Acer launched their line of Aspire V 15 Nitro entry-level gaming laptops last year, and the new installment (VN7-591G-76JG) is even more affordable than its predecessor while still managing to improve the overall performance. This is a laptop that was designed to compete with pricier models in its demographic, namely Dell’s Alienware 15 and the HP Omen 15, which cost $1,499.99 and $1,599.99, respectively. At just $1,199.99, the new Aspire V 15 manages to stay right on the heels of the competition while taking a far smaller bite out of your wallet.
The design of the new Aspire V 15 Nitro is pretty much identical to last year’s model – 5.3-pound weight, 0.94-inch thickness and a fairly plain plastic-covered metal frame. The screen maintains the same 15.6-inch IPS panel with a 3,840x2,160 resolution, but has now added 4K into the mix. While this is an impressive feature for the cost, it may not end up being such a huge plus for a laptop built for gaming. Most current mobile graphics hardware simply can’t support gaming at a resolution that high. The pre-loaded audio, however, is spot on – four built-in speakers and Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater surround sound provide a sonic experience that makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.
As far as features go, it’s again much the same as was offered in the initial version. The distinctive keyboard with glowing red backlighting provides a nice contrast to the otherwise plain design. The port selection still includes three USB 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI-out port, an Ethernet port and a headset jack on the right side of the laptop, while on the left side is a lone security-lock slot. To keep you connected, the new model now offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2x MIMO, a nice boost from the 802.11n offered in the predecessor, and of course Bluetooth 4.0. The storage has also received a nice boost courtesy of a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) paired with a 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive, and thanks to a lack of included bloatware, the majority of this space is actually yours for the taking. Inside, the Aspire V 15 Nitro is equipped with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 4GB of dedicated memory. Altogether, the pieces create a system that values better frame rates and playability over portability or aesthetics, and for gamers on a budget that focus is sure to be appreciated. It comes at some cost to battery life as you’d probably expect, but most gaming laptops aren’t really made to be taken away from a plug for too long anyway.
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