Notebookcheck

Acer Aspire 7 (Core i7, GTX 1060) Laptop Review

Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Martin Jungowski), 08/23/2017

Budget gaming par excellence. Acer's latest 17-inch multimedia-gaming hybrid from the new Aspire 7 series comes equipped with a powerful GTX 1060, a fast quad-core, and an IPS display but is consequently optimized with regards to costs in all other aspects. From a technical point of view, the new notebook is very decent and Acer's cost cutting measures were made wisely... with one exception, though.

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For the original German review, see here.

Despite the fact that the GeForce GTX 1060 and the Core i7-7700HQ are strong indicators of a gaming machine, Acer positions its latest Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY as a multimedia all-rounder. The entire Aspire line-up (3, 5, and 7) is brand-new, so there is no predecessor to compare it to. What the Aspire 7 lacks in comparison to “real” gaming notebooks made by Schenker, Asus, MSI, Alienware, and Acer’s own Predator series are features such as G-Sync, an RGB backlight for the keyboard, programmable macro and additional modifier keys, and software for tuning and overclocking.

Our review unit that sells in Europe for 1400 Euros (~$1651) weighs in at 2.9 kg (~6.4 lb), and its hardware is pretty standard. For example, while the 8 GB of RAM the A717 is equipped with is plenty for most of today’s games, many gaming notebooks come with twice as much or more for a reason. The largest drawback is the total lack of SSD-based storage, while ports like Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, or USB 3.1 Gen. 2 can almost never be found on gaming notebooks in this price range. The display is not great either, but at least it is an FHD IPS display that will suit most gamers just fine.

Unlike 15-inch gaming notebooks there are not that many 17-inch competitors so we had to limit ourselves to two rivals. In addition to size our main focus was on somewhat comparable price and performance. Thus, the Aspire 7’s two main competitors are: 

Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY (Aspire 7 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1405 - 1671 MHz, Memory: 8000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 376.89, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4, 2,400 MHz, single-channel, 2 slots (1 used)
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, LG Philips LGD056D / LP173WF4-SPF5, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Toshiba MQ01ABD100, 1000 GB 
, 5400 rpm
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 28 x 423 x 290 ( = 1.1 x 16.65 x 11.42 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Norton Internet Security (14-day trial), Spotify, Ebay, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.9 kg ( = 102.29 oz / 6.39 pounds), Power Supply: 589 g ( = 20.78 oz / 1.3 pounds)
Price
1399 EUR

 

Case

It instantly became quite clear that Acer has not spent any resources making the notebook smaller. The mostly black Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY is incredibly large, and its display is surrounded by very wide bezels. The lid and the base unit’s top cover have a cold metal-like feel and are quite susceptible to fingerprints with their brushed metal surface. As can be seen on the photos below, we have had trouble wiping the fingerprints off the surface. The rest of the case is made of nonslip plastic. Accentuations include the silver Acer logo on the lid, ornamental strips around the base and touchpad, and the eye-catching silver Aspire-series hinge.

The base is very sturdy and rigid, and only flexed minimally under intense force, but remained completely quiet. The thick and pressure-resistant lid is very rigid as well, and barely reacts to torsional forces. The hinge is incredibly tight. So much so that it lifts the entire base when opened. On the plus side, teetering is practically non-existent. Given the largely stationary nature of the beast, the engineers at Acer have failed to get their priorities straight. We have no complaints in terms of overall build quality – gaps are very consistent and narrow, and the protruding edges around the hinge seem to be design elements rather than manufacturing defect. All things considered, the case is rigid and solid without extra bling, but certainly not particularly presentable.

Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7

All three competitors weigh around 3 kg (~6.6 lb) and are roughly the same size. The HP Omen is the smallest of the trio, but also the thickest (2 mm/~0.08 in more than our review unit and 5 mm/~0.2 in thicker than the Acer Aspire Nitro). The latter is only a few millimeters wider and deeper than the Aspire 7.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

As mentioned before, connectivity is one of the Aspire 7’s weak points. Two of the four USB ports are only USB 2.0, but at least one of the remaining USB 3.1 Gen. 1 ports features a USB Type-C connector. A fold-out Ethernet port is available, as is a full-sized HDMI port. Most gaming headsets will not work on the Aspire 7 due to its single 3.5 mm combo audio jack that is rather uncommon on gaming notebooks. The ports are positioned towards the rear on both sides of the laptop where protruding elements and cables are not as bothersome as they would be up front.

left: Kensington lock, RJ45 (Ethernet), USB 3.1 Gen. 1 Type-C, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-A, SD card reader
left: Kensington lock, RJ45 (Ethernet), USB 3.1 Gen. 1 Type-C, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-A, SD card reader
right: 3.5 mm audio in/out, 2x USB 2.0, status LEDs, power
right: 3.5 mm audio in/out, 2x USB 2.0, status LEDs, power

SD Card Reader

Apparently, the Aspire 7’s SD card reader is connected via USB 3.0 (same as on the HP Omen) but cannot keep up with the latter in the real-world JPEG copy test when benchmarked with our 64 GB Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II reference card. Still, it easily managed to beat the downright lethargic USB 2.0 card reader on the Aspire Nitro.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Omen 17-w206ng
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76 MB/s ∼100% +19%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
64 MB/s ∼84%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.2 MB/s ∼31% -64%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Omen 17-w206ng
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87 MB/s ∼100% +1%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86 MB/s ∼99%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24.6 MB/s ∼28% -71%

Communication

The Atheros/Qualcomm QCA 6174 modem cannot keep up with the likes of an Intel dual-band Wireless-AC 8260 module, and its transfer rates were very far from the theoretical maximum of 867 Mbps minus overhead. Accordingly, it was significantly slower than most MIMO 2x2 Wi-Fi modems, but that might not be the wireless modem acting up but the antennas. Our measurements were performed at a distance of 1 m (~3 ft) to our Linksys EA8500 reference router.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Omen 17-w206ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
687 MBit/s ∼100% +32%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
599 MBit/s ∼87% +15%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
522 MBit/s ∼76%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
664 MBit/s ∼100% +57%
HP Omen 17-w206ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
542 MBit/s ∼82% +28%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
424 MBit/s ∼64%

Security

To our surprise, Acer has decided to not only include a TPM 2.0 chip, but also a fingerprint reader, which is located in the upper left corner of the touchpad and turned out to be very reliable and fast.

Accessories

Budget notebook, budget accessories – also known as no accessories at all. The barren box oh-so common for most Acer notebooks these days contained no extras apart from the charger and the usual quick start guide and warranty leaflet. Accessories made specifically for the Aspire 7 do not exist.

Maintenance

Given that the bottom cover is very high and extends pretty much all the way to the top cover and the number of screws that must be removed, we would assume that disassembly is a rather arduous task. Most probably, the top cover has to be lifted out of the bottom pan. Fortunately, the Aspire 7 is equipped with two maintenance hatches for the hard drive and the RAM slots.

According to some dealers, the Aspire 7 is supposed to be equipped with a free PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot, which we were unable to verify. We have refrained from taking the notebook apart due to the fact that it was a shop unit. However, the model currently on offer in the US (A717-71G-735Q) is equipped with a 1 TB hard disk and an additional SSD drive.

Warranty

As usual, devices sold in Europe come with a 2-year bring-in limited warranty while devices sold in the US are limited to a 1-year limited warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The pressure-resistant keyboard is almost as wide as a standard desktop keyboard and narrower by only a few millimeters. Yet, despite more space than necessary the number pad is once again smaller than on standard keyboards, which is going to be rather uncomfortable for users with large hands. Apart from that, the size and spacing of the somewhat concave and slightly roughened keys is decent and touch-typists should get along just fine. As is quite common in Acer notebooks, the layout is very close to the standard keyboard layout. Only the bottom row is different: due to the arrow keys, keys such as CTRL and ALT are either just as large as the other keys or even smaller.

