You also won’t find speakers on the top of the machine, with the grills for each located on both the left and right underside of the system. While the sound is relatively loud, it means it gets muffled for pretty much everything when sitting on a desk, a lap, and generally just being used.
If you’re playing games with a lot of bass punches — first-person shooters and the like — this won’t be a huge issue, but the moment you decide to play music, movies, or anything with talking, expect some muffled sounds.
Acer’s choice of screen surprises us too, and in both good and bad ways.
The good, sorry, great thing about the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro display is that you’ll find a screen with fantastic viewing angles offering excellent colours, minimal washout (if any at all), and a matte finish, making it highly resistant — damn near impervious, we’d say — to reflections.
And that’s one of those things gamers and anyone else will be thankful for, because if you’re in a particularly bright room, you’ll have no problems seeing what you’re doing on the Nitro’s display.
Where Acer misses the mark, however, is by using a screen that lacks touch, and yet pairing the computer with Windows 8.
That’s not to say that Microsoft’s most recent operating system needs a touchscreen to operate: it doesn’t, and you can get by with Windows and a great touchpad if you know the gestures, and Acer has been kind enough to include a pretty great touchpad.
But the rather long-named Aspire in question isn’t a cheap machine, coming in with a recommended retail starting price of $1999 (and we think the review model is closer to $2199 based on its larger than standard spec video card) and for that reason, we have trouble seeing it without a touchscreen, especially when other gaming machines are now including the feature as a standard, as it makes Windows 8 just that much easier to control.
It’s not a huge issue, mind you, and there’s a good chance that gamers will be sitting on the desktop more than the touchscreen, but it’s still something that would have been nice to have.
Also missing on the machine is some of that gamer lighting that acts as more of a bling thing for gamers.
It’s not necessary, sure, but the customers of these computers love it, and while you’ll find some pretty crazy combinations possible on the Alienware kit, and some colourful speakers and grills on the HP Omen, Acer has just figured that red keyboard back-lighting is all you’ll need or want, and so provided only that.
There’s no colour changing here, and not even an ounce of settings for the inclusion, with only on or off states offered for this red lighting.
If you’re not bothered by this, great, but if you like a little bit of brightness under your fingers, or even the option to change the LED colour, you’ll be disappointed here.
You’ll also be disappointed in the amount of bloatware the V15 Nitro ships with.
We don’t normally make it a habit of mentioning this because, frankly, there’s never enough to get on our nerves, but wow, Acer really just manages to go overboard here.
You might expect to find some hardcore games on a hardcore gaming laptop, and that would be fantastic, but none of the bloat caters to that. Rather, you’ll find a few of CyberLink’s unnecessary photo applications, a third-party PDF app, Amazon Kindle, shortcuts to a deal or two, some budget low-end games from WildTangent, and a bunch of Acer applications for office work and file maintenance that probably would have been better suited to be replaced with a copy of Microsoft Office 365, a piece of software which is not included in the bloat.
The battery also comes off feeling fairly sub-par, and that’s because when we weren’t doing much, the battery life managed to hit a little over two hours.
That’s not good by any stretch of the imagination, and regardless of how decent the full-size keyboard is, and how strong the screen or the touchpad is, we have trouble relying on a laptop that is barely portable for any stretch of time, especially one apparently focused on gaming.
If you don’t mind being tethered to a wall, great, and we could see this being an option for gamers keeping it on a desk. But these gamers could also build a rig, or even buy one, and really, the lack of battery life does undermine the V15 as a, you know, portable gaming machine.
Acer’s entry in the popular gaming space is an interesting offering that would be so much more compelling if the price was lower or Acer was bringing more to the table.
Spec-wise, it’s fine, but for this sort of money, you kind of want a solid-state drive, or 802.11ac wireless technology, or a bit more lighting control, or a set of speakers in locations that aren’t aimed at the desk or your lap.
But that’s what you get, and these sorts of things are missing from the package, pulling the Aspire V15 Nitro down a bit in class and making the package feel more like a repurposed Acer Aspire mid-range computer than a entertainment-focused gaming computer that the V15 Nitro purports to be.
We’d probably wait until Acer dropped the price on this one a little, because while it’s not a bad little box, the competition is definitely worth checking out on this one, as there’s more to a gaming computer than just a screen and a set of specs.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Numeric keyboard built-in; Gigabit Ethernet port; Great specs, though the hard drive is a conventional one; Excellent matt finish screen;
Very little gamer-focused lighting; Number-pad included; Despite being a good screen, it lacks touch, which is particularly surprising on a Windows 8 machine; Conventional hard drive, and a slow one at that; Sub-par battery for mobile gaming; Speakers are under the computer; No 802.11ac wireless networking; Design feels cheap; So much bloatware;