Acer has launched new Aspire 3 series laptops which are the first to include AMD Ryzen 7020 processors and Radeon graphics. These wallet-conscious models start at just $399.99 but boast a premium design and must-have features, making them especially attractive options for students.
The $399 base model (A315-24P) starts with a quad-core AMD Ryzen 3 7320U CPU (Base Clock: 2.4GHz / Boost Clock: 4.1GHz) with onboard Radeon 610M (RDNA 2) graphics. The Radeon 610M GPU has two graphics cores for a total of 128 shader units, so users should not expect any significant gaming performance, but it can accelerate many daily activities with reasonable efficiency as well as multiple displays drive (up to 4). ).
Users can opt for a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 7520U CPU instead, if they wish. The Ryzen 5 base clock speeds up to 2.8GHz and boost clocks up to 4.3Ghz for a little more responsiveness, but otherwise it keeps the same core counts, cache sizes, 610M GPU, and TDP of 15W. The Ryzen 7020 series processors, named Mendocino, are built with AMD’s Zen 2 architecture brought forward with newer 6nm process technology, helping with power efficiency.
The base $399 model is complete with 8 GB of LPDDR5 memory and 128GB of PCIe storage. The storage can be expanded up to 512GB if needed, but cloud storage solutions like OneDrive may make that less necessary. We’d really like to see 16 GB of RAM as a baseline these days, but this compromise is understandable given the cost of DDR5 memory – just be aware that the RAM is not swappable.
The laptop has a decent amount of connectivity with support for Wi-Fi 6, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports (5Gbps), and one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (10Gbps). The Type-C port also supports charging (5V) and DisplayPort over USB but most users will probably use the full-size HDMI 2.1 port for external displays.
Acer doesn’t list the exact battery capacity rating for its 3-cell Li-Ion, but rates it for “all-day computing” with up to 11 hours of battery life. Real-world battery life is yet to be seen, but we’d expect it to be decent for a typical school or work day.
The design language is sleek and modern with a silver finish. Acer doesn’t list the chassis material, but we wouldn’t expect premium aluminum or magnesium alloy in this price range. However, it is a 15.6-inch FHD IPS laptop that is only 0.74-inch thick with a weight of 3.92 pounds. That’s just a hair thicker than the Dell XPS 15 and nearly half a pound lighter.
The laptop ships with a stripped-down version of Windows 11 Home, called S Mode. Microsoft says S Mode streamlines security and performance by only allowing apps from the Microsoft Store and restricts users to using only Microsoft Edge. Buyers can choose to convert to Windows 11 Home entirely for free, if they wish, although this is not reversible without using a recovery image.
If you’re interested in picking one up, the A315-24P is already available at US and Canadian retailers. Amazon is even listing the base model for little $387.94 discount.