Notebookcheck

Acer Aspire V15 Nitro (VN7-591G-77A9) Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/22/2014

Black Nitro. Acer does not make any compromises in the configuration of its Aspire V15 Nitro. Buyers get a slim computer with very powerful hardware, an SSD, and IPS screen. The laptop is primarily aimed at gamers. However, the odd non-gamer might also take a liking to the computer.

For the original German review, see here.

Not all that long ago, gaming laptops were very bulky. Quite a lot of room was needed for air circulation to ensure that the hardware was cooled sufficiently. Meanwhile, modern hardware allows building considerably slimmer gaming laptops, and various manufacturers have launched corresponding models in the market. Acer also has similar models in its product line called Aspire V 15 Nitro and Aspire V 17 Nitro. We tested the 17.3-inch relation, the Acer Aspire V 17 VN-791G-759Q (Core i7-4710HQGeForce GTX 860M) a few weeks ago. Now we have our hands on the Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9, which is its identically configured, 15.6-inch counterpart. Our report reveals whether the laptop is convincing.

All 15-inch gaming laptops that are in the Aspire's price range can basically be considered rivals. Among them we find, for example, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (Core i7-4700HQGeForce GTX 860M), and MSI GE60-2PEi781B (Core i7-4700HQGeForce GTX 860M).

Case

Acer installs very powerful hardware in a relatively slim, 24 mm (~0.95 inches) casing. The laptop looks even thinner because the base unit's underside tapers off to the sides. The casing is made completely of black, matte plastic, and the base unit's upper part has a light rubber coating. The lid's back features a vertical line texture. Acer has not treated its laptop to a maintenance hatch, but the casing is quite easy to open. After removing all screws on the underside, the laptop is turned right way up again. The base unit's upper side can then be removed carefully. We used a putty knife for this. It is recommended to start below the large sticker. Note: the upper shell is connected to the motherboard with three ribbon cables.

The base unit does not exhibit any major weaknesses in stiffness. It can only be dented marginally under the touchpad. The base unit's rigidness is within the standard. The lid can be warped more distinctly, which also causes image distortions. In addition, it also produces a noise that sounds like crackling plastic film. Image distortions only occur in some places when pressure is applied to the lid's back. The hinges keep the lid firmly in position, but wobble slightly. It is just still possible to open the lid with one hand.

The device is allover black.
The device is allover black.
The lid's back is textured.
The lid's back is textured.
There is no maintenance cover.
There is no maintenance cover.

Connectivity

Interfaces

The buyer will not find a generous amount of interfaces in the Aspire. It looks similar to the IdeaPad Y50-70MSI's laptop can boast of an additional VGA output. It is a plus that all three USB ports in the Aspire support the 3.0 standard. Acer has positioned all interfaces in the right rear area. Thus, cables will not clutter the areas on either side of the wrist rest.

Left: Kensington lock slot
Left: Kensington lock slot
Right: combo audio jack, 3x USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, power socket
Right: combo audio jack, 3x USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, power socket
Front: memory card reader
Front: memory card reader
Rear: no interfaces
Rear: no interfaces

Communication

Wi-Fi module with an Atheros AR5BWB222 Wi-Fi chip is installed in the Aspire. It supports the 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi standards. The connection remained stable within a radius of approximately 15 meters (~49 ft) of the router. 3 to 5 bars were always available according to the Windows Wi-Fi display. Nevertheless, buyers should test the Wi-Fi reception in their home after purchase because some of our forum users have reported that the Aspire has a poor signal. A Gigabit Ethernet chip from Realtek's RTL8168/8111 family takes care of cabled network connections. The laptop also features a Bluetooth 4.0 module. The installed webcam (1280x720 pixels) shoots very muddy pictures.

Accessories

The usual accessories are found in the box: warranty information and a quick start poster.

Operating System

The Windows 8.1 (64 bit) operating system is installed. A Windows DVD is not included for the laptop. Acer exclusively supports Windows 8.1, and thus only provides drivers for this operating system. Users who want to replace Windows 8.1 with Windows 7 will not encounter problems. We tested this by taking out both the conventional hard drive and the SSD and replacing them with a 2.5-inch SSD.

Most drivers from Acer's website also function under Windows 7. The memory card reader, chipset, Wi-Fi module, Bluetooth module, ME engine, Intel's GPU and Nvidia's GPU can be operated using the drivers from Acer's website. In the case of the GeForce, the driver from Acer's homepage has to be used because the newer driver from Nvidia cannot be installed. A driver for the Ethernet chip can be found on Realtek's homepage. Finally, a driver for USB 3.0 functionality is also needed, and can be found on Intel's website.

