Acer Aspire V 15 (V3-574G) review – a successful mix of power and style

2015_Acer_Aspire_V_15_-_E-100

The Aspire Nitro line was definitely a successful move on Acer’s part, and it didn’t take them long to grasp that concept. Acer started to popularize the new line, launching lots of configurations suitable for every type of work – there are V15 Nitro notebooks with the high-performance NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M for gamers, V15 Nitros with the mid-range GeForce 940M for business clients and mainstream market, Nitros with Core i7 processors for CPU demanding applications, and Nitros with Core i5 for everyday use.

Basically, no matter what you are going to do with your laptop, chances are that there is a Nitro configuration which will suit your needs. The eponymous lines began to blur, and the Nitro line, which was originally targeted toward the gaming community, started to look like a nice-looking, well-constructed mainstream laptop. But gamers want special treatment, and everyone in this business knows that. This is why Acer is going to divide its upper-range mainstream notebook business in three strictly differentiated and more advanced sections – the new Predator line for gamers (just like ASUS and their Republic of Gamers), the Aspire V Nitro line for users who need a high-performance, but well-balanced machine, and Aspire V, which combines an elegant design, good performance, and an affordable price.

Today we’re going to introduce you to Aspire V 15 (V3-574) – we have our hands on an engineering sample unit. Besides the great looks, it has a last-generation Intel processor, up to 16GB RAM and 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi. One of the most interesting things is the Acer BluelightShield, which reduces the blue-light emission from the screen, which can be harmful to your eyes. There are a lot more features we want to talk about so let’s go to the detailed tests…

Contents


What’s in the box?

Since, as we already said, we only have an engineering sample, we can’t be sure what the production unit’s box will contain, but we know what to expect. The same as with Aspire V15 Nitro – just the manual and a charger, which in our case is a 65W A11-065N1A.

Design and construction

Although Nitro’s design turned out to be pretty successful, Acer have put some thinking into a slight modification of the lid. You’ll notice that right away – the top cover is imprinted with Acer’s nano-imprint technology, creating a stylish and unique look, especially when viewed at certain angles. In addition to being beautiful, we should also mention that it’s quite study, mostly because it’s made out of aluminum. That’s why it has plastic edging at the top, where the antennas are.

The finely textured “acer” logo highlights the luxurious appearance, and we can definitely say that the new Aspire V15 has all the markings of a high-end package. The only tiny drawback is that you can easily leave fingerprints on the cover, but they aren’t that visible.

Acer V15 2 back1

Let’s take a look at the interior. The first thing we noticed upon opening the lid is that the screen hinges are pretty tightened, but you can still bring the display up easily in the first few centimeters, which is very handy since you can open your laptop with just one hand. Also, the screen can be pushed back to 160°.

Acer V15 2 wide open

The palm rest (and the whole panel around the keyboard) is made of plastic, which looks and somewhat feels like aluminum. The power button is above the NumPad section, but you won’t accidentally turn your computer off because it does nothing if pressed for less than 1.5 seconds. If you press it for 1.5 – 4.0 seconds, you’ll get the “Acer Power Button” app which asks you what you want to do – Sleep, Hibernate or Shut down your PC. If you hold the button for more than 4 seconds, you’ll instantly power off the system.

power

A nice feature is the keyboard backlight – we know that most of you don’t look at the keys when you type, but it’s useful when using the Fn buttons. All of the keys have 1.6 mm of travel and 0.3 mm keycaps indents. With this Acer is attempting to improve the typing experience, and although we’re not sure that we would have spotted the 0.3 mm dent in the keys if they hadn’t told us, we liked the comfort and feedback that they keyboard provides.

The trackpad has a rather large surface area – 105 x 78 mm. The folks at Acer call it “Precision touchpad”, and it supports tap, swipe, scroll, and zoom gestures. We found it very easy to work with.

Screenshot 2015-08-06 15.49.54

Interior Photos

Acer V15 2 frontAcer V15 2 keyboard details2Acer V15 2 keyboard details4Acer V15 2 keyboard details3Acer V15 2 keyboard details3

Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574) has a relatively thin (23.9 mm) and light (2.26 kg) body, yet it is enough to fit a Kensington lock port, 77 mm air vents, VGA, Ethernet LAN port, HDMI, 3.5 audio jack and two USB 3.0 ports (one of which supports “Power-off USB charging” so that you can charge you phone or tablet even when the computer is off).


