Notebookcheck

Acer Spin 3 SP314-51 (i5-8250U, SSD, FHD) Convertible Review

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 04/23/2018

Wasted potential. The Acer Spin 3 SP314-51 comes with a powerful quad-core processor, dual-channel-enabled RAM and an SSD. The battery life is also good. However, the fan is uncomfortably loud under load.

After reviewing the representatives from the Spin 1, Spin 5 and Spin 7 series, we have now moved on to review a model from the Spin 3 series. To be more exact, what we have here is a 14-inch mid-range, convertible notebook (SP314-51). The convertible is powered by a ULV quad-core Kaby Lake Refresh CPU. The competitors of the Spin 3 include: the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA, the Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB and the HP Pavilion x360 14.

Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L (Spin 3 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300-1100 MHz, Dual-Channel, 23.20.16.4982
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, RAM soldered in, no empty RAM slots
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, capacitive, 10-finger touch input, BOE CQ NV140FHM-N41, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, 256 GB 
, 207 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC295 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone/microphone combo 3.5-mm jack, Card Reader: SD, Sensors: motion sensor
Networking
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20.8 x 334.95 x 229.95 ( = 0.82 x 13.19 x 9.05 in)
Battery
52.5 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet-style, Keyboard Light: no, Norton Security (trial version), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.7 kg ( = 59.97 oz / 3.75 pounds), Power Supply: 160 g ( = 5.64 oz / 0.35 pounds)
Price
719 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity - Acer forgoes a USB Type-C port with the Spin 3

The Spin 3 does not feature a metal case. Its case is made mostly of plastic. The upper side of the chassis and the display lid are gray, while the underside is black. Moreover, the upper side of the chassis (brushed) and the display lid (straight lines) are adorned with textured patterns. The build quality falls short of what we would desire. It could be improved in terms of rigidity: The chassis exhibits a lot of flex. The battery is soldered in. The laptop does not offer a maintenance hatch.

The Spin 3 offers three USB ports (two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and one USB 2.0 port). However, all three ports are USB Type-A ports. The laptop does not feature Type-C ports. There is an HDMI port for video output. The built-in SD card reader works slowly: When copying large chunks of data, we measured a maximum speed of 24.8 MB/s. The transfer of 250 JPG image files was completed with a transfer speed of 20.6 MB/s. We test the SD card reader by means of a reference SD card (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).

The Wi-Fi module comes from Qualcomm (QCA6174). Besides the Wi-Fi standards 802.11 a/b/g/n, it also supports the fast AC standard. The data transfer speeds that we have measured under the optimal conditions (no other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in close proximity, a short distance between the notebook and the server PC) are in good order.

Size Comparison

334.95 mm / 13.2 inch 229.95 mm / 9.05 inch 20.8 mm / 0.819 inch 1.7 kg3.75 lbs334.8 mm / 13.2 inch 226.9 mm / 8.93 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.7 kg3.79 lbs328 mm / 12.9 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.7 kg3.81 lbs327.4 mm / 12.9 inch 226.5 mm / 8.92 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 1.6 kg3.53 lbs

Ports

Left side: DC power socket, HDMI-out, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A) ports
Left side: DC power socket, HDMI-out, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A) ports
Right side: headphone/microphone combo jack, SD card reader, USB 2.0 (Type-A) port, power button, Kensington lock
Right side: headphone/microphone combo jack, SD card reader, USB 2.0 (Type-A) port, power button, Kensington lock
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
81 MB/s ∼100% +293%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.6 MB/s ∼98% +286%
Average of class Convertible
  (7.5 - 197, n=113)
58.7 MB/s ∼72% +185%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24.5 MB/s ∼30% +19%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
20.6 MB/s ∼25%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.8 MB/s ∼100% +258%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.9 MB/s ∼99% +254%
Average of class Convertible
  (24 - 246, n=110)
73.9 MB/s ∼83% +198%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.6 MB/s ∼30% +7%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24.8 MB/s ∼28%