Note: According to Acer's website, Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth modules from Intel and Broadcom could be installed. Since Atheros modules were installed in our review sample, we could not check whether the Intel or Broadcom drivers that Acer provides on its website also function under Windows 7. It is unlikely that there will be problems with the Intel drivers because the matching drivers can be found on Intel's website.

Maintenance

As mentioned before, the Aspire does not have a maintenance hatch. Opening the casing is quite easy though, and enables accessing the SSD, hard drive, Wi-Fi module, and battery directly. There is also no problem to clean the fan. The motherboard would have to be taken out for replacing the working memory. Acer installs a solid-state drive in the M.2 format, which could also be replaced. The same is true for the conventional, 2.5-inch hard drive. Models with a height of 7 and 8.5 mm (~0.27 and 0.33 inches) would fit. The battery can be exchanged in case of defect. It is only secured with one screw, and is plugged into the motherboard.

Warranty

Acer includes a two-year warranty for the Nitro. Both the IdeaPad and MSI laptop come with the same coverage. The Aspire's warranty period can be extended to three years for approximately 80 Euros (~$101).

Input Devices

Keyboard

The Aspire features a backlit chiclet keyboard, including a number pad. Acer uses red LEDs, and the color fits perfectly to the laptop. The backlight can only be turned on and off. The level, smooth keys have a short drop and clear pressure point. The main keys feature a size of approximately 15 x 15 mm (~0.59 x 0.59 inches). The keyboard teeters slightly when typing on it - more in the center than at the edges. This is not, however, especially annoying. All in all, the keyboard makes a good impression and is suitable for long typing sessions.

Touchpad

multi-touch ClickPad replaces the mouse. The pad is not inserted quite flush, and is slightly deeper in the casing on the right. The pad has a large surface of 10.6 x 7.8 cm (~4.17 x 3 inches), which greatly facilitates using gestures. The sleek surface allows the fingers to glide easily. However, the mouse cursor tends to skip occasionally, which makes accurate control difficult. Furthermore, the general stability could be better. The pad has a short drop, and clearly audible and palpable pressure point.

The keyboard features a backlight.
The keyboard features a backlight.
The touchpad supports multi-touch.
The touchpad supports multi-touch.

Display

The Nitro is equipped with a matte, 15.6-inch screen and a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The IdeaPad and MSI's laptop also have this type of screen. The Aspire's screen has a brightness of 319.2 cd/m², which is a good rate. The screen in the GE60 (308.9 cd/m²) is close behind that, and a much darker model is installed in the IdeaPad (221.3 cd/m²).

321
cd/m²
330
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
325
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 345 cd/m² Average: 319.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 317 cd/m²
Contrast: 689:1 (Black: 0.46 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.79 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.01 | - Ø
55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.35
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Gigabyte P35W v2
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128M6M (RAID 0)
Screen
-51%
10%
5%
13%
Brightness319221
-31%
309
-3%
306
-4%
303
-5%
Brightness Distribution8785
-2%
90
3%
87
0%
81
-7%
Black Level *0.460.722
-57%
0.43
7%
0.56
-22%
0.38
17%
Contrast689315
-54%
760
10%
582
-16%
742
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *5.7910.13
-75%
3.59
38%
3.2
45%
4.08
30%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *5.0110.04
-100%
4.86
3%
3.65
27%
2.34
53%
Gamma *2.352.152.352.292.25
CCT7347 88%10438 62%7177 91%6685 97%6553 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)5534.26
-38%
60
9%
58
5%
53.4
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Aspire vs. sRGB
Aspire vs. sRGB
Aspire vs. AdobeRGB
Aspire vs. AdobeRGB

Not only the brightness is compelling, but also the contrast of 689:1 and black level of 0.49 cd/m². The rates of the GE60 (760:1; 0.43 cd/m²) are only slightly better. The IdeaPad (315:1; 9.72 cd/m²) again lags behind its rivals. The Aspire's screen cannot completely reproduce either the AdobeRGB or sRGB color spaces. Nevertheless, the coverage rates of 55% (AdobeRGB) and 75% (sRGB) are not bad at all.

