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Last Updated on March 27, 2020
Acer has grown significantly in the past few years, thanks in large part to its success in the ultrabook market. The manufacturer has developed a reputation for offering decent quality at an appealing price point, and the Aspire P3 – if you’ll pardon the pun – aspires to do the same for the Windows 8 tablet.
The result is mostly successful, though it isn’t without its flaws.
Measuring in at 11.6-by-7.5-by-0.40 inches, the Acer Aspire P3 is surprisingly thin compared to tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro or Acer’s own Iconia W700. It’s also considerably lighter, weighing in at just 1.74 pounds compared to about two pounds for its competitors.
The brushed aluminum case offers little in the way of scratch resistance, but it feels sturdy enough overall. It may not be premium construction, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all.
The Aspire P3’s layout is pretty familiar. Along the left side are micro-HDMI and full-sized USB 3.0 ports. They’re joined by a pinhole microphone and a power socket. The right edge sports a headphone jack, power button and volume rocker. The top edge is reserved for a pair of air vents.
One area in which the Aspire P3 is disappointing compared to tablets in its class is the lack of a card reader slot. There’s also no rotation lock switch, a feature which is included on the Iconia W700.
Resolving the Details
One of the most obvious areas in which Acer cut costs for the Aspire P3 is the display. The 11.6-inch panel offers a resolution of 1366-by-768 pixels. It doesn’t necessarily look terrible on its own, but the deficiency becomes glaringly obvious in a tablet comparison with 1080p tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro or Iconia W700.
The IPS display does offer decent contrast, brightness and viewing angles, though colors lack the vibrancy and accuracy of more premium displays.
Under the Hood
The Aspire P3 is powered by a 1.5-gigahertz Intel Core i5-3339Y chip, which is mated with four gigabytes of memory and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. The Aspire can handle basic tasks well enough, but hardware-intensive tasks take a heavy toll.
In a tablet comparison, the Aspire again falls short. Both the Surface Pro and Iconia W700 employ a 1.7-gigahertz Intel Core i5-3317u processor, and both devices perform far better than the Aspire P3. The Acer does outpace the Surface Pro in terms of battery life, though the lack of a second battery in the keyboard prevents it from competing with the class leaders.
The Acer Aspire P3 is not a bad tablet, and the price is reasonable. Unfortunately, even the wallet-friendly price isn’t enough to justify its shortcomings. It may look a lot like the Acer Iconia W700, but it can’t match its older sibling in terms of display quality or performance.
In comparing tablets, the Microsoft Surface Pro is also clearly superior. The inclusion of a keyboard does make the Aspire P3 more appealing in terms of productivity, but it’s not enough to compensate for an otherwise flawed device.