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
596 MBit/s ∼100%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
526 MBit/s ∼88% -12%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
310 MBit/s ∼52% -48%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
290 MBit/s ∼49% -51%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
665 MBit/s ∼100% +122%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
349 MBit/s ∼52% +16%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
335 MBit/s ∼50% +12%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
300 MBit/s ∼45%

Input Devices - The SP314-51 does not feature a keyboard backlight

Acer has equipped the Spin 3 with a chiclet-style unlit keyboard. The flat, slightly rough keys have a short travel distance and a clear actuation point. During typing, the central area of the keyboard exhibits some flex. However, this does not prove to be annoying.  All in all, Asus delivers an “okay” keyboard here that will satisfy anyone who has to type on a regular basis.

The multitouch-enabled ClickPad occupies an area of some 10.5 x 6.5 cm (4.1 x 2.5 in). Therefore, there is enough space for the use of gesture controls. The smooth surface of the pad makes finger-gliding easy. The ClickPad has a short travel distance and a clear actuation point.

The Spin 3 comes with a 10-finger multitouch screen. It works well and responds promptly to inputs.

Input devices
Input devices

Display - The Acer laptop comes with a dim screen

Pixel arrangement
Pixel arrangement

The 14-inch touch-enabled display of the Spin 3 operates with a native resolution of 1920x1080. The screen offers a good contrast ratio of 1222:1. However, the display brightness of 220.9 cd/m² is too low. Here, we would like to see a brightness of at least 300 cd/m²

Acer uses PWM for brightness control. Unfortunately, the display exhibits PWM flickering with a  frequency of 1000 Hz at all brightness levels. Because of such a high frequency, even susceptible individuals should not experience any adverse effects such as headaches and eyestrain. 

245
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
220
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
215
cd/m²
197
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 253 cd/m² Average: 220.9 cd/m² Minimum: 21.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 220 cd/m²
Contrast: 1222:1 (Black: 0.18 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.98 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 4
ΔE Greyscale 1.68 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.37
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
-24%
804%
814%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43 (21, 22)
47 (24, 23)
-9%
34 (19, 15)
21%
41 (23, 18)
5%
Response Time Black / White *
35 (21, 14)
34 (20, 14)
3%
29 (18, 11)
17%
22 (14, 10)
37%
PWM Frequency
1000
347 (90)
-65%
24750 (80)
2375%
25000 (50)
2400%
Screen
-7%
13%
-53%
Brightness middle
220
255
16%
327
49%
252
15%
Brightness
221
247
12%
308
39%
237
7%
Brightness Distribution
78
83
6%
90
15%
90
15%
Black Level *
0.18
0.21
-17%
0.23
-28%
0.21
-17%
Contrast
1222
1214
-1%
1422
16%
1200
-2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.98
4.5
-13%
2.63
34%
7.29
-83%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.69
7.21
6%
6.58
14%
17.55
-128%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.68
2.96
-76%
4.11
-145%
7.48
-345%
Gamma
2.37 93%
2.3 96%
2.45 90%
2.45 90%
CCT
6382 102%
6965 93%
7352 88%
6953 93%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38
38
0%
63
66%
40
5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
59
2%
97
67%
61
5%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-16% / -10%
409% / 195%
381% / 147%

* ... 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 1000 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 1000 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 9813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Right out of the box, the display offers a fairly good color reproduction. With a DeltaE 2000 color deviation of 3.98, it misses the mark slightly (DeltaE less than 3). The display does not suffer from a bluish cast. We could not improve the color reproduction any further by means of calibration.

CalMAN - Colors
CalMAN - Colors
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Colors (calibrated)
CalMAN - Colors (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation (calibrated)

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
35 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 89 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 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. » 59 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.7 ms).

Asus has equipped the convertible with an IPS panel with very stable viewing angles. Therefore, the screen content can be read from any position. Under the open sky, the device can only be used when the sun does not shine too brightly. Here, the reflective screen surface makes things only worse.

