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Acer Predator 15 Review: An Affordable, Gaming Powerhouse

Acer Predator 15

Acer Predator 15

In the world of gaming laptops, Acer sure stands out. 2016 it was quite a year for gaming laptops. Several companies launched their laptops and they fared nicely in the gaming world. With the release of Predator 15, Acer has surely locked horns with the lot vying for the centre stage.

Acer again reprised predator 15 after its two previous versions – G9-591 and G9-592 which actually scored  pretty well among the gaming hub. Acer with a lot of fan-fare released predator’s current model G9-593. Will the new predator version live up to the legacy of its predecessor in an increasingly crowded marketplace or will it be another failure round the corner? Here are the tit-bits gathered from our test runs on the predator 15 and the inferences that we drew from them. To know our thoughts on the new laptop scroll on gamers!

Acer Predator 15 Design

Acer Predator 15
Modern gaming laptops take their styling cues for design from modern cars and high-tech fighter jets, thinner and lighter but the new predator 15 draws its inspiration from something akin a tank, huge and heavy that cuts a daunting figure ready to unleash the beast within.

Like all other gaming laptops Acer too is a far cry from using something offbeat other than the black and red colour scheme. Apparently we wont be witnessing something artful and inventive for quite a while.

(Related: HP Omen 17 Review)

The Acer predator 15, model G9-593 debuts the stage with launching two versions, which comes in 15 and 17 inches. The lid of the predator 15 is soft, sleek and smooth under our touch, we cannot help but immediately admire its smart getup. It also does a fantastic job to stave off any fingerprints.

Acer Predator 15
According to the marketing materials the chassis designs which the Predator 15 now beautifully flaunts was originally inspired by the idea “intergalactic battlecruisers” and the idea takes form in the shape of aggressive car-like vents located at the Predator 15’s rear which are accentuated by the splash of bright red colour.

Acer Predator 15

Like any decent gaming laptop the predator 15 consists of light up elements which includes two narrow strips and a backlit logo on the shell.

Acer Predator 15 Keyboard and Touchpad

The copiously large keyboard is a joy to use moreover it even features a full number pad. The large keyboard has comfortable keys and key travel runs deep which can be a bit problematic in a dark room as the keys emit a lot of light. Above the function row resides five macro keys and a profile and a power button.
Acer Predator 15 Keyboard The arrow and WASD keys emits a soft red glow which makes it easier to pick them out from the otherwise black keyboard.
As the above mentioned keys are bounded in a red plastic, which makes the lightning a tad off if you are using any colour other than red.
The Predator also doesn’t miss some of the gaming features like LED strip around the trackpad (i.e., touchpad), customisable RGB backlighting and to top those off the 15 hotkeys comes to the forefront. The island style keys are very easy to type with and that’s quite a news for any mechanical keyboard fan.
The rubberized track pad is not quite so smooth and they are accompanied by two hardware buttons which may seem to be a little flimsy. The PredatorSense utility customizes all the advanced features of the keyboard.

Acer Predator 15

Although the Predator loses point in the colourful customization department which can be witnessed on many gaming rigs, the ability to change the colours on one’s own accordance runs as deep as turning off and on the different lightning zones on the pad, but in truth its really not a deal breaker.
The predator’s interior offers a super comfy palm rest, which is rather spacious housing the enable/disable keys, it also toggles off the windows key. There are high chances of using an external mouse if you are using Predator 15 for gaming. Well, in that case turning off the windows key and track pad will likely reduce your chances of accidentally minimizing your game.
It is 15 inches wide and 12 inches deep and a tad bit over 8 pounds, excluding its hefty power brick. The 17 inches model is 1.1 pounds heavier. I personally think Acer has achieved the status quo of a nicely balanced gaming device, instead of making it look like a beauty contest runner.

Acer Predator 15 Ports

The new Predator 15 hosts quite an array of ports. On the right side it includes

  • A Thunderbolt 3/USBC connector
  • Two USB 3.0 Type A
  • Full-size HDMI
  • Full-size DisplayPort
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Kensington lock slot
The left side boasts

  • Two more USB 3.0 Type A ports
  • Headphone and microphone jack
  • An SD card reader
  • A removable optical drive
The optical drive can easily be swapped out to plug in an additional fan named Predator FrostCore.
The drive is easily released by punching on a switch situated on the laptop’s underside but the additional fan’s not really necessary as the built in cooling system does its job really well at keeping the laptop from accumulating heat. But its a nice inclusion and will likely come handy on hot days. But to cap out the whole features is a 2.1 speaker system Acer calls SoundPound 2.1.

Acer Predator 15 Display

Acer Predator 15 Display

With each passing day laptop displays are exceeding our expectations, and Acer’s Predator 15 is no exception. It delivers richly vibrant, life-like colours- featuring a 15 inch 1080p screen  and about 141 pixels per inch. To us this is an ideal resolution for a 15.6 inch panel as Windows scaling isn’t necessary to increase the text size. Infact it is also suitable for the GTX 1060 graphics card. The Predator’s display possess the ability to run foot to foot with much more expensive desktop displays.
Predator’s 15 inches 1080p pixel density easily  meets your expectations. The texts are easily readable, you can omit the fear of them being blurred or pixelated but if you get real close to the screen you can easily discern the pixels.

