Acer Aspire VX15 Review: Neither Predator Nor Prey

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For Work and For Play

Acer has been stepping up their gaming notebook line as of late with the release of some pretty compelling offerings in the Predator series because not everyone can own the super expensive Acer Predator 21x. While the Predator series owns the moniker for the Taiwanese brand’s gaming series of notebooks, there are few from its Aspire line that can take on heavier tasks and gaming as well. Meet the Acer Aspire VX15. A notebook that’s been our daily driver for about a week or so. It may not be a predator in name, but it’s been a competent companion for both work and play too.

As Beefy As They Come

The Acer Aspire VX15 is primarily made out of plastic material but has been made to have a brushed aluminum finish, with just enough red accents and aggressive lines on the laptop to give you a bit of that gamer touch. To be honest, it’s not easy on the eyes and not the sexiest, nor the lightest notebook (2.5 kg) that’s come across our desks, but the build quality definitely withstood the use and abuse our review unit got with our recent trips. It would be a crime to have all that bulk and still have to live the dongle life but, thankfully, that won’t be an issue with the Aspire VX15.

You’ll find a Kensington Lock, DC Power connector, USB 2.0 port, SD card slot, and an audio jack on the left side of the Aspire VX15.

On the right is where you have the Ethernet Port, HDMI port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and the USB Type-C port.

Lackluster Display; Impressive Audio

Open up that sturdy looking lid and you’re greeted by its 15.6-inch Full HD display and this is where you start to see that this definitely not a Predator laptop from Acer. It’s a decent panel with a decent amount of brightness to it, but the colors are a little muted, which is a pain in the bum if you’re playing games, like Rise of the Tomb Raider or Witcher 3, which are known for having some of the best environments. This also means that if you need a ton of color accuracy for the things you do to pay the bills, you’ll be outright disappointed by the display on the Aspire VX15; plus, the bottom bezel on the screen is terribly distracting as well.

One thing that impressed us with the Aspire VX15 was the amount of volume that the speakers produced. On their own, they’re okay (decent at best) but activate the pre-installed Dolby software and it’s a whole new ball game. Dialogue becomes clearer and sounds a lot punchier, but without distortion even at higher volumes.

Comfy Keyboard for Typing All Day

While the display may have been a bit of a letdown, at least the keyboard of this notebook doesn’t disappoint. The keys have decent travel and are spaced nicely so even people with bigger hands, like most of the team, don’t feel cramped while we have to bust out several articles for the site. The keys are also backlit if you plan on working or gaming when the lights are low, but no RGB lighting here; it’s simply in red. Speaking of red, the WSAD on the Aspire VX15 also have a red border around them, so you and people around you know that this laptop can game. It’s not gaudy, but it’s definitely noticeable.

We’re not huge fans of using the trackpad on notebooks, opting to use a wireless mouse when we get the chance, but for those situations where we had to without one, the trackpad on the Aspire VX15 did a good job and was responsive from end to end. It will, however, need a wipe down from time to time to keep it smudge free.

Decent Gaming Experience at 1080p 

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff and probably the main reason you’re all reading this article. Before we get into the benchmarks, let’s give you a recap of what’s under the hood of the Aspire VX15 that was sent to Unbox HQ. The configuration for the Aspire VX15 Acer sent us is one of the highest ones the company is making available in the Philippines and we really put it to work (i.e. video editing and gaming). Our review unit came with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD + 1TB of HDD storage, and a NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti.

 

In terms of video editing, most of the video content from the month of August came from this baby and rarely gave us issues; even when handling files in 4K. We did not proxy the clips either; though if you want to go that route, it takes a little more than a minute on Handbrake to turn a one-minute clip into a 1080p video.

Let’s get to some benchmarks and start off by showing you the results from Unigine Heaven and Valley.

For gaming, we decided to test out the Acer Aspire VX15’s capabilities on games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3, X-Com 2, PlayerUknown’s Battleground, and, of course, Overwatch. We tested out most games pre-set on high at 1080p.

As expected of the configuration, you can do some decent gaming on the Acer Aspire VX15, though we do recommend tweaking the settings a little more for The Witcher 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider to give you better frame rate scores overall. If you’re sticking to Overwatch, you’re pretty much golden with this notebook. Thankfully, those exhaust ports in the rear of the device aren’t all for show, as it also kept the heat at decent levels; even at prolonged periods of gaming.

Battery Life Is What You’d Expect

Systems like these are quite power hungry, so it’s no surprise that you’re going to be pretty much tethered to a wall if you plan on gaming and editing on the go. If you do have to whip out your laptop for a quick game session or if you need to upload that video before a deadline, note that it’ll only take about 2 hours before you need to top upinto a wall. For other purposes like streaming and the likes, that time will more than double as we’ve seen the laptop last for about 6 hours under a light load.

Verdict: A Viable Choice for Its Category

The Acer Aspire VX15, at the configuration that was sent to us, did a great job for everything we needed to do to cover most of the events in August and for those times that we just want to kick back and frag or get fragged by some dudes in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Yes, it’s not the sexiest nor is it the most powerful around, but it does provide a solid option at its pricing segment. This particular Acer Aspire VX15 is priced at Php 64,999 but the company is offering the notebook in several other configurations if you’re willing to compromise on computing power and the GPU it comes with as well.



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