The Spin 3 outdoors (in direct sunlight).
The Spin 3 outdoors (in direct sunlight).
The Spin 3 outdoors (the sun is behind the device).
The Spin 3 outdoors (the sun is behind the device).

Performance - The Acer Spin features mid-range hardware

With the Spin 3 SP314-51, Acer has a 14-inch convertible in its product range. It offers more than enough performance for such usage scenarios as office work and Internet browsing. Our review device can be had for anywhere between 725 and 750 Euros (~$885-916). Other hardware configurations are also available. The prices start at 530 Euros (~$647).

HWInfo
HWInfo
Intel XTU
Intel XTU

Processor

The Spin 3 comes with a Core i5-8250U, which is a mid-range, quad-core ULV CPU from Intel. The CPU’s TDP amounts to 15 watts. The processor has a base clock of 1.6 GHz and a boost clock of 3.4 GHz.

In the multi-core section of the Cinebench R15 benchmark, the CPU can run at high speeds (2.8 to 3.2 GHz) only for a few seconds. After that, the clock rate sinks to 2.1 to 2.3 GHz. In the single-core benchmark, the CPU runs at full speed (3.4 GHz). The processor performs identically both when the laptop is running on battery power and when it is plugged in.

We check if the Turbo boost can be used over an extended period of time by running the Cinebench multi-core benchmark in a continuous loop for 30 minutes. The results of the Spin 3 fluctuate. Therefore, the Turbo boost operates inconsistently.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5540
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16067
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9398
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
523 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
40.82 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼66%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (81 - 147, n=90)
141 Points ∼65% -2%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
127 Points ∼58% -12%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
127 Points ∼58% -12%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
124 Points ∼57% -14%
Average of class Convertible
  (19 - 177, n=281)
103 Points ∼47% -28%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (320 - 730, n=94)
570 Points ∼13% +9%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
523 Points ∼12%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
335 Points ∼8% -36%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
330 Points ∼8% -37%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel Core i5-7200U
289 Points ∼7% -45%
Average of class Convertible
  (33 - 761, n=288)
285 Points ∼7% -46%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (5349 - 8356, n=42)
5631 Points ∼52% +2%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
5540 Points ∼51%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
5020 Points ∼46% -9%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
4983 Points ∼46% -10%
Average of class Convertible
  (466 - 7508, n=236)
3325 Points ∼31% -40%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (14148 - 22097, n=42)
18261 Points ∼37% +14%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
16067 Points ∼32%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
11503 Points ∼23% -28%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
11351 Points ∼23% -29%
Average of class Convertible
  (706 - 24180, n=232)
7647 Points ∼15% -52%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (10893 - 13553, n=18)
12606 Points ∼40% +2%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
12350 Points ∼40%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
6484 Points ∼21% -47%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
6477 Points ∼21% -48%
Average of class Convertible
  (954 - 14144, n=94)
5113 Points ∼16% -59%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
3421 Points ∼71%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (3148 - 3503, n=18)
3302 Points ∼68% -3%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
2912 Points ∼60% -15%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
2903 Points ∼60% -15%
Average of class Convertible
  (561 - 4102, n=94)
2118 Points ∼44% -38%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (10751 - 13486, n=19)
12210 Points ∼44% 0%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
12201 Points ∼44%
Average of class Convertible
  (856 - 14519, n=34)
7092 Points ∼26% -42%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
6895 Points ∼25% -43%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
6761 Points ∼25% -45%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
4194 Points ∼73%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (3924 - 4243, n=19)
4076 Points ∼71% -3%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
3636 Points ∼63% -13%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
3628 Points ∼63% -13%
Average of class Convertible
  (805 - 4858, n=34)
2999 Points ∼52% -28%
Geekbench 4.3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (11269 - 14228, n=22)
12832 Points ∼35% +3%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
12516 Points ∼35%
Average of class Convertible
  (2296 - 15196, n=32)
8770 Points ∼24% -30%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
7199 Points ∼20% -42%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
7102 Points ∼20% -43%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U
4312 Points ∼68%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (3981 - 4330, n=22)
4151 Points ∼65% -4%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U
3724 Points ∼59% -14%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
3707 Points ∼58% -14%
Average of class Convertible
  (880 - 4977, n=32)
3351 Points ∼53% -22%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel Core i5-7200U (Edge 41)
222.74 Points ∼67% +1%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel Core i5-8250U (Edge 41)
220.64 Points ∼66%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (155 - 256, n=76)
216 Points ∼65% -2%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Intel Core i5-7200U (Edge 40)
214.66 Points ∼64% -3%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel Core i5-7200U (Edge)
206.83 Points ∼62% -6%
Average of class Convertible
  (33.5 - 288, n=160)
167 Points ∼50% -24%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly. We did not encounter any problems. The laptop has more than enough computing power for such usage scenarios as office work and Internet browsing. The very good results in the PCMark benchmarks confirm this. An increase in overall performance is not possible. Acer has already exhausted all the possibilities.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3650 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4611 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4596 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3650 Points ∼60%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2986 - 4458, n=64)
3602 Points ∼59% -1%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3455 Points ∼57% -5%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY128HDHP
3435 Points ∼56% -6%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3387 Points ∼56% -7%
Average of class Convertible
  (741 - 4741, n=257)
2748 Points ∼45% -25%