We did not like the keyboard’s feedback: it felt very spongy and soft. Most keys are decently quiet, only the larger keys such as the space bar or the return key clatter noticeably. The backlight can only be turned on or off, and could have been a bit brighter.

Touchpad

The touchpad framed by a silver ornamental strip is sufficiently large, but is placed too far left where it can get in the way of a hand resting on the WASD keys. It offered decent sliding properties even with slightly moist fingers, but did not detect movement or inputs at its edges. Precision and response times were more than decent, and fast movements were detected reliably every time. Drag & drop via double-tap worked every time.

Unfortunately, the touchpad was not flush with the case and clattered noticeably. The two buttons on the other hand, were decent and worked very well with their rather tight, but nicely balanced resistance and their very clear acoustic and tactile feedback. Due to the absence of dedicated touchpad software, gestures are limited to what Windows 10 is capable of configuring (basic gestures with up to three fingers).

Display

subpixel matrix
subpixel matrix

The 17.3-inch matte FHD IPS display’s maximum brightness of 357 nits was excellent, and significantly brighter than both its competitors that were measured at around 300 nits. The display’s brightness distribution of 86% was decent, but we did notice some minor screen bleeding around the edges, and blacks were thus not entirely homogenous. Having said that, this was only an issue on all-black display contents; as soon as bright areas were included on-screen, the screen bleeding became unnoticeable.

Due to the rather low pixel density of only 127 PPI, the screen contents seemed somewhat coarse pixilated up close. Crispness was top notch, though. Acer does not offer any other display options for the Aspire 7.

350
cd/m²
369
cd/m²
346
cd/m²
358
cd/m²
382
cd/m²
365
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
380
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 382 cd/m² Average: 357.3 cd/m² Minimum: 32 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 382 cd/m²
Contrast: 1005:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.9 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 8.22 | - Ø
85% sRGB (Argyll) 56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.39
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
LG Philips LGD056D / LP173WF4-SPF5, , 1920x1080, 17.3
HP Omen 17-w206ng
Chi Mei CMN1738, , 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
AUO B173HAN01.0, , 1920x1080, 17.3
Response Times
-32%
4%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41 (22, 19)
38 (20, 18)
7%
36 (20, 16)
12%
Response Time Black / White *
25 (15, 10)
26 (15.6, 10.4)
-4%
26 (15, 11)
-4%
PWM Frequency
125000 (90)
200 (95)
-100%
Screen
16%
16%
Brightness
357
295
-17%
307
-14%
Brightness Distribution
86
79
-8%
84
-2%
Black Level *
0.38
0.25
34%
0.26
32%
Contrast
1005
1272
27%
1331
32%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.9
4.7
32%
4.32
37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.22
5
39%
5.76
30%
Gamma
2.39 100%
2.28 105%
2.35 102%
CCT
7580 86%
7374 88%
6447 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
61
9%
59
5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
85
93
9%
90
6%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-8% / 3%
10% / 13%

* ... smaller is better

At 0.38 nits, black levels were decent, but not as good as on both competitors. Nevertheless, the display’s high brightness ensures a decent contrast ratio of 1005:1. But while both the Omen and the Aspire Nitro were not as bright as the Aspire 7, they offered 27 and 32% higher contrast ratios respectively, due to their lower black levels. Consequently, the appeal of a black full-screen picture was only mediocre at best.

Color accuracy was pretty poor. DeltaE deviations of 8.22 for gray scales and 6.9 for colors were further off from the optimum value of 3 than on the Omen and the Aspire Nitro. This was noticeably improved through calibration with a photospectrometer and the CalMAN software, and we managed to achieve values of 0.83 and 3.21 for gray scales and colors, respectively. Nevertheless, the LG-Philips panel was unable to keep up with its competition when it came to Yellow and Orange colors, and DeltaE deviation for these remained very high at 8.64. The violet tint that plagued the display out of the box was all but eliminated through calibration. As usual, the resulting ICC profile can be found for download in the box above.

