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Trying out the Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop (R5 7520U): my thoughts (2023)

My thoughts on the Acer Aspire 3 with Ryzen 5 7520U: design, multitasking, visuals, and overall value in 2023.
Hermann Hesse



December 8, 2023


The past days I’ve been putting the Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop through its paces. As a daily driver, in my experience, it’s crucial to have a laptop that can keep up without breaking the bank. If you’re like me and have to balance a tight budget with the need for a reliable machine, you might find this laptop useful.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Acer Model Name A314-23P-R3QA
Screen Size 14 Inches Color Silver
Hard Disk Size 512 GB CPU Model Ryzen 5
Ram Memory Installed Size 8 GB Operating System Windows 11 Home
Special Feature High Quality Graphics Card Description Integrated



Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Design and Portability

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When considering a new laptop, design and portability often rank high on anyone’s list of priorities. With the Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop, I find it hitting the right notes for someone who needs a machine that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to carry around. Let’s break down what I’ve noticed during use:

  • Lightweight Chassis: The sleek form factor makes it easy to slip into my backpack without adding any noticeable heft, and the included protective sleeve is a thoughtful touch that’s appreciated for extra cushioning.

  • Travel-Friendly: The slight frame doesn’t compromise on the build quality. It feels sturdy enough to handle the knocks and bumps that come with being on the move.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: It may not turn heads, but the simple, no-frills design has a professionalism to it that I like.

  • Keyboard Comfort: Typing is pretty comfy, and the backlit keyboard is a plus in dimly lit environments. However, those used to more spacious keyboards might find it a bit cramped.

I take the Aspire 3 out a lot, mostly to coffee shops and libraries. I’ve found the slim design particularly beneficial when working in tight spaces; it doesn’t elbow out room like some larger laptops do. Plus, at 14 inches, it’s the sweet spot size for me - not too small that I’m squinting at the screen and not too large that it’s cumbersome.

Admittedly, however, while the laptop’s silver color is sleek, it doesn’t stand out in a crowd of similarly designed laptops. And although the thin bezels offer more screen real estate, I do sometimes wish for a more vibrant color option or perhaps a more distinctive design element to give it a bit of personality.

Port-wise, there’s sufficient connectivity for my needs, but I do miss having an option for Thunderbolt or more than one USB-C port. It’s a bit of a drawback when you have multiple devices to connect, which seems a bit of an oversight for modern laptops.

The fan design is decent but during heavy tasks, the fan noise becomes noticeable—not a deal-breaker, but something to keep in mind if you’re sensitive to sound.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop offers a good mix of lightweight design and portability with a few concessions that don’t break the deal for me. While it might not boast the extreme resolution of an 8K monitor like the Dell Ultrasharp, it certainly fits the bill for portability without sacrificing too much performance or build quality. Plus, the ease of transport and the durable design give me confidence that it’ll hold up to my on-the-go lifestyle.

Performance for Multitasking and Productivity

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When it comes to juggling a variety of tasks, the Acer Aspire 3 packs enough punch to keep up with a moderate multitasking workload. Here’s a breakdown of how it handles the demands of day-to-day productivity:

AMD Ryzen 5 7520U Processor: This chip provides a solid foundation for multitasking. Though it’s not top-of-the-line, it’s sufficient for handling productivity apps, lightweight creative software, and general usage. 8GB LPDDR5 Onboard Memory: In an ideal world, I’d like more RAM. It’s adequate but can feel a bit cramped when I have multiple tabs and applications open. 512GB NVMe SSD: Storage is speedy; it launches applications quickly and offers enough space for most users. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax): Stable and quick internet connectivity is crucial for productivity, and the laptop delivers on that front.

My experience is a bit different from what you might expect from a higher-end device, but for the price point, the performance is respectable. The 8GB of RAM is the bottleneck here, especially when running more intensive applications or having several browser tabs open, but for standard office tasks like document editing, spreadsheet work, and presentations, it holds up well. For those considering an alternative OS, you may find my insights on Linux laptops worth it as we enter 2024 particularly relevant. I appreciate the fact that it comes with Windows 11 Home out of the box, ensuring that I’m up-to-date with the latest from Microsoft.

However, the downside is that this model doesn’t offer a way to expand the memory, which could be a drawback for users who like to keep many apps open at once or for future-proofing their investment. Moreover, the Acer’s quad-core CPU can struggle with thermal throttling under continuous heavy loads, potentially dialing down performance to stay cool.

For someone who’s after a laptop for internet browsing, basic productivity, and light content creation, this checks most of the boxes. The Radeon Graphics can handle graphic-intense processes to a degree, but don’t expect to do heavy video editing or run graphic design software at peak efficiency.