Storage Devices

Acer uses a SATA-III SSD from Micron. The SSD comes in the M.2-2280 form factor and has a capacity of 256 GB. Only 207 GB is available to the user. The rest of the storage space is occupied by the Windows installation files and the recovery partition. The transfer rates are in good order.

Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Sequential Read: 484.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 439.8 MB/s
512K Read: 316.4 MB/s
512K Write: 345.4 MB/s
4K Read: 27.17 MB/s
4K Write: 86.65 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 246.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 260.6 MB/s
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
Samsung CM871a MZNTY128HDHP
Average Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
 
Average of class Convertible
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
62%
-4%
3%
-8%
-12%
Write 4k QD32
260.6
389.6
50%
259.3
0%
161.2
-38%
233 (123 - 300, n=22)
-11%
149 (0.033 - 573, n=330)
-43%
Read 4k QD32
246.7
290.1
18%
313.8
27%
398.4
61%
227 (149 - 248, n=22)
-8%
197 (0.317 - 632, n=330)
-20%
Write 4k
86.65
132.5
53%
77.68
-10%
95.51
10%
80.8 (62.4 - 102, n=22)
-7%
54.9 (0.013 - 182, n=330)
-37%
Read 4k
27.17
35.92
32%
29.75
9%
35.29
30%
24.6 (14 - 29, n=22)
-9%
40 (0.215 - 5814, n=330)
47%
Write 512
345.4
472.8
37%
262.5
-24%
170.2
-51%
315 (157 - 447, n=22)
-9%
255 (7.93 - 2043, n=328)
-26%
Read 512
316.4
720.1
128%
325.8
3%
408.1
29%
315 (249 - 360, n=22)
0%
331 (20.7 - 1788, n=328)
5%
Write Seq
439.8
605.3
38%
261.9
-40%
328.2
-25%
379 (165 - 471, n=22)
-14%
320 (23 - 1889, n=330)
-27%
Read Seq
484.3
1171
142%
499.7
3%
519
7%
465 (413 - 490, n=22)
-4%
516 (33.6 - 2486, n=330)
7%

Graphics Card

Acer’s convertible does not feature a dedicated graphics card. The Spin 3 uses Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 for image rendering. It supports DirectX 12 and runs at anywhere between 300 and 1100 MHz. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are on the normal level for this kind of GPU. Because the RAM runs in dual-channel mode, the GPU is better utilized. As a result, it performs better than laptops with RAM that runs in single-channel mode.

