The new Acer Enduro Urban N3 laptop is designed specifically for travel and adventure, so unlike most other laptops, the emphasis in it is not at all on increased performance, but on reliability, durability and autonomy. Moreover, the first two qualities become apparent at the first glance at the laptop, when you note for yourself a reinforced display panel and ports of various interfaces closed with plugs. And after all, these are only those features that are striking, and with a more detailed study of the Acer Enduro Urban N3, you notice more of them. Let’s take a closer look at the new product and find out its strengths and weaknesses.
⇡#Box and accessories
The packaging of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 is quite laconic: a regular medium-sized cardboard box with the name of the laptop and the manufacturer.
On one end of the box there is a sticker with the model marking, serial number and brief specifications of the laptop.
Inside the box, the laptop, packed in a fabric bag, is secured between two cardboard spacers. We can say that the packaging is quite reliable and ensures the safety of the laptop during transportation or shipment by courier services.
The laptop comes with a power supply with a power cable, instructions and a quick guide, as well as a warranty card.
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The Acer Enduro Urban N3 is produced in China and is backed by a one-year warranty, which, we think, is not much in today’s realities. The laptop is currently priced at $1,300, although it recently cost a more adequate $900. But the model is still on sale.
|Acer Enduro Urban N3 (EUN314-51W-38DT)|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-1115G4 (Tiger Lake-U, 10nm SuperFin, 2 cores/4 threads, 3.0-4.1GHz, 6MB L3 cache, 28W max TDP)|
|Chipset||Intel Tiger Lake-U|
|RAM||8 GB DDR4-3200 MHz, timings 22-22-22-52 CR1;a second slot for an additional memory module is provided; |
the maximum memory can be up to 32 GB
|Drive||1 × SSD 512.1 GB, M.2 2280, NVMe, SKHynix HFM512GD3JX016N|
|Video Subsystem||Intel UHD Integrated Graphics (48 UEs, 1.25 GHz)|
|Display||14″ 1920×1080 IPS Glossy Display with Gorilla Glass, 450 nits, 60Hz, ComfyView|
|Sound subsystem||Realtek codec, 2 stereo speakers|
|Network interfaces||Cable network||No|
|Wi-Fi||Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201NGW (802.11ax, MIMO 2×2, 2.4GHz and 5GHz (160MHz)|
|Interfaces and Ports||USB||3 × USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A); |
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 (Type-C)
|Audio connectors||1 combo for headset (“mini-jack”)|
|Input Devices||Keyboard||Membrane, without numeric keypad, key travel ~1.4 mm, switchable backlight (1 level)|
|Touchpad||Two-button, dimensions 104 × 58 mm|
|VoIP||Webcam||720p@30 FPS embedded in top bezel|
|Battery||Acer Li-Ion AP19B5L (3 cells), 54.6 Wh (3550 mAh)|
|Power adapter||Delta Electronics ADP-45FE, max. power 45.1 W (19.0 V, 2.37 A), weight 142 g, built-in cable 1.5 m long, power cable 0.84 m long and weighing 131 g|
|Dimensions, mm||350 × 241 × 28 (front thickness 22)|
|Weight without power adapter: declared/measured, g||1850 / 1819|
|Body Colors||Green and gray; |
there is a version in blue
|Other Features||Compliance with military standard MIL-STD 810H; |
waterproof design of I/O ports, speakers and buttons;
antimicrobial display coating;
thin Kensington lock;
Acer ControlCenter software
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (free upgrade to Windows 11)|
|Warranty, years / country of manufacture||1 / China|
⇡#Hull design and ergonomics
The Acer Enduro Urban N3 comes in two color options: blue and green with gray – we tested the second option. It is worth noting that from the inside the laptop seems completely gray – all internal panels are painted in this color.
But the outer surface of the case cover is painted green and received a ribbed structure. The latter not only adds originality to the design of the Acer Enduro Urban N3, but also gives this panel additional rigidity.