The color reproduction in the state of delivery is also appealing. The screen is quite close to the target range of DeltaE less than 3 with an average DeltaE 2000 shift of 5.79. The screen does not exhibit a bluish cast, and calibrating it only improves the colors marginally. The grayscale reproduction benefits from that considerably more.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN - ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN - Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)

The Aspire is equipped with a viewing angle stable IPS screen, which makes the screen legible from every position. The laptop can be used outdoors owing to the combination of its matte surface, brightness, and contrast.

The Aspire outdoors
The Aspire outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Acer has a 15.6-inch laptop for gamers-on-the-go in its product line with the V15 Nitro VN7-591G. A high-performance processor and GeForce graphics core provide the needed computing power. Our review sample is available for around 1100 Euros (~$1394). Acer also offers the device in other configurations. For example, the laptop is also available with a 4K screen. Currently the cheapest model of the series (Acer Aspire VN7-591G-50UG) is sold for approximately 900 Euros (~$1142), and is equipped with a Core i5-4210H processor. It does not have an SSD. Acer's Aspire V5 Nitro VN7-571G is an identically built, but technically slimmed down model. This series uses ULV processors and GeForce 840M or GeForce GTX 850M cards. A review of the currently cheapest model, the Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX (Core i5-4210UGeForce 840M), will be published within the next few days on Notebookcheck.com.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
System information: Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro

Processor

Despite its very slim build, Acer has equipped its Black Edition with a standard mobile processor (not ULV) with a TDP of 47 Watts. The installed Core i7-4710HQ (quad-core processor from the Haswell generation) operates with a base clock of 2.5 GHz, which can be increased to 3.3 GHz (four cores), 3.4 GHz (two cores) or 3.5 GHz (one core) via Turbo Boost. We ran the CPU tests of the Cinebench benchmarks to ascertain whether the full computing power can be retrieved. The processor clocked with 3.3 GHz in the multi-thread tests. Two cores were recurrently boosted to 3.4 GHz and one core to 3.5 GHz in the single-thread tests. Consequently, the full performance is available. The processor clocked with 2.9 GHz (multi-thread) and 2.9 to 3.4 GHz (single-thread) when the tests were performed in battery mode.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6693
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19497
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4975
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.53 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
57.03 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.22 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
657 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
137 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
94.29 fps
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
1.53 Points ∼0%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.17 Points ∼0% -24%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
1.46 Points ∼0% -5%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1.47 Points ∼0% -4%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1.49 Points ∼0% -3%
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
1.5 Points ∼0% -2%
MSI GS60 - 2PEWi716SR21
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD (RAID 0)
1.5 Points ∼0% -2%
Gigabyte P35W v2
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128M6M (RAID 0)
1.55 Points ∼0% +1%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
1.62 Points ∼0% +6%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
7.22 Points ∼0%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.41 Points ∼0% -67%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3.55 Points ∼0% -51%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
5.29 Points ∼0% -27%
Gigabyte P35W v2
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128M6M (RAID 0)
6.89 Points ∼0% -5%
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
6.97 Points ∼0% -3%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
6.99 Points ∼0% -3%
MSI GS60 - 2PEWi716SR21
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD (RAID 0)
7.12 Points ∼0% -1%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
7.53 Points ∼0% +4%

System Performance

There is no reason for complaining about the system's performance. The laptop operates swiftly and smoothly, which is not surprising. The laptop is equipped with a fast solid-state drive and a powerful Core i7 processor. The very good scores achieved in the PCMark benchmarks confirm this.

PCMark 7 Score
5879 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3603 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4305 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4318 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
3603 Points ∼64%
MSI GS60 - 2PEWi716SR21
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD (RAID 0)
3004 Points ∼53% -17%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3046 Points ∼54% -15%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3072 Points ∼54% -15%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
3112 Points ∼55% -14%
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
3242 Points ∼57% -10%
Gigabyte P35W v2
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128M6M (RAID 0)
3457 Points ∼61% -4%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
3588 Points ∼63% 0%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
3669 Points ∼65% +2%

Storage Devices

solid-state drive with a capacity of 128 GB from Kingston is installed as the system drive in the Aspire. The drive pleases with good transfer rates, though it does not belong to the absolute top-of-the-line SSDs. Models like Samsung's 840 Evo have more to offer. The SSD is supported by a conventional hard drive from Western Digital - after all, computer games need a lot of space. The drive has a capacity of 1 TB and spins at 5400 revolutions per minute (RPM).

Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
Sequential Read: 514.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 352.4 MB/s
512K Read: 344.3 MB/s
512K Write: 106 MB/s
4K Read: 32.23 MB/s
4K Write: 93.73 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 180.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 241.7 MB/s
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
Schenker XMG P724
GeForce GTX 880M SLI, 4810MQ, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500GB mSATA
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
Schenker XMG P704
GeForce GTX 880M, 4910MQ, Crucial M500 480 GB CT480M500SSD3 mSATA
AS SSD
29%
5%
9%
Seq Read504.48503.58
0%
472.8
-6%
482.2
-4%
Seq Write325.15483.65
49%
428.2
32%
385.34
19%
4K Read37.6940.83
8%
32.44
-14%
26.52
-30%
4K Write81.66109.87
35%
91.14
12%
114.9
41%
4K-64 Read195.51355.24
82%
319.02
63%
319.16
63%
4K-64 Write234.9270.54
15%
183.6
-22%
255.67
9%
Access Time Read *0.110.097
12%
0.125
-14%
0.114
-4%
Access Time Write *0.0420.03
29%
0.046
-10%
0.053
-26%

* ... smaller is better

Graphics Card

The 15-inch laptop is equipped with two graphics cards: Intel's HD Graphics 4600 and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 860M. The chips can use the Optimus technology. Both cores are responsible for different tasks within this array. While the HD Graphics takes care of routine applications and is enabled in battery mode, the GeForce is switched on for performance-devouring tasks, such as computer games. Both cores support DirectX 11. The GTX 860M is a member of the GPU premium class. It clocks with speeds ranging between 1029 and 1097 MHz. The core can make use of the fast GDDR5 memory (2 GB). Its scores in the 3DMark benchmarks are as we expected from this hardware platform, and are on par with comparable devices like the IdeaPad Y50 and MSI GE60.

3DMark 06 Standard
25010 points
3DMark 11 Performance
5124 points
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm Standard Score
108034 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
16111 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
3630 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
5124 Points ∼24%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3834 Points ∼18% -25%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
4289 Points ∼20% -16%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
4858 Points ∼23% -5%
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
5049 Points ∼24% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
5061 Points ∼24% -1%
MSI GS60 - 2PEWi716SR21
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD (RAID 0)
7089 Points ∼34% +38%
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
9770 Points ∼46% +91%

Gaming Performance

The Aspire can render virtually all games smoothly on the screen with the HD resolution and high graphic settings. Games often still run without lags using 1920x1080 pixels and very high quality settings. Both facts are not surprising because the Nitro is exclusively aimed at gamers. Should more gaming power be needed, the buyer would have to choose a laptop with a GeForce GTX 870M or GTX 880M. Examples would be MSI's GS60 and Gigabyte's P25X v2Schenker's XMG P505 with the brand new GeForce GTX 970M would also come into the equation. However, these laptops also cost more.

low med. high ultra
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 160.769.3fps
Alan Wake (2012) 73.534.9fps
Max Payne 3 (2012) 80.264.846.4fps
Assassin´s Creed III (2012) 68.665.128.8fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 193.5144.584.5fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 156.695.744.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 12010641fps
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013) 97.95124.8fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 97.158.440.6fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 1648947fps
Need for Speed: Rivals (2013) 30303030fps
Thief (2014) 48.544.524.2fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 103.574.743.6fps
Risen 3: Titan Lords (2014) 3641.433.8fps
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
Tomb Raider
1%
-31%
89%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x156.6112.6
-28%
295.4
89%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x95.797
1%
62.4
-35%
187.1
96%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x44.130.4
-31%
80.3
82%
BioShock Infinite
-2%
-5%
-36%
45%
1366x768 Medium Preset120117.7
-2%
78.2
-35%
150.2
25%
1366x768 High Preset106101.8
-4%
101.3
-4%
67.4
-36%
142.5
34%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)4140.56
-1%
39
-5%
25.4
-38%
72.5
77%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / -2%
-2% / -3%
-34% / -34%
67% / 67%

Emissions

System Noise

The Aspire is virtually silent while idling. The fan even occasionally stands still and the hard drive is inactive. In such cases, the laptop operates silently. The IdeaPad and MSI laptop are both louder in idle mode. It is of course only natural that the Nitro's fan speeds up considerably during load. We measured a noise level ranging from 40.6 to 44.4 dB(A) in medium load (3DMark 06), and a consistent 44.6 dB(A) in full load (stress test using Prime95 and FurMark). That sounds worse than it actually is. The noise emission is quite tolerable for the user because the fan discharges the waste heat toward the rear. We have heard much louder devices. Acer's laptop operates quieter than both the IdeaPad and MSI GE60, even during load.