GPU-Z
GPU-Z
DXVAChecker
DXVAChecker
3DMark 11 Performance
1821 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7965 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1018 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
2543 Points ∼100% +56%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1979, n=132)
1696 Points ∼67% +4%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1634 Points ∼64%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1425 Points ∼56% -13%
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1408 Points ∼55% -14%
Average of class Convertible
  (173 - 7483, n=309)
1204 Points ∼47% -26%

Gaming Performance

The GPU of the Spin 3 can only achieve playable frame rates in games that have low system requirements. This encompasses titles like Rocket League, Overwatch and Team Fortress 2. However, one will have to be content with running these games at low resolution and with low graphical settings. Games with high system requirements like Far Cry 5 are not playable at all. Thanks to the dual-channel-enabled RAM, the Spin 3 can achieve better frame rates than the devices with RAM that runs in single-channel mode.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 62.330.626.89.2fps

Emissions & Energy - Acer’s convertible does not suffer from stability issues

System Noise

When idle, the fan often stands still, which leads to silent operation. However, the fan starts to spin even under light loads. During our stress test, we measured a sound pressure level of 44 dB(A). Acer has made a mistake with the choice of the fan. It produces a distinct humming noise. The humming noise becomes worse as the fan spins faster. The fan noise makes it hard to concentrate even under medium loads.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 30 / 30 dB(A)
Load
38.5 / 44 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 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.533.832.933.834.5253330.932.833.5333136.735.734.33636.74031.429.930.829.931.45030.733.333.232.430.76328.327.627.22928.38027.929.326.826.727.910029.426.526.72629.412525.226.925.425.325.216023.82423.622.723.820023.824.1222223.82502523.221.821.42531527.82720.820.527.840032.823.720.119.832.850024.722.719.119.224.763024.923.318.71824.980026.725.718.417.826.7100040.131.617.517.440.1125037.232.617.517.137.2160029.625.517.917.129.62000292617.417.429250030.427.117.517.230.4315030.626.217.717.430.6400027.122.617.917.727.1500023.820.518.117.923.8630022.82018.117.822.8800021.219.118.218.121.21000020.518.918.418.120.51250019.218.518.218.119.21600019.118.518.418.219.1SPL4438.530.33044N42.81.41.34median 25.2median 24median 18.4median 18.1median 25.2Delta3.22.521.53.2hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L

Temperature

The Spin 3 during the stress test.
The Spin 3 during the stress test.

The Spin 3 completes our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark running continuously for at least one hour) with similar results, both when plugged in and when running on battery power. The processor operates at 900 to 1000 MHz. The core clock of the GPU fluctuates between 700 and 800 MHz.

The Spin 3 does not become excessively hot. During the stress test, the 40 °C (104 °F) mark is exceeded at three measurement points.

Max. Load
 40.7 °C
105 F
44.1 °C
111 F
29.2 °C
85 F
 
 33.4 °C
92 F
37.2 °C
99 F
29.8 °C
86 F
 
 26.1 °C
79 F
26.1 °C
79 F
28.2 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 44.1 °C = 111 F
Average: 32.8 °C = 91 F
29 °C
84 F
41.6 °C
107 F
37.4 °C
99 F
28.4 °C
83 F
31 °C
88 F
31.4 °C
89 F
26.1 °C
79 F
26.2 °C
79 F
26.2 °C
79 F
Maximum: 41.6 °C = 107 F
Average: 30.8 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  46.3 °C = 115 F | Room Temperature 24.2 °C = 76 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.8 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.1 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 41.6 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28.2 °C / 82.8 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29 °C / 84.2 F (+0.8 °C / 1.4 F).
Heat distribution on the upper side (under load)
Heat distribution on the upper side (under load)
Heat distribution on the underside (under load)
Heat distribution on the underside (under load)
Heat distribution on the upper side (at idle)
Heat distribution on the upper side (at idle)
Heat distribution on the underside (at idle)
Heat distribution on the underside (at idle)

