When it comes to gaming laptops, you can pretty much spend as much as you like, and still not be satisfied. Then there are the extra tricks to play, the cooling, the lights, the overclocking. However, if you want a machine that gives you a decent gaming performance within budget, Acer have the answer. The Acer Aspire V15 packs in a decent set of specs for just over £600, giving the starter gamer or the average user the ability to get some good gaming performance.
The Acer Aspire V15 comes with the following specs:
- Screen size – 15.6 in – 1920 x 1080
- Processor – Intel Core i5 5200U
- RAM – 8 GB
- 1 TB Hard Drive + 8GB SSD
- Operating System – Windows 8
- Optical Drive – DVD-SM
- Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce 940M
- Graphics Memory – GDDR3 – 2GB
The current version being sold comes with Windows 10 Home, but our version came with Windows 8, so that is what I used for the review. The option to update was there though.
Look and Feel
The top of the laptop comes with a textured aluminium cover. While this doesn’t give you the usual bad boy gaming look, it still gives you a good premium feel that lets you know that the laptop means business.
On the left you have the VGA port, Ethernet, HDMI, a couple of USB 3 ports and the headphone socket.
On the right you have the charging port, another USB socket and the DVD drive. There isn’t anything at the back, and the battery is accessible via the bottom.
The system comes with a full keyboard, including a numerical keypad, and to add to the premium feel, it is already backlit. The buttons are not very translucent though, so while you can definitely see the keys in the dark, the text on them doesn’t quite light up as well as it does around them.
At around 2.1kg, this isn’t exactly a portable laptop that you will lug around, but it is solid and good enough for you to roam with it if need be.
One of the interesting things thrown into this device is the fact that the trackpad has been developed in collaboration with Microsoft. This is in effort to bring Windows machines to the same level of trackpad quality as their Apple rivals, and this laptop definitely has a good go at it. There are gestures and swipes that let you do quite a lot, but of course you are still some distance away from the Apple laptops.
Having said that, it is one of the nicer trackpads I have used, giving you great performance, a good feel, and it is responsive in just the right ways.
The keyboard, despite the quirkiness of the backlit keys, which is probably just me, is really nice to touch and feel. It does feel a bit flat, weirdly, though I can’t quite point my finger to why. The keys have good movement, and they are soft, so it isn’t really much to do with the keyboard itself.
I am a big fan of the numerical keypad though, so top marks for putting one of those there!
To be a gaming laptop is a tough ask. The Acer V15 packs in a lot of punch, but it isn’t going to compete with the likes of machines that cost over a grand or two. However, the performance is fairly reasonable for the specs. The different games we tried worked rather well and the graphics card behaves well too. For those that struggled, we found that reducing resolution was a key to getting some more mileage out of the hardware.
All in all though, it worked perfectly well for what it offers. There was no overheating noticed, and when it did work hard, the fans seemed to keep it within reason.
Like pretty much anything Acer these days, this comes with a whole load of extra software that you don’t really need. While a lot of it is Acer stuff, there is also other items packed on like McAfee etc, which do make for annoying additions to an otherwise good machine.
This was probably one aspect that was rather ordinary on this. We got about 2 hours on average with this, and while that is okay for a machine this big, we would have liked a bit more.
Three words describe this perfectly: gaming on a budget. This won’t blow you away, but the specs on offer are great for the price. If I really had to be picky, I’d be pointing some fingers at the extra software loaded on to this.