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EXCLUSIVE: Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop Review

The Acer Predator 15 packs the latest Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce graphics card for butter-smooth performance, even with the most graphics-intensive games. It also has all the connections you could ever want (including a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3), expandable memory, tons of storage, and the best battery life we've tested among top gaming laptops. It matches or beats much of the competition in almost every benchmark.


DesignWith typical Predator good looks, the laptop's body is brushed black aluminum, with red accents and a large logo on the back of the lid. The fan grid around back—also red and black—is an eye-catching feature. Measuring 1.52 by 15.39 by 11.79 (HWD) and weighing just over 8 pounds, the Predator 15 is similar in heft to the GT72 Dominator Pro, which is larger with a 17-inch screen. It's a big, heavy laptop.
Like the GT72 Dominator Pro, the Predator 15 has a 1,920-by-1,080 IPS LCD with anti-glare coating. Right above the display, there's a 720p webcam.
The very spacious chiclet-style keyboard is backlit, with a large palm rest area. The W, A, S, D, and arrow keys have painted red accents, while the rest of the keys are black and white with backlighting. The keyboard is ideal for gaming with comfortable keys that provide long travel. Five backlit programmable keys line the top of the keyboard, and you can program up to three groups for these keys, tailored for different games, so you end up with a total of 15 hotkeys. The keyboard is split into four zones, which can be lit or dimmed individually. To the right of the touchpad, above the palm rest, is a button that will disable the keyboard and touchpad. This is useful to prevent accidental inputs. The touchpad has red accents as well, and is smooth to use.

Features
Ports are plenty on the Predator 15. On the right side are two USB 3.0 ports (one with power-off USB charging), a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 port, and HDMI output, an Ethernet port, and a Displayport. On the left are two more USB 3.0 ports, the AC adapter jack, a Kensington lock slot, and a headphone jack. That's not quite as many ports as the GT72 Dominator Pro, but you do get a USB-C connection, which the GT72 Dominator Pro lacks. For wireless connectivity, the Predator 15 relies on  the Killer DoubleShot Pro dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Storage is generous. Our review unit packs a 2TB, 7,200RPM hard disk drive (HDD) and a 512GB solid state drive (SSD), similar to the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K, which is more than enough space for most users. Some gaming laptops, such as the Razer Blade only have an SSD. The Predator 15 has 16/32/64GB of RAM (with two free slots for expansion) means multitasking is a breeze and you'll get very smooth frame rates when gaming. The Predator 15 comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, and there is no bloatware, Steam is the only notable piece of software loaded on the laptop.
There are a few other unique features here. The biggest one, perhaps, is the removable optical drive. CoolerMaster has made an insert for the optical drive with an additional fan to keep the Predator 15 even cooler during intense gaming sessions, and it's included. In addition, you get the Killer DoubleShot Pro network utility, which allows both your Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections to work together to prevent lag in online gaming.  Acer covers the laptop with a two-year limited warranty.

Performance
The Acer Predator 15 (G9-591-74KN) is powered by a 2.6GHz Skylake Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core processor with Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics and 4GB of dedicated RAM, which yields excellent graphics and multimedia benchmark results.
The laptop blazed through all of our multimedia tests, completing our Photoshop CS6 test in 3 minutes and 14 seconds.
With an 8-cell Lithium ion (6,000mAH) battery, the laptop lasted an impressive 6 hours and 38 minutes on our rundown test.

MORE INFO BELOW

The Spec Sheets


Acer Predator 15 G9-591G – review Acer Predator 17 G9-791G – review
Screen – 15.6-inch, IPS, Ultra HD  3840 x 2160 px resolution, matte, non-touch
– 15.6-inch, IPS, FHD 1920 x 1080 px resolution, matte, non-touch
– 17.3-inch, IPS, Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 px resolution, matte, non-touch, 100% Adobe RGB
– 17.3-inch, IPS, FHD 1920 x 1080 px resolution, matte, non-touch
Processor Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ or Core i5-6300HQ CPUs Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ or Core i5-6300HQ CPUs
Chipset Intel HM170 Intel HM170
Video Integrated Intel HD 530 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB or GTX 980M 4GB Integrated Intel HD 530 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB or GTX 980M 4GB
Memory up to 64 GB DDR3/DDR4 (4 SODIMMs) up to 64 GB DDR3/DDR4 (4 SODIMMs)
Storage 1x M.2 PCIe Gen3 + 1 2.5″ SATA bay + 1 optional 2.5″ SATA bay 1x M.2 PCIe Gen3 + 1 2.5″ SATA bay + 1 optional 2.5″ SATA bay
Connectivity KillerTM Wireless-AC 1535 , Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.2 KillerTM Wireless-AC 1535 , Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 4x USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 (Thunderbolt 3), RJ45, mic, earphone, SD card reader, Optical drive 4x USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 (Thunderbolt 3), RJ45, mic, earphone, SD card reader, Optical drive
Baterry 8 Cell 88 Wh 6000 mAh
180 W AC adaptor, 600 g (1.32 lbs) with 180 cm cable
8 Cell 88 Wh 6000 mAh
180 W AC adaptor, 600 g (1.32 lbs) with 180 cm cable
Operating system Windows 10 Windows 10
Size 391 mm or 15.39” (w) x 299 mm or 11.79” (d) x 38.5 mm or 1.52” (h) 423 mm or 16.65” (w) x 321 mm 12.66” (d) x 39.7 mm or 1.56” (h)
Weight 3.4 kg or 7.5 lb (with 8 Cell battery) 3.95 kg or 8.7 lb (with 8 Cell battery)
Extras Two color backlit keyboard, two speakers and one subwoofer, HD webcam, Predator FrostCore fan module included Two color backlit keyboard, four speakers and two subwoofers, HD webcam, Predator FrostCore fan module included

  • Pros
    Latest Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card. 16/32/64GB of RAM. Excellent performance. Great graphics. Swappable fan module. Best-in-class battery life. 512GB SSD and 2TB HDD. Expandable memory. Many ports, including USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3.
  • Cons
    Expensive. Heavy and bulky. Does not support Nvidia G-Sync.
  • Bottom Line
    Acer's Predator 15  offers a lot of what you want in a midrange gaming laptop: Top speed, graphics performance, and long battery life. But it all comes at a steep price.
 Conclusions
The Acer Predator 15 is an impressive machine, boasting a fast 6th-generation Intel Core processor, a top-notch graphics card, enough ports for all your needs (including USB-C with Thunderbolt 3), and best-in-class battery life. It has a unique cooling feature and responsive keyboard, along with useful, programmable hotkeys. It's virtually free of bloatware, and has more than enough storage for dozens of large games. But all that comes at a high price.
 The Acer Predator 15 is available in Nigeria in leading IT stores Nationwide like OfficeEverything and Spar!!


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