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Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G review

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Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G
  • intel RealSense water effect
  • Intel RealSense Madagascar Move It

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Smart design suits home and office
  • Packed with features including Intel RealSense
  • Excellent quality screen and good sound quality
  • Powerful machine also suitable for gaming

Cons

  • RealSense not that useful yet
  • Battery life struggles to reach four hours
  • Screen resolution only 1080p
  • Can get slightly better gaming performance for the money

Key Features

  • 17in, Full HD, 1080p, IPS screen
  • Intel RealSense 3D camera
  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD and 1TB hard drive
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M
  • DVD-writer
  • Windows 8.1 (free upgrade to Windows 10)
  • Manufacturer: Acer
  • Review Price: £999.99

What is the Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G?

The Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G is, according to Acer's own blurb, the apex of the Aspire V Nitro line. What that means in reality is it’s a premium, large but slim, 17in laptop that can serve both as a modest gaming machine and a workstation, much like Apple’s 17in MacBook Pro line used to be.

The Black Edition also includes Intel's new RealSense 3D camera that can be used for gesture capture and facial recognition, which again has uses for both work and play. A 15in model also exists, with the primary extra feature of the 17in model being the inclusion of an optical disc drive, as well as the larger screen size and extra connectivity.

Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition – Design

This is a nice enough looking machine, assuming you like black. All but the silver hinge section is covered in a soft touch matt black finish that looks and feels better than your typical laptop plastic.

SEE ALSO: Our pick of the best laptops and convertibles

Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G Black Edition

The overall design, though, is certainly not at the level of something like a MacBook Pro. Obviously there's the lack of the unibody aluminium chassis but it's also the little things like the bezels round the screen all being different sizes and the otherwise quite nice ridge vertical line pattern on the lid not being reflected on the underside - it's a smart-dressed mid-range machine rather than a truly premium model.

It is, however, reasonably slim and light for such a large and feature-packed machine. At 23.9mm thick and weighing in at 2.9kg (plus 630g for the power supply) it certainly doesn’t break any records – the MSI GS70 Stealth Pro takes the crown for those measurements – but it’s compact enough and has a relatively small footprint of 389.6 x 287.5mm.

Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G Black Edition

This is all particularly impressive given the inclusion of a DVD drive, which takes up a huge amount of internal space.

Overall build quality is okay with that soft touch matt finish giving the whole machine a nice feel. The screen is also stiff enough not to bend as you open and close it, and while there is some flex in the base as you type it’s not enough to be a concern. However, we did notice a couple of areas where the black finish had already been scratched off, which is often the downside to that style of finish.

Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition – Features

As you’d expect of such a large machine, the Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro has plenty going on. However, one thing it can’t boast is a particularly spec-busting screen. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080, it’s no higher than the 15in equivalent. Instead Acer is relying on its quality and overall size to win customers over.

SEE ALSO: Why Windows 10 proves Intel RealSense is a must-have

Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G Black Edition

It’s also notable that this is the highest spec screen Acer offers, so it’s not like you can upgrade to a higher-resolution screen – currently no-one makes higher resolution 17in panels.

Otherwise, though, it wants for little. As mentioned, there’s the inclusion of a DVD writer drive, which is an ever rarer occurrence these days. Take the step up to the even higher spec NX.MUFEK.002 model and you get a Blu-ray drive. If we were looking at this machine as being a complete all-in-one family laptop we'd take the Blu-ray upgrade but it is quite a bit more expensive so it's worth weighing up whether you do actually ever watch them.

Dotted round the edges is a decent selection of connections. On the right there’s an Ethernet port, an HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack and an SD card reader. Meanwhile on the left is the optical drive and two more USB 2.0 ports.

Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G Black Edition

You do miss out on the latest USB 3.1 with its Type-C connector, but that is only just appearing on machines that have just been announced, with most not yet available – the new MacBook being the main exception. Internally there’s also ultra-fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 3.0.

Powering everything along is an Intel Core i7-4710HQ, which is a powerful, quad-core processor running at 2.5GHz. This is backed up by 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. A very capable overall system that'll power through just about anything most home and office users can throw at it.

Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G Black Edition

On the gaming/graphics side, there’s an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M, which is a reliable mid-range gaming card. The higher-spec model offers a very slight upgrade to the 960M, which is a smidgen faster - it's not going to revolutionise your gaming.

This being such a big machine you of course get a full keyboard, including a numpad, and it’s backlit too in an interesting choice of red.

