The holidays are quickly approaching, and with the Aspire V Nitro, Acer has whipped together a serious candidate for those looking at the lot of gaming laptops.
On the surface, it’s a stunning machine. The V Nitro is topped off with an appealing design and it doesn’t stop there. I found that there’s a lot to be excited for inside this gaming laptop.
However, in my short time with the device at a preview event in New York, I noticed some unevenness in performance despite an impressive spec sheet. But before leaping right into what kind of frames this rig puts out, let’s talk about how it looks and feels.
Design and build quality
Coming in 15 and 17-inch sizes, the shell of the Aspire V Nitro is a dusky, black metal finish, neatly detailed with parallel grooves that almost felt like plastic. Aside from remarkable looks, this design choice doubly comes in handy if you need to move the machine or make screen angle adjustments.
The ridges afforded me some extra leverage during the hands on, and my fingers sank right into those grooves. Speaking of hands, a rubberized palm rest surrounds the notebook’s large trackpad and a full-sized backlit keyboard. It felt great to have such a large playground for my fingers.
Each of these inclusions are relatively standard for a laptop of this size, but they feel fantastic on the Aspire V Nitro and emphasize its stylish presentation. Exclusive to the “Black Edition” that we tested out is a simple cursive logo etched on the corner of the pad. Thankfully, it’s subtle, and doesn’t really amount for much other than bragging rights.
The slick case detail comes to an end at a flashy, chrome hinge lining the back-end of the machine. At least, that’s what I thought was the hinge.
Instead, the long strip of metal with “Aspire V Nitro” stunningly stamped on it is a decorative pseudo-heatsink, equipped with fans on its underside. It’s a clever way of dispersing heat for a laptop, which generally lack graceful cooling methods.
The Acer Aspire V Nitro is packed with an Nvidia Geforce GTX 860M to push the pixels to its FHD (1,920 x 1,080), IPS screen. Impressively, Acer has even crammed an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with desktop-grade voltage, the 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ.
That’s not all too common in high-performance laptops, especially ones this thin. It’s clear that Acer’s extending an olive branch to PC enthusiasts, as now, you’ll likely have greater overclocking capabilities.
During my brief hands-on, I got to take it for a spin with Grid Autosport. While it’s by no means the most intense game you could choose to show off your mobile gaming rig, it’s no slouch either. Aside from a few minor dips and chugs in frame rate, the game captured my crashing into trees and guard rails at a silky smooth frames per second.
At first glance, the Aspire V Nitro design is on-point and understated, much unlike the lot of loud and boisterous gaming laptops. Better yet – despite a few hiccups – the rig seems to performs admirably for a machine starting at $1,099.
While Acer doesn’t have a rich history in the gaming world, don’t count the company out yet before its (hopeful) triumphant return. I left the Nitro with just a small taste of its style and power. Now I, to keep the metaphor going, look forward to really biting into this mobile PC gaming machine to see what it’s capable of when it launches later this year.