Acer V15 2 side1

Acer V15 2 side2

Acer V15 2 side3

Acer V15 2 side4

Display and sound

The display of Acer Aspire V15 (2015, V3-574G) consists of a Full HD (1920×1080) IPS multisensor panel with matte anti-glare coating, manufactured by LG Display (model number LP156WF4-SPL1). The display takes advantage of the “Acer BluelightShieldTM” technology, courtesy of the optical engineers at Acer. It reduces blue light intensity for the panel. This is an important achievement for two main reasons:

  • The WLED backlight uses blue (not white) LEDs, covered with yellow phosphorus.
  • Their blue light has a higher energy in the visible spectrum, compared to the other colors.

White Led Spectrum

Light with wavelengths of between 400 and 500 nm, emitted by modern LEDs, is suspected of damaging the eye macula – the part of the retina that is in charge of central (non-peripheral) sight (the photoreceptor cones stop functioning, thus leading to loss of detail in the images viewed up close and at a distance).

The diagonal of the screen in Acer Aspire V15 (2015, V3-574G) is 15.6 inches, and the resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels. The aspect ratio is 16:9 and the pixel density – 141 (pixel step: 0.1799 x 0.1799mm). The display can be considered retina (the human eye stops distinguishing individual pixels), when viewed from distance equal to, or greater than 61 cm.

Micr-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

Due to the use of an IPS panel, viewing angles are excellent.

Angles_Acer Aspire V3-574G

The measured maximum brightness on the surface is 240 cd/m2, with a deviation of only 7%. Also, color temperature is 7290K – a bit colder than the optimal 6500K (daylight type). There are no unacceptable deviations.

Brightness-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

The luminance graph is almost identical to the standard one. The image will have accurately distributed brightness levels.

Post_GammaGraph_Acer Aspire V3-574G

Color reproduction

To put things into perspective, we would like to give you a little introduction into the sRGB and Adobe RGB color gamuts. The CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram represents the spectrum of colors visible to the human eye, thus giving you a better perception of color gamut coverage and color accuracy. Inside the black triangle you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB), used by millions of people in HDTV and on the Web. As for Adobe RGB, it is used to work with professional cameras and monitors when preparing print. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone, and so reproducing them accurately is key in a quality display.

The yellow triangle represents the area of the color gamut that the display covers.

CIE-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

The image below is practically the same, but with the recorded results – the one on the left is pre-calibration, while the one on the right is after. The colored circles represent the reference colors, the white circles being the result. You can see the main and additional colors with 100% and 50% saturation inside the sRGB gamut.

Pre-Color-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

We tuned the display at 140 cd/m2 brightness and 6500K color temperature. For this calibration we used X-Rite i1Display Pro. We got a contrast ratio of 670:1.

xRiteAspireV15 contrast

With the help of 24 commonly used colors we checked the color accuracy of the panel. Colors that we used represent skin tones, grass, blue sky, orange etc. Most of them are in the middle of the color gamut, and after calibration their accuracy was really high – average DeltaE 2000=0.9. A lower score is desirable, and deviations under 1.0 can be detected only with lab equipment.

Result-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

REPORT-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM, Screen flickering)

Acer Aspire V15 (2015, V3-574G)’s display uses pulse-width modulation, but at least the frequency of the emitted light is high – 25 kHz. That means it can lead to eye fatigue only for users with sensitive eyes.

PWM-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

Gaming capabilities (Response time)

The image below is mostly useful for gamers. It illustrates the response time of the pixels in modes from “Black” to “White”, plus “White” to “Black” for levels from 10% to 90% and back.

We measured Fall Time + Rise Time = 26.6 ms.

Responce Time-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

Comparison with competitors

If we assume a distance of 58cm (~23in) between the human eye and the notebook monitor, then normal (20/20) vision would require a pixel density of at least 150ppi in order to interpret an image as perfectly detailed.