CalMAN gray scales (uncalibrated)
CalMAN gray scales (uncalibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (uncalibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (uncalibrated)
CalMAN saturation (uncalibrated)
CalMAN saturation (uncalibrated)
CalMAN gray scales (calibrated)
CalMAN gray scales (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecke (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecke (calibrated)
CalMAN saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN saturation (calibrated)

The Aspire 7 is not suitable for photo editing, not only because of its inaccurate representation of colors, but also because of its low color space coverage of just 85% sRGB and 56% AdobeRGB. Both its competitors had higher coverage ratios of 93 and 90%, respectively, but even those are inadequate for (semi-) professional photo editing ambitions.

Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY vs. AdobeRGB
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY vs. AdobeRGB
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY vs. sRGB
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY vs. sRGB

The outdoor test was performed while overcast. The left photo was taken with the screen pointing directly at the sky and although overall usability was somewhat reduced, the screen was still readable. In direct sunlight, the screen would have been rendered unreadable, despite its matte surface and high brightness. The right photo represents the ideal position with the display pointed at a house entrance, and it would have looked almost identical in bright sunlight.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
25 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 36 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 47 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 125000 Hz90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 125000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 125000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 55 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8587 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

For a modern IPS panel, the Aspire 7’s viewing angles were only mediocre at best, but still more than decent. Starting at around 45 ° horizontally, both brightness and contrast were starting to suffer with colors remaining largely unaffected. Vertically, this effect was less pronounced, but color representation suffered more prominently in return. All in all, viewing angles were decent and we doubt that anyone will feel restricted in their movement in front of the screen.

Performance

Processor

The Core i7-7700HQ (4x 2.8 – 3.8 GHz, Hyperthreading, 45 W TDP) quad-core that our review unit was equipped with is the gaming equivalent to the mainstream office notebook Intel Core i5-7200U CPU; like its predecessor, the i7-6700U (4 x 2.6 – 3.5 GHz), it is quite common in mainstream gaming notebooks. Thanks to the higher clock speeds, the newer Kaby Lake CPUs are generally up to 15% faster than its predecessor. The highly energy-efficient integrated Intel HD 630 GPU is used for less demanding tasks thanks to Nvidia’s Optimus technology, and the processor also features a DDR4 memory controller.

Most current games benefit immensely from four or more physical cores. To allow the GPU to run at peak performance, the CPU should never be the limiting factor in gaming notebooks, and the i7-7700HQ is the perfect CPU for that task and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Given its gaming prowess, everyday tasks such as Office suites or Adobe Photoshop are no problem at all for this CPU. More info and various benchmarks can be found in our FAQs.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

We use Cinebench to cause a high, yet realistic CPU load for a prolonged period of time. As can be seen in the graph above, the i7-7700HQ performed as expected throughout the entire benchmark loop. The scores dropped from 726 to 601 points on battery (-17%) due to reduced clock frequencies, from 3.4 to 2.8 GHz.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼100% +1%
Asus GL753VE-DS74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼99% +1%
HP Omen 17-w206ng
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼99% +1%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
158 Points ∼99%
MSI GE72 7RE-046
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
145 Points ∼91% -8%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
133 Points ∼83% -16%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus GL753VE-DS74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
738 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
737 Points ∼100% +2%
MSI GE72 7RE-046
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
732 Points ∼99% +1%
HP Omen 17-w206ng
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
729 Points ∼99% 0%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
726 Points ∼98%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
503 Points ∼68% -31%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
158 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
726 Points
Help

System Performance

Despite its slower GPU, the HP Omen 17 outperformed both Acer notebooks in the PCMark 8 benchmark while the Aspire 7 came in last. Generally speaking, the faster the storage device, the better the PCMark 8 score: our review unit (third place) was equipped with a regular hard disk drive, the Aspire Nitro (second place) came with a SATA III SSD, and the HP Omen (first place) with a blazingly fast PCIe NVMe SSD.

