Acer Aspire V3-371 review
Processor: Dual-core 2GHz Intel Core i3-4158U, RAM: 4GB, Size: 327x228x19.7mm, Weight: 1.5kg, Screen size: 13.3in, Screen resolution: 1,366x768, Graphics adaptor: Intel Iris Pro 5100, Total storage: 500GB hard disk, 8GB SSD cache
Budget laptops rarely have distinctive designs, as manufacturers abandon creativity for cheaper materials and a low price. Acer's Aspire V3-371 bucks that trend with a genuinely attractive look, which immediately elevates it above its rivals. At just 1.5kg and 1.7cm thick, it's also very portable.
The white lid is very subtly textured with patches that shimmer and shine as you move it around. It looks like it's made from quality material even if it actually feels like plastic. With the lid closed, the small ridge between the bottom of the lid and the back of the laptop makes it easier to see the status lights, letting you know if it's switched on, asleep or charging whether you have the screen open or closed.
USB ports are in rather short supply, with just two on the right edge and only one USB3-compatible connector. There's a full-size HDMI port and a gigabit Ethernet port here, too. On the left there's an SD card reader and a combined 3.5mm headset port. The built-in speakers are relatively loud but unsurprisingly lack bass presence and sound a little tinny. Music and speech was clear, though.
When open and in use, the Acer Aspire V3-371 looks and feels a little toy-like thanks to cheap, slightly shiny plastics and an unsatisfyingly shallow keyboard. Typing for long periods gets a little tiresome because the keys bottom out so quickly, but we at least didn’t have any problems with missed keystrokes.
The all-in-one touchpad isn't great. Tapping and physically pressing the mouse buttons are fine, but multi-fingered gestures were cumbersome. This is because there's a dead zone where the touchpad won't respond until you've moved your two fingers around half a centimetre, which we found a little irritating. We're hoping this is a driver issue that may be fixed in the future, but wouldn't count on it. Even worse, sometimes the touchpad failed to respond for seconds at a time. Acer tells us this is a known issue that requires a part to be replaced, and that models on sale in the UK do not have this problem.