Notebookcheck

Acer Aspire 3 A315-21 (A6-9220, Radeon R4) Laptop Review

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Tanja Hinum (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 11/07/2017

Simple office computer. Acer's 15.6-inch laptop offers an AMD APU from the Stoney Ridge generation, a quick SSD, and an additional 2.5-inch hard drive. The battery life leaves something to be desired.

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Acer's Aspire 3 A315-21 series represents a line of 15.6-inch laptops that run on Stoney Ridge APUs manufactured by AMD. The laptops are not unfamiliar to us, given that they are structurally identical to the Aspire 3 A315-51 line. The A315-51 line contains Intel processors. We recently reviewed one of the models from that line, the Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4. Our current test device's competition comprises of the Lenovo V110-15IKB, the Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C, the HP 250 G5, the HP 15-ba077ng and similar devices.

Because the two Aspire 3 A315 models we've chosen to review are structurally identical, we will not cover the case, connectivity options, input devices or speakers in this article. For more information on these subjects, please see our review of the Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4.

Note: The Aspire 3's SSD (Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH, 128 GB, M.2-2280, SATA III) died at the beginning of our testing process. In order to complete our tests, we replaced the SSD with one of ours (Transcend MTS400, 128 GB, M.2-2242, SATA III). 

Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y (Aspire 3 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), Core: 200-655 MHz, Single-channel, 22.19.662.4 (Crimson 17.7.2)
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, Single-channel, One memory bank (occupied), 4 GB soldered
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel 100 PPI, Chi Mei N156BGA-EA2, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH, 128 GB 
, + Seagate ST1000LM035 (1 TB, 5400 rpm), 1010 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ AMD K15.7 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: SD, TPM 2.0
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21.6 x 381.6 x 259 ( = 0.85 x 15.02 x 10.2 in)
Battery
37 Wh, 4810 mAh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 5.5 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: SD
Primary Camera: 0.3 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.1 kg ( = 74.08 oz / 4.63 pounds), Power Supply: 265 g ( = 9.35 oz / 0.58 pounds)
Price
499 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Size Comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Acer Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77 MB/s ∼100% +30%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
59.3 MB/s ∼77%
HP 15-ba077ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.2 MB/s ∼35% -54%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.4 MB/s ∼34% -55%
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
 
23.7 MB/s ∼31% -60%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
22.7 MB/s ∼29% -62%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
22.7 MB/s ∼29% -62%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Acer Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86 MB/s ∼100% +11%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.8 MB/s ∼90%
HP 15-ba077ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
38.3 MB/s ∼45% -51%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.6 MB/s ∼32% -65%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.6 MB/s ∼31% -66%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.6 MB/s ∼31% -66%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
313 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
311 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
310 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
287 MBit/s ∼92% -8%
HP 15-ba077ng
Realtek RTL8723BE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC
43 MBit/s ∼14% -86%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
345 MBit/s ∼100% +71%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
341 MBit/s ∼99% +69%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
335 MBit/s ∼97% +66%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
202 MBit/s ∼59%
HP 15-ba077ng
Realtek RTL8723BE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC
54 MBit/s ∼16% -73%

Display

Pixel grid
Pixel grid

The Aspire 3's 15.6-inch matte display has a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The brightness (219.8 cd/m2) and contrast (474:1) are too low.

At brightness levels of 20 percent and below, the display uses PWM-backlight flickering at a frequency of 25,000 Hz. A frequency in that high range should spare even sensitive users from eye problems and/or headaches. 

234
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 234 cd/m² Average: 219.8 cd/m² Minimum: 18 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 223 cd/m²
Contrast: 474:1 (Black: 0.47 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.72 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 11.81 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
59% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.32

