T he word “nitro” is meant to invoke images of explosive performance, like when Mad Max guns his Interceptor. Equipped with a powerful Core i7 engine clocked at 2.50GHz, a healthy 16GB of DDR3L SDRAM and a 1TB hard drive, Acer’s Aspire V Nitro 15 promises plenty of bang for buck.
The Black Edition Aspire V Nitro 15 we tested was a very snappy performer although we’d suggest running through all the extra software that comes preinstalled. We found that basic tasks, like opening a File Explorer window took a few seconds after start up because of all the extra software loading in the background. However, that did eventually pass when we were a little more patient about letting it boot fully.
Acer is pitching the Aspire V Nitro 15 as a gaming notebook although we think it would make a great workhorse as well. The matte black casing looks elegant and at 2.4kg it’s quite portable for a 15-inch notebook. Connectivity is covered by three USB 3 ports, HDMI, 3.5mm audio and a gigabit Ethernet jack.
The keyboard, complete with a full number pad on the right side, is comfortable to use although the red backlighting has only two settings -- on and off. Some control over brightness would be a nice addition. The trackpad is quite large although we did find it a little soft. For example, when right clicking using the bottom right corner of the trackpad, there was quite a lot of flexing movement.
The 15.6-inch non-touchscreen display running at 1920 x 1080 did a solid job of displaying high definition video although we expected better. At this size, we’d have though Acer would have delivered a higher resolution display at this price range. However, sound quality from the inbuilt speakers was excellent, making the Aspire V Nitro 15 great for watching movies and gaming.
Battery life, driven by a 4605 mAh Li-ion powerplant, was solid. Streaming full screen video over the 802.11n Wi-Fi delivered a respectable but unspectacular three and half hours between trips to an outlet.