Review: Acer Aspire V 15 (2015)
3.2Overall Score

Price (RRP): $1199
Manufacturer: Acer

Ultrabooks aren’t for everyone, and if you feel you still need a big screen and an optical drive, Acer hopes it has something in the form of the Aspire V15. Is it right, or could you go better with something else?

Features

Inside the Aspire V15, you’ll find one of Intel’s fairly recent chips, with the fifth-generation “Broadwell” processor, the 2.2GHz Core i5 5200U, only recently gone out of date now that the sixth generation “Skylake” has been announced.

This processor has been paired with 8GB RAM, as well as a 1TB conventional hard disk drive, with Windows 8.1 setup on the computer out of the box, though this can be upgraded to Windows 10 free of charge out of the box. There’s even a sticker attesting to this under the screen.

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That screen, by the way, is a 15.6 inch HD display, offering 1366×768, which it gets through an Nvidia graphics chipset, the GeForce 940M which the computer alternates between that and the Intel HD5500 graphics chipset.

Connection options are fairly standard, with one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI, and one VGA working for wired ports, as well as an SD card slot for checking memory cards from cameras and the like, while wireless is handled through 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth.

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An optical drive is included in the package, something we don’t see often in laptops anymore, with this one not only reading DVDs, but also writing to them as well.

A full-size keyboard is also provided, complete with a keypad on the right, while the trackpad is fairly spacious and offers support for gestures, too.

The battery is built into the Aspire V15 and is not removable.

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Performance

When it comes to picking a laptop, we are all spoiled for choice.

It’s not as if this is a bad thing, mind you, because more choice is better overall, and if you don’t like the same white, silver, or black laptop that one company has, you can switch it out for something else.

Acer has never really had a consistent style throughout its range, and in its Aspire V15 for 2015, it is keeping that lack of consistency, moving forward with a slick and yet professional black aluminium lid, and yet keeping the inside of the machine all about the plastic, both with a brushed steel look and a basic matte black plastic along the bottom.

It’s not a bad looking machine, though it’s certainly not the best built computer we’ve seen, even for the $1199 price Acer is charging, and the only area that feels like it has substance and strength is the lid, which is a touch surprising.