Customer Review

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems like a decent system; Windows 8 is a drag, November 27, 2012
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This review is from: Acer Aspire V3-571G-6407 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)
I just picked up the system today, and am posting initial impressions to help other potential buyers decide, as I was unable to find any reviews on this laptop before buying it. I will update periodically, and feel free to ask any questions you might have.

First off, I will say Windows 8 heavily influences my review. "But this is a review for the laptop, not Windows 8!" you cry. Sure, but this system *comes with Windows 8* - it is an integral part of the laptop, and thus a valid consideration for a review.

The new tile-based start menu is a nightmare. I made the mistaking of trying to open IE from there, launching it in full-screen-only "app" mode, and couldn't figure out a way to close it until I looked it up (for future reference, you close tablet-style apps by dragging the top edge of the app to the bottom of the screen). I ended up installing "Classic Shell" from Sourceforge to put back in a Windows 7 style Start menu.

The build quality of this laptop isn't the greatest, but it doesn't feel like a toy either. The screen is a bit flimsy, the CD tray much more flimsy, the rest of it is ok. This is not a rugged laptop, and I wouldn't buy it for a kid, but if you're gentle with it I wouldn't expect any issues.

Great specs for the price. This is one of the best mobile i5s, and it is nearly impossible to find a laptop with an i5 and a dedicated video card in this price range. Note that the "Windows Experience Index" score for this system is terrible because the Intel HD 4000 (the terrible integrated video card built into the i5) is the primary video card outside of 3D applications, and thus the one Windows runs its "Graphics" test on. The NVidia card should take over during mobile gaming, and gives the higher "Gaming graphics" score. (for reference, this system gave me PR:7, RAM:5.9, GFX:4.5, GMGFX:6.2, HDD:5.9)

Came preinstalled with a lot of bloatware, but that's easy enough to remove. The Acer update utility is sllllllooooooowwwww - that might just be Acer's servers, but it's irritating. At one point, I had to cancel an update because it was taking too long, and now the update utility won't detect that I need that update.

You can update the GeForce's drivers directly from NVidia, which is a blessing. Years ago I had an Acer laptop with a Radeon X1600 in it; Acer had custom-programmed their own driver, which underclocked the card and crashed on nearly every 3D game, and you couldn't even update the drivers. With direct access to Nvidia's own driver updates with this system you (hopefully) shouldn't have a problem with game compatibility.

The "professionally tuned" "Dolby Home Theater" speakers have no bass, so the sound from them gets trebly and a little hard to listen to. They're probably fine for Youtube or LAN gaming, but I wouldn't use them for solo gaming or watching movies. They are certainly loud enough, though. The included "Dolby Home Theater" drivers (really just a jazzy-looking equalizer) don't make much of a difference in the sound out of the speakers (other than serving as a loudener), but I found the gaming mode to sound better than the music mode (but be sure to turn off auto volume leveling).

I experienced issues with the laptop randomly dropping the Wifi connection at my university, which uses WPA Enterprise security (where each user has a separate username/password to connect to the access point). I don't know if the fault is with Windows 8 or the machine itself. It does not exhibit the same problem when used at home on our WPA personal connection.

-=Games=-
Surprised me by actually running Metro 2033 on Very High, but nowhere near playable, and dangerously hot after only a couple of minutes. High is at the lower end of playable, and I elevated the laptop for better ventilation.

Easily hosted a TF2 listen-server with 24 bots and most of the settings maxed (but HDR off and AA at 2x) and maintained 40-100fps (averaging 60). With all settings except AA maxed and Nvidia's Ambient Occlusion turned on Quality I got 20-30fps in gameplay; AO on Performance and turning off HDR and AA I got about 25-35 in gameplay. Even with AO on Performance and all other settings at their *minimum* I couldn't get more than 40fps in an empty server; this GPU simply isn't powerful enough to run AO in newish games, but it holds its own with AO turned off.

Perfect performance with settings maxed in Payday: The Heist and Killing Floor.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2012 8:54:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2012 8:55:32 PM PST
A. Jezuit says:
Im going to buy this soon I think. does it get really hot when gaming? I will be playing games like minecraft, tf2, sr3, garrys mod, games like that. Nothing too big. I will not be trying to max the settings because Im so used to low settings on this machine I'll probably set them low anyway just to improve any performance I can.

Should I buy a laptop cooler as well?

Posted on Dec 25, 2012 9:36:26 PM PST
S. Causey says:
Did you do anything to fix the WiFi disconnect issue? My girlfriend and mother both have this computer and the internet drops out on them frequently.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 9:39:12 PM PST
K. F. says:
It can get hot. It got dangerously hot playing Metro 2033 on Very High (with no cooler), *but* won't get nearly that hot normally. You might not even need a cooler playing Source engine games like TF2, but I would recommend getting one anyway; it's a good precaution and will keep you covered in the future if you play heavier games on it. I've got a USB powered Belkin cooler that I use with it whenever I game now and it never gets "hot", just warm.

In the absence of a cooler, the best precaution you can take to keep your laptop from overheating is to keep it elevated. Setting a laptop flat on a desk prevents air from circulating underneath it.

You can certainly max most of the settings in the Source engine and still get consistently good framerates. I don't think you'll need to keep the settings on low, especially if you get a cooler. I have TF2 set to 2x anti-aliasing, HDR off, and all of the other settings maxed, and get 40-100 (averaging 60) fps while hosting a server with 23 bots.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 10:26:52 PM PST
K. F. says:
I found that the random Wifi disconnects only occured on my school's WPA Enterprise connection (where each user has a separate username/password to connect to the wifi). I don't have issues at home or at friends houses on WPA personal (where there is just a single password). If you have your security set to Enterprise, you might try changing it, otherwise I don't know.

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 2:13:04 AM PST
How much you pay on cyber Monday?
I didn't even see this laptop on sale then
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