The Bottom Line
Feb 21 2014 - Acer has done a fairly solid job of putting together a nice performing 17-inch laptop in the Aspire V3 772G. The system offers some good overall performance particularly in gaming without the bulk of many of the competing systems. In fact, it is lighter and thinner than most of its competition these days. Having said that, there are some notable issues with the system. It has a small battery that prevents it from running for very long. The trackpad has some major issues with Windows 8 multitouch gestures that will make many want an external mouse. Finally, the affordable price does mean that it lacks smaller features like a backlight for the keyboard. Overall, it is a decent value for those that are willing to put up with some of these flaws.
- Affordable Price Tag
- Good Performance Suitable Even For PC Gaming
- Lighter and Thinner Than Most Similar Equipped 17-inch Laptops
- Battery Life Lower Than Most 17-inch Laptops
- Trackpad Has Multitouch Issues
- Keyboard is Not Backlit
- Intel Core i7-4702MQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 120GB SSD and 750GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD Burner
- 17.3" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display With 720p Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M 2GB GDDR5 Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.3" x 10.8" x 1.36" @ 7.5 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - Acer Aspire V3-772G-9656
Feb 21 2014 - In terms of the overall appearance, the basic body design of the Acer Aspire V3 772G remains faithful to the previous Aspire V3 771G. The difference is that the materials have been upgrade a bit with brushed aluminum for the back of the display and the palm rest keyboard area. This does a better job at hiding fingerprints and smudges from the previous glossy plastic. It does give it a bit more premium feel even though the remainder of the body still uses the plastics and still exhibits a bit more flex than some other 17-inch laptops. The keyboard remains a bit sunken from the rest of the palm rest area. Weight is just seven and a half pounds which is quite good for its performance oriented features.
Powering the Aspire V3 772G-9656 is the Intel Core i7-4702MQ quad core processor. This is one of Intel's more recent processors and even though it has a slightly higher model number than the i7-4700MQ, the processor is clocked 200MHz slower so it does fall slightly behind some of the other 17-inch laptops even though many people would not notice. Combined with the 8GB of DDR3 memory, the system has little trouble even with the most demanding tasks such as PC gaming or desktop video work,
Storage on the Aspire V3 is a mix of solid state drive and a traditional hard drive. There is a 120GB SSD drive that is used as the primary boot and application drive. This provides the system with faster performance in terms of booting up the system and loading programs. The only downside is that the space is limited and can fill up quickly if you have a large number of applications such as games. To get around this, the system also features a 750GB hard drive for data such a digital video files that can take up a lot of space. The drive spins at a slower 5400rpm rate but is hardly noticed thanks to the SSD as the primary drive. If you do need additional storage, the system has two USB 3.0 ports on the right hand side for use with high speed external drives. This is fairly common but more and more systems are moving to four of these ports rather than two. The system does still feature a dual-layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD and DVD media but it would have been nice to see it come with Blu-ray compatibility.
Rather than the previous 1600x900 display found on most of the V3 771G models, the V3 772G-9656 uses a full 1920x1080 display panel to fully support 1080p high definition video. The screen is coated with a matte or anti-glare coating which is nice as this does help a bit with bright outdoor lighting and glare to compensate for some of the brightness levels of the panel. Overall, it does a decent job but certainly is not the worst or best screens in this laptop size. The graphics are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M graphics processor with 2GB of memory. This does allow many games to reach the full resolution of the screen but more frequently as 30 frames per second rather than 60 unless you turn down the detail levels or move to lower resolutions. Some of the more demanding games will still require lower resolutions for smooth frame rates. This can of course also assist in accelerating non-3D applications as well.
The keyboard design remains unchanged with its isolated keyboard layout that has flat surfaces and relatively shallow travel for such a large system. There is a full numeric keypad in addition to the standard laptop layout. Sadly, the keyboard is not backlit which is a common feature to most 17-inch laptops and can be problematic for those that like to work or play in dark environments. Overall, it is a decent keyboard but not the most comfortable or accurate on the market. The trackpad has a nice large surface area and features integrated buttons. The trackpad does have some multitouch issues which can be a pain with the new Windows 8 interfaces and the fact that it does not have a touchscreen to compensate for the issues.
The battery still retains a fairly low 48WHr capacity rating and is one of the reasons for its relatively thin profile and low weight. The downside is that this is lower capacity than most 17-inch laptops. In fact, Acer posts just two and a half hours or running time in their specifications for the system. In digital video playback testing, it was actually able to last up to just under four hours before shutting down. This is certainly better than anticipated but more demanding computing like PC gaming will probably half that time to under two hours which is on the low side for a laptop of this size class. Those looking for battery life will probably opt for something like the Dell Inspiron 17 7000 Touch though which features an ultrabook class processor for less power consumption.
Pricing for the Acer Aspire V3 772G-9656 is one of its most appealing aspects. List pricing is around $1300 but it can be found for around $1150. This makes it very affordable for those looking at a larger laptop that is capable of solid gaming and computing performance. Those closest competitors in this price range are the ASUS Republic of Gamers G750JW and the HP Envy 17-j100. The ASUS is a much larger and heavier system that is design specifically for gaming. It offers more performance from its processor and graphics but comes at the expensive of being two inches thick and weigh a good two and a half pounds more. It also lacks a solid state drive so boots and program access are a bit slower. The HP is a more general purpose system so it does not have the same graphics performance but it offers incredible amounts of storage for its two 1TB hard drives. The system is smaller and lighter than the Acer but once again is not as responsive as the Acer from the lack of a SSD.