Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop Review

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Acer shook the gaming laptop market when they announced their Predator gaming laptops. These things are large (screen sizes ranging between 17.3” to over 21”), and feature some of the most powerful hardware that can be crammed into a laptop body. A 21.5” predator laptop is currently the most powerful gaming laptop in the world, it is equipped with a dual GTX 1080 graphics card setup in SLI, around 64 GB of DDR4 running at 2400 MHz, dual PCIe SSD’s in NVMe and RAID 0.

And oh, did we forget the 5 cooling fans? But let’s not get too deep into the specifications of the Predator 21X- that laptop is way out of the budget of most people, even hardcore gamers with a desire to spend will not be able to buy one of those. Instead, let us take a look at its smaller sibling, something that is a little more…affordable. Even though it costs more than 2000 dollars, the Predator 17 is very affordable compared to the Predator 21X.

Specifications:

If you were to open up the Predator 17 gaming laptop, what would you find underneath that plastic and metal body? Well, to start things off- an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor running at a base clock of 2.8 GHz. This CPU is a quad core, hyperthreaded beast based on 7th generation Intel Core series architecture, or Kaby Lake. It has 4 physical cores that can turbo up to 3.8 GHz when you run demanding applications or games, and is equipped with a beefy 6MB of cache for effortless multitasking and super-fast application launching. The Core i7 7700HQ is currently the best performing gaming laptop CPU on the market, and with a TDP of just 45W it is actually quite efficient despite being so powerful.

Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop, 17.3″ Ultra HD G-SYNC, Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, 2TB HDD, G9-793-70DL

Taking care of the graphics department, is the famous NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 graphics card. This GPU is basically a cut-down version of the GTX 1080, and packs about 70-75% of the power of a GTX 1080. The 1070 is perfectly capable of running any and all games that currently exist on planet Earth, at maximum graphics settings and 60 fps at 1080p resolution.

But you might need to turn down graphics settings from ultra-high to high if you want to game on the native 3840×2160 resolution of this laptop’s IPS panel. That’s right, it packs a 4k IPS display measuring 17.3” in diameter. And yes, this display comes with NVIDIA G-SYNC support so you can say goodbye to screen tearing and lagging.

Now we have the processor covered, graphics covered, what are we missing here? Ah the RAM- how about 32 GB of DDR4 running at a blazing fast 2400 MHz. And yes, you can upgrade it to 64 GB later if you plan on doing something super demanding like rendering 3D models and creating special effects for some new Transformers or Avengers movie. But since you are a gamer, you will not need any more than 32 GB, even with 2 games running simultaneously. Not for the next 4-6 years at least.

So, the RAM is awesome, the processor is the best, and we have a beefy graphics card that can power through all of the games in splendid 4K resolution. So now all we need is a place to store the games, movies, etc. In short, we need a storage drive. Well, thanks to a 256 GB PCIe SSD that runs twice as fast as a standard SSD, you will never even know when your games load up.

Booting up the laptop barely takes 4-5 seconds, and starting up your game will probably take another 4-5 seconds. And don’t think you need to buy an external drive for all those movies and TV shows that you have collected over the years- this laptop comes with a massive 2TB 5400 rpm hard drive for your mass storage needs.

Design and Build Quality:

This laptop is designed to look futuristic and sporty- the rear exhaust grills are inspired by Lamborghini supercars, and they are painted in red to match with the black color of the laptop body. The front of the laptop features hard angles and aggressive accents to mimic intergalactic battle cruisers. The Predator RGB keyboard is extremely tactile and features keys with low travel so that you respond instantly to any threats in your game.

No enemy can outrun you thanks to the perfect black balance of the 17.3” 4k IPS display- colors are accurate and contrast ratios are brilliant. Players hiding in the darkness or corners of your online game world will be revealed instantly when you switch the display into gaming mode- this will make the blacks lighter and the extremely white regions slightly darker to provide a more balanced color scheme that does not stress the eye, allowing you to see your enemies and react faster.

The RGB keyboard has multiple independent lighting zones, you can choose from over 16 million colors and assign a unique color to each key. You can even set macros for your RPG and MMORPG games, or switch between saved keyboard profiles for different games.

The PredatorSense monitoring software lets you see and control the temperatures of your CPU and GPU, as well as the speeds of the cooling fans. There are independent cooling fans for both the CPU and the GPU, so temperature is balanced across the motherboard and cooling is done more efficiently. This laptop is one of the most silent and coolest running laptops we have ever tested thanks to the intelligent and automatic fan speed controls.

Storage and Connectivity:

With a 256GB PCIe SSD, and a 2TB 5400rpm HDD you are not running out of storage space anytime soon. You have the best of both worlds- incredibly fast small sized storage, and medium speed massive storage. Keep your games and OS on the SSD, your movies and photos in the HDD. Of course, a good gaming laptop needs to have plenty of I/o options along with excellent networking abilities. The Predator 17 is no exception to this rule, so let’s check out what it packs in terms of I/O and networking.

This laptop is equipped with the Killer DoubleShot Pro networking system that comprises a specially designed and gaming-optimized Gigabit ethernet + WIFI combo by Killer networking. It prioritizes gaming traffic over regular traffic, and helps achieve less ping during online matches.

The Predator 17 features plenty of I/O- a HDMI 2.0 port with HDCP support, a Thunderbolt 3 (Full USB 3.1 Type C) port, 4 USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.3, SD card reader, and a RJ45 LAN port along with a 8X DVD dual layer drive.

Gaming Performance:

Gaming performance is incredible, because of the beefy CPU and GPU combo. Not to mention, the ultra-fast 256 GB PCIe SSD and massive 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. The G-SYNC 3840×2160 resolution gaming grade IPS display serves as the cherry on top of the cake, it gives you breathtaking visuals with zero screen tearing and perfectly smooth motion.

Colors are accurate, and you can enjoy the latest AAA titles in 4k resolution and 60 fps. The laptop is also VR-ready so you can strap in your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and get your VR game on. Prey, Assassins Creed, GTA V, Metal Gear Solid 5, Witcher 3, Battlefield 1, and many more games will run perfectly smooth on ultra-settings and 4k resolution.

Conclusion and Final Verdict:

The Predator 17 is a true killer (no puns intended) when it comes to gaming laptops. It has one of the best displays in the laptop market, a seriously powerful processor, crazy amounts of storage, plenty of RAM, and is VR-ready. The build quality is excellent, cooling is great, and the keyboard looks as well as feels awesome to game on. Audio is brilliant thanks to the 4 speakers and dual subwoofers, and Predator Dust Defender keeps your laptop nice and clean by alternating airflow directions automatically so that dust never settles inside your gaming machine.

Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop, 17.3″ Ultra HD G-SYNC, Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, 2TB HDD, G9-793-70DL