Impressive battery life; Responsive keyboard and touch screen; Fast boot time
Low-res screen; Pricey; Power button hard to find
Acer's new 15-inch touch-screen Ultrabook offers stellar battery life at $849, but its graphics and screen resolution won't wow users.
Acer's Aspire V7-582P-6673 is a slim, multitouch-enabled laptop that packs all of the core functionality of Windows 8 with one of the strongest battery-life ratings in its category. However, with below-average performance and graphic capabilities, the 15-inch V7 isn't the most optimal device for watching hi-res videos and playing games. The Aspire V7 is a satisfactory Ultrabook for casual use in the home, but is it worth its $849 price tag?
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The laptop's aluminum chassis opens up to reveal a single-panel body of the same makeup, with a cold steel hue covering both the exterior and main body. The V7's main panel contains a slightly recessed set of black, island-style keys and a black underside.
The V7's awkward power-button placement weakens an otherwise solid look, as the button rests next to a USB 2.0 port on the left side and blends in with the laptop's black bottom.
At 4.85 lbs. and 15.02 x 10.08 x 0.79 inches, the Aspire V7 is slightly wider, but thinner and lighter, than the 5-lb. Sony VAIO T Series 15 (14.9 x 10 x 0.9 inches). The Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5277 (14.9 x 9.6 x 1.2 inches, 5.4 lbs.) is bulkier than both.
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Every detail of the "Thor: The Dark World" trailer was presented vividly, from the war-torn facial features of Natalie Portman's character to the abundance of crumbling mountains and buildings. Thor's rich, red cape came through the screen clearly, as did the bright-orange explosions of the action scenes. The V7's LED-backlit screen held up well when we watched the trailer at a roughly 70-degree viewing angle, making it a reliable device for watching videos with friends on the couch.
The V7's touch screen is easy to use and responsive; we were able to navigate through both the touch-friendly Windows 8 layout and classic desktop with just a few simple swipes and pinches. When using Microsoft Paint on the V7, we had no problem drawing with 10 fingers at once.
Despite the respectable volume and sound quality, the bottom-facing speakers on the V7 became muffled when we placed the notebook on our bed while playing music.
The V7 comes stocked with Dolby Home Theater v4 audio enhancement, which allows you to edit and store various EQ settings for music, movies and games.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The V7's 4.2 x 3.1-inch touchpad provided smooth, accurate navigation around the desktop. We had no problem scrolling, swiping between programs and pinching to zoom on the device, though the sensitive touchpad registered a few accidental clicks when we browsed the Web on standard settings.
Ports and Webcam
Most areas of the V7 never got uncomfortably hot: The laptop's touchpad reached a high of 76 degrees Fahrenheit after we played 15 minutes of 1080p video on Hulu. The laptop's keyboard got as hot as 83 degrees, and the underside went up to 81 degrees. The only area that got hotter than our 95-degree comfort zone was the back of the underside, near the Ethernet port and fan, which reached 97 degrees.
Acer's V7 Ultrabook scored 4,266 on PCMark 7, which measures overall hardware performance. The V7 scored slightly lower than the Satellite S55t and its 2.4-GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor (4,842) and the VAIO T Series 15 with a 2-GHz Intel Core i7-3537U processor (4,409). Still, the V7 sits significantly higher than the PCMark 7 category average of 3,055.
The Aspire V7 started Windows 8 in a fast 14 seconds, which is just a second behind the Satellite S55t's 13 seconds and much quicker than the VAIO T Series 15's 36 seconds and the category average of 38 seconds.
When running the LAPTOP File Transfer Test, the V7 was able to copy 4.97GB of mixed media files in 2 minutes and 34 seconds, resulting in a transfer rate of 33.1 MBps. The Acer laptop transferred files slightly faster than both the Satellite S55t (29.5 MBps) and VAIO T Series 15 (29 MBps), though it still couldn't measure up to the category average of 41 MBps.
At 5 minutes and 23 seconds, the Aspire V7 performed slightly faster than the 5:44 category average on our OpenOffice Spreadsheet test, which involves performing a VLOOKUP operation on 20,000 rows in OpenOffice Calc. However, the V7 was a full minute slower than the Satellite S55t (4:23) and not as quick as the VAIO T Series 15 (4:50).
The V7 ran "World of Warcraft" at 45 frames per second on Autodetect at 1366 x 768, which is playable and better than the VAIO T Series 15's 34 fps but less than half of the Satellite S55t's 92 fps and far lower than the mainstream laptop category average of 74 fps.
The game was bogged down to just 23 fps when we played it on the Ultra graphics setting, which is far choppier than the Satellite S55t's relatively smooth 54 fps and the category average of 38 fps. Just as it did on Autodetect, the V7 slightly edged out the VAIO T Series 15's 18 fps on Ultra mode.
Acer offers a one-year international travelers limited warranty to those who purchase the Aspire V7.
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At $849, our configuration of the Acer Aspire V7-582P-6673 includes a 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-4200U processor with 8GB of RAM, an Intel HD Graphics 4400 card with 128MB of VRAM and a 500GB hard drive with a 20GB Flash cache.
The $999 582PG-9856 configuration packs a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-4500U processor with 8GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M graphics card with 2GB of VRAM and a 500GB hard drive with a 20GB Flash cache. Lastly, the $1,299 482PG-9884 configuration will also get you the i7-4500U processor but with 12GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics card with 4GB of VRAM and a 1TB hard drive with dual-hard-drive support.
While the Aspire V7 is an attractive laptop that can handle long hours of everyday Web browsing, it lacks any crucial selling points, and its excellent battery life is offset by its heftiness. You'd be better off picking up Acer's $699 Aspire M5-583P-6428 if you just need everyday functionality, or splurge $1,499 for the company's stellar Aspire S7 for great graphics and performance.
|CPU||1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-4200U|
|Operating System||Windows 8|
|RAM Upgradable to||12GB|
|Hard Drive Size||500GB + 20GB SSD|
|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 Speed|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Wi-Fi Model||Intel Centrino Advanced-N 7260|
|Touchpad Size||4.2 x 3.1 inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headphone|
|Ports (excluding USB)||HDMI|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Ethernet|
|Ports (excluding USB)||DC-in|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 2.0|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Kensington Lock|
|Card Slots||Secure Digital|
|Warranty/Support||One-year international Travelers Limited Warranty|
|Size||15.02 x 10.08 x 0.79/0.9 inches|