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Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
TN, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
HP 15-ba077ng
TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4
TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-9%
-53%
9%
-10%
-29%
27%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
48 (26, 22)
39 (21, 18)
19%
68 (32, 36)
-42%
40 (20, 20)
17%
42.4 (14.8, 27.6)
12%
42 (21, 21)
12%
44 (22, 22)
8%
Response Time Black / White *
22 (18, 4)
19 (14, 5)
14%
26 (20, 6)
-18%
22 (6, 16)
-0%
28.8 (10.8, 18)
-31%
22 (6, 16)
-0%
12 (8, 4)
45%
PWM Frequency
25000 (20)
10000 (20)
-60%
217 (90)
-99%
50 (70)
-100%
Screen
-2%
-1%
-4%
-19%
-10%
22%
Brightness middle
223
243
9%
226
1%
219
-2%
199.8
-10%
209
-6%
241
8%
Brightness
220
233
6%
217
-1%
222
1%
199
-10%
200
-9%
229
4%
Brightness Distribution
88
75
-15%
91
3%
85
-3%
85
-3%
88
0%
87
-1%
Black Level *
0.47
0.45
4%
0.58
-23%
0.39
17%
0.712
-51%
0.56
-19%
0.46
2%
Contrast
474
540
14%
390
-18%
562
19%
281
-41%
373
-21%
524
11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.72
11.69
-9%
9.84
8%
12.67
-18%
13.24
-24%
12.21
-14%
3.4
68%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
17.7
20.08
-13%
16.77
5%
20.99
-19%
21.52
-22%
20.66
-17%
7.61
57%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.81
13.12
-11%
11.1
6%
13.82
-17%
13.33
-13%
13.48
-14%
1.7
86%
Gamma
2.32 95%
2.24 98%
2.35 94%
2.63 84%
1.69 130%
2.34 94%
2.36 93%
CCT
13530 48%
16905 38%
11979 54%
15633 42%
15879 41%
15364 42%
6750 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38
37
-3%
39
3%
35
-8%
33.8
-11%
38
0%
34
-11%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59
59
0%
61
3%
55
-7%
53.4
-9%
60
2%
54
-8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-6% / -3%
-27% / -13%
3% / -2%
-15% / -18%
-20% / -14%
25% / 22%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25000 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8931 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

In factory default state, the display's DeltaE 2000 color deviation comes to 10.72. Manufacturers should strive for a difference of less than 3. The screen also suffers from a blue cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - Color saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
22 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 23 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
48 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 78 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Unfortunately, Acer equipped the Aspire with a TN panel that does not offer stable viewing angles. As a result, the screen content does not look correct from every position. The laptop can be used outdoors when the sun is not shining too brightly.

The Aspire outdoors (photo taken on a completely overcast day).
The Aspire outdoors (photo taken on a completely overcast day).

Performance

The Aspire A315-21 is a simple 15.6-inch office laptop of Acer's creation. The computer offers enough processing power for office and Internet-related applications. Our test device is available for around 500 Euros (~$575; US model on the market for $418). Acer also offers other versions of the computer with different hardware components. These are joined by models from the structurally identical Aspire 3 A315-51 series.

Processor

The Aspire is equipped with an A6-9220 (Stoney Ridge) APU manufactured by AMD. With a TDP of 15 watts, the APU is on par with Intel's ULV processors. The CPU portion of the APU is a dual-core processor that runs at a frequency of 2.5 GHz. When using turbo, it is possible to increase the speed to up to 2.9 GHz. The system completed our CPU tests in the same way in both battery mode and AC power mode. The processor performed the single-thread tests at 2.7 to 2.9 GHz. Its behavior in the first run of the Cinebench R15 multithread test is representative of its behavior in multithread tests in general. It started the test at 2.9 GHz; shortly thereafter, the clock frequency fell to between 2.7 and 2.9 GHz. Later, it dropped to between 2.5 and 2.7 GHz.

To determine whether the CPU fully utilizes its turbo without interruption in AC power mode, we run the Cinebench R15 multithread test for about 30 minutes in a continuous loop. Between the first and second runs, the score dropped by a negligible margin to 110 points and remained there. This means the CPU does not experience a decline in performance.

0102030405060708090100110120Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

