- Build quality, Case and design and looks
- Keyboard and Trackpad
- Sound and Speakers
- General subjective performance experience
- Gaming Performance
- Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling
- Screen / Screen quality
- Competing gaming laptops / alternatives
++ Main reason to consider:
Good gaming performance for money with the GTX 850M, good 1080p IPS display, good battery without competitors for around 700-750 Euros. Unavailable in the US, but a price point of $700-$750 in the US could make it interesting.
-- Main reason to avoid:
For not a lot more in price, you can get a lot more in gaming performance with GTX 860M and 960M equipped laptops. For those in need for a good keyboard, the VN7-571G is also, in my opinion, not the place to go.
+ Good 1080p IPS display + GTX 850M gaming performance for a competitive price, at least in Germany (not available in the US yet)
+ Good 1080p IPS display
+ Quite quiet, even under high load
+ Good battery performance at around 5 hours of web browsing / movies
+ Slick looks
+ Case remains cool
+ Speakers are not bad, though sound is muffled because of positioning
- 5400RPM HDD (new versions come with 7200RPM HDD)
- Keyboard is only average, not great for typists
- Maintenance is not easy with the M.2 slot on the other side of the motherboard, requiring disassembling
- Speakers could be better (though they are not that bad)
- No DisplayPort, only 3 USB 3.0 ports, no TPM module or Kensigton key lock, only one headphone/microphone plug hole
- All external connection ports including the power plug are on the right side - too packed
|Price||Basic version: 700-750 Euro in Germany. Still not priced in the US|
|CPU||I5-5200U (2.2GHZ-3.0GHZ, 15W)|
|GPU||Nvidia Geforce GTX 850M 4GB DDR3, GM204M, 1024 shadars core@900-1084MHZ, DDR3@1000MHZ, 128-bit bus
In my unit - revision A1
|Motherboard Chipset||Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)|
|RAM||Samsung 2x4GB DDR3@1600MHZ
2 banks of memory available, totally
|Storage||HDD : 500GB Seagate ST500LM000-1EJ162
(non SSHD), 5400RPM, 8MB cache
1xM.2, 1xSata 3.0 slots, 1xSATA 2.0
|LCD Panel||In review: 1080p (1920x1080) 15.6", LG Display LP156WF6-SPB1|
|Weight / Dimensions||2.4kg (~5.29 Lbs.)
388.6 x 256.5 x 23.8 mm
15.3" x 10.1" x 0.94"
(w x d x h)
|Connection Ports||right side: 3xUSB 3.0, ethernet, 1xHDMI 1.4, power-in, microphone/headphones
front: 6-in-1 card reader
|WiFi / Ethernet||WiFi: Atheros 802.11ac
Ethernet: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC
|Bios / EC version (test unit)||1.4 / 1.17|
Sooo, the VN7-571G GTX 850M version is not available really in the US currently, but I’ve decided to review it anyway. The VN7-591G’s little brother packs some punch in it and the new Broadwell I5-5200U CPU. With a GTX 850M DDR3, 1080p IPS display, relatively ok weight (around 2.4kg including a DVDRW) for a 15.6″ laptop, backlit keyboard and an M.2 slot for around 700-750 Euros (around $800 when I got it) and should be lower in the US, making it interesting for around $700-$750, if it will ever will be sold in the US. Also, I wanted to provide a future reference for this model as it will be probably be the base to some updates in the future like CPU and GPU.
Case it mostly firm, including the keyboard surface area, hinges, bottom and palm rest. The screen outer lid is typically less rigid, allowing some flex.
As with other laptops, I would be glad – and I think it’s important – that there will be less gaps and holes where dust could get in. I also think that laptops should come with plastic covers for all the external connection ports.
Looks nice and slick, yet simple. The looks are a bit plastic like (which is not bad by itself)
Maintenance and inner parts
Maintenance is not that easy. Opening the VN7-571G, like the VN7-591G is relatively simple, simply unscrew the bottom screws. Then the upper panel, the keyboard panel, will come off, but be careful – you need to disconnect three cables (not too hard) in order to open it completely. You’ll see one fan that cools the system and one Sata 3.0 connection (HDD) and Sata 2.0 (DVDRW), with the M.2 slot being on the other side
Sorry for the lower quality images.