Laptop Results Result
difference
Price Price
difference
Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF4-SPL1, 1920 x 1080 pixels141.21
Dell Inspiron 5758 (17 5000) 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels127.34-9.82%
Toshiba Satellite L50-C 15.6-inch, LG Display, 1920 x 1080 pixels141.21
Acer TravelMate P236 13.3-inch, AU Optronics, 1920 x 1080 pixels165.63+17.29%
Dell Inspiron 5558 (15 5000) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels141.21

Higher panel brightness is of key importance for visual comfort when working outside or in a brightly lit room.

Laptop Results Result
difference
Price Price
difference
Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF4-SPL1, 1920 x 1080 pixels240
Dell Inspiron 5758 (17 5000) 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels322+34.17%
Toshiba Satellite L50-C 15.6-inch, LG Display, 1920 x 1080 pixels263+9.58%
Acer TravelMate P236 13.3-inch, AU Optronics, 1920 x 1080 pixels236-1.67%
Dell Inspiron 5558 (15 5000) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels207-13.75%

Delta E is a CIE measurement unit of color difference. Higher values indicate that the display produces less accurate colors. (lower results are desirable).

Laptop Results Result
difference
Price Price
difference
Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF4-SPL1, 1920 x 1080 pixels0.90
Dell Inspiron 5758 (17 5000) 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels1.25+38.89%
Toshiba Satellite L50-C 15.6-inch, LG Display, 1920 x 1080 pixels5.84+548.89%
Acer TravelMate P236 13.3-inch, AU Optronics, 1920 x 1080 pixels3.49+287.78%
Dell Inspiron 5558 (15 5000) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels0.87-3.33%

The sRGB color gamut, introduced as a standard for the Web, shows the percentage of colors used on the Web that can be displayed on the screen of the device being tested (higher values are better).

Laptop Results Result
difference
Price Price
difference
Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF4-SPL1, 1920 x 1080 pixels64
Dell Inspiron 5758 (17 5000) 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels95+48.44%
Toshiba Satellite L50-C 15.6-inch, LG Display, 1920 x 1080 pixels91+42.19%
Acer TravelMate P236 13.3-inch, AU Optronics, 1920 x 1080 pixels60-6.25%
Dell Inspiron 5558 (15 5000) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels62-3.13%

Conclusion

The display of Acer Aspire V15 (2015, V3-574G) has wide visibility angles, high contrast ratio, good eye-protection and color accuracy, courtesy of ‘Color Checker’. It will be good for web browsing and video playback. Due to the poor sRGB color gamut coverage, the colors with 100% saturation will not be accurate (they’re practically missing and will be replaced by the closest options available), and the display won’t be suitable for specialized work, especially image processing.

Sound

From a subjective perspective, the Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G) produces really good sound. The tones are balanced and clear throughout the whole frequency range (low to high). They’re sufficiently detailed, as a result of which the sound can be characterized as good for the given price range. The frequency response peaks near the area of 500Hz – 1kHz, which matches the main frequency spectrum of the human voice. The rest fits into the range of +/- 3 dB, which is very rare for this type of device. We give it an excellent score.

Sound-Acer Aspire V 15 (2015, V3-574G)

Specs sheet

These technical specifications refer only to the particular device being tested in this review. Laptops from the same series could have different characteristics and features.


4zu3_Acer_Aspire_V3_574G_59MA

CPU Intel Core i7-5500U (2-core, 2.40 – 3.00 GHz, 3MB cache)
RAM 16GB (2x 8192MB) – DDR3, 1600Mhz
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 940M (4GB DDR3)
HDD/SSD Hitachi Travelstar Z5K1000 (1TB, 5400 rpm)
Display 15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD), IPS matte
Optical Drive DVD writer
Communication LAN 10/100/1000 Mbit/sec, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Features 2-in-1 card reader (SD/SDXC), backlit keyboard, 1x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, Web Camera, HDMI 1.4, VGA
Battery 37 Wh (4-cell)
Height 23.90 mm (0.94”)
Weight (with the battery) 2255 g (4.97 lbs)
Power supply weight 329 g (0.73 lbs)


Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) configurations


Drivers

The configuration we tested came with a pre-installed Linux distribution. You can find Windows drivers on the official support page:
http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/drivers

Battery Life

Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574) has a relatively small battery, with a capacity of just 2142 mAh (37 Wh). That’s why we’re not expecting miracles from our battery life tests, which include Web Surfing, Video Playback and 3D Gaming. We run all tests with connected Wi-Fi, 120 cd/m2 brightness and Power Saver mode.

