Acer ENDURO Urban N3 Review – IP53 Rated Laptop
• Ruggedized laptops have traditionally been seen as a tool for professionals working in the field: on oil rigs, in dirty industries, and so on. Such devices, as a rule, cost serious money – primarily because of the high degree of protection.
Recently, however, the category of “semi-rugged” laptops has also been singled out – such models fall short of professional devices in terms of protection, but they do an excellent job in everyday scenarios if, for example, you get caught in the rain or for some reason decide to work right on the beach. A bright representative of the segment – laptop Acer ENDURO Urban N3: you can safely use it outside the home without fear for its safety. Today we are testing a modification of the N314-51W-38DT of the Acer ENDURO URBAN family.
Degrees of protection ENDURO Urban N3
Let's start with the most interesting – what kind of protection does the manufacturer equip his device with? Acer claims the model is IP53 compliant. These standards are already familiar to many on smartphones – here the principle is similar: the first digit is responsible for how the laptop is protected from dust, while the second digit reflects the degree of moisture protection.
• A value of 5 is a rather compromise degree of dust protection: the risk of dust ingress cannot be completely ruled out, but this indicator is enough for normal use. In other words, from the fact that you put the device on the ground for a minute, nothing will happen to it. The second number – 3 – means that the device is reliably protected from rain and splashes, but it is definitely not worth diving with it.
• The manufacturer also claims that the laptop complies with the US military standard MIL-STD-810H: to get it, the device must be protected not only from moisture and dust, but also from vibration, shock, temperature extremes, low pressure and even salt fog.
Due to what technical solutions is it possible to provide such a degree of protection? You get the answer as soon as you take the laptop in your hands: dense rubber plugs that close all ports catch your eye. The risk of spontaneous opening is excluded: the plugs are tightly fixed, you have to apply a little effort when you need to remove them.
• There are tricks that are not immediately visible: for example, all technical openings in the case are protected by special seals that prevent dust and moisture from entering. Acer's proprietary Aquafan technology is also provided here: if water enters the device through the vents, the cooling system fans push the water out, preventing it from reaching the electronic filling.
• The keyboard here is also waterproof: special drainage holes are provided on the bottom of the case, through which water (or coffee) flows out if it gets on the keyboard.
• Another small detail is the rubberized sides at the corners of the case: careless handling of the laptop, which led to its fall, most likely will not be fatal.
The design of the laptop also hints unequivocally at its "semi-rugged" nature: the body of the characteristic khaki color is made of durable corrugated plastic, for which scratches will not be a problem. The plastic does not play and does not bulge – it feels like even if you put a heavy bag on the laptop, nothing will happen to it (however, in fact, we did not conduct such tests).
• High-quality assembly here is not so much an attribute of quality as a forced necessity: you can’t count on good protection against dust and moisture if the body parts “walk” and do not fit snugly against each other. It's great that the Acer ENDURO Urban N3 doesn't have that.
• As for the filling, a variety of processors are installed here – in the maximum configuration, Urban N3 can have an 7th generation i11 “stone”. On the test, we had a near-basic version with i3-1115G4. The amount of RAM varies from 8 to 32 GB – our device has 8 GB of RAM. As storage, a 500 GB SSD is installed here – not a record, but quite enough, especially for the initial modification. I was pleasantly surprised by the speed of the disk: it gives out 3500 MB / s for reading, 2700 MB / s for writing.
• In our device, a discrete graphics card is not provided – we are content with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics Xe G4 48EUs chip. You can not count on games here: this level of performance will be comfortable for office work, watching movies, surfing the Internet.
• In terms of connectors, there are enough of them, but no more: there are three USB-A ports (support USB 3.2 Gen 1), one Type-C with Thunderbolt support. And a standard set of HDMI, 3.5 jack and SD card slot.
When you pick up a laptop, you can't call it light and compact. No wonder – to protect against moisture, dust, vibration and shock, the case must be massive and solid. The weight is a little less than 2 kg, which, on the one hand, is a lot, on the other hand, it’s even nothing, because full-fledged protected devices can weigh almost twice as much.
• Thanks to the fast SSD, the system boots almost instantly. Surprisingly, even under workloads, serious lags and brakes are not felt: despite the far from top-end stuffing, the laptop quickly responds to launching applications, switching between them, and generally works without any complaints. Of course, it all depends on the tasks, but if you understand the reasonable limits of laptop performance, there will be no problems with performance.
The display here uses a 14-inch IPS-matrix – everything is standard. Pleased with the declared brightness of 450 nits – this is extremely important for a device that you will use in direct sunlight. In practice, expectations are confirmed: at whatever angle to the sun we tried to use a laptop, we could not detect a lack of brightness.
From the autonomy of the laptop, we expected high performance. Firstly, not the most powerful filling is installed here, which usually has a positive effect on the operating time on a single charge, and secondly, the manufacturer claims an ambitious 13 hours. Of course, in real life, this indicator is almost impossible to achieve – with an average load, we got about 8 hours on a single charge. On the one hand, this is not a record, on the other hand, this is quite enough for a whole working day.
Conclusions and cost
• Acer ENDURO Urban N3 is an extremely interesting device that is suitable for those who like to work outside the home and sometimes sin with a not very responsible attitude to technology: it drops, hits the rails in the subway, and so on. Urban N3 will pass these tests.
• It is important to choose a modification based on how you will use the laptop – for office tasks, our version of the N314-51W-38DT will be enough. If you want to play on a laptop and load it with more complex tasks like rendering, you should choose a version with a faster processor and more RAM.