After years of using a MacBook exclusively, I packed it away for an entire month and replaced it with the Aspire V 15 Nitro – Black Edition (VN7-592G-75MF), a mid range laptop by Acer. So what happened? Surprisingly, nothing dramatic. Aside from a few things I missed and the adjustment curve to get readjusted to Windows 10 on a PC again, I simply switched from one good machine to another. Here’s how it went…
V Nitro has a black, coated shell with nano-imprinted lithography (NIL), a treatment which creates a textured surface over the aluminum cover. In my opinion, it makes the exterior more durable. The underside is smooth with air-intake, rubber feet and speakers strategically placed as part of the design. It has a moderately sized, ‘Acer’ logo with metal lettering which complements the engraved metal hinge that reads “Acer V Nitro”. The device has a simple, understated yet elegant design. It’s definitely the kind of laptop you wouldn’t mind using in public.
V Nitro features a backlit keyboard that’s smooth to the touch, responsive and quiet. I’ve managed to type without waking a sleeping baby. The touchpad however was a bit of a challenge. It’s large and the selection area seems to be confined to a small area in the center. Consequently, to make selections, you must press a very precise spot on the touchpad. Otherwise, you’ll spend a great deal of time right-clicking like I did. The LED bar illuminates the keyboard in a bright, beaming red which isn’t a must-have feature for me but it is a pleasant visual. My four year old is quite taken with the fact that it glows – just one of the many reasons why V Nitro is ideal as a family computer.
Ports and connections are located along each side of the device. On the left, there’s a USB 2.0 port, a Micro SD card slot and a combo headphone and mic jack. On the right hand side there’s a power input, Gigabit Ethernet, full-size HDMI output and two USB 3.0 ports separated by a USB Type-C port. I think the ports are evenly distributed so using peripherals isn’t clunky.
V Nitro is larger than my MacBook which weighs 4.5 pounds however the larger footprint isn’t necessarily a deal breaker when it comes to portability. It weighs 2.4 kg (5.29 pounds) and basically feels about the sane in my backpack. I traveled with it from Abu Dhabi to New York and back without incident. What I did miss – for at least 10 minutes – was the fact that this big bodied machine didn’t have a CD drive. I needed to access family photos that were on CD and couldn’t. This also means that if you’re a gamer who prefers to purchase physical games over downloads, you’ll have to add that feature to the base model.
V Nitro has a 15.6 inch screen with dynamic display. The colors are vivid and punchy and graphics really come to life. Whether streaming Netflix or playing game name, the 1080 Full HD screen (1920×1080 resolution) in a 16:9 aspect ratio makes everything more realistic and clear. I’m also pleased to be working with a larger screen again which improves the quality of screen shots. Each month, I snag the double page spread layout of my column and doing it on a smaller screen compromises the readability of the image. I was able to get the entire layout and maintain image quality using the larger, V Nitro. The one feature I was hoping for but didn’t get was touch screen; not a deal breaker but definitely would be nice to have.
I was a bit skeptical about how the speakers would perform since they’re placed on the bottom of the device but that was only an issue when the computer was sitting on my lap. The sound would become a bit muffled but otherwise was clear and loud. I enjoyed listening to everything from island inspired track, One Dance, by Drake to the eclectic sounds of Erykah Badu.
Gaming and Performance
V Nitro is a gaming laptop. It features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with 2 GB Dedicated Memory. Multitasking was smooth thanks to the 2.60 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ processor. Battery life was okay. I didn’t stress the device from a gaming perspective but for regular use to perform basic computing (word processing, graphic design, internet, etc.) battery life was sufficient and the machine remained cool while in use.
A photo posted by Tamara Clarke (@theglobalgazette) on