Web Surfing

As usual, we start with the Web browsing test, which uses a custom script to automatically load various popular pages.

acer-aspire-v3-574g-web-surfing

194 minutes (3 hours and 14 minutes) on one charge isn’t a great result, but you’ll have enough time for urgent tasks on the go.

Video Playback

For our Video playback test we use a 720p HD movie.

battery-watching-movies

You can watch a movie or two in the 270 minutes (4 hours and 30 minutes) of battery life, so we can’t complain much here.

3D Gaming

To achieve accurate simulation, we used the Metro Last Light benchmark running on loop with graphics set to minimum.

3d-gaming-battery

When the GeForce 940M comes into play, Aspire V15 lasts only 61 minutes (1 hour and 1 minute) away from the grid.

CPU

Intel_Core_i7_logo1Intel Core i7-5500U is a high-end processor released on January 05, 2015. It is part of the “Broadwell” generation and operates at a base frequency of 2.40GHz. If a higher frequency is needed, its two cores can overclock, and if they both operate in tandem, they go to 2.9GHz. The frequency goes up to 3GHz for only one core.

The chip is equipped with 128KB of first level cache, 512KB of second level cache, and 4MB of third level cache. The Core i7-5500U has been developed using a 14nm process, allowing for the integration of the Intel HD Graphics 5500 controller. It operates at a base frequency of 300MHz, while Turbo Boost can increase that to 950MHz. TDP consumption of the whole SoC (System on a Chip) is 15 watts with a maximum operating temperature of 105C.

Intel Core i7-5500U supports TurboBoost (increasing the clock frequency when necessary), HyperThreading (additional virtual core for every physical one), PCI Express 3.0, DDR3/L/ 1333/1600 memory, AVX, AVX2.0, FMA, QuickSync and the SSE4 instruction set.

The official Intel Core i7-5500U web page can be found here:
http://ark.intel.com/products/85214/Intel-Core-i7-5500U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_00-GHz

You can take a look at our CPU rating system, to see where  the Intel Core i7-5500U ranks:
http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/

Here you can find more information about Intel Core i7-5500U:
http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i7-5500u/

Fritz

Fritz is a chess benchmark which tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i7-5500U managed to get 5.820 million moves per second. In comparison, one of the most powerful PCs, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.

GPU

geforce-940m-3qtrThe GeForce 940M is a direct successor to last year’s 840M and is placed in the mid-range. It is commonly used as a multimedia GPU and light gaming. It’s very similar to its predecessor, GeForce 840M, but its clock speed is slightly higher. GeForce 940M is Maxwell-based and uses the GM108 chip.

NVIDIA GeForce 940M is built through a 28nm manufacturing process and has 384 shader units, 24 TMUs and 8 ROPs (64-bit interface). It can be found in modifications with 2GB or 4GB DDR3 memory.

940M’s TDP is 33 watts and it is mostly used in mainstream laptops. It supports GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA and GeForce Experience.

Here you can download the latest drivers for GeForce 940M:
http://www.geforce.com/drivers

See where the 940M is placed in our Top Laptop Graphics Ranking page:
http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/

Here you can find detailed specs and more information on the model:
http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-940m-4gb-ddr3/

 

Gaming Tests

Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574G) is not a gaming machine, but we’re still going to check if its NVIDIA GeForce 940M could run some graphic-intensive games, at least at low or medium settings.

Metro-Last-Light-Cover

Metro: LL (768p, Low) Metro: LL (768p, Medium) Metro: LL (768p, Max)
38 fps 21 fps 11 fps

tomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1

Tomb Raider (768p, Low) Tomb Raider (768p, Medium) Tomb Raider (768p, Max)
102 fps 34 fps 18 fps

f1-2014

F1 2014 (768p, Low) F1 2014 (768p, Medium) F1 2014 (768p, Max)
52 fps 38 fps 37 fps

thief_4_wallpaper_by_christian2506-d5x4ppb1

Thief (768p, Low) Thief (768p, Medium) Thief (768p, Max)
35 fps 25 fps 15 fps

gta-5-cover

GTA 5 (768p, Low) GTA 5 (768p, Medium) GTA 5 (768p, Max)
56 fps 18 fps 8 fps

It’s a nice surprise that you can play many games at HD resolution and medium graphics settings. GTA 5 is the only entry that forced us to lower the details between low and medium for smooth gameplay.