The A6-9220 APU is suitable for running office and internet-related applications. Our comparison table reveals that the AMD CPU performs at more or less the same level as Intel's Pentium 3558U (Haswell) dual-core processor.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
2881
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
3941
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2432
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
15.11 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.38 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.8 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
17.44 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
114 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
69 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel Core i5-6200U
116 Points ∼53% +68%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
95 Points ∼44% +38%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
84 Points ∼39% +22%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
80 Points ∼37% +16%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
77 Points ∼35% +12%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
69 Points ∼32%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
67 Points ∼31% -3%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
53 Points ∼24% -23%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
Intel Celeron N3060
37 Points ∼17% -46%
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel Core i5-6200U
288 Points ∼7% +153%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
241 Points ∼6% +111%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
222 Points ∼5% +95%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
216 Points ∼5% +89%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
190 Points ∼4% +67%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
165 Points ∼4% +45%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
129 Points ∼3% +13%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
114 Points ∼3%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
Intel Celeron N3060
68 Points ∼2% -40%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
3587 Points ∼33% +47%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
3227 Points ∼30% +33%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
2951 Points ∼27% +21%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
2596 Points ∼24% +7%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
2510 Points ∼23% +3%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
2432 Points ∼22%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
1675 Points ∼15% -31%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
Intel Celeron N3060
1216 Points ∼11% -50%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
8169 Points ∼16% +107%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
7388 Points ∼15% +87%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
7188 Points ∼14% +82%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
6537 Points ∼13% +66%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
5149 Points ∼10% +31%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
4852 Points ∼10% +23%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
3941 Points ∼8%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
Intel Celeron N3060
2256 Points ∼5% -43%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
5371 Points ∼17% +84%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
5270 Points ∼17% +80%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
4563 Points ∼15% +56%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
4265 Points ∼14% +46%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
3540 Points ∼11% +21%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
2921 Points ∼9%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
2592 Points ∼8% -11%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
2510 Points ∼53% +40%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
2062 Points ∼44% +15%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
1943 Points ∼41% +8%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
1798 Points ∼38%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
1602 Points ∼34% -11%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
1468 Points ∼31% -18%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
1395 Points ∼30% -22%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
5455 Points ∼20% +94%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
4899 Points ∼18% +75%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
4723 Points ∼17% +68%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
4364 Points ∼16% +56%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
3016 Points ∼11% +8%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
2805 Points ∼10%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
2816 Points ∼49% +49%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
2468 Points ∼43% +31%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
2158 Points ∼37% +14%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
1898 Points ∼33% +1%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
1885 Points ∼33%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
1581 Points ∼27% -16%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
5630 Points ∼16% +97%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
3230 Points ∼9% +13%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
2857 Points ∼8%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
2943 Points ∼46% +50%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel Pentium 3558U
1969 Points ∼31% 0%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
1960 Points ∼31%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel Core i5-6200U
160.64 Points ∼48% +36%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
157.15 Points ∼47% +33%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel Core i3-6006U
142.55 Points ∼43% +21%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD A12-9700P
134 Points ∼40% +13%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD A6-9220
118.22 Points ∼35%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel Pentium 3825U
98.047 Points ∼29% -17%
Acer Aspire ES1-533-P7WA
Intel Pentium N4200
90.06 Points ∼27% -24%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
Intel Celeron N3060
58.54 Points ∼18% -50%

System Performance

The system runs quickly and smoothly – we did not run into any problems. The results from the PCMark benchmark demonstrate that the device does not offer a high level of performance. The APU is designed for office and Internet-related applications. It is not possible to improve the computer's overall performance – Acer has already maximized the machine's performance power.

PCMark 7 Score
3558 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2337 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
2320 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3483 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-256G
3317 Points ∼54% +42%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
HD Graphics 610, 4415U, Ramxel S121 RTNRB256RFM4KWDL
3230 Points ∼53% +38%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
HD Graphics 520, 6006U, TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
2937 Points ∼48% +26%
HP 15-ba077ng
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9700P, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-256G
2777 Points ∼46% +19%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), A6-9220, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
2337 Points ∼38%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), N3060, Samsung CM871 MZNLF128HCHP
1661 Points ∼27% -29%

Storage Devices

Acer chose to equip the computer with both an SSD and an HDD. The SSD serves as the system drive. This is an M.2-2280 SATA III model manufactured by Kingston (RBUSNS8180DS3128GH) and offers a total capacity of 128 GB. The 2.5-inch hard drive serves as the data storage center and provides 1 TB of storage space.

Since our test device's SSD died at the beginning of our testing process, we replaced it with one of our own (Transcend MTS400, 128 GB, M.2-2242, SATA III) in order to complete our tests. As a result, we cannot report on the Kingston SSD's transfer rates. However, we have encountered this SSD in other laptops. The transfer rates in those instances were somewhat higher than those of the Transcend SSD we used as a replacement.

Graphics Card

AMD's Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge) GPU is responsible for the laptop's graphics output. It supports DirectX 12 and reaches speeds of up to 655 MHz. The results in the 3D Mark benchmark are on par with those of Intel's HD Graphics 5500 graphics core. This is only true, however, when Intel's GPU has to rely on RAM running in single-channel mode. When dual-channel mode is active, Intel's GPU comes in ahead. The AMD graphics core's performance cannot be improved by activating dual-channel mode, since the laptop's memory controller only supports single-channel mode. The decoder integrated into the GPU can decode both H.264 and HEVC/H.265 material in up to 4K resolution.