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In the center of this panel in an orange frame is the name of the series – Enduro. For those who have not come across this word before, we will clarify that this is the name of long-term off-road auto / motorcycle racing, and the word came from the Latin indurare – “endure, endure, endure”.
The name of the laptop emphasizes its increased reliability and protection, when not only the screen panel is reinforced, but also the corners of the plastic case, on which additional linings are provided. In addition, there are four holes at the base of the laptop case, which are part of the drainage system (yes, drainage). The design of the case provides that when liquid gets on the keyboard, it must drain through these holes, and the laptop must remain operational as if nothing had happened. We also add that the laptop case complies with the requirements of the American military standard MIL-STD 810H and is IP53 certified.
On the base of the laptop, the user will find three stickers with model data, serial number and other information.
There you can also find four rubber feet about 3 mm high at the back and about 1.5 mm at the front, so the laptop stands on a flat surface with a slight forward inclination, which is more convenient for the hands when typing.
Near the front legs are gratings, behind which are the speakers of the laptop.
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We add that the dimensions of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 are 350 × 241 × 28 mm (front thickness 22 mm), and its weight is 1819 grams.
There is a small notch on the front end of the case, which makes it easier to open the laptop lid. But due to its miniature size and insufficient depth, it is still not convenient enough to pick up the panel, especially if you have to do it in the field.
In addition, the screen cannot be opened with one hand, because its hinges are tight, so you still have to hold the base with the second hand. By the way, the display leans back 180 degrees.
A small ventilation grill and hinges of those same hinges are visible on the back of the case.
Interestingly, all the ports of the case and even the power connector are tightly closed with plastic plugs that protect them from dust, dirt and moisture.
The Acer Enduro Urban N3’s port selection is exhaustive. Hidden under the plugs is an HDMI video output, three USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A) and one USB 3.2 Gen2 (Type-C) ports, an SD memory card slot, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and a power connector.
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Perhaps only the 8P8C network connector is missing, and the Acer Enduro Urban N3 already has everything else.
The keyboard of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 is compact, so there was enough space on the sides of it for both 20 mm “margins” from the edge of the laptop and for placing a vertical row of additional keys – Home, Pg Up, Pg Dn and End.
The dimensions of the alphanumeric keys are 15 × 14.5 mm, which is very small for a “traveling” laptop, especially since you will probably sometimes have to type with gloves. But this is not the most important inconvenience, since the dimensions of the function keys are generally 12.5 × 8 mm, so getting into them, as well as into the “arrows” reduced in height, is quite difficult. Well, at least they did not save on the size of the Enter, Shift and Backspace keys.
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English and Russian layouts are printed in a well-readable white font, and additional functions are marked in turquoise. The key travel is no more than 1.4 mm, pressing occurs almost silently. The keyboard also has a backlight – it is white and has only one brightness level.
If you do not touch the keys for 15 seconds, the backlight will automatically turn off.
Acer definitely saved on the size of the touchpad, they are equal to 104 × 58 mm. I will not say that this is critically small, but still it is much more comfortable to work with a large contact surface.
The two separate touchpad buttons look like some kind of anachronism, and because of them, additional slots are made in the laptop, which is unlikely to have a positive effect on its dust protection.
The webcam in the Acer Enduro Urban N3 is built into the top bezel of the display and has a resolution of 720p (30 FPS).
As for the laptop power key, it is integrated into the keyboard and has exactly the same actuation force as all other keys, so the user is not immune from accidental pressing of it.
In general, we can summarize that in terms of input devices, the Acer Enduro Urban N3 does not stand out in anything special, and the unreasonably small keyboard can hardly be attributed to travel-friendly options.
A characteristic feature of the display Acer Enduro Urban N3 are wide frames around its perimeter. On the sides, their width is 20, on top – 18, and on the bottom – 26 mm.