Temperatures, Comfort and Stability

In everyday conditions, Acer Aspire V15’s CPU operates at around 45-60°C. That’s pretty far from the 105°C Tj.max limit of Core i7-5500U, but since we want to be certain that the computer will be stable in the long run, we’ll put it through our torture test – 100% CPU and 100% GPU load for 2.5 hours, which is a highly unlikely scenario with real-life software.

100% CPU load

The throttling began almost immediately after we started the 100% CPU load and the temperatures rose to 101°C. The cooling system managed to bring the temperatures down to 97°C, keeping the Turbo Boost at the maximum level of 2.9GHz (for 2 cores), with deviations to 2.8GHz. That’s actually a good result because you get a pretty high frequency. After an hour the clock speed remained the same – it was jumping between 2.6GHz and 2.9GHz, but most of the time it stayed closer to the latter value.

1HCPU

100% CPU + 100% GPU load

We added 100% GPU load in order to bring the cooling system to its limits. It’s good that the CPU kept a high frequency (with momentary drops).

After 2 hours and 30 minutes, the GPU held a temperature of 87°C (1176 / 960MHz) and the CPU – 97°C (2.5GHz).

2H40CPUGPU

Gaming Stability

Immediately after these tests, we ran the Metro: Last Light benchmark on a loop at the highest settings for 20 minutes. We didn’t stumble upon any throttling-induced framedrops.

FIRST-RUN-last-run

Comfort

Although the upper central area of the keyboard hit 50°C (not bad given the duration of the test), we didn’t feel any discomfort while using the machine. The palm rest didn’t go beyond 38°C, which is great.

Take a look at what the temperatures on the main panel were.

temperatures-keyboard-v3-574g

We noticed that the left air vents are blowing out rather hot air, and fortunately for most, this won’t affect your mouse hand.

Conclusion

Given its mainstream class, Aspire V3-574 can definitely offer you a lot. It’s relatively thin and light (23.9mm, 2.26kg), and it looks very elegant thanks to the nano-imprint patterning aluminum top cover. It has a sturdy construction, which means that it will probably serve you for years. V3-574 has a comfortable backlit keyboard and a nice, large touchpad that supports many gestures. The IPS screen has great viewing angles and high resolution, but it’s not suitable for work with colors due to its poor sRGB color gamut coverage. It’s more than enough for typical tasks like surfing the Web or watching movies, and the latter is really enjoyable with the V15’s quality speakers.

It’s good that Acer’s optical engineers have put some thought into taking care of users’ eyes. V15’s BlueLightShield technology reduces the harmful light of the display. As a drawback, we could mention the relatively short battery life – In our test the Aspire V3-574 shut down after 3 hours and 14 minutes of Web surfing.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Study construction
  • BlueLightShield technology reducing the harmful light of the screen
  • Good sound
  • Full HD IPS screen


Cons

  • Relatively short battery life
  • Poor sRGB gamut coverage

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Gabriela Sánchez
7 years ago

Cool!! acabo de comprar una acer aspire v15, la verdad me ha facinado la computadora, pero mi unica duda es: tiene la ranura de lector optico y quemador de CD, pero no encuentro algun interruptor o boton para abrir el lector, ya que en algunas web dicen que este equipo sie cuenta con quemador.

Chaithu
Chaithu
6 years ago

Wow !! what a review..

Dr. Arnab De
Dr. Arnab De
6 years ago

Great review. Loved it reading

Saksham Gupta
6 years ago

One of the best laptop review. Keep it up!

Louie
Louie
6 years ago

Dont know if only the ones that are being sold in the Philippines that is crap. Bought this unit and after 2 months of use, had to send it back for repair and after 5 times of returning it for service with problems arising every month the warranty was already expired and they still have not replaced the unit. Not recommended unit or maybe even the company. Piece of crap.

Seth
Seth
3 years ago
Reply to  Louie

My Acer V15 was actually very good even though its second hand laptop my only problems with it is the keyboard with some keys not working
specs:
GT 940m 2gb
I7 5500u
1366×768 Screen