Acer Aspire 7 Review and Benchmarks
Laptop Acer Aspire 7 Review and Benchmarks. The Acer Aspire 7 laptop features an Intel quad core CPU and Nvidia 1050Ti graphics, so let’s put it through its paces and find out what it’s capable of. Let’s start with the specs of this unit, I’ve got the slightly older 7th gen model here but Acer Aspire 7 also available with newer 8th gen CPUs too.
Acer Aspire 7 Review
There’s an Intel i7-7700HQ quad core CPU which can turbo to 3.8GHz in single core workloads. In my unit there’s 32GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz in dual channel, the maximum the two slots support. For storage there’s a 512GB M.2 SATA SSD and no hard drive, but there’s a 2.5 inch drive bay for expansion.
For the graphics there’s an Nvidia 1050Ti 4GB, which powers the 15.6 inch 1080p 60Hz IPS panel, and we’ll see how this performs soon in the benchmarks. For the network connectivity there’s an ethernet port, support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth.
The interior of the laptop is a matte black brushed metal, and we’ve got the same effect on the lid with the Acer logo in the center featuring a mirrored finish. Overall the laptop felt nice, no sharp edges and solid build quality. The dimensions of the laptop are 38.1cm in width, 26.2cm in depth, and 2.4cm in height, about average for a 15 inch laptop.
The weight is listed as 2.4kg on the Acer website and I found mine to weigh about 100g under this, probably because mine’s missing the hard drive. With the 135 watt power brick and cable for charging, the total weight increases to 2.8kg, so not too heavy.
As mentioned the screen is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p IPS panel, no G-Sync available here. I found the viewing angles to be really good, images are still perfectly clear even on sharp angles and the screen bends back a full 180 degrees.
The screen gets bright enough, at 100% brightness I measured it at 274 nits. I’ve also measured the current colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 61% of sRGB, 44% of NTSC and 46% of AdobeRGB, so perfectly fine for gaming and office work for instance, but for colour accurate work like photo and video editing you might want to look elsewhere.
I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding. I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test. There was a little noticeable bleed, particularly on the bottom left and top right, but this will of course vary between laptops.
While moving the display there was minimal flex, it felt quite solid as it’s got that metal exterior with the hinges out towards the corners. It can’t be opened up with one finger, demonstrating that there’s more weight towards the back and we’ll see this when we open it up.
Above the display in the center is a 720p camera. The camera looks pretty blurry, even with decent lighting. The microphone doesn’t sound great either, fairly average, but you’ll be able to judge both for yourself. The keyboard has white backlighting which can only be turned on or off, no brightness adjustments or RGB here.
Overall the keyboard was alright to type with, some of the keys are a little cramped along the top as there are a few function keys but it wasn’t a big deal, otherwise the small arrow keys were my only other dislike. There was just a little keyboard flex while pushing down fairly hard, overall it felt quite solid and this wasn’t an issue while typing normally.
The keys felt a little clicky while typing, here’s how they sound to try and give you an idea. The touchpad was smooth to the touch and has a fingerprint scanner in the top left corner, I had no issues using either. Moving onto the I/O on the left there’s a Kensington lock, ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, no Thunderbolt support here unfortunately, HDMI port, USB 3.0 Type-A port, and SD card slot.
On the right there’s a 3.5mm audio combo jack, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, status LEDs and the power input. On the back there’s just an air exhaust vent towards the side, while there’s nothing at all on the front. Fingerprints show up quite easily on both the lid and interior, and they can be a little difficult to clean once dirt gets into the grooves. Underneath there’s some rubber feet which do a decent job of preventing the laptop from sliding around while in use, as well as some air intake vents towards the back.
The two speakers are found towards the front corners on the left and right sides. They sounded pretty good for laptop speakers, quite clear even at higher volumes but not really any bass. There’s also two panels that can be removed with a single screw, giving you easy access to the 2.5 inch drive bay and memory. The rest can be accessed easily using a phillips head screwdriver, giving us further access to the WiFi card and single M.2 slot.
Powering the laptop is a 4 cell 48 Watt hour battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness and keyboard lighting off, I was able to use it for 4 hours and 14 minutes, not bad.
The Intel integrated graphics were in use during this test thanks to Nvidia Optimus. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 51 minutes, about what I expected for a battery of this size with this hardware.
Overall I’d consider the battery life to be alright, nothing super amazing but should be enough in most cases. Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 18 degrees celcius, it’s getting cold here as winter has just started, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment.
Also remember that the CPU and GPU share heatpipes, so a change in temperature of one component will affect the other. At idle both the CPU and GPU were quite cool at around 40 degrees celsius. While playing PUBG at high settings we can see that the temperatures rose a bit as shown in green. After applying a -0.150v undervolt to the CPU we were able to drop the temperatures back a little.
