This is a very good laptop that is very capable of AAA gaming at high settings. It was packaged well with seals to prevent any kind of tampering during shipping. Included was a very basic, but free neoprene sleeve for the laptop. There are no straps or pouches but it is soft and will protect the laptop during travel better than if it were left exposed, but I would still suggest getting a carrying case or a backpack if you do plan on being portable with this. Also included was an HDD upgrade cable and screws in case you want to add a your own 2.5” drive to the empty bay on the motherboard.
The 1080p 3ms 144hz IPS display looks great and also has great viewing angles. If you’ve never used a 144hz Panel before, you can never go back to 60Ghz monitors for gaming again. 144Hz ruined my last gaming laptop because the difference is extremely noticeable (in general, it feels smoother when you move in games) compared to 60Hz panels. The webcam is passable at 720p. It’s fine for chatting with friends or zoom meetings but not recommended for anything beyond that. It also cannot work with Windows Hello. The 10th gen Intel i7-10750H 6core 2.6Ghz base clock speed processor is very efficient, powerful, and has decent integrated graphics (which the laptop will prefer to use when you aren’t playing games or doing any kind of intensive work that would require more GPU power). There’s a lot of value in this laptop given that this CPU alone is sold for $400 and the laptop also has an RTX 2060 6GB. The RTX is the newest architecture that has the ability to do ray-tracing. If you don’t know what that is, it’s realistic lighting effects that developers are putting into games now, but you need a card that has the ability to process it or you can’t take advantage of the feature.
The RTX 2060 GPU is very capable. My average FPS with very high settings on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was 70. In GTA V on high settings, it was 115. Interestingly, this laptop has a button called Turbo. Now, there’s no overt explanation for what it does when you take the laptop out of the box and don’t read the manual, but it essentially overclocks the GPU for you and kicks the fans into hyper-drive to compensate for the extra heat involved with overclocking it. In terms of performance, on the two games I tested the FPS on, it gave me an average of a 10FPS increase. It is noisy though when the fans are on full blast. I have to give credit to the fans which Acer advertises as “4th Gen AeroBlade™ 3D technology” and the thermal management of this design because even when the CPU and GPU are being stressed, the laptop stays at a reasonable temperature, and by that I mean you can game with it on your laptop while sitting down without it becoming too uncomfortable. Aside from the Turbo button, there’s also a Predator button on the keyboard. Pressing this opens an application that shows you the current temperatures of CPU/GPU and even ambient temperature inside the laptop itself overall. You can customize your lighting profile here, overclock your GPU with 3 speeds (normal, fast, extreme), and you can set your fan speeds to a custom setting or leave it on automatic. Because Acer has this application that controls these settings from OS, the UEFI BIOS is pretty sparse. You can’t customize voltages or do any kind of manual overclocking, but since the application does all that for you, and many gamers don’t overclock their system because they think it might be too complicated or risky, this makes it easy to do so with a simple click of the turbo button or drop down menus in the application. Speaking of the BIOS, you’re going to want to go into it (spam F2 when the laptop is powering on), and disable the annoying POST sound. By default, when you turn the laptop on, it plays a sound file that sounds like a jet engine firing up for some reason. I turned it off because I found it incredibly annoying, but I’m thankful the option to do that existed in the BIOS. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot of customization to do in the BIOS. It also has WiFi 6! It comes with 16GB of RAM (two @ 8GB) but the DIMMS are user serviceable so you can put 32GB (two 16GB) if you wanted to with no issues.
The OS comes per-configured somewhat, using performance metrics for the OS (such as not using the Aero theme). There is some bloatware which I recommend removing.
In terms of build quality…this is where the laptop starts to show its low price point. The entire laptop is made out of plastic, and it flexes really easily, especially the panel. The plastic trackpad is just OK, it will function for web browsing and light tasks but it’s not that responsive overall. The two small cutouts for the sound underneath the laptop is a really bad design flaw I wish more laptop manufacturers would get away from. Please just include top facing speakers. The speakers themselves are already not great, so when they’re shooting downwards it makes it even harder to hear some games even when the volume in game is at 100 and the operating system volume is also at 100. For this reason, you’ll want headphones to go along with the laptop.
The ports available are:
Left side–Kensington lock, RJ45 ethernet, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 3.5mm audio jack
Right side–Mini-displayport, HDMI, USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port (gen 2 adds charging capabilities even when the laptop is powered off), and USB-C using 3.2 Gen 2.
Behind–Charging port. Kudos to Acer for putting the charging port in the center behind the laptop.
Acer rates the battery as being up to 6 hours, but don’t expect to do heavy gaming on this laptop while you aren’t plugged in. I got about 2 with some minor downtime between games.
One thing I want to talk about is the design of the laptop. It does look good, but I think Acer needs to think about the type of person buying this laptop. It’s going to be mostly students who want a gaming laptop that they can also use to bring to class. I don’t think that gaming laptops necessarily need to look like “gaming laptops”. A more subtle design and the removal of any kind of LEDs on the exterior of the laptop would appeal to a much wider audience in my opinion.