Noise Level

Idle
29.6 / 30.6 / 31.4 dB(A)
HDD
31.6 dB(A)
Load
44.4 / 44.6 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Aspire in the stress test.
The Aspire in the stress test.

The Aspire performed our stress test (Prime96 and FurMark run for at least one hour) in AC and battery mode in the same manner. The processor clocked with its full speed for only a few seconds and was then throttled to 800 MHz. It remained at this clock rate most of the time and only rarely increased to 900/1000 MHz. The graphics core mostly calculated with its full performance of 1006 to 1070 MHz). 

We recorded temperatures far above 40 degrees Celsius (~104 °F) at several measuring points during our stress test. The user should definitely not place the laptop on the lap. MSI's GE60 reaches similar temperatures and the IdeaPad gets even warmer.

Max. Load
 43 °C48 °C42.9 °C 
 39.1 °C44.9 °C41.6 °C 
 22.7 °C29.1 °C31.2 °C 
Maximum: 48 °C
Average: 38.1 °C
47.6 °C47.5 °C46.6 °C
38 °C33.6 °C31.2 °C
30.9 °C26.4 °C23.9 °C
Maximum: 47.6 °C
Average: 36.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  51.2 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Acer installs a total of four speakers in its Nitro. They are located on the laptop's underside, and produce a rich, balanced sound. It is very possible to listen to the speakers even for a long time. The user can influence the sound output slightly with the preloaded Dolby Digital Plus software.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The 15-inch laptop has been equipped with high-performance components. Thus, it is not surprising that the device has an above average power consumption. The energy requirement can climb up to 21.4 Watts while idling. This looks the same in MSI's GE60. We measured a power consumption of approximately 85.5 Watts (79 to 94 Watts) during medium load (via 3DMark 06), which will roughly be the laptop's consumption during a game. When the laptop was loaded to maximum (stress test via Prime95 and FurMark), the power consumption climbed up to 136.9 Watts for a moment before the processor was throttled, and the power consumption dropped.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.2 / 10.2 / 21.4 Watt
Load midlight 85.5 / 136.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
Gigabyte P35W v2
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128M6M (RAID 0)
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Power Consumption
-14%
-97%
-57%
13%
Idle Minimum *6.28.5
-37%
19.9
-221%
14.3
-131%
7.2
-16%
Idle Average *10.212.9
-26%
24
-135%
19
-86%
11.3
-11%
Idle Maximum *21.422.9
-7%
32.6
-52%
23.7
-11%
17.4
19%
Load Average *85.590.9
-6%
110.6
-29%
111.5
-30%
54
37%
Load Maximum *136.9126.2
8%
203
-48%
176.1
-29%
85.9
37%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The Aspire's battery lasted for almost 10 hours while idling. The IdeaPad (8:17 h) and GE60 (5:03 h) are drained quicker. Idle mode is ascertained using Battery Eater Reader's test with minimum screen brightness, enabled energy-saving mode, and disabled Wi-Fi modules. The Nitro shut down after 1:08 hours of load. It is positioned between the GE60 (1:04 h) and IdeaPad (1:28 h). The load runtime is determined with Battery Eater Classic test using maximum screen brightness, the high-performance profile, and enabled wireless modules.

The 15-inch laptop stopped the Wi-Fi test after 4:37 hours. The IdeaPad (4:21 h) and GE60 (3:42) cannot match that. In this test, websites are opened automatically every 40 seconds using a screen brightness of ~150 cd/m². We check the video playback time by running the short movie Big Buck Bunny (H.264 encoding, 1920x1080 pixels) in a loop. The energy-saving profile is enabled, the wireless modules are disabled, and the screen's brightness is set to approximately 150 cd/m². The Aspire lasted 3:41 hours here. This test was not performed on either of the competitors.

We ran the in-game benchmark of GRID Autosport (1920x1080 pixels, Very High, 4x MSAA) in a loop to find out just how long one battery charge would last in a gaming session. The Aspire was drained after approximately 45 minutes.

