We did not observe any rogue results in the data. Good: Like almost all notebooks equipped with a Haswell processor, the Aspire too consumes very little energy in idle mode.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 4 / 6 / 9.9 Watt
Load 23.5 / 34 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

In our WLAN test, which is designed to simulate practical, everyday use, we ran a script that automatically loads a new webpage every 40 seconds. The energy-saving profile is active and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². The Aspire kept chugging along for 6:34 h. The Lenovo M30 we tested just recently cannot hold a candle to that runtime (3:37 h).

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
6h 34min
Battery Runtime - WiFi (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
394 min ∼15%
Lenovo M30-70
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
217 min ∼8%
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, WD Blue UltraSlim WD5000MPCK-22AWHT0
302 min ∼11%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
426 min ∼16%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
515 min ∼19%
Asus UX32LA-R3025H
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, SanDisk SD6SB1M128G1002
640 min ∼24%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, SanDisk SD6SB1M128G1002
653 min ∼24%
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
871 min ∼32%

Verdict

The Acer Aspire V3-371 surprised us a little bit with its matte display and very good battery life -- we had expected this to be a run-of-the-mill 500 Euros (~$670) notebook. Additionally, the device offers its fair share of performance and runs quietly. Acer also put out the money to give the Aspire a decent keyboard. The display is not exceptional, but for the notebook's price, it is certainly acceptable. All in all, the Aspire is a good, inexpensive 13.3-inch notebook for writing and surfing. Students especially may wish to take a closer look.

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In review: Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2 (NX.MPFEG.001). Test model courtesy of Acer Deutschland.
In review: Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2 (NX.MPFEG.001). Test model courtesy of Acer Deutschland.

Specifications

Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4400, Core: 200-1000 MHz, 10.18.10.3496
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3, Single-channel, Two memory banks (one occupied)
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AU Optronics B133XW01 V3, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
Harddisk
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 
5400 rpm , 410 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Audio combination, Card Reader: SD,
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 x 327 x 228 ( = 0.87 x 12.87 x 8.98 in)
Weight
1.5 kg ( = 52.91 oz) Power Supply: 275 g ( = 9.7 oz)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion
Price
499 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: HD webcam, Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3, Cyberlink PowerDirector 10, McAfee Internet Security Suite (trial version), Microsoft Office 365 (trial version), Nero BackItUp 12 Essentials, 24 Months Warranty

 

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Price Comparison

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Pro

+Very good battery life
+Matte display
+Usually runs quietly
+Respectable keyboard
 

Cons

-No maintenance hatch
-Display has blue cast

Shortcut

What we like

The good battery life and the matte display.

What we'd like to see

A maintenance hatch.

What surprises us

We do not run across low-priced notebooks with a long battery life very often.

The competition

Lenovo M30-70, Dell Latitude 3340, HP ProBook 430 G1, Asus PU301LA-RO064G, Lenovo IdeaPad S300, Asus VivoBook S301LA-C1073H.

Rating

Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2
10/09/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
75 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
73%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
55 / 95 → 58%
Weight
69 / 78 → 79%
Battery
89%
Display
76%
Games Performance
62 / 85 → 73%
Application Performance
62%
Temperature
88 / 91 → 97%
Noise
92%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
71%
78%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Aspire V3-371-36M2 Notebook Review
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-08- 8 (Update: 2014-08- 9)