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6 Reasons Why I Would Avoid an Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop

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6 Reasons Why I Would Avoid an Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop

Key Points

  • The Acer Aspire 3 Slim is a budget laptop that comes with many compromises and lacks overall performance.
  • The display quality of the Acer Aspire 3 Slim is poor, with a TFT panel that has limited viewing angles and clarity.
  • The laptop has limited ports, with only four in total, including an HDMI port and three USB 3.0 ports.
  • The Acer Aspire 3 Slim has underpowered specs, with an older Ryzen 3 7000 processor, limited storage options, and only 8GB of RAM.
  • The build quality of the Acer Aspire 3 Slim is lacking, with a cheap feeling plastic chassis and a flimsy design.

Why should you avoid an Acer Aspire 3 Slim? Budget laptops dot the market right now. That said, finding the right sort of laptop for your needs is a bit of a minefield. When you’re looking at budget laptops, you’re going to be making compromises somewhere along the way. This could be in terms of specs, build quality, and so forth.

However, there are too many compromises to note with a device like the Acer Aspire 3 Slim. If you found it for the right price and are comfortable with its drawbacks, it does bear mentioning. However, when looking at the full retail price, I would hesitate to suggest it to any user. There are far too many enticing laptops in the same price bracket that are just better as a whole.

What Is the Acer Aspire 3 Slim?

The Aspire 3 is Acer’s take on the budget laptop. Generally speaking, I find most of Acer’s product line worth a look. They come in well below the competition in terms of overall pricing. Build quality is always an issue with the product line, and that is certainly on full display with the Aspire 3 Slim. The Aspire 3 Slim is an AMD laptop, utilizing a Ryzen 3 7000 series processor.

You’re working with a 15.6-inch display, which is fine for most workloads. When you consider the operating resolution is 1080p, it can seem fairly enticing as a whole. Where the Aspire 3 Slim falters the most is honestly in performance. While the Ryzen 7000 series processors are the latest and greatest from AMD, the performance of this laptop leaves something to be desired.

SpecsAcer Aspire 3 Slim
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 7320U
RAM8GB
Screen Size15.6 inches
Screen Resolution1080p
Battery Life7 hours
Storage128GB SSD
Wireless StandardWi-Fi 6
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home in S Mode

Reasons to Avoid an Acer Aspire Slim 3 Laptop

On paper, the specs for the Acer Aspire Slim 3 can seem fairly appealing. However, once you get past the budget wrappings, you’re left with a laptop that is filled with compromises. Every single aspect of the computer itself is the product of cutting corners, which is reflected in the price itself. That said, you can certainly do much better if you stretch your budget just a bit.

The Poor Display Quality

acer aspire 3 slim
The display found on the Aspire 3 Slim leaves something to be desired.

We’ll cut straight to the chase, the display isn’t ever going to be the selling point of the Acer Aspire Slim 3. You have a 15.6-inch LCD panel, which is fine. The display resolution is great, as 1080p is the bare minimum of what I’d be comfortable working with on a laptop these days. However, where it falters is in the actual construction of the panel.

This is a TFT panel, which is one of the cheaper varieties you’ll find on the market. Where this comes to a head is when considering your viewing angles and the overall clarity of the screen. The laptop itself is largely unusable when heading outdoors in direct sunlight. If you intend to use the Acer Aspire Slim 3 for outdoor study sessions, you’ll have to venture indoors.

It does come with some included software for adjusting the brightness and calibrating the colors. However, this proves to be of little help. The display itself has poor color reproduction, motion blur when watching videos, and a slew of other problems that hold it back. Your first impression of any computer is going to be the display, and the Acer Aspire 3 Slim makes a poor showing.

There Aren’t Many Ports

One of the strengths of a Windows laptop is the greater availability of IO ports alongside the chassis itself. You might not have many accessories that you run when using a laptop, but I’d already be considering an external storage device of some stripe for the Acer Aspire 3 Slim.

When it comes to IO ports on the Acer Aspire 3 Slim, you’ve got four in total. There is an HDMI port for connecting the laptop to an external display. Given the already slow performance, I doubt that this would greatly enhance the experience. Aside from that, you have a trio of USB 3.0 ports, with one Type-C that supports power delivery.

Now, I run a USB hub, I would think most users do if you’re running extra peripherals. However, just the addition of another USB Type-A port on the chassis would improve the experience. Given the device supports DisplayPort over USB Type-C, it makes the HDMI input seem like a waste of space.