Ed

June 19, 2015, 9:39 pm

Hi Zachary. What's your budget? The 15in version of this machine could be a good option, though it does lack a DVD drive. It's available in specifications all the way from around £500 to around £1000, with the higher end models having all the other features you want. Otherwise, yeah, this 17in machine is a decent option. The main extras you're paying for are the decent quality screen, backlit keyboard and extra graphics card. A non-gaming machine with a more basic screen will be around £300 cheaper. In terms of battery life, you'll struggle to get much over four hours from machines of this class.

Jon Souter

June 20, 2015, 10:05 pm

LMAO - Google is your friend - but don't expect too much from a budget 'well below' £1,000... you will have to compromise somewhere to stay within that budget.

Decent gaming laptops with high end GPU's are often priced closer to the £2,000 mark and even these can't really be considered particularly future-proof when compared to a desktop pc (where you can swap outdated components with ease).

Kulti Vator

June 21, 2015, 5:54 am

All of your requirements apart from being well below £1,000!

MoogleStiltzkin

June 21, 2015, 7:18 am

i don't agree that 1080p for this sort of screen size is an issue at all. heck if it was a 4k reso display, the graphics card be powerful enough anyway to drive it. not to mention most media anyway is 1080p. very rare things are 4k for movies, though pc gaming titles becoming prevalent. and don't forget this laptop is using an IPS lcd panel.

i agree the battery is not the best. but if your like me and just leave it plugged in anyway to a power socket, then it becomes a non issue. Only is major concern if you leave unplugged.

yes you can pay more to get a little closer to the higher end nvidia gpu, but that cost money. so the asking price for this product makes it one of the best budget performers within this price bracket. it was even better value 1-2 years ago. Not so much now cause they increased the price for a slight performance upgrade which imho wasn't really worth the extra cost.

PS: illegear z5 is a step up if u want to pay more. personally i didn't feel the need to upgrade to this level of hardware for that amount of money. but could be different for someone else who has a higher budget and wants a premium experience on the cheap as possible.

another thing to take note of. u need to use nvidia inspector to hack the setting in order to force the nitro black laptop to use its nvidia gpu for some applications. or else it defaults to the intel gpu which sucks. also there is an issue getting the nvidia gpu to work with madvr on MPC HC to watch videos. But this seems to be an issue with both nvidia and ati laptop gpus.....

also if you decide not to get the ssd option, you can later add an ssd yourself at a later date. theres a m.2 ssd port available.

Jon Souter

June 24, 2015, 6:43 am

You've listed your own string of compromises on spec to get to the price point you mentioned - so what you'll be getting is a different laptop, in a similar chassis, with less capability and a smaller screen that hasn't been reviewed here.

Jon Souter

June 24, 2015, 9:14 pm

I think the point is this is already a good deal and not much comes close at this price point. However, you have made other comprises, smaller screen
being the most obvious - but manufacturers also often reduce battery capacity and keyboard spacing / layout on smaller form factors - so go into
it with your eyes open.

Seriously look into installing a larger SSD when the sting of the initial purchase is over.

And be sure that a high-end gaming rig from
AlienWare / Asus / GigaByte isn't worth extra outlay if you're serious about wanting a machine that's going to remain responsive in future games / apps for as long as you
alluded to.

kultivator

June 25, 2015, 9:22 pm

The Acer above is a great deal - but nothing is truly future proof in the world of tech, so research carefully and spend wisely.

Matthew W

August 1, 2015, 6:09 pm

Is the Windows on this laptop Pro or Home?

ORB1T4L

October 12, 2015, 7:15 pm

Home, got mine a few days ago, also got the free Windows 10 update, it's still Home.

ORB1T4L

October 12, 2015, 7:30 pm

Hi,

I ordered this PC a few days ago, the version I have is has a Core i5 4210H, GTX 960M 2Gb GDDR5, 8Gb DDR3 and a 1080p matte IPS LG screen.

As of now, I played Fallout New Vegas (with texture ehancement mods) with Ultra settings, Far Cry 4 with Ultra settings, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with Ultra settings. And everything was perfect except for Far Cry 4 which struggled at 28 FPS (~60 on High settings) and The Witcher 3 at 21 FPS (I didn't try High yet).

It's my first gaming laptop and I'm really happy with what it can do, and the Windows 10 update was free, you get Windows 8.1 out of the box and get the Windows 10 update can be downloaded when the system tells you about it.

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