The full load stress tests were run using Aida64 and the Heaven benchmark at the same time, and we actually see the temperatures of the CPU rise with the undervolt applied, as shown in purple, but this’ll make sense in a second.
These are the average clock speeds while running the same tests for the temperatures just shown, so although the temperature goes up with the undervolt applied on the stress tests, so does the clock speed.
I was seeing both power limit and thermal throttling prior to the undervolt, despite the temperature being higher while undervolted it’s more stable and not going any higher, whereas without the undervolt it actually spiked to 93c briefly before throttling back. As for gaming it made no real difference, we’re almost getting the full 3.4GHz all core speed of the 7700HQ with or without undervolting, but this will of course vary based on the game.
Just briefly I want to mention there was no issues with a CPU only stress test, we’re getting the full 3.4GHz all core speeds even without undervolting, so we only seem to reach thermal and power limits with a combined CPU and GPU load. As for the external temperatures where you’ll actually be putting your hands, at idle the body of the laptop got into the high 20s in the center.
While gaming this increases to around 40 degrees celsius, about the same as with the stress tests running, so not really that hot. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop, I’ll let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle it was basically silent, and it was still fairly quite even while gaming, not changing much under stress test. I’ll also note that there was no noticeable coil whine while testing in my unit.
Acer Aspire 7 Benchmarks
Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. All tests were run at 1080p with the latest Nvidia drivers and Windows updates to date installed.
Fortnite played well at high settings or below, it was still playable at epic but just felt a little more sluggish, just remember that this game is difficult to benchmark as frame rates will vary based on what’s going on in game and what other players are doing.
Overwatch was tested playing with the bots, even at epic settings it ran quite smoothly, no issues at all, but again performance will vary based on things such as the specific map and what others are doing. CS:GO was running alright, definitely playable as it runs on just about everything, the 1% lows dip down quite a lot due to the smokes in this specific test.
I thought PUBG played pretty well at medium settings or below, higher settings were playable but not a great experience, and of course take the results with a grain of salt, as like Fortnite it will depend on what’s going on in the game, so the results can vary quite a bit. I’ve tested Farcry 5 with the built in benchmark, definitely still playable at lower settings on the 1050Ti.
Assassin’s Creed Origins was also tested with the built in benchmark and the results were similar, lower frame rates but the 1% lows aren’t too far behind, again easily playable at lower settings. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark and even the 1% lows at ultra are above the refresh rate of the display, so it’s running pretty well here regardless of setting level used.
Testing Battlefield 1 in the first campaign mission we can just about average 60 FPS even at ultra settings, and it was still quite smooth as shown by the 1% lows which aren’t too far behind.
The witcher 3 doesn’t really need a high frame rate to play, however it wasn’t great at ultra settings, perfectly fine at high or lower though. Rise of the tomb raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and we’re able to average above the refresh rate of the display at medium settings or below.
Ghost recon is a resource intensive game, and was again tested with the built in benchmark. Pretty terrible at max settings as expected, but definitely playable at the lower levels.
Watchdogs 2 is another resource intensive game, but is another that I personally think doesn’t need a high frame rate to play. I thought it played perfectly fine at high settings.
Now onto the benchmarking tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy, and VRMark from 3DMark.
As we’ve seen we’re getting some pretty decent gaming results here, the 1050Ti is perfectly adequate in many less demanding games, and still gives an acceptable experience in higher end AAA games at lower settings. As for overclocking, the 7700HQ CPU can’t be overclocked, but I was able to increase the GPU core clock of the 1050Ti by 175MHz.
These are the average clock speeds while running the Heaven benchmark with and without the overclock applied. With both CPU undervolting and GPU overclocking applied we get a small boost in games, I’ve retested PUBG and we’re getting just over a 6% improvement at ultra settings.
In Crystal Disk Mark the 512GB M.2 SATA SSD was performing fairly well, over 500MB/s in sequential reads and around 430MB/s in sequential writes. I’ve tested the SD slot with a V90 rated card, so the card shouldn’t be the bottleneck, and we’re getting alright results compared to most other laptops I’ve tested. As for the price I haven’t been able to find much information, as it’s a slightly older 7th generation model and the new 8th gen version of the Aspire is already out.
The closest I’ve been able to find is the same model but with 1050 graphics, so it will perform a fair bit less in games compared to what I’ve shown here, but that one goes for around $700 USD and has far less memory. In any case there appear to be some pretty good discounts on the 7th gen models, and as we’ve seen it still performs quite well, I’ll update the link in the video description if I can find correct pricing.
So what did you guys think of the Acer Aspire 7 laptop? Overall I thought it was a fairly nice machine, definitely still capable of gaming as you’ve seen but with a classier design compared to your typical black and red shooting RGB lasers gaming laptop. Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and share this post if you found the review useful.