It would seem that such frames could be attributed to the elements of additional screen protection, but they are located directly under the monolithic Gorilla Glass, which means that if you hit the edge of the glass, the entire screen will also be damaged. Another thing is if the frames were a separate element made of plastic / metal, then the probability of damage to the display during a side impact would be lower.
The matrix type is IPS, the original manufacturer is Stesa, the coating is glossy, without an oleophobic (grease-repellent) effect, but an antimicrobial coating is declared.
The brightness of the display in the characteristics of the laptop is declared at an impressive level – 450 nits. The maximum resolution is 1920×1080 pixels and the display frequency is 60Hz.
We checked the quality of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 display using the X-Rite i1 Display Pro calibrator and the Argyll CMS software with the DispcalGUI GUI. All measurements were taken without additional display calibration. Let’s look at the results.
According to the results of measurements, the display of the Acer laptop turned out to be of rather average quality: the average DeltaE * 94 is 3.67 units, which is more than twice the reference value, and the maximum value exceeded 11.8 units.
The color temperature is about 8000 K (with reference 6500 K), which indicates the need for additional display settings.
The gamma curve is also very far from acceptable values.
Things are much better with the color balance in the gray gradient, just a balm for the soul after the results preceding this chart.
After calibrating the display, we managed to significantly improve its performance, the results are shown in the screenshot below, and you can download the color profile itself from the link.
The measured brightness of the display of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 was even higher than the declared one and amounted to 475 cd/m2. The margin of brightness should be enough to work on the clearest sunny day on some mountain peak. Moreover, the brightness control in the settings menu is impressively accurate and provides an almost perfect linear relationship.
Illumination uniformity is satisfactory. It falls short of a good level due to brightness deviations at the bottom of the screen and in the upper left corner.
In general, we can summarize that the screen of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 is small and average in quality, but very bright.
⇡#Internal device and accessories
The plastic base of the laptop is attached to the case with screws around the perimeter and snaps off without undue force.
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According to the internal layout, it cannot be said that there is any additional protection against dust and moisture, it is quite a common design.
The motherboard is based on the Intel Tiger Lake chipset and BIOS version 1.15 is dated April 9, 2021.
The model uses a dual-core Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, manufactured using a 10-nm process technology and supporting processing up to four threads simultaneously.
It operates at a base frequency of 3.0 GHz with boost up to 4.1 GHz.
The thermal package of the processor is limited to 28 watts, and the possibility of increasing it in the BIOS or other software method is not provided.
The Acer Enduro Urban N3 has two DDR4 SO-DIMM memory slots. One of the slots is occupied by an eight-gigabyte module manufactured by Micron (marking MTA4ATF1G64HZ-3G2E1)
The effective memory frequency is standard for laptops 3.2 GHz with timings 22-22-22-52 1T.
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However, due to the fact that there is only one memory module in the laptop, the RAM operates in single-channel mode with very modest bandwidth and high latency, which can be clearly seen from the test results.
Buyers of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 should immediately purchase and install a second memory module. We add that the maximum amount of RAM in a laptop can be 32 GB.
For graphics processing, the Intel UHD Graphics core built into the central processor with 48 execution units and a boost frequency in 3D mode of 1.25 GHz is responsible.
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There is only one M.2 port in the laptop and there are no other interfaces for drives. It has a 512GB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD from SKHynix (model HFM512GD3JX016N).
Here’s what the Crystal Disk Info utility knows about the laptop drive.
This drive showed a pretty decent level of performance, both when powered from the mains and in standalone mode. The test results are shown below in the screenshots.
It is clearly seen that there is practically no difference in drive performance in these operating modes. However, this is not surprising, given the initially modest performance of the central processor and the complete absence of any software modes of its operation (which we will see later).
The temperature regime of the SSD does not raise any concerns: during normal use of the laptop, it warms up only to 30 degrees Celsius, and in the stress test of the AIDA64 Extreme utility, its maximum temperature did not exceed 45 degrees Celsius.
Unfortunately, the Acer Enduro Urban N3 does not have a cable network interface. Providing network connections is entrusted to the wireless module Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201NGW.
