The Aspire V15 Nitro doesn't have the obvious "gamer attitude" kind of branding seen on other gaming-centric laptops, but it has the horsepower and the GPU to run top games at high settings - all while being reasonably affordable for this kind of device. But are the trade-offs for hitting that price point reasonable?
Most games look awesome running at high settings on the V15 Nitro, still maintaining fluid frame rates at 1080p resolution. You probably won't be able to run the latest and greatest at ultra settings without hitting some rough patches, but dial back the detail just a bit and you should have a great laptop gaming experience.
The V15 Nitro turned in impressive benchmark scores, slightly edging out the Asus GL551 and handily trumping the Lenovo Y50 in many categories. It's a pretty powerful laptop, considering the price, which should hopefully keep you running strong for some time to come.
I also like the more subdued design, along with the ample space for your wrists beneath the solid keyboard. I don't need a gaming laptop with an aggressive aesthetic - just something with the right amount of kick inside, and a cool, calm exterior.
The battery life is a real problem if you expect to be away from your charger for any notable stretch of time. The benchmark test clocked in at less than two hours, and while real-world testing pushed usage closer to the three-hour mark, that's still a rather small tally.
While the 1080p display is capable of showing off some amazing sights in games, I didn't always have a great experience using it elsewhere. Tricky viewing angles were frustrating at times, and the matte-finished screen doesn't get as bright as I'd like it to be.
There's so much extra software preloaded on the V15 Nitro. Some of it, like Acer's own "local cloud" apps, could be useful, but we don't need Booking.com, eBay and multiple magazine storefronts preinstalled. It's a chore to have to remove this much junk.
Acer's Aspire V15 Nitro provides another mostly solid gaming laptop option to choose from near the $1000 mark. It's a capable machine, with a very good GPU and a speedy processor that work in tandem to display flashy 3D games with strong detail and fluid motion. Granted, it's not a top-tier device, and the performance in more recent games like Far Cry 4 shows how more demanding games are starting to push it to the limit with higher graphics settings.
If performance is your primary consideration, than the V15 Nitro is nearly even with the strong Asus GL551 in most of the tested categories. Either machine will deliver a quality gaming experience without tying you to a desktop. However, the Asus has other advantages, namely comparatively longer battery life, and is still our overall pick for an entry-level gaming laptop.
But if you dig the subdued build style and don't mind rocking a wall charger most of the time, the Acer is worth considering on the budget end of the gaming laptop pool.