Subjectively, the overall performance suffered noticeably from the lack of SSD storage. Installing and launching applications took much longer than we were used to, and the system felt rather sluggish in general. Thus, those of us who are already used to working with SSDs will feel let down. When running games, the low storage performance slowed down the initial launch times, but the gaming experience itself was not affected by the slow hard disk drive at all.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4940 Points ∼100% +7%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
4636 Points ∼94%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Omen 17-w206ng
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4216 Points ∼100% +14%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3899 Points ∼92% +6%
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
3687 Points ∼87%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3687 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4636 points
Help

Storage Devices

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
HD Tune
HD Tune

As mentioned in the previous section, our review unit lacked SSD storage and was equipped with a 5400 RPM Toshiba MQ01ABD100 hard disk drive. Even for hard disk drives, this one is comparatively slow.

Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
Toshiba MQ01ABD100
HP Omen 17-w206ng
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
24517%
13109%
Write 4k QD32
0.767
504.7
65702%
267
34711%
Read 4k QD32
0.688
587.9
85351%
344.6
49987%
Write 4k
0.78
155.6
19849%
76.21
9671%
Read 4k
0.345
59.93
17271%
28.4
8132%
Write 512
28.06
805
2769%
267.8
854%
Read 512
29.74
846.3
2746%
325.8
995%
Write Seq
100.7
1176
1068%
270.2
168%
Read Seq
108.7
1606
1377%
493.1
354%
Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Sequential Read: 108.7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 100.7 MB/s
512K Read: 29.74 MB/s
512K Write: 28.06 MB/s
4K Read: 0.345 MB/s
4K Write: 0.78 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 0.688 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 0.767 MB/s

GPU Performance

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU is the third-fastest currently available Nvidia GPU after the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 (and their respective Max-Q variants). Based on Nvidia’s current Pascal architecture, it is equipped with 6 GB of effectively 8000 MHz fast GDDR5-VRAM with a 192-bit bus interface. The 16 nm GP106 GPU was first released in August 2016, features 1280 shader units, and is around 30% faster than the previous generation’s top model, the GeForce GTX 980M.

Compared to other GTX 1060 GPUs the one in the Aspire 7 ranked somewhere in the middle, and the difference to the fastest and slowest cards is around 4% each way. On battery, the score dropped to 5129 points (-54%).

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14846 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-7300HQ
14785 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14666 Points ∼99% -1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14233 Points ∼96% -4%
MSI GE72 7RE-046
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
10186 Points ∼69% -31%
HP Omen 17-w206ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
9482 Points ∼64% -36%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11502 Points ∼100%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11384 Points ∼99% -1%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11134 Points ∼97% -3%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-7300HQ
10984 Points ∼95% -5%
MSI GE72 7RE-046
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8086 Points ∼70% -30%
Asus GL753VE-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
7531 Points ∼65% -35%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
68143 Points ∼100%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
66856 Points ∼98% -2%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-7300HQ
59879 Points ∼88% -12%
MSI GE72 7RE-046
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
49223 Points ∼72% -28%
Asus GL753VE-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
47807 Points ∼70% -30%
MSI GS73VR 7RF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
46269 Points ∼68% -32%
3DMark 11 Performance
11276 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24048 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9743 points
Help

Gaming Performance

In FHD, most games should run smoothly on maximum details and with image enhancements such as anti-aliasing enabled. This is even true for higher resolutions (WQHD). However, gaming in 4K requires at least a GTX 1070 (Max-Q).

Our “Witcher 3” benchmark loop shows that prolonged gaming performance is fairly consistent, and recorded frame rates were around 38 FPS. In order to avoid tearing effects, the frame rate would have to be fixed at 30 FPS. Most gamers, particularly those playing online shooters such as “BF1”, will refuse to do so.

0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
38.5 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
37.5 fps ∼97% -3%
HP Omen 17-w206ng
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
26 fps ∼68% -32%
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 69.938.5fps
The Division (2016) 52.5fps
For Honor (2017) 70.5fps

Emissions

System Noise

The Aspire 7 is yet another gaming notebook that makes us question the GTX 1060 Max-Q’s right to exist. During real-world gaming load running “Witcher 3”, it remained below the 40 dB(A) threshold, albeit barely so (39.9 dB(A)). Only during our stress test did it get louder.