It can hardly be attributed to the most modern, but still recall that it supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.1 protocols, as well as operation at frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz (bandwidth 160 MHz) . At home, the connection with the router is stable and fast, but it’s hard to say whether this module is useful in field conditions.
At the heart of the laptop’s audio system is a Realtek processor that processes and outputs the signal to two stereo speakers built into the base of the case.
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The sound in Acer Enduro Urban N3 is the most ordinary, nothing outstanding. The volume is sufficient for watching videos, and there is nothing more to add.
⇡#Cooling system, efficiency and noise level
The cooling system in the laptop is quite simple and compact. It is obvious that it is designed according to the “necessary and sufficient” principle, taking into account the processor’s modest heat pack and its low frequencies. Cold air enters the laptop case through the ventilation grill in the bottom panel.
Air from the heatsink heated by the processor is vented through slots in the rear of the case.
Heat transfer between the processor die and the heatsink occurs through a heat pipe with a diameter of 10 mm.
Here we can add that, according to the manufacturer, the cooling system fan is not afraid of water getting on its blades, but we did not dare to check this.
Acer has the Acer ControlCenter application with a set of informational and diagnostic utilities.
However, there are no options for setting up laptop operating modes in this application.
Therefore, testing of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 was carried out in the only possible mode – with the Windows power profile settings “Maximum performance”.
To evaluate the efficiency of CPU cooling, we used the powerMAX stress test in AVX mode. The HWiNFO64 utility version 7.21.4720 was responsible for monitoring all indicators. Testing was conducted on a Windows 10 Home x64 operating system with the latest drivers and updates installed. The room temperature during the tests was 24.5 degrees Celsius.
First, let’s look at the performance of the laptop when running on mains power.
Immediately upon the appearance of a stressful load, the processor reaches a temperature of 96 degrees Celsius and almost immediately goes into throttling mode, dropping the frequency from 4.1 to 3.4 GHz. After 1.5-2 minutes, the CPU temperature stabilizes at 84-85 degrees Celsius with a heat dissipation of about 21 watts (the peak value reaches 26 watts). It is worth noting that the cooling fan, even with such a serious load, is barely audible.
After turning off the power from the laptop, we tested again.
It is clearly seen that the difference with the previous performance indicators is minimal. All the same processor frequency and the same temperatures (excluding jumps), as well as almost the same heat dissipation – 20 watts. We add that if the processor is not loaded with resource-intensive applications, then the laptop works almost silently.
To evaluate the performance of the Acer Enduro Urban N3, we chose the recently tested Acer Aspire Vero AV15-51-58JC with an Intel Core i5-1155G7 processor and an Honor MagicBook 16 HYM-W56 equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H. We add that all laptops were tested in maximum performance mode (if such a mode is available) when working from a power adapter connected to the mains. The test results are shown in the table.