The brightness is also one of the major plus plus points of the Predator 15 as it is ideal for any situation and also can be used for limited outdoor use. Moreover its matte display surface finish helps keeping the reflections at bay. The predator 15 lacks touch input support, but that’s not really a big deal as we do not look for that feature in a gaming device.

Acer Predator 15 Display

Although the part we look for is present- that’s the screen-smoothening Nvidia G-sync support. It was originally absent in the first generation of Acer’s Predator 15. But its nice to see that Acer actually listened and made the necessary improvements. GTX 1060 is the new hot cake as it is more than capable of delivering more than 60 fps frame rate in the latest titles and the screen’s refresh rate tops out at 60 Hz. But with the advent of 2017 and beyond as games will become more demanding G-sync will be a nice feature to enlist among the other ones.

It will keep the performances smooth even as the frame rate dips lower.

Acer Predator 15 Sound System

The Acer Predator 15 after passing all other categories with flying colours may have notched up our expectations over it on the score card a little bit.

But alas! It was not as expected in the sound department. Its speakers had trouble meeting our expectations. The speakers, located on the front of the laptop, are aided along by a subwoofer on the bottom.

The sound produced by them was not at par with any decent quality ones. The predator’s speakers are a bit harsh and oddly shrilly. During games it feels as if the sound reverberates through the entire laptop making it a tad murky. But apart from the above mentioned slight sound problem, gaming on Acer’s Predator 15 is really a fantastic experience. But to really acquire the best possible gaming experience from the newly launched Acer Predator 15, get yourself a good headphone.

Acer Predator 15 Specs

Acer’s Predator 15 turns up the heat by a few notches by stepping up on the performance and specs section.
The Predator 15 features a quad-core IntelSkylake Core i7-6700HQ with Hyper-Threading. Usually it runs at 2.6GHz but sure can boost itself to run at 3.5GHz. The GTX 1060 has 6GB of GDDR5 memory. As for its higher end model, the GeForce GTX 1070 is easily accommodated within the thick underside of this laptop. But one nice side effect is the noise which keeps both the keyboard and fans relatively calm and quite.
The storage hosts two drives: A 256GB Lite-On SSD for the OS and a 1TB HGST spinning drive for data and programs. Although Lite-On is largely known as a brand associated with budget optical drive, but in this case its a huge OEM SSDs.
Although in a performance oriented laptop it may be a tad awkward fit. Its a SATA based M.2 as opposed to PCle, and it has rather sluggish sequential write performance hitting just 308 MBps in CrystalDiskMark. The only consolation maybe that’s it easily accessible for upgrades.

The 16GB of DDR4/2240 memory on the other hand isn’t as easily accessible as it is pre-installed. However underneath an easily removable accesses panel snuggly sits two ram slots.

The hardware configuration is wrapped up in a 15.6 inch IPS panel that supports G-Sync finally giving the finishing caress matte finish. With a closer look you will notice its 60Hz refresh rate. For some time laptops have abided the 75Hz with some recent ones hitting 120Hz although its common to see desktop swing by 144Hz and higher. Although 60Hz may sound a little bit below the belt but once teamed with G-Sync its pretty competent.

And if you think, that's all, you will still be amazed once your GPU starts running beyond its prime. The webcam provides 1280 x 720 resolution and its internet connectivity is provided by the Killer DoubleShot Pro which offers a wired connection or dual brand 2x2 MU-MIMO wireless 80211 AC.

Acer Predator 15 Performance

Performance doesn’t depend on the cost of that particular laptop. The idea that more expensive the stuff the better it would work is once again proved wrong by the Predator 15.
The laptops with similar system closest to the Predator 15 are the recently refurbished Alienware 13 and the MSI GS63VR Stealth. Both the gigs are about 400 dollars more than the Predator 15 ,not to mention  both have exact same CPU and GPU. So the Predator 15 equipped with a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with 16GB of RAM its performance is expected to be at par with its peer.
Acer Predator 15

The mainstream average score is taken to be as 8,488. While running our overall performance test Greekbench 3 reaped  13,216 easily toppling the above mentioned average score. Similarly, when we tested on other rigs like Stealth Pro, P55W and Strix they racked up 13454, 13530 and 12371 respectively each furnished with their own Core i7-6700 HQ CPUs.

On our file transfer test the Predator 15’s 256GB SSD duplicated 4.96GB of mixed media files in 35 seconds for a transfer rate of 145.4 megabytes per second.
It fared better than P55W 128GB M.2 SSD which notched a scored a of 124.1MBps. But the Predators’s 15 score was a downhill one compared to 165 MBps which is considered to be the average score.

While on the other hand the Strix’s 256GB NVMe PCle SSD managed to achieve an impressive 424.1MBps but the Stealth Pro’s 256GB M.2 SSD won the match with a clear margin of 565.5MBps.