Connection ports is a little disappointed part. Every connection port is on the right side, packed together – not very convenient. Three SUB ports and the HDMI and the headphones together which is not very comfortable. Also, no DisplayPort and/or kensington lock and other nice features.
The CPU and GPU are not replaceable and you cannot change the GPU or CPU later on.
Keyboard. The Keyboard is average. It’s firm and has good feedback for most keys, but the key travel is short and response isn’t great, meaning that although you know that you’ve “finished” clicking thanks to good feedback cue, the key does not response much differently after it. I had quite a few misclicks with the “t” key. Seems to me like the keyboard quality is not equally distributed, so to speak, on the keys.
I don’t think it’s worse than the Y50 keyboard, but maybe worse than the VN7-591G keyboard, if they haven’t changed it since the first version.
Touchpad. Touchpad is ok and does not have the problems of the first VN7-591G versions, but the surface is not as smooth as could be. Acer does ship it with multi gesture support.
The VN7-571G, like the VN7-591G, comes with 4.0 speakers – two at the bottom sides and at the bottom rear. The sound can be described as something between ok and good. It’s certainly much better than the average speakers quality, incluSound is muffled due to position, but I think that even if the speakers were more well positioned, the sound quality isn’t great, always sounds like the sound is fudged all over.
I think that the basses and mid tones are probably a little better than the highs. The VN7-571G speakers sound also has some stage to it.
So, nothing exceptional, but good for gaming and ok for music.
The VN7-571G basic version comes with a 500GB basic 5400RPM HDD. It’s far from optimal, but the HDD is not the slowest possible and if you are not doing a lot of stuff simultaneously, you’ll be ok.
Here are GPU-Z and CPU-Z screenshots\
OS is Windows 8.1 fully updated and drivers in use are the Nvidia 350.12. All the games I’ve tested have been tested on 1080p resolution. GPU did not throttle at all, but the I5-5200U CPU under load would automatically clock down to around 2.2GHZ, which is its base clocks.
Crysis 3 is very playable on 768p resolution, but it will look bad. On 1080p resolution, Crysis 3 could run ok on medium settings, but not that much. Sorry.
Skyrim will run well on ultra settings@1080p, but with AO disabled. If you feel it’s a little jumpy, lower some of the settings a bit.
Thief could be played on normal settings@1080p, but will probably be a little jumpy. Keep in mind, though, that the built-in benchmark is quite intense and in game FPSs are usually higher.
Bioshock Infinite will probably run well on Ultra or Very High settings@1080p most of the time.
Keeping in mind that the built in Civilization Beyond Earth benchmark is pretty intensive, the game should be more than playable at high settings@1080p, maybe even very high settings preset.
Very high settings@1080p should be quite playable. If not, lower the graphics settings a little bit. Again, remember that the built-in benchmark is intense.
Metro Last Light is a very 3D demanding game and you can expect only Medium graphics settings@1080p, if you want it to be smooth enough.
Battlefield 4 will run well on Medium settings@1080p on the I5-5200U and GTX 850M DDR3.
I’m sorry I had no time to test World Of Tanks at medium settings but it run very smooth on both medium settings and High settings@1080p
The benchmark consisted on a traveling inside and out the Cleve Hub space port which is a taxing graphical environment compared to this game. Game version : 2015.04.08.63181
Average FPSs are quite good and so was my experience – smooth and fun. Seems like it was optimized well, at least for 1080p.
This is a new “sim” game only new and much more fancy (link to steam) with vastly positive reviews from people (10/10 on Steam, for example). I run the Los Angeles premade city (download here) and run with the camera from the airport to the hills with almost maximal zoom.
The game, though released, is still in early stages and there are bugs to fix and performance to optimize, for sure. It sometimes crashes, but not to a point where you want to die (like BF4 in its early days). My version was 1.0.7c
Though FPSs are not high, the game itself was very smooth. I think also that the game is far from optimized at this point, judging by results of the GTX 980M + I7 tests which are not that far away.
