Acer Predator 17 Review By A Casual Gamer!

When we last wrote about the Predator 17 inch, we were astounded at how big it was and how it promised not to compromise on performance. After using it as our primary machine for gaming and processing intensive tasks, this is what we found.
Acer Predator 17 review
Acer Predator 17 review

For the first part of our Acer Predator 17 review (Unboxing and Build Quality): Click Here!

Display Quality


The monitor is brilliant! The bright 17 inch screen has high refresh rates coupled with vibrant colors at all viewing angles . We didn't find any ghosting or artifacting while playing games at 60 frames per second and above. It beats our 20 inch LG monitor and our 2012 15 inch Retina Macbook pro in this regard.


Battery Life

Battery life differs depending on your usage. If you are using the Predator 17 for internet, office and clerical works like word documents, spreadsheets, e-mail and the like, you're battery life will be around the 5 to 6 hour mark. If you watch 720 HD movies, youtube and the like, you're battery will be around the 3 to 4 hour mark, but let's be honest, you'll be playing games on this thing so, when I was playing Rainbow Six Siege on battery with the power saving picture, I was able to get 1080P at 30fps for an hour and thirty minutes. It surprised us too. 

I would advice plugging it in for optimum 1080P gameplay as rainbow six siege with HD textures at 60fps is amazing in this thing. 

Audio Quality

Marketed with 4.2 surround sound, it has 4 speakers and 2 sub woofers that take your mobile gaming experience to a whole new level. 
Speakers on this side
Speakers on this side

You can hear the lows, the mids and the highs clear  and distinct. The subwoofers are aimed downwards which disperses the sound in a smooth crawling fashion. The soundstage is one of the widest we've ever heard from a laptop. This can beat several dedicated speakers.

It was great that, we were able to play Rainbow Six Siege on this thing because one of the strengths of that game was its sound design. 

The sound design of the game was made so you can hear footsteps, shields, gunshots, and etc from the direction of the door or windows where the sound is created. Sound is a big part of being able to get your advantage in that game, and this laptop's Sound Quality does not disappoint.

Performance

Pretty keyboard light
Pretty keyboard light

This thing carries a desktop class processor with the NVIDIA 980M and 16 GB RAM. This can take the latest graphic intensive games like the Witcher 3 and Rainbow Six Siege at 1080P, 60 fps. This was in either Medium to High Settings. We have screenshots below for your viewing pleasure.
Notice the quality of in game render, unreal!
Notice the quality of in game render, unreal!

We however experienced frame-rate drops when playing certain online multiplayer games like Diablo 3, Hereos of the Storm, and Dirty Bomb (F2P via steam). Heroes in particular was at 1080P, 60fps when in the loading screen. It drops to 10 to 15 when in gameplay! 

We tried to remedy this by changing graphics and network settings but nothing seemed to work. It was a little bit of a bummer.
3D Mark test
3D Mark test
HDD test
HDD test
SSD test
SSD test

Pros - Desktop Class Processor, 16 GB RAM, 4.2 Surround sound Speakers and Sub-woofer, Bright and vibrant, High refresh rate monitor
Cons - NVIDIA 980M is a great GPU but the competition was able to squeeze the full NVIDIA 980 in a laptop, Some games experience unknown framerate drops, IT'S BIG and can be very heavy

Verdict

For a first try Acer did it right! If the Size of the machine and the GPU doesn't turn you off, then this is the machine for you! We love it and we hope we can afford to buy.

GIZ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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