Underpowered Specs

AMD Ryzen
The Ryzen processor found in the Acer Aspire 3 Slim is underpowered even compared to its contemporaries.

The Ryzen 3 7000 processor used in the Acer Aspire 3 Slim is a bit of a tricky one to decipher. Yes, you’re not expecting top performance from AMD’s entry-level processors. That said, this is built on the older Zen 2 architecture, meaning it is a much older processor that has been rebranded. The disappointing processor starts things off on a bad foot.

You’ve got woeful storage options out of the box, with only 128GB of storage. When you consider Windows 11 Home uses 20GB of storage on a fresh install, you’re already operating at a deficit. I understand that this is to keep costs down, but 256GB would be the bare minimum I would expect in a laptop at this price point.

Memory is also operating at a deficit, with only 8GB of DDR5 RAM in use. You could upgrade if you’d like, and you’ll certainly want to. These days, 8GB of RAM is barely enough to run multiple tabs in a browser like Chrome or Firefox these days, I can’t imagine running additional programs on it.

Poor Build Quality

I will come out and say that Acer isn’t renowned for its build quality. The laptop manufacturer is best known for punching above its weight in terms of specs. Another area where the Acer Aspire 3 Slim falters is in terms of the materials used in the construction of its chassis. The poor display has already been noted, but the rest of the laptop is also lacking.

Externally, the design itself is sleek and to the point. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is an enterprise-grade laptop issued to office workers. However, the entire body is made of a cheap feeling plastic. I thought we had certainly moved past this in the last decade or so.

The faux metal finish doesn’t inspire confidence and you can feel the chassis flex when placing your hands on the palm rests near the trackpad. It is on the lighter side, but it feels cheap and flimsy. If you’re looking for a budget laptop that is built with durability in mind, you’re going to be disappointed.

Limited Room for Upgrades

You don’t have a lot of space for upgrades when looking at the Acer Aspire 3 Slim. The maximum RAM supported by the device is 16GB, and 8GB of it is already soldered onto the motherboard. Further, you’ll have to look up the exact RAM module installed with a third-party utility to make sure you’re getting an identical pair to make the most of the dual-channel operation.

Aside from that, your only other upgrade option is additional storage, which you will want. 128GB is great on a tablet, but for a laptop, it is sorely lacking. I would love the option for this laptop to go up to something like 32GB of memory, as that would at least give some breathing room for multitasking.

Sadly, the Acer Aspire 3 Slim is a laptop built around its limitations, and memory concerns are at the core of the experience. If you’re looking for a flexible laptop that can take upgrades, you might be better off looking at a pre-owned enterprise laptop that is built for servicing at home.

The Keyboard Isn’t Backlit

acer aspire 3 slim
Users expecting a backlit keyboard are going to be sorely disappointed when looking at the Acer Aspire 3 Slim.

This might seem like a minor gripe, but it is one of my cardinal sins when considering a laptop. Yes, backlights for a keyboard sap battery life. However, if you’re working in low-light conditions or simply browsing at night, they’re quite useful.

The Acer Aspire 3 Slim doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard. The entire Aspire 3 line comes with zero support for backlit keyboards. I’m not always doing work in well-lit conditions, because sometimes I’ll want to venture to a coffee shop or cafe to handle things.

That said, the lack of a backlit keyboard is the final straw. You’re already making a plethora of compromises when even considering this laptop. However, a simple creature comfort being omitted seems like an odd choice considering this is one of the cheapest additions they could make.

Alternatives to an Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i

Solid Performance
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 14-Inch FHD Slim and Light Laptop
$390.99
  • FHD LED backlit anti-glare display
  • Intel Core i5-10210U processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
  • Integrated Intel UHD graphics
  • Windows 11 home
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02/05/2024 03:00 pm GMT

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i is a cheaper laptop, but it at least has some performance to back it up. The option selected comes with an i5 processor alongside a 512GB SSD. The overall cost is just slightly higher than the Acer Aspire 3 Slim. RAM is still a concern, but you at least have a single upgrade to plan.

The display on the Lenovo is overall better. Build quality is still a concern, as you might expect from any budget laptop. However, at this price range, the Lenovo is an easy recommendation. It is going to handle most workloads with far more ease than the same Acer Aspire 3 Slim covered throughout this review.

