Home Laptop Reviews Acer VX15 Review – What’s Wrong With This $800 Gaming Laptop?

Acer VX15 Review – What’s Wrong With This $800 Gaming Laptop?

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Acer VX15 Review – What’s Wrong With This $800 Gaming Laptop?

[Intro] Hey, how’s it going? Dave2D here. So, this is the Acer VX15 and this was one of the more interesting laptops that I saw at CES this year and it’s because it’s a new entry-level gaming laptop. So this is a really good performer for not that much money.

It starts at $800, but the $1,000 configuration gives you, in my opinion, the best bang for your buck. The cheaper loadouts will have less RAM, smaller storage, and a weaker CPU, but the big difference is the weaker video card.

So the performance inprovement of the 1050Ti, over the regular 1050 is quite noticeable. Its about 20% – 25%, so if you can afford it, go for the Ti. With the 1050Ti, you can easily break a 100 frames per second on light games like Overwatch at 1080p on high.

Ultra graphics will still average at around 60 FPS. Something heavier like Dishonored 2, you’re looking at around 45 FPS at 1080p on high. You can still break 60FPS if you drop the graphics to medium.

So it’s only really heavy stuff, like Witcher 3, that will bug this card down. It’s still playable, but you’ll need to drop you graphics quality or lower the resolution. Now, all of these are done on the 1050Ti.

If you can only pick up the 1050, those numbers will be about 20% less. So if you want to see like a more conprehensive video that shows all these cards and what they can do, I made a benchmark video linked down below.

Now, with good performance like this, you need to have a good cooling system, and to get inside to take a look, there is a bunch of screws and you have to pop off the bottom panel with a little force, nothing too bad.

Inside, we’re looking at 2 heat pipes and 2 fans. They’re quiet on idle and are relatively quiet on load as well, but they do a good job cooling the components. There’s no real thermal throttling going on, even when running benchmarks, and the temperatures in the keyboard area are comfortable when playing games.

Ok, back to the inside, we get 2 memory slots, so you can go up to 32gigs of DDR4 and you have your m.2 SSD The stock one is a SATA drive. You also have space for a 2.5 inch drive, there’s no cabling or mounting hardware included, but Acer will supply these to you, if you want.

The battery down here is 52 watt hours. With average use I’m getting around 4 hours of battery life, that’s with screen at 250nits. Watching videos, it’ll break five hours. So the battery life isn’t long enough to bring this device out for the day without a charger, and it takes around two hours to charge it up.

As for the external aesthetic, it has a similar design language to the Predator laptops that they make, with that red angular exhaust. Personally, I don’t love the design, it’s definitely more game more oriented, but I don’t think it’s too gaudy.

The build quality is decent, I mean Acer isn’t really known for building laptops with a ton of aluminum or premium materials, but they did a respectable job with the plastics. The bottom panel is plastic, the keyboard area is plastic, but very rigid, they have a bunch of these reinforcement spine down below.

The hinge design is… okay, it looks cool, it helps give the laptop a cleaner aesthetic, but from my experience, laptops that use this kind of central hinge design, tend to wear it quicker and hinges can start to get floppy after a couple of years.

I don’t know about this one, I mean, it seems really solid, but I don’t know about the long term. The top panel has these red accents. I don’t think they light up, at least, I can never get them to light up, but it has this brushed texture, like this faux brushed metal thing that Acer does, I’ve always liked this.

The screen flex isn’t too bad, you have to torque it pretty hard to do this. Alright, so, the display, when you’re not twisting it around, is decent for the price. I mean, keep in mind this is a budget oriented laptop, it’s a 1080p non-touchscreen, my unit has an IPS panel.

I believe it’s a retail unit, but there are some units out there with TN panels. You should try to get the IPS panel, if you can. It gets reasonably bright and has good contrast. Color gamut, though, isn’t great and the viewing angles could be better, for an IPS panel.

But for a gaming laptop, this does the trick. If you’re curious, this is what the webcam looks and sounds like. The keyboard is pretty average for this price point. Layout’s not bad, once you get used to the number pad on the right.

Keystrokes have a good amount of travel and there’s red backlighting. The keys feel a little mushy though, I wish those a bit more resistance or just responsiveness to each key. The trackpad is better.

I’d say it’s above-average. It feels a little cheap. I mean it’s got this really smooth plastic that I don’t love and the button mechanics aren’t the best. There’s just not a lot of travel when you click down, but it’s a solid trackpad, because it uses windows precision drivers, very accurate tracking and gesture detection.

Ok, the speakers. In terms of their actual audio quality, they’re not amazing. There are laptop speakers that don’t have much bass, but they face the user and they’re loud enough or at least louder than the fans, that I could rely on them for positional audio in games without using headphones.

One last thing, the port selection is average. HDMI, 3 USB-As, 1 USB-C that doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, an SD card slot and an audio jack. My only knock, and this is a minor one, is that the majority of the USB ports are on the right side, so if you have a bunch of stuff connected, it can get in the way of your mouse movements.

Alright, so the VX15 is ACER’s first entry into that whole $800 gaming laptop market, and with this one you’re getting a full plastic build with decent build quality, the screen is an IPS panel, not great for an IPS panel, but I’m content, you’re not going to get a much better screen at this price.

The keyboard is not bad, but I wish it was a bit more responsive. The trackpad is accurate and doesn’t skip around, that’s pretty important. Inside, the KabyLake CPUs and the GTX1050 or 1050Ti deliver really solid performance at this price point, but try to spring for the Ti, if you can.

The RAM and the storage are all pretty easy to access and are readily upgradeable and the battery down here is 52 Wh and it comes up a little short, we’re looking at around 4 hours of realistic use. So, I think this is a good laptop for the money.

You’re getting incredibly good performance for current titles at 1080p. I mean, I don’t know how far they’ll carry you into the future, but I’d expect at least a couple years of solid gaming performance at 1080p 60 frames per second.

I mean you have to play with the graphic’s slider. Now, there’s one issue that kind of pops up to me and it’s the battery life, and at this kind of aggressive pricing, you can’t have everything, right? They’re going to make some compromises and for this particular laptop, it’s the battery life.

So if that’s really important to you, then you might have to look at other options, but I know some of you are interested in like a more direct comparison between this one and the Dell Inspiron 7567. I will be doing more kind of nitty-gritty compared video between those two, and I’ll likely try to introduce a third laptop into that mix, because there’s a third device out there that’s similarly priced that should be coming in very soon.

That’s the end of this video. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Thumbs if you did, subs if you loved it. I’ll see you guys next time.

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