Acer laptops are typically known for being a good budget-friendly option in the world of PC gaming. That’s not to say we haven’t seen some fancier, higher-end Ultrabooks by Acer. Take the Aspire 57 for example, which was released in early 2014 and quickly regarded as an Ultrabook, both in its design in performance, but in its lavish price tag as well. Now comes another opportunity for Acer to show off its latest technology and wares, and it is definitely found in the Predator 15 gaming laptop. Although mid-range overall, it’s top notch graphics performance and lengthy battery life may suffice the pricing.
Right off the bat, the Acer Predator 15 has a 15-inch body, which is pretty much a rarity in the gaming laptop niche, as higher-end parts don’t always fit well in a smaller body. This means careful consideration came in its architecture. This also means cooling the system adequately is a delicate feat. But Acer covered its bases on this rig, and not just with effective cooling. It has been coming up as one of the fastest gaming laptops tested by Cnet, as well as others, and we will get to that in a moment.
There’s just something about gaming rigs that give them the excuse to have a flashy, and at times, unnecessarily chunky appearances (plus, what’s with the red and black color scheme? Is that the official mark of gaming aesthetic?). In contrast, plenty of folks don’t care about this, and sometimes this is actually part of the fun for those who love gaming towers. You know, the desktops that have gorgeous fans, and textured bodies filled with fluent blue or green lighting? Those are nice because they don't go too far; it’s almost as if they’re simply letting you know they aren’t average. However, others decorate to the point of actually looking more like a spaceship than a computer. Unfortunately, or not, depending on your taste, in the case of the Predator 15, this is one of those gaming laptops that might have gone over the edge of ‘gaudy’, appearing a bit like a pickup truck with all of its plastic vents and shark-like fins.
However, others, myself included, may find Acer’s latest in gaming just fine, especially after taking a looksy at its internals. Not only is this thing equipped with the latest from Intel for processing power, its graphics card is also up to date, making it VR-ready, especially if you've got the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive on hand. Inside the 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 panel, we’ve got Intel’s quad-core i7 chip, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, delivering 6GB of VRAM and a good 43fps on Ultra at 1080p. The device weighs in at 8.2 pounds, so, not so portable as you’d expect, and dimensions including 15.4 x 11.8 x 1.5 inches. Ports are plentiful, which is important. There are two USB 3.0 ports on one side, and two more on the other, plus a Thunderbolt port, an HDMI, a DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, and a Kensington secure lock. Don’t forget the DVD drive, SD card reader, jacks for the mic/headphones, and the DC adapter!
So the verdict is mostly in. For a 15-incher, 8+ pounds is a bit hefty, unless of course you keep yourself stationed up on your desk. On par with many of its peers, the Acer Predator 15 has a solid performance review, handling multitudes of tabs along with a full movie streaming, overall yielding benchmarks of around 13,216 (that’s great considering mainstream these days is averaging 8,488). Average battery life is 6 hours 40 minutes, and it keeps its cool very efficiently with super quiet fans. For $1,699, this is surely a solid performing and displaying mid-range device.
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