Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop Review
Forget what you know, or what you “think” you know about Gaming Laptops, because with the Acer Pradator 17, you don’t just make a statement, you literally Wreak Havok!
2016 has been an exceptionally good year for technology in South Africa, but when broken down even more, it has been a wonderland for gamers. With the launch of the Acer Predator range of Gaming Laptops, Gaming Projectors, Gaming Screens and Gaming Rigs, gamers like myself are “spoilt-for-choice” when it comes to a market filled with attractive technology. There is one question that will always shed some light on whether said devices are worth their weight in gold though, “Yes, It may look like a Lamborghini, but does it drive like one too?”. Let me tell you why the Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop lets you burn digital rubber!
Kickin’ Ass and Chewin’ Bubblegum!
At first glance, it is very easy to spot the target market for this beast. The design, feel and finishing gives it a very intimidating demeanour. Gamers can easily use this to their advantage as an ice-breaker when “gaming-on-the-go”.
Seriously, what better way is there to “psyche” the “competition” without even saying a word? Pull this puppy out. Put it on the desk. Turn it on and watch as the room fills with jealous silence and the jaws drop in wonder as the Predator logo on the lid starts to growl with red accents.
Under the hood, you will find an Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor(6th Generation) powering the Laptop, complimented by 1x 8GB DDR4 RAM module (potential of 32GB with 4 slots), while booting from a 128GB Solid State Drive and rounded off with an additional 1TB of Extended Hard Drive Storage Space. Seriously Sweet Standard Specs! Now… bolt on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 Memory, and suddenly the horizon opens up to endless possibilities.
The very same day that I received the Acer Predator 17, FutureMark launched their brand new VRMark Benchmarking Software that tests any system to see how ready it is for the Virtual Reality environment. This is where the fun started. The Acer Predator 17 proved it’s worth, by scoring way above the minimum requirements to run the Oculus Rift, and scored just below the requirements of a High End Desktop Rig. Impressive right? The next set of Gaming Benchmarks that I ran, were in FutureMark’s 3DMark Pro.
After witnessing the performance in VRMark, I decided to do away with the pleasantries and go straight for the Fire Strike Extreme test, which is specifically for Multi-GPU PC’s and PC’s with Overclocked CPU’s. The Acer Predator 17 ate the Graphic Tessellation for starters, and then carried on to flaunt an end score high in the 4K region, positioning it just below the specs of a Gaming PC that is HTC Vive and Oculus Rift ready! Smoking barrel anyone?
You Mad Bro?
Feeling very optimistic, I installed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition, a brand new title with serious demand on graphics. The Acer Predator 17 effortlessly ran the game at Ultra Settings and permanently idled at 62FPS even during the most intense battle sequences! What now?
Rendering! I installed Adobe After Effects and ran a rendering project that contained Dense Smoke Simulation, Volumetric Illumination, coupled with minor Physics elements and multiple time-line camera’s. The Acer Predator 17 sneered at me while it rendered at a frame-rate of 1.6x (nearly rendering at double the speed a clock can tick at). That settled it. In the Graphics Sphere, I was not going to be able to push it to a point outside of its design. It was a Flawless Victory. I moved onto the Sound aspect of this creative marvel. Enter Predator SoundPound 4.2!
The Acer Predator 17, sets a standard with it’s onboard Predator SoundPound 4.2 system, boasting Four Speakers, Two Sub-Woofers and Dolby® Audio for Deep Impact. Very curious about the emulation, I played Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare without headphones, only relying on the native Dolby® Audio’s ability to give me the spatial feedback I needed in this fast paced FPS. Not only was it better than using a Surround Sound Headset, I almost instantly had company knocking at my bedroom door asking which epic movie I was watching due to the clarity and quality of sound emanating from my room.
With it’s 17.3″ FHD LCD Screen, watching 4K video’s and playing 4K games is glorious. The Predator ProZone, allows you to completely customize the backlit keyboard areas from up to 16 Million Colors to match your gaming style, as well as set up to Five Macro Keys which are located on the left side of the keyboard. Additional features include, but are not limited to the I/O Ports, HDMI Port, Ethernet (RJ-45) Port, Single USB 3.1 Port and Four USB 3.0 Ports that still outputs power even if/when the Laptop is turned off (ideal for charging a wireless mouse, headset or cellphone). Also impressive is the Killer DoubleShot Pro Networking Solution that allows you to restrict application bandwidth utilization while gaming online or even splitting your connection between the Wifi and LAN port for maximum packet optimization to as they say on the Acer Predator 17 website, kill Lag.
I think probably the only concern I had with the Acer Predator 17 was the placement of the track-pad. It is extremely close to where your left wrist rests while hovering over the WASD keys, and I often found myself accidentally resting on the track-pad or swiping over it.
The Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop is quite big, measuring 423mm (width) x 321.5mm (depth) x 39.7mm (height), and is pretty heavy too, weighing in at a staggering 5.95KG! If you are curious about the price, I’m sure you have guessed close to actual already, however, after using PriceCheck, the best price I could find Online was R29,919.95 from WeAble! A gamer’s dream, the Acer Predator 17 is not afraid of being bold and in your face. If you are looking for a new Gaming Laptop, do not be surprised if this Predator makes you its prey.