GPU-Z
GPU-Z
DXVAChecker
DXVAChecker
3DMark 06 Standard
3886 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
2542 points
3DMark 11 Performance
984 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
30989 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
2458 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
545 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
273 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
215 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), AMD A12-9700P
1856 Points ∼4% +94%
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i5-6200U
1257 Points ∼2% +31%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i3-6006U
1090 Points ∼2% +14%
Lenovo B50-50 80S2000QGE
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Intel Core i3-5005U
968 Points ∼2% +1%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), AMD A6-9220
956 Points ∼2%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
Intel HD Graphics 610, Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
880 Points ∼2% -8%
Lenovo G70-80 80FF00H0GE
Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell), Intel Pentium 3825U
641 Points ∼1% -33%
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Intel Pentium 3558U
509 Points ∼1% -47%
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), Intel Celeron N3060
382 Points ∼1% -60%

Gaming Performance

The Aspire 3 can run a few games smoothly – namely titles that have little in the way of hardware demands. However, the player is limited to low resolutions and low quality settings.

low med. high ultra
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 47.721.9fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 25.716.511.3fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 53.823.715.5fps
Diablo III (2012) 44.831.927.7fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 29.721.917.8fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 45.522.919.5fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 39.419.913.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 34.620.817fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 5724.5fps
Sims 4 (2014) 9028.8fps
F1 2014 (2014) 3026fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 15.110.9fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 15.112fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 48.816.2fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 2617.9fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 32.420.3fps
World of Warships (2015) 3022.1fps
Overwatch (2016) 20.716.9fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 3824.8fps
Rocket League (2017) 31.3fps
Team Fortress 2 (2017) 2322.6fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 15fps

Emissions & Energy

In idle mode, the Aspire's fan often stands still. In that case, the only audible sound is the quiet whirring of the 2.5-inch hard drive. The fan runs at a low speed under all levels of load – from low to maximum. The sound pressure level comes to 31.9 dB in both cases. However, the fan does increase its speed time and again – in which case the sound pressure level intensifies to up to 39 dB.

The fan revs up in this way under full load, in idle mode and under low levels of load. If we observe the temperatures of the various laptop components, we see that the fan does not in fact need to increase its speed. This behavior is especially bothersome in a simple office laptop. In fact, it is a strong argument against buying the device. Acer should fix this with a BIOS update.

Noise Level

Idle
30.4 / 31.6 / 31.6 dB(A)
HDD
31 dB(A)
Load
31.9 / 31.9 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.4 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.332.431.234.530.632.32530.329.932.13232.830.33133.733.434.1353233.7403029.833.432.530.4305037.636.337.535.435.337.66328.227.327.529.129.928.28025.926.426.52727.425.910025.226.325.327.225.725.212527.324.425.225.624.727.316025.123.724.62524.125.120024.623.123.423.623.124.625024.321.821.922.322.324.331526.321.921.222.121.326.340025.521.420.220.520.525.55002420.419.820.419.72463023.119.719.12018.923.180027.720.918.320.118.427.7100031.722.818.121.418.331.7125028.720.717.620.117.628.716002820.117.719.317.728200030.320.117.419.517.430.3250031.219.517.719.217.531.2315026.418.717.718.517.826.4400023.118.317.818.217.923.150002218.318.1181822630020.918.118.418.218.120.9800019.818.418.318.418.419.81000018.818.318.418.618.418.81250018.418.418.418.718.418.41600018.619.118.418.518.418.6SPL39.431.930.531.630.439.4N31.71.41.61.43median 25.1median 20.1median 18.4median 20median 18.4median 25.1Delta2.71.91.92.322.7hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y

Temperature

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

The Aspire completed our stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running simultaneously for at least an hour) in the same way in both AC power mode and battery mode. The processor ran at 1.3 GHz, while the graphics core went about its business at full speed (655 MHz). The computer hardly warmed up at all. During the stress test, the case temperature only exceeded 30 °C (86 °F) in two spots. 