The CPU fan is always running, even when completely idle, but as with the hard disk drive, it is only noticeable from up close in a quiet office with a single PC running. Sudden short load bursts do not have any effect on the fan. During our stress test, a rather unrealistic load scenario running Prime95 + FurMark simultaneously, the fans started revving up after around 15 seconds of torture until they reached their very noticeable maximum of 43.5 dB(A). Despite the limited R&D budget for the Aspire 7, the cooling solution turned out very well and was relatively quiet and highly efficient. Given the maximum volume of 50 dB(A) on the new Omen 15-ce002ng with Max-Q, HP could certainly learn a thing of two from the new Aspire 7.

Noise Level

Idle
31.4 / 31.4 / 31.7 dB(A)
HDD
31.7 dB(A)
Load
35.2 / 43.5 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.1 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2027.430.32725.228.427.527.430.328.82528.730.627.63029.52827.727.428.83127.229.925.524.127.625.926.528.527.14024.727.327.625.727.925.225.127.824.9502324.426.826.62727.126.825.424.46324.825.825.524.82424.124.425.7238023.725.825.324.124.824.624.225.423.510023.82526.326.225.325.225.824.223.412521.923.123.822.423.221.522.723.520.916019.320.922.120.521.420.32124.219.520019.720.923.321.221.121.421.82519.525018.821.423.121.420.620.922.12617.931518.620.72522.321.622.322.427.117.640017.720.325.422.621.222.323.827.216.950018.219.727.123.8212324.528.616.863017.919.926.422.921.222.224.32915.980021.821.827.623.922.924.225.129.616.4100020.220.627.623.922.324.425.430.716.2125019.419.927.923.921.623.825.731.516.4160019.120.328.824.121.823.725.73216.9200018.820292421.423.725.832.217.4250019.420.832.827.324.926.72936.817.7315018.819.429.723.320.322.325.533.418.14000191925.520.519.520.421.730.818.3500018.818.824.319.919.219.720.929.518.5630018.218.42319.418.619.119.927.618.3800017.81820.918.51818.118.724.617.91000017.517.719.217.917.717.71821.817.5125001717.118.517.517.317.317.318.917.21600016.716.821.618.617.2171718.116.7SPL31.131.839.935.233.334.936.743.529.6N1.51.63.12.11.82.12.44.21.2median 18.8Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VYmedian 20median 25.4median 22.4median 21.2median 22.2median 22.7median 27.6median 17.6Delta0.80.92.61.91.31.72.42.81.132.136.533.136.232.131.532.53232.231.530.530.832.231.730.53032.632293031.631.531.328.831.630.328.830.330.830.330.230.529.728.330.230.231.230.428.930.226.62724.224.526.625.827.225.32425.824.72725.524.624.723.328.122.922.123.323.228.824.32223.221.327.622.420.821.321.125.621.820.321.12025.820.519.32019.428.320.518.619.41929.820.417.91918.529.320.117.718.518.732.220.91718.718.433.521.317.118.417.735.420.616.917.717.332.318.11717.317.131.917.816.917.117.228.717.916.917.217.225.717.71717.217.321.617.717.217.317.320.518.417.117.317.619.620.817.217.617.719.520.917.417.730.842.832.13030.81.541.71.41.5median 18.7Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XNmedian 28.1median 20.8median 17.7median 18.72.72.31.922.7hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

stress test: Prime95 + FurMark
stress test: Prime95 + FurMark

Admittedly, no sane person would ever consider playing games on a 17-inch notebook on their lap. Having said that, temperatures at the bottom rose to 45 °C (~113 °F) during our “Witcher 3” loop, and were thus too high for a pleasant gaming experience. Placed on the table, the palm rests are more important and luckily, they remained fairly cool during gaming load scenarios and remained below body temperature.

The CPU was capable of maintaining its peak turbo boost of 3.4 GHz during our stress test for a few minutes, and then started to fluctuate between 2.8 and 3.4 GHz repeatedly every few minutes. A final check after more than an hour returned a stable clock speed of 2.8 GHz, which means that the CPU never throttled below its base frequency. Throughout the entire test, core temperatures never rose above 88 °C (~190 °F). The GPU, on the other hand, remained running at its full turbo frequency throughout the entire test, which is reflected in the excellent benchmark results.

