Admit it, this will probably not be the first port of call if you’re looking for a laptop that can do a bit of this and a bit of that. Something that’s powerful enough for casual gaming but retains controlled thickness while at it. Yet doesn’t demand you pay with a few organs listed for mortgage. Can’t think of any? We don’t blame you. There’s the HP Pavilion 15, but what beyond that.
Acer is answering the call of many potential laptop buyers (or so it may seem). The Aspire 7 is priced at ₹62,990 for this specific version that we have experienced, running an Intel Core i5-1240P processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 graphics and a 15.6-inch Full HD display. These specs aren’t the most powerful, particularly topping out at 8GB RAM and that graphics card option. You’re just about getting into the casual gaming space, but don’t keep very high expectations.
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The good thing is, the RAM can be upgraded to as much as 32GB. And if any such spec is on sale when you want to buy this laptop (we are testing the Aspire A71S-51G to be specific), there can also be the option to pay a bit more for the Nvidia RTX3050Ti graphics. Call it fragmentation or call it choice.
The attraction of this laptop (let’s call it the reason why you chose this over an HP Pavilion 14 Plus, for instance), would be the larger 15.6-inch display. It is hard to hide away the thick bezels around this screen, particularly the rather wide chin. It is an IPS screen, and the native resolution is Full HD. A few more pixels wouldn’t have been entirely out of place. There is good crispness for the written word to be easily visible. But colours aren’t exactly the richest and there are points in the brightness scale where there is a distinct “washed out” look.
There are two utilities you must look out for – Bluelight Shield and Colour Intelligence. These can be found in an app called Acer Quick Access. Mind you, the latter remains disabled when the Acer Aspire 7 is running on battery. That’s perplexing, to say the least.
If there is one thing this Acer Aspire 7 does well, it has to be consistency of performance. This processor, along with 8GB RAM and a fairly fast SSD, never struggles to cope up with typical workday tasks of multitasking and documents carelessly opened by the dozen. All this while, it stays quite silent too. One of the reasons has to be the keyboard acting as an air intake vent, which allows for better circulation inside the laptop.
We also preferred to keep this in the “Silent” cooling mode when working on documents, and it delivered on the requirements of peace. Switch to Normal or Performance modes, and things become a bit more laptop-esque.
You must deal with the issue of preloaded app clutter; we lovingly call this bloatware. We are sure just us complaining won’t change a thing (it is a revenue stream for laptop makers and app developers). But do you really want Agoda, ExpressVPN, Forge of Empires, PowerDirector, Spades and Spotify, all preloaded on your shiny new laptop?
This particular configuration, for gaming, will purely do the basics. If it’s a graphically heavy game, you’ll have to tone down the effects. And be sure to be ready for the fans whirring into action quite quickly, and persistently, to keep the innards cool-ish. We do not think this particular configuration allows us to comment on the Acer Aspire 7 as a machine for gaming or intensive multitasking, in the larger scheme of things.
We have to say that the Aspire 7 is built well. It’s plastic all through (there’s aluminium on the lid; pictured above) but has been put together well. The lid flexes a bit if you’re rough with it, but that’s unnatural usage behaviour anyway. The keyboard deck doesn’t flex when pressed inwards and remains fairly cool too – that means insulation is well in place.
It is difficult to shrug off the sense that the Acer Aspire 7, at least the configuration that we have tested, is unremarkable. The potential is there, but a lot of the touchpoints and experiences, are purely “that’ll do”. That includes the battery life, which we expected to be better. This laptop lasts just under 8 hours on a single charge, when the display brightness is kept at about 40% all through. You may not want to leave the power brick at home.
For upwards of ₹60,000 of your money, there is absolutely no concern about the Acer Aspire 7 exhibiting rough edges or feeling underpowered. But the thing is, it doesn’t seem to go the whole way with what should surely feel like a premium experience. A certain charm and finesse are missing. And that’s difficult to digest.