t has been raining gaming laptops. The PC and laptop gaming sector is on fire and users want the best bang for their buck. This is probably why players like Acer, Asus and HP are getting aggressive in the segment. Today, there are several options available in the market when it comes to purchasing a laptop designed for gaming. Acer is the latest to refresh and redo its line-up of Predator gaming notebook series in India; out of which we got to review the Acer Predator 15 (2017) model. This is what we could make of the mammoth.
These days all the gaming machines come with hard edges, which is not very ergonomic. Yes, they look good, but they tire you out quickly. The same applies to Acer Predator 15 (2017). It is a knockout when it comes to the design and appeal, with great contours, however loses a few marks when it comes to ergonomics.
This one drives a 15.6-inch Full HD display that can deliver great graphics at viewing angles up to 178 degrees (above the screen we found the HD webcam for video chat). On the backside of the lid, users get a backlit Predator logo in silver along with twin backlit lines on the sides. That’s not all; Acer has provided a RGB keyboard making it a showpiece. In fact, the keyboard is large and has a separate numeric keypad too. Users also get a good-sized backlit (on the edges) trackpad that is multi-touch ready. On top of the keyboard Acer has placed a triangular power button with few extras on the sides that manage profiles.
On the right users get two USB 3.0, one HDMI, one thunderbolt and Ethernet ports. The left side of the Acer Predator 15 (2017) has two more USB 3.0 ports along with the power, 3.5mm audio and SD card slot. Next to them Acer has put the DVD writer, this can be replaced with an extra cooling fan that comes in the box (quite neat if you ask us). The front has the twin 4 way speakers backed by Dolby Audio. There is a sub-woofer in the Acer Predator 15 (2017) that is placed under the laptop.
The Acer Predator 15 (2017) has the latest when it comes to configuration. It has an Intel core i7 (7th gen) 2.8 GHz CPU, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD along with 128 GB SSD to boot-up the device in no time. It also sports the NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics unit with 6 GB RAM. That said, however, the graphic card could have been better. Other features such as Bluetooth and built-in microphone are also available.
Acer Predator 15 (2017) runs Windows 10 home edition OS that did not take much time to setup. We were up and running in a few minutes. There isn’t a lot of bloatware on the system either and you are given the essentials with the option to add more software from the locker. Since this is a gaming machine, Acer has installed the Predator sense app on it. This helps gamers to over clock the system at a click of a button. But, for it to be enabled users’ needs to plug the charging brick to it.
We ran 3D Mark fire test on the machine and as expected it did not give us the best results. Since the graphics card is a mid-end one we only got 8.7K points on it. This does not kill the performance totally, but we have seen better results from its competitors. The Acer Predator 15 (2017) was able to handle games like DOTA 2 and CS:Go at over 100 FPS (max settings), but these fell down to around 40 when games like Dues Ex and GTA 5 were played. On PC Mark Vantage it did not display great results either. It scored only 13,451 points putting it in the middle of the current generation of gaming laptops.
Sound on the other hand is great. The speaker system is brilliant for gaming as well as entertainment. Coupled with the great full HD screen we were enamoured by the experience. However, the experience could have been better if the screen was 4K ready. Jumping over to the battery life. The Acer Predator 15 (2017) is like any other laptop, big, bulky and slow on the battery. That is because most would want to keep it wired in always for best performance. We could get just 3.5 hours of uptime from this laptop (under normal use). It went down to 2 hours when playing a game.
Acer is giving some neat new things in the Acer Predator 15 (2017) like Killer double shot pro feature that enables the user to split their bandwidth requirement over Wi-Fi and Ethernet. The ability to swap the DVD drive with an additional fan is relevant for a gaming machine. Which makes issues like overheating evaporate. However, competitors like Asus and MSI are giving slightly better specs at lesser price. This one retails for Rs 1,59,990 which we feel can hurt Acer’s market.