Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM Laptop Review

Acer has just launched a new entry level laptop, the very blue Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM. Considering its hardware specs are rather limited, this portable notebook is likely suited for students, children learning and other people who want an affordable blend of portability, battery life, screen size and color.

Review

The Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM comes with an Intel N3050 dual core processor, one we often see in these very basic laptops, and for a good reason. Although benchmark tests rate it at around 920 points, a low number by any standards, it’s built beautifully to consume less energy than other CPUs. It has a thermal design power of just 6 Watts, meaning it won’t overheat easily and won’t need a busy fan cooling it down. It has a cache size of 2 megabytes and clocks 1.6 to 2.16 GHz.

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System memory soldered to the motherboard, so it’s not upgradeable unfortunately. It’s rated at just 2 gigabytes of DDR3L RAM, enough for basic tasks such as: editing documents, browsing the Internet, watching videos and so on. The low amount of RAM and the weak processor won’t handle multitasking that well. It will be for the best to keep just a couple of windows/programs open to avoid sluggishness.

Storage space is also limited. 32 gigabytes of storage capacity is what cell phones offer these days, so you won’t be impressed by how many files you’ll be able to keep on the device. However, there are two ways of increasing that: you can plug in an SD card to double or quadruple the available capacity and/or you can activate Acer’s Build Your Own Cloud suite of application which also include free cloud storage space.

You’ll also have the option to activate Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage solution. It will grant you 1 terabyte of storage capacity, but will come at a cost after the first trial year.

The Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM has a 14-inch LED-backlit screen. I can’t say I’m impressed by the viewing angles or color reproduction, but considering it costs under $250, I think these minor flaws are forgivable. The display is standard HD (1366 x 768 pixels). The pixel density is average and you won’t feel cramped while working thanks to the smaller screen size.

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The Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM has the following interface options:

  • 1 x USB 3.0 port
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x HDMI-out port
  • 1 x combo audio jack
  • 1 x SD card reader

A rather standard, uncluttered assortment of ports is provided by Acer.

Networking is done through a 802.11 b/g/n wireless card. Although this generation of WLAN protocol is being replaced, you won’t feel any differences in day-to-day browsing activities. There is also Bluetooth 4.0 available, attached to WLAN card.

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Portability is where this device excels and where you should be really looking when considering buying a cheap laptop. It’s fairly light, weighing in 3.5 pounds and it’s rather thin thanks to its fanless design: just 0.7 inches wide. You’ll be able to carry it around, although I wouldn’t necessarily travel with it since it doesn’t seem that sturdy and well built.

What it lack in robustness makes up for in battery stats. The Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM will hold a charge for up to 12 hours due to a great battery pack (3-cell 4920 mAh). You won’t need to carry a heavy power adapter everywhere you go, which is great for your lower back.

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Also, because of the fanless chassis design, the Acer will be quiet and discrete, a useful trait especially in coffee shops or in quiet libraries.

Final words

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After looking at the specs, the price and the features (or lack thereof), I must conclude on a mildly positive note. The Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM is a laptop best suited for students and aspiring writers. It’s basically a sub $250 typing/online research machine. It’s hard to edit photos on it, difficult to multitask and impossible to play any games using the supplied hardware specs. Therefore, you should buy one if you mostly edit documents, do some browsing and enjoy travelling around town or around state.

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Acer Cloudbook 14 AO1-431-C3TM
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