Connectivity with peripherals didn’t pose any issues, and the SSD does a great job at keeping boot times short and file transfers snappy, which is always a plus when bouncing between tasks. As for wireless performance, the Wi-Fi 6 standard ensures a reliable connection for all those cloud-based applications and video conferencing calls.

So, summing up, the Aspire 3 performs admirably as an entry-to-mid-level multitasking champ, with some caveats regarding RAM and sustained high-performance workloads. For anyone looking for a practical workhorse on a budget, this may very well hit the sweet spot—just be aware of its limitations.

Display and Audio Experience

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In evaluating the display and audio on the Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop, let’s break it down into a few key points:

  • Screen Quality: The 14-inch Full HD IPS display is genuinely a treat to use. Good viewing angles and crisp colors make for an overall pleasant visual experience. It’s decent for streaming videos or editing photos, but what truly stands out is the narrow bezels that lead to an immersive experience, despite the 16:9 aspect ratio.

  • Brightness Levels: While the screen is sharp, the brightness level could have been better. It works fine indoors, but in bright, outdoor conditions, it does leave a bit to be desired.

  • Audio: Here’s where the laptop doesn’t shine as much. The sound quality is average at best – think of it as serviceable for quick videos or online meetings, but definitely not your go-to for a movie marathon or for jamming to your favorite tracks.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper.

The IPS display is one of the main highlights of this laptop. For general use like browsing and document editing, it does the job splendidly. However, for color-sensitive tasks, while it’s more than adequate, professionals might seek out displays with wider color gamuts or factory calibration.

On the other hand, audio quality isn’t a strong suit here. There’s a noticeable lack of depth, and at times the sound can feel a little tinny. It’s clear enough for Zoom calls or YouTube, thanks to the Acer PurifiedVoice technology which does a good job at filtering background noise, but you’ll really want a pair of good headphones or external speakers for anything more.

Here’s a quick pros and cons list for the display and audio:


  • Full HD resolution provides clarity.

  • IPS technology ensures good color reproduction and viewing angles.

  • Narrow bezels make for an attractive and modern look.


  • Brightness could be better, particularly under direct sunlight.

  • Sound quality is underwhelming with lack of bass and richness.

  • Speakers are not loud enough for an enjoyable multimedia experience.

When I’m considering the overall user experience from the perspective of display and audio, this laptop leans more on its visual strengths than auditory ones. For everyday tasks, watching lectures, or attending virtual meetings, the display is up to the task, making the information consumption process enjoyable and strain-free.

Wrapping up, for those prioritizing screen real estate and sharpness on a budget, you’ll likely be satisfied with the Aspire 3’s offering. However, for the audiophiles or those needing a potent sound system for their entertainment needs, be prepared to invest in auxiliary audio equipment.

Value for Money and Final Verdict

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When it comes down to assessing the Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop in terms of value for money, I find myself pleasantly surprised by its offerings, considering its drawbacks. Weighing the pros and cons is crucial to any purchase, so let’s break it down:


  • Speed: For everyday tasks and some light gaming, its performance is impressive.

  • Portability: It’s undeniably convenient, easy to carry, and the included sleeve is a nice touch.

  • Build quality: It feels sturdy and well-assembled, not what you’d expect at this price point.

  • Battery life: If you’re just browsing or working on documents, it really stretches its legs.


  • Upgradeability: Being stuck with 8GB of RAM without the option to expand is a bummer.

  • Thermal performance: The CPU can get a bit hot under pressure, which isn’t ideal for prolonged intensive work.

  • Audio: The sound is just okay—not great for an immersive media experience.

From a personal perspective, every time I powered on the Aspire 3, I was reminded that while it might not win aesthetic awards, it was prepared to handle all manner of tasks I threw at it—within reason. I used it for streaming, document work, a bit of photo editing, and yes, even some gaming, though on the latter, I stuck to less demanding titles due to the integrated graphics limitations.

I was content with the battery life, which for my daily routine of emails, web browsing, and writing, proved to be more than adequate. On days when I needed a bit more juice for photo editing tasks, I noted the laptop managed to sustain performance without a significant drop in power—a point in favor of Aspire 3’s efficiency.

I won’t gloss over the fact that the non-upgradable RAM is a sore point. For those who like to future-proof their tech, this might be a dealbreaker. Add to that the often pesky touchpad, and the experience is marred somewhat, especially when considering the potential of the Ryzen CPU inside.

Nevertheless, pricing is where the Acer Aspire 3 truly shines. It’s affordable and packs in a lot of bang for the buck. For college students, casual users, or someone needing a secondary, mobile-friendly device, this laptop hits a sweet spot between functionality and budget.

Concluding this journey, if you’re in the market for a laptop that balances cost with capabilities, the Acer Aspire 3 stands out as a choice worth considering. Its pitfalls, while present, are overshadowed by its strengths in delivering a competent computing session. Would I recommend it? For those on a budget with modest needs – it earns my nod of approval.