Slim and portable design with DVD drive; Enough graphics muscle to play latest games; Bright backlit keyboard
Low-resolution screen for price; Mediocre battery life; Sluggish hard drive; Runs hot when playing games
The Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814 offers beefy graphics in a sleek 15-inch chassis, but the display and battery life could be better.
Don't let its slim profile fool you. Acer's Aspire V5-571PG-9814 packs powerful multimedia performance into a portable design. Boasting a powerful Core i7 CPU and a Nvidia GeForce GT 710M GPU, this $999 15-inch notebook has enough power to play the latest games and perform video editing. But does the Aspire V5 have the muscle and staying power to stand up to the competition?
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The interior is also silver, with the notebook's 4-cell battery nestled between the silver hinges. A large backlit keyboard dominates the deck with a small power button that sits in the top left corner. We really liked the raised "Aspire V5" lettering below the keyboard in the bottom corner.
The Aspire V5-571PG measures 15.4 x 9.96 x 0.88~0.96-inches and weighs 5.6 pounds, which places it between the ASUS Zenbook UX51Vz-DH71 (15 x 10 x 0.99~1.2-inches, 4.6 pounds) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 (15.2 x 10.2 x 0.6~1.4 inches, 6.4 pounds).
Viewing angles were also shallow, with colors inverting past 45 degrees. We prefer the Y500's 1080p screen, which delivered better colors, sharper images, and wider viewing angles.
When we measured the Aspire V5-571PG's brightness, the display registered 121 lux, well short of the 226 mainstream average. The Y500 delivered 256 lux, while the UX51Vz shone brightest at 277 lux.
The touchscreen display on this Acer notebook was very fluid and responsive. Aside from using five fingers to doodle in Windows Paint, we were able to easily pinch-zoom, scroll and perform Windows 8 commands.
The Aspire V5-571PG's bottom-mounted speakers managed to fill our small test room, but Jay-Z's "Renegade" sounded deflated. Switching between the Music, Movie and Game presets on the Dolby Advanced Audio v2 control panel did little to add fullness to the dull vocals. The synthesized instrumentals sounded tinny and distorted, and there was little to no bass.
Acer included a massive 4.2 x 3.1-inch Elan touchpad on the Aspire V5-571PG. Multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, four-finger swipe and one-finger Windows 8 commands worked smoothly. We experienced some trouble trying to perform two-finger rotate, though. The bottom edges of the touchpad delivered strong feedback with a satisfying click.
After watching 15 minutes of "Happy" on Netflix, the touchpad, the space between the G and H key and underside of the notebook measured 89, 87 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. That's well below our 95-degree comfort threshold.
Things got a little toasty when we started playing games. After running around "Batman: Arkham City" for 15 minutes, the temperature on the touchpad jumped to 95 degrees. The space between the G and H keys was a hot 101 degrees while the notebook's bottom measured 81 degrees. We consider anything above 95 degrees to be uncomfortable.
When we ran PCMark07, the Aspire V5 notched 2,566, falling below the 2,727 average. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 (2.4-GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM CPU) scored an even higher 3,224.
On Geekbench, the Aspire V5 scored 6,913, beating the 6,564 mainstream average. However, the 2.1-GHz Intel Core i7-3612QM-powered ASUS Zenbook UX51Vz-DH71 scored 9,970, and the Dell Inspiron 15R SE scored 10,155. The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 blew past the competition with 11,508, nearly doubling the category average.
The Aspire V5's 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive booted Windows 8 in 31 seconds, topping the 0:44 average. The Y500 and its 1TB 5,400-rpm drive and 16GB SSD loaded Windows in 19 seconds.
On the File Transfer Test, the Aspire V5 duplicated 4.97 of mixed-media files in 5 minutes and 6 seconds, a rate of 16.6 MBps. That's much slower than the 40.6 MBps mainstream average. The Y500 delivered a faster 22.5 MBps and the Dell Inspiron 15R SE was even quicker with 31.4 MBps.
During the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro test, the Aspire V5 paired 20,000 names to their matching addresses in 4 minutes and 47 seconds. That's 1 minute and 10 seconds faster than the 5:57 average and speedier than the Inspiron 15R SE (5:04). However, the Y500 came out on top with a time of 4:20.
On the 3DMark11 benchmark, the Aspire V5 scored 1,209, which is enough to edge past the 1,117 mainstream notebook average. However, this wasn't a match the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500's 3,680 (dual Nvidia GeForce GT650M GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each). The Inspiron 15R SE (AMD Radeon HD 7730M GPU with 2GB of VRAM) also outgunned the Acer with a score of 1,687.
During the "World of Warcraft" test, the Aspire V5 averaged 65 fps on autodetect at its native resolution of 1366 x 768. That's a few frames shy of the 67 fps category average. With their screens set to 1080p, the Y500 and the Inspiron 15R SE scored 86 and 69 fps, respectively.
When we switched to maximum settings, the Aspire V5's frame rate dropped to 36 fps, on a par wtih the 35 fps mainstream average. The Y500 (44 fps) and Inspiron 15R SE (41 fps) scored higher and at a higher resolution.
When we ran the "Batman: Arkham City" benchmark, the Aspire V5 scored 30 fps with the settings on low. That just meets our 30 fps playability standard, but falls short of the 48 fps average. The IdeaPad Y500 delivered 59 fps and the Inspiron 15R SE 33 fps at 1080p on low. On maximum settings, the Aspire V5 fell to an unplayable 13 fps.
Software and Warranty
Acer's perennial multimedia aggregators Clear.fi Photo and Clear.fi Media are also included and come in handy for keeping track of all your images, video and music. Acer Cloud lets you share all sorts of files stored on your PC with other devices, including smartphones and tablets.
The $698 base model (Acer Aspire V5-571P-6604) has a 1.8-GHz Intel Core i5-3337U CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive with Intel HD Graphics 4000. The $849 Acer Aspire V5-571P-6887 offers a 1.7-GHz Intel Core i5-3317U with 8GB of RAM, a 750GB 5,400-rpm hard drive with Intel integrated graphics.
Overall, we prefer the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500, which for just $50 more (through Newegg) offers a brilliant 1080p display, an SSD to complement its 1TB hard drive and dual Nvidia GeForce GT 650 GPUs. Although you don't get a touch screen. Overall, the Aspire V5 is a solid but unexciting choice for gamers and creative professionals looking for a portable multimedia notebook.
|CPU||2-GHz Intel Core i7-3537U Processor|
|Operating System||Windows 8|
|RAM Upgradable to|
|Hard Drive Size||1 TB|
|Hard Drive Speed||5,400rpm|
|Hard Drive Type||SATA Hard Drive|
|Secondary Hard Drive Size|
|Secondary Hard Drive Speed|
|Secondary Hard Drive Type|
|Optical Drive||DVD SuperMultiDrive|
|Optical Drive Speed||8X|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GT 710M/Intel HD 4000 Graphics|
|Wi-Fi Model||Qualcomm Atheros AR5BWB222 Wireless Network Adapter|
|Touchpad Size||4.2 x 3.1 inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 2.0|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Kensington Lock|
|Ports (excluding USB)||HDMI|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Combo Headphone/Mic Jack|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0|
|Card Slots||2-1 card reader|
|Warranty/Support||One-year International Travelers Limited Warranty|
|Size||15.4 x 9.96 x 0.88~0.96 inches|