The Predator may not win the file transfer test but it definitely aced the OpenOffice one. The Predator 15 show amazing efficiency while matching 20,000 names and addresses in 3 minutes and 44 seconds. With that impressive score it outplayed both Strix’s 3:56 and category average score 4:27. Although The Stealth Pro and P55W won this round raking up a score of 3:38 and 3:37 respectively.

Acer Predator 15 Battery Life

One of the best features of Acer Predator 15 is its battery life, which literally made us swoon over it.
The fact that the battery life for a gaming rig isn’t the first priority is understandable as it will be plugged in most of the times. But that doesn’t in any way lessen the Predator’s battery credit. As these goliaths typically rock XXL batteries, they usually run long enough to watch two movies.

The staying power of the Acer’s gaming laptop is ones of its pros. We tested it on our battery test and the outcome was pretty impressive. It lasted over 4 hours which consisted of continuous streaming over Wi-Fi.

It may be short of the 6:40 mainstream average but it fared pretty well over Stealth Pro’s 2:54 and Strix’s 2:39. But in another test of ours the Predator 15 failed to outrun the Stealth as the MSI computer just ran 3 mins less in our rundown test.

The XPS 15 which is a semi gaming rig might be a better choice if it and the Acer Predator 15 locked horns over a battery test. However for gaming, the Acer Predator 15 is a clear winner. For a gaming laptop with a lot of battery life the Predator 15 has room for further improvements. But still, let's hope that the next gaming rig launched by Acer will overcome this shortcoming.

Heat Generated by the Acer Predator 15

The Predator may be a bit bulky but its definitely not without merit. In one word the Predator’s really a cool dude. Despite playing Arkham City for 15 minutes the Predator was literally cool supported quite nicely by its cooling machine.

I measured the temperature on the strategic areas, the temperatures picked by our sensors were 82 degrees on the touchpad, observing a rise of 89 degrees on the on the pith of the keyboard. While on the underbelly of the predator it scored as high as around 96 degrees which may be a tad bit more in our 95 degrees comfort zone.

Acer Predator 15: How's its Webcam

Acer’s Predator 15’s integrated 720p webcam like its display portrays vivid details with accurate colours, perfect shade and texture. All of my pics are quite vivid and has vibrant colours too. The images are detailed.

It is quite perfect for Skype or Video Chatting through any other apps of your preference.

Acer Predator 15 Software and Warranty

Acer Predator 15

One of 2016’s gaming laptops, Acer sets the laptop’s software configuration in such a way so that it can mainly aid the gaming population. PredatorSense helps you to control the backlighting in addition to checking the systems temperature, setting the macros and controlling the fan speed. Predator 15 is also the proud owner of Quick Access.
As the name conveys Quick Access lets you prompt getaway to apps like the temperature concerned CoolBoost, Bluelight Shield and DustDefender which hinders dust build up by reverse airflow. Lastly at the end of the list falls the Care Centre. It helps you in running laptop tune-ups to keep your cherished laptop in the perfect shape.
A whole lot of game optimization software along with Nvidia’s GeForce Experience app is pre-installed for the user’s ease. It also hosts Killer Networking whose main aim is to let you manage your networking bandwidth so one can maintain a steady framerate while using the Xsplit Gamecaster to stream your gaming exploits.

Apart from all these, the Predator holds quite a number of third party apps. These include Candy Crush Soda Saga, Twitter, Netflix, Pandora, Drawboard PDF, World Of Warships and Farmville 2: Country Escape.
Acer’s new Predator 15 is launched on the market with a standard two year limited warranty covering manufacture defects and tech support for any issues the user may cross paths with. All the chat and phone support links are printed on a sturdy white card.

Acer Predator 15 Conclusion and Verdict

The Pros
  • Solid graphics and the overall performance is a true killer
  • The vibrant life like HD display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Runs really cool despite playing for quite a while
  • The fan and DVD drive are interchangeable
  • Rock solid build
The Cons
  • Audio is not up to the mark; shrill and hollow sounds are produced
  • Acer may want to lessen the weight of its laptop a little bit so as to increase the portability factor!
Anyways summing up, in the end I would say the Acer Predator 15 is worth the money.
It delivers a solid performance with vivid vibrant colours, wrapped up in a comfortable keyboard and solid battery life. The VR-ready system runs smooth no matter what. In addition to it the 4 hours battery life is another feature that must be appreciated as its a rarity for gaming laptops to run this long.
And if you are worried about the Predator 15’s overheating you can always acquire the FrostCore module to ensure the safety of your rig.

However, for all its worth you cant ignore the Goliath in the room. At 8.2 pounds this 15 inches gaming rig is on par with larger desktop replacements. Until Acer’s next launch the technicians surely can tinker with the speakers for a better sound quality.
Also if portability’s a must have option for you, the Predator’s not your laptop in this regard.
But for those whose waiting with baited breath for a VR-ready gaming laptop with an impressive battery life and awesome display Acer’s Predator 15’s definitely your first pick.

Where to buy the Acer Predator 15

Well, as with all other posts I have summed up links of all the models of the Acer Predator 15 in Amazon.

Choose through different models of the Acer Predator 15-

Liked this post? Want another Choice? Then Check out the Best Laptops of 2017.

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