Max. Load
 29.1 °C
84 F
30.5 °C
87 F
21.1 °C
70 F
 
 28 °C
82 F
28.2 °C
83 F
20.8 °C
69 F
 
 21.1 °C
70 F
20.4 °C
69 F
22.4 °C
72 F
 
Maximum: 30.5 °C = 87 F
Average: 24.6 °C = 76 F
20.3 °C
69 F
33 °C
91 F
28 °C
82 F
22.9 °C
73 F
24.8 °C
77 F
25.9 °C
79 F
20.6 °C
69 F
20.4 °C
69 F
20.9 °C
70 F
Maximum: 33 °C = 91 F
Average: 24.1 °C = 75 F
Power Supply (max.)  42.6 °C = 109 F | Room Temperature 20.8 °C = 69 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 24.6 °C / 76 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 30.5 °C / 87 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 33 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.8 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 24 °C / 75.2 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (+4.3 °C / 7.7 F).
Heat development top (load)
Heat development top (load)
Heat development bottom (load)
Heat development bottom (load)
Heat development top (idle)
Heat development top (idle)
Heat development bottom (idle)
Heat development bottom (idle)

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.230.632.22530.332.830.33136.13236.14032.130.432.1503735.3376328.629.928.68026.427.426.410026.325.726.312526.724.726.716033.224.133.220035.523.135.525038.822.338.831546.221.346.240053.920.553.950052.419.752.463056.918.956.980066.218.466.210007218.372125066.617.666.6160061.517.761.5200062.617.462.6250060.717.560.7315062.717.862.7400064.117.964.15000621862630053.918.153.9800054.118.454.11000056.618.456.6125006218.4621600063.218.463.2SPL7630.476N33.91.433.9median 56.9median 18.4median 56.9Delta8.628.635.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Aspire 3 A315-21-651YApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.95 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (13.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 82% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 14% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 74% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Consumption

The Aspire does not need much energy under any level of load. In idle mode, we registered a maximum energy consumption rate of 8.7 watts. During the stress test, the rate rose to 21.6 watts. This figure would be higher if the CPU did not throttle so severely. The 45-watt power supply is able to provide the laptop with more than enough power.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.33 / 0.36 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.6 / 7.3 / 8.7 Watt
Load midlight 20 / 21.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Our WLAN test – designed to simulate normal, everyday use – uses a script to load new websites at regular intervals. The "balanced" profile is active, the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m², and the device's energy-saving functions are deactivated. The Aspire 3 lasted 4:03 hours – certainly not an astounding runtime. In comparison, the laptop's Intel-based sister model managed 5:50 hours out of the same battery.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41)
4h 03min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
HP 250 G5 Y1V08UT
N3060, HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), 41 Wh
376 min ∼14% +55%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
6006U, HD Graphics 520, 44 Wh
356 min ∼14% +47%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-51-55E4
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 37 Wh
350 min ∼13% +44%
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
6200U, HD Graphics 520, 41 Wh
347 min ∼13% +43%
HP 15-ba077ng
A12-9700P, Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), 41 Wh
296 min ∼11% +22%
Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y
A6-9220, Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge), 37 Wh
243 min ∼9%
Lenovo IdeaPad V110-15IKB 80TH001SGE
4415U, HD Graphics 610, 32 Wh
233 min ∼9% -4%

Pros

+ matte display
+ barely warms up
+ SSD+HDD
+ maintenance hatch
+ AC-WLAN
+ quick memory-card reader

Cons

- dark, low-contrast display
- average battery life at best

Verdict

The Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y, courtesy of Acer Germany.
The Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y, courtesy of Acer Germany.

Acer's Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y is a simple 15.6-inch office laptop to use at home. The APU has sufficient performance power to handle office and Internet-related applications. The laptop hardly warms up at all. It could also run quietly under every level of load, but the unsatisfactory fan control ruins the whole thing.

The Aspire 3 A315-21 is a simple office laptop that can easily handle everyday tasks.

The SSD enables the system to run quickly. There is no shortage of storage space, given that the SSD is accompanied by a 1 TB 2.5-inch hard drive. The keyboard is reasonably good and fulfills all the requirements for home use. The matte 15.6-inch display will not win any prizes. It is dark, has poor contrast, and it does not provide stable viewing angles.

In our eyes, the Aspire's price is its biggest problem. At the time of publishing, the device is listed at just under 500 Euros (~$575; US version $418) on various price search engines. Some of the models from the structurally identical, Intel-based Aspire 3 A315-51 series are at a similar price point. The Intel CPUs in those machines are substantially more powerful than the AMD APU. Additionally, those models offer better battery life.

Acer Aspire 3 A315-21-651Y - 11/02/2017 v6
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
68 / 98 → 70%
Keyboard
69%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
45 / 80 → 56%
Weight
62 / 20-67 → 90%
Battery
75%
Display
75%
Games Performance
52 / 68 → 76%
Application Performance
56 / 92 → 61%
Temperature
96%
Noise
88%
Audio
66%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
67%
74%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Aspire 3 A315-21 (A6-9220, Radeon R4) Laptop Review
Sascha Mölck, 2017-11- 7 (Update: 2017-11- 8)