Max. Load
 42 °C48 °C38.6 °C 
 38.2 °C41.5 °C28.6 °C 
 27.4 °C25 °C27.2 °C 
Maximum: 48 °C
Average: 35.2 °C
43.5 °C46.6 °C40.5 °C
24.7 °C40.6 °C29.8 °C
26.6 °C23.8 °C24.7 °C
Maximum: 46.6 °C
Average: 33.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.1 °C | Room Temperature 21.6 °C | FIRT 550-Pocket

Speakers

The fact that speakers are an integral part of a multimedia notebook is often overlooked or willfully ignored by manufactures, and unfortunately this is also true in this case. The two downward-facing speakers’ maximum volume is barely high enough for medium-sized rooms. Playback was overall shrill, flat, and with over-pronounced highs, and it suffered from irritating distortions to boot. The bass line from “Crockett’s Theme” from the Miami Vice soundtrack is missing completely and replaced with an inchoate hiss.

Sound dynamics and spatiality are barely noticeable. On the other hand, metal or punk music, like NOFX’s “72 Hookers” with its many overly loud instruments, are not as mushy as on many other notebooks. Overall, the sound quality is mediocre and the mildly irritating speakers are only suitable for occasional use.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.329.833.32531.231.231.23130.930.430.94029.828.929.85029.529.429.5632727.8278026.425.926.410028.327.128.312538.424.938.416047.724.247.720049.222.549.225056.921.556.931563.220.763.240068.420.268.45006619.26663072.418.472.480069.718.169.7100068.217.568.2125068.417.268.4160064.717.564.7200065.617.365.6250066.217.366.2315061.917.661.9400058.917.658.9500066.617.766.6630066.517.966.5800069.31869.31000064.718.264.71250060.718.260.71600062.518.362.5SPL78.930.178.9N46.61.446.6median 64.7Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VYmedian 18.2median 64.7Delta5.51.45.541.4473638.130.731.131.335.429.432.52728.83233.836.937.226.74024.645.324.35323.459.522.362.820.665.819.868.81969.917.868.417.9711869.417.768.917.566.517.569.317.469.117.766.817.664.217.660.117.556.717.655.517.553.917.441.230.579.61.546.2median 17.8HP Omen 17-w206ngmedian 64.22.48.342.636.242.640.432.240.443.931.743.945.22945.246.428.846.45030.85051.428.351.453.428.953.454.824.554.857.62457.658.724.658.761.222.161.265.32265.363.720.863.765.820.365.870.819.370.870.118.670.168.517.968.570.317.770.371.81771.86417.16466.116.966.163.31763.360.616.960.657.616.957.663.11763.168.617.268.66717.16754.717.254.751.317.451.379.53079.5481.448median 63.7Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XNmedian 17.7median 63.75.425.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (73 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 30% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 64% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 17%, worst was 35%
Compared to all devices tested
» 15% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP Omen 17-w206ng audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 54% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 40% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 17%, worst was 35%
Compared to all devices tested
» 30% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 5.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 83% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 17%, worst was 35%
Compared to all devices tested
» 3% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