Stress tests and throttling behavior
As described before, the GPU and CPU both have two connected cooling systems and heatpipes. Cool air sucked from the bottom of the machine (hence, it’s important to keep its bottom above the sitting surface) and is thrown from th rear ventilation holes.
1. Idle, power saver mode
2. Gaming : Crysis 3 gameplay. “very high” settings with SMAAx2 For Crysis 3, “High performance” power mode.
3. Prime95 torture test. “High performance” power mode.
4. Prime95 + Furmark on 1280×720 test, AAx2. “High performance” power mode.
Considering the fact that the VN7-571G has only one fan to cool it all, it does quite a good job with Crysis 3. Furmark + Prime95 is really too much for this system, though, but gaming won’t be that heavy on the system almost never.
Also, the fan is not too noisy while gaming.
The interesting part is really the new Broadwell I5-5200U. Compared to the previous generation I5-4200U/I5-4210U which were very spread (still are), the I5-5200U will keep at least 2.2GHZ CPU clock rate almost always, in the 15W frame. That’s 500-600MHZ more than the I5-4200U/4210U, which is around 30% more. It’s a huge difference and will impact gaming too.
|CPU throttle (base = 2.2GHZ)||GPU throttle|
|1.9-2.0GHZ||No||Prime95 + furmark|
The VN7-571G keyboard surface, in my experience, does not get hot almost at all. The bottom gets a little too hot, but it’s in the manageable range.
Under light load / watching movies you won’t hear a thing and the cooling system does a good job being quiet and efficient.
Under high load or gaming, the VN7-571G single fan doesn’t do a lot of noise. It’s obvious that Acer emphasized low noise over better cooling performance. I hope that the fan won’t turn dead too soon for heavy gamers.
The previous generation VN7-591G came with a rather dimmed display which was really a problem in a more lit environments. Acer have fixed this issue by equipping the VN7 with a different IPS display. In this case, the LG LP156WF6-SPB1 and it shows. It’s much brighter than the VN7-591G I’ve tested
Color accuracy post-calibrated is good and color coverage of 68% adobeRGB and 90% sRGB is good too. Subjectively, brightness is indeed high and contrast is good enough.
Maximal brightness is around 285 and the contrast at 50% brightness level is around 1:580 which is good enough. Notebookcheck got much higher contrast results (link to their review) and it may be due to differences in monitor hardware, panel quality variation and practices.
Anyway, the display looks very good.
The VN7-571G comes with a 54Wh battery and the system doesn’t consume much under low load nor while browsing the web, including youtube and flash movies. You can expect at least 4.5-5 hours of watching movies.
Same Wifi issues as with previous generation VN7. The Wifi would disconnect at some situations which seem to be more Wifi intensive situations like multiplayer gaming. It does happen all the time, but sometimes. Update the drivers to the latest ones to reduce the frequency of this problem (helped in my case)\
Check the gaming laptops under $1000 list. Sorry for not writing in details, but it will be hard to update here and there too!
As usual, it depends on the price point. Compared to prices in Germany, where it was bought, the VN7-571G does offer some good combination for this price. Other laptops for such a price lack at least one of the components – fast GPU or a good 1080p display, though it changes all the time.
In the US, the VN7-571G doesn’t really stand a chance against others for $800-$850, but if priced aggressively at around $700, even $750, it could be an interesting proposition. The VN7-571G does have the basic stuff in it – good 1080p IPS display, fast enough GPU, low noise, nice looks and good battery performance, but for $900 you can get its bigger brother VN7-591G with GTX 960M, 1080p IPS display and an I7 which is around 35-50% higher performance for around around 12-13% higher price in many games. It will also include a better keyboard. That’s why I said it was unconvincing.
Other than that, the VN7-571G could be a very nice proposition for many gamers/students with many of the core components included as mentioned above. The I5-5200U is also suitable for gaming with a GPU like the GTX 850M, almost at the same levels of the previous generation I5-4200M in terms of core clocks, only for 15W instead of around 30-35W. Battery performance of around 5 hours (at least) is great for students and general stuff like watching movies.\
Those who seek good keyboard or good integrated speakers will have to look somewhere else, if you ask me.