In total, the battery life is absolutely satisfactory. It is after all a very powerful laptop. The battery capacities of our three laptops are relatively equal (Acer: 52.5 Wh; Lenovo: 54 Wh; MSI: 49 Wh), and thus the runtimes can be compared quite well.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 56min
WiFi Surfing
4h 37min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 41min
Gaming
0h 45min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 08min
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
Schenker XMG P505
GeForce GTX 970M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU256HCGL
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
MSI GE60-2PEi781B
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Gigabyte P35W v2
GeForce GTX 870M, 4710HQ, 2x Lite-On LMT-128M6M (RAID 0)
Battery Runtime
-35%
2%
-25%
29%
Reader / Idle596174
-71%
497
-17%
303
-49%
385
-35%
Load6871
4%
88
29%
64
-6%
118
74%
WiFi277261
-6%
222
-20%
407
47%
H.264221140
-37%

Verdict

Acer's Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G is a powerful and handy laptop for gamers. Undoubtedly, Acer has successfully implemented this undertaking. A high-performance Core i7 processor and GeForce GTX 860M graphics card provide enough power so that virtually every current track can be played on the laptop. At the same time, the noise and temperature development are very much kept within limits. A fast SSD ensures a fast-running system. This is supplemented with a matte, bright, and high-contrast IPS screen alongside a useful keyboard. The decent battery life should not be left unmentioned either. Acer has to accept criticism for the touchpad. We expect an accurate control here. A mouse cursor that recurrently skips, is unacceptable. We would also have appreciated at least two small maintenance hatches that enable direct access to the hard drives. That would make it possible to replace them quickly with higher-capacity models, when required.

Acer's Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G is an identically built, but technically slimmed down version in the product line. We will soon publish a review about the cheapest model, VN7-571G-56NX (Core i5-4210UGeForce 840M). Though the laptop cannot compete with the performance of the VN7-591G, it has other assets.

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In Review: Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9. Test model courtesy of Acer.
In Review: Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9. Test model courtesy of Acer.

Specifications

Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M - 2048 MB, Core: 1029 MHz, Memory: 1250 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 333.17, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3, dual-channel, two memory banks (both filled)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, LG Philips LP156WF4-SPK1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM86 (Lynx Point)
Storage
Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD, 128 GB 
, + Western Digital WD10JPVX (1 TB, 5400 rpm)
Soundcard
Realtek ALC283 @ Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR5BWB222 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 24 x 389 x 257 ( = 0.94 x 15.31 x 10.12 in)
Battery
53 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.4V, 4605 mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: 4.0, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Acer Video Player, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 3, Cyberlink PowerDirector 10, McAfee Internet Security Suite (trial), Microsoft Office 365 (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.2 kg ( = 77.6 oz / 4.85 pounds), Power Supply: 455 g ( = 16.05 oz / 1 pounds)
Price
1099 Euro

 

A number pad is installed.
A number pad is installed.
The keyboard's backlight is red.
The keyboard's backlight is red.
The hinges...
The hinges...
...keep the lid firmly in position.
...keep the lid firmly in position.
The casing can be opened.
The casing can be opened.
Not only one,...
Not only one,...
...but a total of two fans are installed.
...but a total of two fans are installed.
Acer incorporates an SSD in the M.2 format.
Acer incorporates an SSD in the M.2 format.
A conventional, 2.5-inch hard drive is also installed.
A conventional, 2.5-inch hard drive is also installed.
Good: There are two Wi-Fi antennas.
Good: There are two Wi-Fi antennas.
The battery...
The battery...
...has a capacity of 52.5 Wh.
...has a capacity of 52.5 Wh.
It can be replaced in case of a defect.
It can be replaced in case of a defect.

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pro

+Slim chassis
+Very high application performance
+Good gaming performance
+Swift solid state drive
+High storage capacity via a second hard drive
+Matte, bright & high-contrast IPS screen
 

Cons

-Inaccurate touchpad
-No maintenance cover

Shortcut

What we like

The entire concept: Plenty of power in a slim casing.

What we'd like to see

A more accurate touchpad and a maintenance cover.

What surprises us

Despite the high-performance hardware, the device does not get excessively hot, and does not produce too much noise either.

The competition

Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70, MSI GE60-2PEi781B, Gigabyte P35W v2MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro 3K Edition (2PEWi716SR21), Asus GL550JK-CN391H, Asus N550JK-CN109H, Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii, Schenker XMG P505, HP Envy 15-k010ng

Rating

Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-591G-77A9 - 10/15/2014 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
60 / 81 → 74%
Weight
62 / 66 → 93%
Battery
81%
Display
85%
Games Performance
93%
Application Performance
94%
Temperature
86 / 95 → 91%
Noise
83 / 90 → 92%
Audio
76%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
78%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Acer Aspire V15 Nitro (VN7-591G-77A9) Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2014-10-22 (Update: 2016-02-18)