frequency diagram (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

When compared to other 17-inch notebooks equipped with a GeForce GTX 1060 and an i7-7700HQ or its predecessor i7-6700HQ, the Aspire 7 is decently efficient when turned off, in standby, or when idle (7 to 14.2 W). During our stress test, it gobbled up 153 W at first and settled at around 134 W after a while due to the CPU running at lower clock speeds. In the real-world “Witcher 3” benchmark, we measured a power consumption of 125 W. The included 180 W charger is thus amply dimensioned.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.43 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7 / 12.3 / 14.2 Watt
Load midlight 72.6 / 153 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Toshiba MQ01ABD100, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
HP Omen 17-w206ng
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
7300HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, a-Si TFT-LCD, WLED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
-27%
-4%
Idle Minimum *
7
11
-57%
7.8
-11%
Idle Average *
12.3
18
-46%
13.3
-8%
Idle Maximum *
14.2
24
-69%
16.6
-17%
Load Average *
72.6
84
-16%
73
-1%
Load Maximum *
153
146
5%
140
8%
Witcher 3 ultra *
125
101
19%
118
6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Unfortunately, we lack sufficient data to make meaningful statements regarding the Aspire 7’s battery life. While most similarly equipped 17-inch notebooks have significantly larger batteries from about 65 Wh, our review unit’s battery was a meager 48 Wh (-36%). We have included the MSI GS73VR 7RF (65 Wh) in this category to show how badly battery life suffers if manufacturers decide to forego Nvidia Optimus in favor of G-Sync.

Thanks to its more efficient i5-7300HQ CPU (4x 2.5 – 3.5 GHz, no Hyperthreading, 45 W TDP), the Aspire Nitro sets the benchmark with its 69 Wh battery. And while the Nitro’s more efficient CPU might explain the Aspire 7’s slightly shorter runtimes in the idle and Wi-Fi test, we found no explanation for the significant difference under load (130 vs. 74 minutes). Thus, gaming on battery will be cut short after about an hour. When browsing the web, the Aspire 7 lasted for more than 5 hours, which is sufficient for a 17-inch notebook.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 12min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
5h 36min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 44min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 14min
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 48 Wh
HP Omen 17-w206ng
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 62 Wh
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
7300HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 69 Wh
MSI GS73VR 7RF
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 65 Wh
Battery Runtime
29%
28%
-41%
Reader / Idle
552
795
44%
618
12%
301
-45%
H.264
284
315
11%
WiFi v1.3
336
380
13%
374
11%
163
-51%
Load
74
96
30%
130
76%
55
-26%

Verdict

Pros

+ comparatively affordable
+ rigid case
+ USB Type-C
+ TPM 2.0 + fingerprint reader
+ very bright display with decent contrast ratio
+ very powerful, no throttling
+ comparatively quiet, decent fans

Cons

- only 8 GB of RAM
- fingerprint magnet
- 2 x USB 2.0
- complicated disassembly
- small numpad
- somewhat spongy keyboard feedback
- touchpad clatters
- poor color accuracy (out of the box)
- poor color space coverage
- response times too high for gamers
- sluggish hard disk drive
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY. Review unit courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY. Review unit courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de

WWhile our cons list is longer than expected when we first started reviewing this notebook, the overall verdict remains unchanged. The new Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY can be seen as either a multimedia notebook with serious gaming ambitions or as a gaming notebook with viable multimedia capabilities. Either way: for its current price of 1400 Euros (~$1651; a better equipped model with SSD+HDD sells for $1400 in the US) you get the essence of a $2000 gaming notebook without the extra bling like G-Sync, programmable macro keys, a multi-zoned RGB keyboard backlight, tools for monitoring, tuning, and overclocking, and an improved selection of ports.

The only real faux pas is the absence of SSD storage in our review unit. The performance, however, is impeccable, and SSD storage can be retrofitted. The notebook’s very quiet and efficient cooling solution was particularly impressive.

Thus, from a price-conscious gamer’s point of view, the only items remaining on our cons list are the RAM configuration, the most probably very complex disassembly, and the display’s subpar response times. If you are looking for an office notebook or a portable photo editing device look elsewhere. Otherwise, we do not see why we should not issue a purchasing recommendation for the new Aspire 7, particularly considering its low price.

Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY - 08/17/2017 v6
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
83 / 98 → 85%
Keyboard
78%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
54 / 81 → 67%
Weight
57 / 67 → 79%
Battery
85%
Display
84%
Games Performance
92 / 85 → 100%
Application Performance
81 / 92 → 88%
Temperature
88%
Noise
87 / 95 → 92%
Audio
56%
Camera
47 / 85 → 56%
Average
76%
84%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Aspire 7 (Core i7, GTX 1060) Laptop Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2017-08-23 (Update: 2017-08-24)