|Test name||Measure||Acer Enduro Urban N3 |
(Intel Core i3-1115G4)
|Acer Aspire Vero AV15-51-58JC |
(Intel Core i5-1155G7)
|Honor MagicBook 16 HYM-W56 |
(AMD Ryzen 5 5600H)
|Announcement date |
|December 2021 |
|February 2022 |
|AIDA64 memtest||Read||↑||21 577||33 140||43 969|
|Write||↑||21 388||35 928||34 496|
|Copy||↑||18 624||29 730||38 469|
|WinRAR||KB/s||↑||3 840||8 525||15 885|
|7-Zip||GIPS||↑||18 652||37 045||62 472|
|CPU-Z benchmark||CPU Single Thread||↑||490||584||533|
|Multi Thread||↑||1 335||2854||4 297|
|Geekbench 5||Single-Core Score||↑||1 298||1439||1 370|
|Multi-Core Score||↑||2434||4 858||6 399|
|HandBrake||H.265 MKV 4K, s||↓||1218.28||643,44||369,12|
|CineBench R23||CPU (Multi Core), pts||↑||2849||5 541||9 278|
|CPU (Single Core), pts||↑||1 299||1405||1 315|
|Blender (Classroom)||Classroom, time||↓||0:32:00||0:17:02||0:09:39|
|Corona 1.3||Render time, s||↓||0:08:50||0:04:28||0:02:58|
|V-Ray Benchmark||vsamples||↑||2088||3 951||6 476|
|PCMark’10||Total||↑||4 104||4 892||6086|
|Essentials||↑||8 687||9 469||10 277|
|Productivity||↑||6 310||9 410||9 618|
|Digital Content Creation||↑||3 424||5 236||6 190|
|3DMark CPU Profile||Max threads||↑||1704||3 676||4 865|
|16 threads||↑||1 741||3 609||4 828|
|8 threads||↑||1 723||3 583||4 566|
|4 threads||↑||1702||3 050||3 096|
|2 threads||↑||1449||1 735||1598|
|3DMark||Night Raid||↑||7 274||12 062||14 509|
|Wild Life||↑||4 388||7996||6 949|
|Fire Strike||↑||1582||2922||3 235|
|Time Spy||↑||758||1 307||1 279|
|World of Tanks enCore RT (medium quality)</ strong>||FHD, Score||↑||4 646||7838||12 267|
Two cores and four threads of the Intel Core i3-1115G4 in most tasks turn out to be just twice as slow as the quad-core Intel Core i5-1155G7, and the additional “anchor” in the Acer Enduro Urban N3 is single-channel memory and a slow graphics core of the processor.
The results of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 3D tests confirm that this model is not intended for games at all, although it will cope with simple multiplayer projects.
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Despite positioning the Acer Enduro Urban N3 as a travel laptop, its lithium-ion battery capacity is a modest 54.6 Wh.
According to BatteryMon, the actual battery capacity when fully charged is even less at 52.6 Wh.
Perhaps, for a “camping” laptop, a battery with an increased capacity is needed, especially since the dimensions of the case allow it to be placed inside.
To restore the battery charge and power the laptop, the included Delta Electronics ADP-45FE adapter with a maximum power of 45.1 watts (19.0 V, 2.37 A) and a weight of 142 grams is used.
Based on four full battery charge cycles, we found that on average it takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to charge from 5 to 100%, that is, very slowly.
The battery life of the Acer Enduro Urban N3 was tested at a display brightness of 200 cd/m2 in four PCMark’10 tests. Network connections and sound did not turn off. The results are shown below.
As you can see, in the best case, the Acer Enduro Urban N3 will be able to work on battery power for 11 hours and 18 minutes, and this is in full-screen video viewing mode. In office work or work with applications, the battery lasts for nine hours and a little, and in conditional gaming performance for 2 hours 47 minutes.
Well, the Acer Enduro Urban N3 is definitely different from most other laptops and can really become a reliable travel companion. First of all, it is worth noting its reinforced case with protection against moisture and dust, which ensures the performance of the laptop even if a certain amount of liquid gets on the keyboard. Protected at the laptop and input-output ports. The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass, however, it would be nice to move its side frames away from the edges of the panel. The set of ports can be called exhaustive, only the 8P8C network connector is missing for the ideal.
Along with the merits of the Enduro Urban N3, we can’t help but note its shortcomings. Given the size of the laptop, its keyboard and touchpad are too small. The screen of the laptop is very bright, but requires additional calibration and has problems with uneven backlighting. It is better to double the amount of RAM immediately after purchase, since there is a free slot. But to do the same with the drive will no longer work, the only M2 connector involves only a complete replacement of the SSD. I would like to see a larger capacity battery in the Enduro Urban N3 – nine to eleven hours of battery life in office mode in order to feel comfortable on the road will not be enough.
And yet, in general, the Acer Enduro Urban N3 leaves a good impression and is better than other models in order to take it with you on the road. But it would be great if Acer addressed at least some of the shortcomings we listed in future versions of the Enduro.