Speakers

The stereo speakers are located on the underside of the device behind a perforated cover. They produce a voluminous sound that almost completely lacks bass. For a better listening experience, we recommend using external speakers or headphones.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.633.831.62533.133.533.131363636403329.9335030.932.430.96327.52927.58026.626.726.610025.92625.912526.425.326.416038.122.738.120046.72246.725043.921.443.931544.420.544.440059.319.859.350060.519.260.563062.41862.480065.117.865.1100064.217.464.2125063.317.163.3160062.317.162.320006317.463250066.617.266.6315065.217.465.2400062.417.762.450006617.966630060.817.860.8800065.918.165.91000064.418.164.41250056.518.156.51600057.618.257.6SPL763076N37.71.337.7median 62.3median 18.1median 62.3Delta8.41.58.435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Spin 3 SP314-51-548LApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (66.62 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 61% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 34% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 60% 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, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, 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%

Energy Consumption

There are no abnormalities in terms of energy consumption to report. When idle, we measured a maximum power consumption of 5.4 watts - a very good result. During the stress test, the energy consumption rose to 29.6 watts. The rated output of the AC adapter is 45 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.28 / 0.38 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.9 / 5.2 / 5.4 Watt
Load midlight 29.4 / 29.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Our practically oriented Wi-Fi test simulates loads that are consistent with surfing the web. The balanced power plan is selected, the energy-saving functions are turned off and the display brightness is set to 150 cd/m². The Spin 3 achieves a battery runtime of 8 hours and 16 minutes.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41)
8h 16min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Lenovo Yoga 520-14IKB 80X80097GE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 53 Wh
500 min ∼19% +1%
Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 52.5 Wh
496 min ∼19%
Average of class Convertible
  (153 - 1010, n=230)
450 min ∼17% -9%
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA-EC242T
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 42 Wh
407 min ∼15% -18%
HP Pavilion x360 14-ba011ng
7200U, GeForce 940MX, 41.5 Wh
373 min ∼14% -25%

Pros

+ contrast-rich IPS screen
+ Full HD resolution
+ SSD
+ good battery life

Cons

- dim screen
- noisy fan
- slow SD card reader
- no USB Type-C ports

Verdict

The Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L, provided courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de
The Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L, provided courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de

Acer’s 14-inch convertible features all the things that are necessary for office use: A powerful processor, a fast SSD and the dual-channel-enabled RAM. Moreover, it also has good battery life and an “okay” keyboard, which can be used for regular typing. Unfortunately, Acer does not offer a keyboard backlight.

The fan gets in the way of concentrated work. It makes an annoying humming noise.

The Full HD IPS panel delights with stable viewing angles and good contrast. However, its brightness is too low. Therefore, the convertible is only usable indoors, for the most part. We must also criticize Acer’s decision to forgo a USB Type-C port with the Spin 3. A port like this is standard fare these days. Moreover, the SD card reader operates rather slowly. The competitors do much better in this regard.

The Core i5-8250U drives up the price of the convertible considerably. Those who do not need the maximum amount of performance at all times should take a look at the model SP314-51-P1AH. It has the same hardware configuration as our current review device, but it is powered by the Pentium Gold 4415U, a dual-core (Kaby Lake) processor. If you are willing to make some sacrifices with the RAM and the SSD, then you can get the model SP314-51-P0WG for 530 Euros (~$647).

Acer Spin 3 SP314-51-548L - 04/20/2018 v6
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
76 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
73%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
46 / 80 → 57%
Weight
67 / 35-78 → 73%
Battery
91%
Display
81%
Games Performance
59 / 68 → 86%
Application Performance
89 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
88%
Noise
85%
Audio
53 / 91 → 58%
Camera
44 / 85 → 52%
Average
72%
81%
Convertible - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Spin 3 SP314-51 (i5-8250U, SSD, FHD) Convertible Review
Sascha Mölck, 2018-04-23 (Update: 2018-04-25)