I’ve always appreciated good looks when it comes to laptops… Being able to design and build a good-looking laptop is not an easy job, especially when it comes to gaming. Gaming laptops are bulky, heavy and any unnecessary curve or straight line could turn them into an awful kitsch. Red, orange, and black accents are used on every gaming laptop but not all of them look how consumers would like to and in this article, I’m going to talk about Acer Predator 17, one of the best looking gaming laptops in the world, if not the best looking one. And yes, it has the horse power factor, too.
Even though we’re not in the 2000s and “Alien vs. Predator” is still a great horror-action movie, this Predator is able to fight the almighty Alienware R3 17. I know everybody is so hyped about Alienware and ASUS when it comes to gaming laptops, but I’m telling you one thing: Predator is Acer’s ace up the sleeve for 2016, too. This laptop looks great and is able to play anything. By the way, there is also an Acer Predator 17x with a full-size GTX980 for gaming enthusiasts.
Why do I think Acer Predator 17 is the best looking gaming laptop in the world?
In fact, all gaming laptops tend to look the same. They all are bulky and fat and heavy and red and orange and aluminum and the quality is above average. What’s so attractive about Acer Predator 17 is the way Acer implemented exhaust and the way lines work around the edges. It feels solid as a tank and those reddish straight lines guarding the Predator logo on the back of the lid make me think of science fiction… If you look at this laptop from behind when it sits open, it looks like a space ship ready to take off.
OK, now hold your horses… Didn’t Matt Smith from digitaltrends.com say this laptop has a derivative design? Well, he did, but he ended up saying this is the best laptop he ever reviewed in 2015, too. This adds value to my opinion because in terms of design, thoughts can vary a lot. Another reason why I like this Acer Predator 17 a lot is the way the keyboard looks. Man, I’ve seen some backlit keyboards in my life before, but this is quite something else. I feel Acer put in some extra time designing this keyboard compared to the competition. They gambled and they won… The numpad is blue, the rest is red, the WASD and arrows keys are highlighted. This is the perfect scenario for a gamer. The keyboard looks great and is useful even though it’s not customizable. I’m not a huge fan of customizable backlit keyboards anyway. The red and the blue look like they’re from another planet…
Is Acer Predator 17 special in terms of performance too?
Acer Predator 17 is a great gaming laptop in terms of performance. It has a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost) processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (4GB/8GB GDDR5 RAM) graphics card, 16GB/32GB DDR4 RAM memory, the screen is 17.3 inches 1080p and in terms of storage it comes with a 120 GB SSD and 1 TB hard drive. The ports are plenty and all modern. We’re talking about 4 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) with Thunderbolt 3 support. Here are the detailed specifications and possible configurations.
Even though we’re talking about a gaming laptop which landed on the market in 2015, Acer Predator 17 still has the balls to compete. It’s not just the most beautiful gaming laptop in the world, but it can still run any game at decent settings. Of course, we’re talking about a $1500 – $2100 price range. It won’t be the best of the best in terms of performance, but it will get the job done, and it will play any game at decent settings. As I said before, there is a Predator 17X on the market for horse power enthusiasts, which has a full-size NVIDIA GTX980 graphics card inside, but now don’t imagine the GTX 980M with 8 GB of DDR5 will be a bad option for gaming…
What’s good and what’s bad about Acer Predator 17?
Design – I like the modern aggressive look of the Acer Predator 17. Even though red and orange colors are often used in the gaming world, Acer managed to used them in a wise and unique manner. Their laptop is easy to recognize and distinguish. It just looks great, without the need of aluminum.
Display – the display is good but not as good as gamers want it to be. There is also an option for UHD but that would mean too much of a compromise in terms of performance. You will need to reduce detail level to be able to play the games. The 1080p 17.3 display looks good but it could be better especially for the black depths.
Sound – The laptop has 4 speakers and 2 subwoofers. The problem is they are loud and… loud. Distortion comes alive when the volume gets negligible. So, what’s the point of having so much sound power if it can’t be used? We all want quality, not quantity.
Processor and graphics – The Intel Core i7-6700HQ is by far one of the best mobile CPUs on the market. It works at 2.6 GHz and can boost up to 3.5 GHz. This is more than enough for gaming and that’s not all. The GTX 980M is enough to play Battlefield 4 @60FPS with maxed out details.
This Skylake chip is quite handy for those who are looking for a mobile productivity machine too.
Battery – the battery on Acer Predator 17 is very good. You will be able to browse the web for minimum 6 hours straight with no problems. This is one of the best gaming laptops in the world in terms of battery because it packs a power hungry NVIDIA GTX 980M inside and still can give you 2 hours in the games.
Weight – this laptop weights a ton. At almost 9 pounds, this is one of the heaviest gaming laptops on the market. Of course, it can’t be as tiny as a MacBook, but 8.7 pounds it’s quite something. Those pounds will affect mobility.
Cooling – The cooling is efficient. This laptop won’t get hot even though it has an NVIDIA GTX 980M inside and a powerful Intel chip. There is also an extra fan which can be installed instead of an optical drive (FrostCore cooler). The exhaust is also the main attraction in terms of design. Nice thinking, Acer!
Noise – The noise is bad, those big bulky fans are not as quiet as we would want them to be and I’m not the only one saying this. James Archer from techradar.com says it too. I don’t know how many gamers will be bothered by the fan noise, because most of them will be using a gaming headset when playing.
Bottom line: is Acer Predator 17 the most beautiful gaming laptop in the world?
In my opinion, YES, it is. I am aware of the fact that this opinion could vary but if I needed a gaming laptop, I would definitely go for Acer Predator 17 just because of the looks. Let’s face it: nowadays, all gaming laptops are good in terms of performance and the decision to buy a specific model depends also on alternative details. Some like aluminum and go for ASUS ROG, some like reds and the modern space shuttle look of Acer’s Predator, some like the exotic look of the Alienware and there’s nothing wrong with any of that.
Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (6 MB Cache)
16GB DDR4 Dual-Channel Memory
1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive, 256GB Solid-State Drive
17.3-inch Full HD Screen, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
Windows 10 Home, Up to 5.5-hour battery life