Acer Predator 15 review

This gaming laptop stays frosty, but there’s an enormous catch

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Here’s how the Acer Predator 15 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Time Spy: 3,591; Sky Diver: 23,987; Fire Strike: 9,760
Cinebench CPU: 607 points; Graphics: 94.35 fps
GeekBench: 3,714 (single-core); 13,207 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,858 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 7 minutes
Battery Life (techradar movie test): 3 hours and 17 minutes
The Division (1080p, Ultra): 54 fps; (1080p, Low): 137 fps
GTA V (1080p, Ultra): 43 fps; (1080p, Low): 138 fps


The Acer Predator 15 performed about as expected in our testing. If you’re expecting to play every new game that releases at 1080p 60 fps with the highest settings ticked, you’ll be saddened to know that this laptop just won’t cut it.

However, knock the graphics down from “Ultra” to “High” and you’ll be golden.
In less demanding games such as Halo Wars 2, you can guarantee that everything will max out including the frame rate.

The Acer Predator 15 doesn’t get exceptionally loud either. Yeah, it whistles from its exhaust just as every other gaming laptop in existence, but it manages to use its indoor voice all the same.

The Acer Predator 15 supports G-Sync, Nvidia’s adaptive sync tech designed to reduce screen tearing as a result of your game attempting higher frame rates than your display is capable of producing. Combined with V-Sync, the Predator 15 produces some of the silkiest gameplay experiences we’ve had on a gaming laptop.

Otherwise, the Acer Predator 15 performs about as expected, likely because of its latest Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics. The 15-inch beast bested the Razer Blade in GTA V benchmarks, boasting an average of 43 fps as opposed to the Razer Blade’s 34 fps average.

This could also be a result of the way the Acer Predator 15 is cooled. Being huge and all, there’s plenty of room for vents, and Acer took every opportunity to ensure that its system wouldn’t overheat. If you’re champing at the bit for a gaming laptop that stays cool in terms of temperature rather than fashion, this is one for the books.

Battery life

As with most all gaming laptops, the Acer Predator 15 struggles when it comes to extensive use without the power brick connected. Also in classic gaming notebook fashion, the power brick is comically large, making a trip to the coffee shop with this machine a little embarrassing.

If you’re purchasing the Acer Predator 15 for use in public, you may want to think twice. This is a laptop best suited for a desk or table. It won’t fit comfortably on your lap, especially since it needs to be plugged in to survive for much longer than three hours and if you’re gaming on it, the battery life will be laughably shorter.

It’s clearly not designed for on-the-go use, but rather as a more compact alternative to a desktop. For that purpose, the Acer Predator 15 serves well, even if the term “laptop” is a bit loaded.

Of course, this should be expected from a machine containing not only a desktop-class discrete graphics card, but a top of the line Intel Core i7 processor.

There isn’t much that could save the Acer Predator 15 from a 3 hour and 17 minute battery life in our own TechRadar movie test, in which we play Guardians of the Galaxy on loop at 50% screen brightness and volume until the battery runs out of juice.

The Acer Predator 15 already has a massive 6,000mAh battery and a 230W power supply, which Acer promises will last 3 hours at the max. So at least they’re being honest.

We liked

It’s far from perfect, but there’s still a lot to love about the Acer Predator 15. For one, it’s fully stocked with the finest selection of ports money can buy. With a total of four USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, HDMI, DisplayPort, an SD card slot, full-size Ethernet and a headphone jack that’s separate from mic input, what more could you really need?

On top of that, the 1080p display is a smart way for Acer to make sure that every game runs at the highest settings, even if it hinders productivity uses. It goes without saying that the Acer Predator 15 is powerful, but the inclusion of a cooling tray is a genius concept for anyone who finds CD drives useless and frankly outdated.

There’s also the option to disable the trackpad at the touch of a button. If using a mouse is your prerogative, this not only saves on battery life as a result of the LED being powered off, but it’s also a convenient way to ensure you don't swipe your touchpad by mistake and blow your lead in League of Legends.

We disliked

For its screen size, the Acer Predator 15 should not be as excessively mammoth as it is. 8.16 pounds (3.70kg) is a lot for a laptop and that’s without factoring in the weight of the charger. 

If you’re clamoring for something that’s light and portable, for roughly the same specs and a bit more price there's the Gigabyte Aero 14. It doesn’t come with the 1TB of hard drive storage you’ll get inside the Acer Predator 15, but external hard drives are all but expensive these days.

If you prefer more traditional gaming laptops over the thin-and-lights of today, the silver lining is that the Acer Predator 15 is exactly that. By modern standards, however, we’ve grown to expect less bulk and more power at this price point.

Final verdict

The Acer Predator 15 isn’t subtle in any way, shape or form. It’s wildly impractical and not especially stylish, nor does it have the battery life to sustain a working day at a library without its hefty power brick friend tagging along. 

It has a handful of surprisingly enticing features, such as the aforementioned cooling system which, we can’t stress, is pretty damn efficient. The macro keys are a blessing as is the trackpad power button.

However, underneath all that window dressing this is an oversized vehicle for VR that would otherwise be more affordable as a desktop. On the other hand, it could have been more portable as a laptop if it weren’t so set on including a hard drive.

Ultimately, the Acer Predator 15 falls short of success, if only because it is far too ambitious to carry its own weight.

Gabe Carey
Gabe has been writing about video games and technology since he was 16 years old. Currently serving as a Contributing Editor & Producer for TechRadar, where he keeps articles fresh and up to date on the reg, you may recognize his byline from Digital Trends, TechSpot and Kotaku UK. He can't tell if his adoration of Sonic the Hedgehog is genuine or ironic anymore.