Clicky

Acer Predator 17 gaming laptop review

Acer Predator 17 gaming laptop

£2100
8.6

Build quality

8.7/10

Design

8.5/10

Ease of use

8.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Full HD screen
  • Amazing performance
  • Extra CoolerMaster fan
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Connectivity options

Cons

  • Aggressive looks not for everyone
  • Weighty, as all gaming laptops

Predator 17 DoomIt has been a while since I’ve owned a gaming laptop. Imagine my excitement then as an Acer Predator 17 landed on my desk.

I dare say that things have moved on since my gaming laptop was put in to retirement.

Let’s face it, 2008 is ancient history in tech terms.

The Predator 17 looks really impressive on the spec sheet.

Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-6700HQ processor 2.60 GHz
Screen17.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9
GraphicsNVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 with 8 GB Dedicated Memory
Memory16 GB, DDR4 SDRAM
Storage1 TB HDD, 256 GB SS

Is this Acer gamer all show and no go though?

Acer Predator 17 design

There is no mistaking that the Predator 17 is a gaming laptop. All the clues are there.

Acer actually says that the Predator is “inspired by intergalactic battlecruisers”. Hmmmmkay…

Having not been up close and personal with any of said modes of transport, I will take their word for it.

Predator 17 rear openWhat I can see is that, right from the red LED tramlines on the lid, RGB keyboard and red highlights, this isn’t designed for subtlety.

Predator 17 darkI do love how the power button is an over-sized triangular item and is, of course illuminated.

jay's CM Storm StrykerI can’t really knock it – have you seen the power button on my CM Storm Stryker case? 😉

Preadtor 17 front closedThe front edge is augmented with red speaker grilles.

Predator 17 rear ventsWhilst the rear is lined with red fan vents. The hot surface warning is a nice touch and very intergalactic battlecruiser.

Predator 17 DVD Fan swapThat’s not the only bit of red-tinged cooling either – the media drive can be replaced by an extra fan. It’s provided by Cooler Master, and is called the FrostCore.

The Predator weighs in at over 4kg and measures 40mm thick. An Ultrabook it is not.

Predator 17 edgeWith all that heft you should expect sturdy build quality, and the Predator is almost there.

There is a tiny bit of give in the wrist-wrest, and similar flex in the base. The screen also flexes a little, but none of this is horrific.

Predator 17 DVD trayConnectivity options are plentiful. You get four USB 3 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, an Ethernet port, a card reader and sockets for headphones and a mic.

Acer Predator 17 performance

The Predator has the name and design to stand out, but we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Here we have an i7-6700HQ processor running at 2.60 GHz and an Nvidia GTX 1070 with 8GB for good measure. Additionally, you get 16GB of RAM and G-Sync baked-in.

This all pushes things along at a pace. There is plenty enough to keep the 1080p Full HD screen filled with eye-pleasing vistas of exploding aliens and high-speed shenanigans.

Screen

The 1920 x 1080 display is pretty good. Brightness and contrast are what you would hope from a laptop in this price and performance bracket.

Brightness and contrast are what you would hope from a laptop in this price and performance bracket.

Predator 17 DoomBlacks are nicely deep and inky whilst colours are vibrant.

The panel is nice and bright and suffers minimally from glare.

Movies and games, this is an entertainment lappy after all, are presented well.

Colour accuracy, however, is not neccessarily the Predator’s strongest card. It’s good enough for some casual photo or video editing, but pros will probably better looking elsewhere.

I was, however, impressed by the uniformity of colour and brightness across the panel.

Sound

The speakers are impressive. Something that isn’t usually said about laptop audio. For a start, the Predator 17 is loud.

Right from the ominous boot-up jingle, in-game action, and through to playing choice tracks from Tidal.

OK, so it’s not the most refined reproduction, especially if you favour acoustic, Jazz or orchestral pieces. But, should your tastes be biased towards more Drum and Bass or Industrial flavours, this will do the trick.

Predator 17 underside subwooferThe bass end, helped by the metallic red sub on the 17’s underside, offers depth aplenty. It is truly effective signalling that things are about to get intense in games such as Doom and Left 4 Dead.

The mid-range is meaty and forward. This works well for movie dialogue and game cut-away scenes. It gets a little harsh the high mids but still impressive nonetheless.

The higher frequencies occassionally get lost and the Predator appears to rely on those high-mids to cut through.

I realise that this isn’t sold as an audiophile device, and the audio is great for action films and games, but I can’t help but feel a little more attention to tweeters would add the cherry on top.

Keyboard

The Predator’s controls are well equipped, to say the least.

Over on the left-hand side you get five macro keys and a profile button. This enables you to have three banks of fice pre-programmed macros. Very handy if you’re into MMORPGs or similarly macro-intensive games.

Predator 17 macro keysThe main QWERTY is a multi-coloured backlit beauty. Naturally, the WASD and cursor clusters are emphasised in deep red.alongside sensible layout choices: the Windows key on the right-hand side, for instance, and a double-height Return key.

Furthermore, the entire layout appears to have been carefully considered. For example, the Windows key on the right-hand side, and the double-height Return key.

You also get a full-sized numberpad. No shortcuts or space-saving here. Everything feels just as comfortable as using my desktop battlestation.

Additionally, the whole board can be illuminated in four zones.

Predator 17 keyboard closeThe keys are all of a good size and, once I had adjusted to the typically flat profile, no incorrect key hits or cramped game-play were experienced.

Reaction times are fast and everything feels solid.

It’s equally comfortable for general typing.

The pad itself is good, but not a game changer, for want of a better phrase. I do like that you can deactivate it if you’re using a mouse. Very handy to avoid accidental nudges or clicks.

Battery life

A gaming laptop is never going to give you all-day cordless power but I would hope to get an hour-or-so’s worth of gaming.

Predator 17 rear closedLooking at the spec sheet and seeing a 6000 mAh battery installed, I wasn’t too hopeful.

Acer says to expect a maximum of three hours of life and, writing reviews with some light music streaming, yeah. I can see that.

However, get to gaming and, as you would expect, battery life quickly heads south. Spinning up the new-and-improved Doom and ramping up the brightness, et al, 60 minutes is a generous guesstimate.

That said, who ever buys a gaming laptop for battery life? Most will be dragging them to LAN parties or on holiday for out-of-town gaming. At least you know that you could have a quick match on the train to somewhere.

Cool running

Fan noise isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, when they kick in, there is a slight whine but once those speakers are up all is well

The Predator 17 didn’t run as hot as other portable gamers I’ve used. Don’t forget that additional CoolerMaster fan.

Predator 17 with extra cooler master fanWhipping out the DVD-writer and slipping in the extra fan, I was not aware of any extra cooling to be honest.

That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t helping though.

Acer Predator 17 review conclusion

The Predator 17 is a beast. That is not open for debate.

It packs a full HD display, a GTX 1070 8GB graphics card as well as 16GB RAM. That is enough to play all titles available right now.

The Predator will also drive virtual reality headsets too

Build quality is impressive too, as is its connectivity options.

Predator 17 hinge detailI like the more subtle design touches too – yes there are some. Just look at the textured hinge section above, for instance.

More importantly, it’s fast.

If you’re in the market for a 17-inch gaming laptop, you should really ought to take the Acer Predator 17 for a spin. You won’t be disappointed.

Acer Predator 17 price and availability

You can add a Predator 17 to your arsenal right now from the Acer UK webstore. Prices start at £1,599.99 and if you want the same spec as reviewed, it will cost £2,099.99.

Amazon has them starting at £1,392.90 though 😉

Acer Predator 17 gaming laptop review

by Jay Garrett time to read: 5 min
0