Gigabyte G5 KF

Great
GIGABYTE G5 KF
$839.00
  • 15.6-inch (1920x1080) FHD 144Hz display
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12500H
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU
  • 512GB Gen4 M.2 SSD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • DTS:X Ultra Audio Technology
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02/05/2024 05:11 pm GMT

Before you start protesting, I’m well aware this laptop is well over double the price. However, the G5 KF would be the bare minimum I would accept as a Windows laptop. Performance is great with the Intel Core i5 processor, while RAM is a bit lacking. That is a cheap upgrade in the grand scheme of things. Where this laptop shines is the inclusion of a dedicated GPU and a higher refresh rate display.

You’ve got a fully backlit keyboard, which is a welcome sight. 512GB of M.2 storage is just icing on the cake. This might be a budget gaming laptop, but it would more than handle most work students and professionals need to handle. Where it does falter is in overall battery life, which reviews suggest is around four hours, but I can forgive that.

Apple MacBook Air M1

Top
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip
$749.99
  • 13-inch retina display
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • Touch ID
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
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02/05/2024 03:05 pm GMT

If you want the best possible option when it comes to battery life, the Apple MacBook Air is a wonderful choice. The M1 is getting up there in terms of age at this point, but is still supported by the manufacturer and runs the latest OS without an issue. You can certainly skimp on the specs here to keep the cost low, as Apple Silicon makes this a top performer without much issue.

The biggest concern when looking at any Mac is going to be the price. The MacBook Air does cost over double the retail price of the Acer Aspire 3 Slim, but it is an overall better laptop by leaps and bounds. If you’re looking for something that’ll go the distance, I would save up and budget for one of these.

HP Pavillion Aero 13

Great Mid-Range Laptop
HP 2023 Pavilion Aero 13 Premium Laptop
$799.99
  • 13.3-inch 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS display
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7535U processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • Windows 11 Home
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02/05/2024 04:01 pm GMT

There aren’t many budget laptops I would consider if that wasn’t made readily apparent. The Aero 13 is a great mid-range laptop for a variety of reasons. You’ve got a decent processor in the form of an AMD Ryzen 5 along with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Build quality is lacking, which I will come out and say right out of the gate. I would love an overall larger display as well for a Windows laptop.

However, it does have an anti-glare coating on the screen. Which makes for ease of use when working in direct sunlight. It isn’t a perfect alternative, but it is a sight better than what Acer has on offer with the Aspire 3 Slim.

Closing Thoughts

So, is the Acer Aspire 3 Slim worth purchasing? Honestly, I think you could do better with your money. Even when looking at budget options, there are laptops available that outstrip it in terms of overall performance. As such, I don’t think it is worth the money. The price point is attractive, but you’re losing out on just about every conceivable aspect when looking at the laptop.

Best Alternatives to the Acer Aspire 3 Slim

1. Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i
2. Gigabyte G5 KF
3. Apple MacBook Air M1
4. HP Pavillion Aero 13
  1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 14-Inch FHD Slim and Light Laptop
    $390.99
    • FHD LED backlit anti-glare display
    • Intel Core i5-10210U processor
    • 8GB RAM
    • 512GB NVMe SSD
    • Integrated Intel UHD graphics
    • Windows 11 home
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/05/2024 03:00 pm GMT
  2. GIGABYTE G5 KF
    $839.00
    • 15.6-inch (1920x1080) FHD 144Hz display
    • 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12500H
    • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU
    • 512GB Gen4 M.2 SSD
    • 8GB DDR4 RAM
    • DTS:X Ultra Audio Technology
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/05/2024 05:11 pm GMT
  3. Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip
    $749.99
    • 13-inch retina display
    • 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage
    • FaceTime HD camera
    • Touch ID
    • Up to 18 hours of battery life
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/05/2024 03:05 pm GMT
  4. HP 2023 Pavilion Aero 13 Premium Laptop
    $799.99
    • 13.3-inch 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS display
    • AMD Ryzen 5 7535U processor
    • 16GB RAM
    • 1TB SSD
    • Windows 11 Home
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/05/2024 04:01 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Aspire 3 Slim a good laptop?

It might work well as a student laptop, but it is underpowered even in that capacity.

How much RAM does the Aspire 3 Slim support?

It supports a maximum of 16GB of RAM.

Can you upgrade the storage of the Aspire 3 Slim?

Yes, which would honestly be my first order of business if you’re purchasing one.

Can the Aspire 3 Slim use an external display?

Yes, which might be your best bet if you do end up settling for this laptop.

Are budget laptops usually worth it?

If you need a computer right now, it is better than nothing. However, I would recommend saving up a bit more and getting something better for your money.

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