Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop Review
• Killer Gaming Performance
• Solid Form Factor
• Immersive Sound
• Swappable Fan Module
• USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
• Heavy and bulky
• Nvidia G-Sync support limited only to external displays
• Average Battery Performance
Acer’s Predator 15 G9-592-727K is a muscular, well-built and powerfully engineered gaming laptop intended to replace the desktops. Upon receiving the unit, we noted its premium pedigree. We were treated to a solidly ripped chassis with a rubberized plastic texture. The build quality of Predator 15 was apparent at every turn, and this made it the best alternative to desktops.
The Acer Predator 15 is an impressively engineered gaming laptop that includes 6th Gen Intel i7 processor paired with 32GB DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M graphics, along with a big 512GB PCIe SSD coupled with a 1TB HDD that works on 5400 RPM, Acer’s FrostCore cooling system, Predator Sense and Killer Double Shot Pro and more in the bag. The skylake generation of Intel processor has been well optimized in Predator 15, and it shows when the laptop is put to the work.
Composed of primarily red and black tones, the Predator 15 looks nice and is well complemented by lighting that glows beautifully when the laptop is powered on. The Acer Predator 15 is an aggressively looking well-lit gaming laptop that starts at Rs. 179000– and it has everything a gamer would want in his/her portable PC. But can Predator 15 handle the most demanding games, and prove to worthy enough to justify the pricing?
This Predator 15 laptop comes with a new design concept, and yes, it looks monstrous yet gorgeous. The design somewhat resembles Alienware laptops. The same blazing logo at the back and well-lit keyboard make Predator 15 resemble Alienware series to quite an extent- but with some tweaks.
This is Acer’s one of the best design till date and gamers are sure to love it. Being a gaming laptop, Predator 15 has a lot of muscles and weighs around 3.6 kg with the battery and is not for one who is keen on portability. There are hell loads of air vents at the rear edge and also at the bottom along with red speakers on the front edge. The Predator 15 is anything but subtle and feels quite robust when in use. It comes with rubber cladding on the entire body, while the chassis is mostly built with plastic but still feels hard-wearing and solid.
The lid is a plastic constructed with rubberized finishing and includes Predator name along with the logo. There are two acrylic slits on either side; that lights up when the device is powered on. The good thing about 15-inch size screen based laptop is that it comes with a full-sized chiclet keyboard with a num pad. The keys have been laid out well and offer good tactile feedback. The WASD and directional arrow keys have white borders to make them stand out, and each key is backlit with customizable colors.
Acer has made Predator 15’s touchpad quite smooth and responsive, though it cannot replace the precision of gaming mouse. It further comes with left and right mouse buttons that would be of great help while using the laptop- but using the touchpad felt bit annoying in the long run and lowers input speed. It does support multitouch, which is useful while browsing websites, readings documents, and zooming images. There is a dedicated button for disabling the touchpad while gaming.
Acer has added a 15.6-inch matte FHD panel with 1920 x 1080 pixels in Predator 15. The screen is one of the brightest we have seen so far. The display manages to produce sharp and crisp contents on screen. Also, we found that black level is deep enough for an IPS panel. The game animations looked visually good, and color seems accurate. The viewing angles felt decent, and the reflections aren’t of much issue.
On the left side, there is a connector for the charger, plus two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, an SD-card slot, and the modular drive bay that can also be replaced with FrostCore fan module. The built-in Blu-ray writer can be removed, and users can insert Cooler Master-designed (and branded) FrostCore fan module to get that extra cooling for laptop. The right side houses Thunderbolt/USB-C 3.1 port, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI & Display ports, Killer DoubleShot Pro Ethernet port, and a Kensington-style cable lock slot. FYI- with Killer software, one can adjoin the physical networking port and the 802.11ac wireless to maximize bandwidth. The chassis has two speakers on the front edge and a subwoofer on the bottom, which Acer brands as “SoundPound 2.1” audio.
Further, there is a P hotkey followed by some macro keys in a row at the left corner of the keyboard. These keys are programmed by Acer’s PredatorSense software. The keys let the gamers toggle between various functions like activate a macro, force the discrete graphics to enable, and more. The PredatorSense software allows user to record, export, and import sets of macros, and keep the GeForce GPU activated all the time. Users can also select game, video, or music modes for the screen and sound, check the CPU temperature, speed, fan speed and toggle the game bar for screenshots and recording game. Finally, a door on the bottom of the unit can be removed, giving access to Predator 15’s two empty RAM slots (expansion up to 64GB), SSD and hard drive. It is nice to see that Acer has made it easy for the users to upgrade the laptop. The size itself explains how heavy the hardware must be. The laptop is not ideal for carrying around frequently. The Predator 15 does make a good quality impression. Its build proves to be impeccable in most places.
As we mentioned earlier, the Rs. 179000 configuration of the Predator 15 includes “Skylake” Core i7-6700HQ processor, a huge 512GB PCI Express bus SSD plus a 1TB, 32GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPU with 4GB of dedicated memory. The SSD also supports the bleeding-edge, speedy NVMe protocol, which is an SSD-specific tech for burst throughput speeds. The mentioned specs do sound more than enough to run the latest PC games. The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Home OS.
To test the Predator 15’s appetite for gaming we ran it through some of the most demanding titles like Tom Clancy’s The Division, Just Cause 3, Mad Max, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Rise of the Tomb Raider. The Predator 15 acted like the best performance laptop available as of now, all thanks to its Skylake CPU and GTX 980M GPU. We were able to hit closer to 60fps on Ultra settings in Rise of the Tomb Raider and other games too. Just Cause 3 looked absolutely gorgeous with settings pushed to the limit. No gaming test is complete without making racing titles run; therefore we made Need for Speed: Most Wanted test the capability of Predator 15. There was no sign of drop in frame rates, and the graphics looked amazingly good on Predator’s screen. Among recent gaming laptops, Predator 15 did well in our 3D graphics and gaming tests. There is a sticker for Nvidia G-sync, but unfortunately the integrated display does not support it. It is meant to work with external monitors with G-sync in-built.
Acer’s Predator 15 ships with a monstrous 6000mAh battery, which was claimed to deliver 6 hours of usage. On regular use, the laptop managed to last for 4 hours, but we stress-tested the Predator with gaming, it drained out in 1 hour 55 minutes. This doesn’t seem logical for a gaming laptop, but compared to other gaming notebooks, Predator 15 does a pretty decent job. With such beefy hardware and some tech defying features added, the power is sure to bleed soon.
The speakers have decent power, and with Dolby Audio Surround turned on the volume level gets boosted to fill the room. But when the volume is raised to maximum the audio tends to start tearing. Still, the overall sound performance was satisfying. Further, the bundled FrostCore fan module helps in keeping the laptop cool. The FrostCore facilitates in reducing the CPU temperature to some degrees.
For the price tag it comes with, Acer’s Predator 15 delivers the level of performance that is sure to please the gamer, but at the same time, it does put equal amounts of pain into your wallet and your back. The Predator 15 is huge and expensive, but it is an extremely well-made and thoughtfully-engineered gaming laptop inherited with superb performance and features, though I wish Acer could have added a few years more on its warranty. The major highlight of the laptop is the GeForce GTX 980M, FrostCore cooling system, and PredatorSense software. Gamers can easily upgrade the RAM and storage if needed. The Predator 15 came in at the top of most of our gaming tests, as expected from a laptop notebook ringing up at a whopping 179000 bucks. If you can handle the price, Predator 15 is a top-notch choice for gaming.