We were able to run BioShock Infinite with UltraDX11 at 16.5 frames per second and at Medium settings at 28.9 fps, on an admittedly low-res display. That's still good enough that you could consider this an adequate way to play mainstream games, if you really hold back your expectations. BioShock Infinite played fine, with some screen tearing, while older games like Left 4 Dead 2 played very smoothly. We ran this Acer with Nvidia graphics turned off, and the built-in Intel integrated graphics performed at about half the frame rate. So, yes, these particular Nvidia graphics seem worth it...just don't expect the type of gaming boost you'd get from Nvidia's higher-end GPUs.
This Acer covers its bases on ports and connections. There's an SD card slot, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. You also get an Ethernet port, HDMI, USB 2 and 3, and -- why not? -- VGA. What looks like a DVD drive door on the right side appears glued shut, a vestigial non-feature. On the left side, vents push out some heat when the Aspire starts getting taxed.
Acer Aspire E1-472G-6844
Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Battery life: Passable
Battery life on our tests held up for 4 hours 18 minutes, a completely mediocre and unimpressive result. I'd expect six hours or more. But, for a budget laptop, it's not bad...unless you consider something like the Asus Transformer Book T100, which is a smaller, less powerful laptop, but gets far better battery life. And, it costs less (and has touch).
Good value, unimpressive design
This Acer is fine for a basic starter laptop. But don't expect more. If you really care about graphics on a laptop, spend up a bit. If you want a completely bare-bones laptop, spend down. I wouldn't straddle the line. Acer's addition of Nvidia graphics into this laptop just amounts to a tease. I'd rather have a better-feeling computer that did a little less than cram more performance into a body and screen that make it awfully hard to appreciate.
Find out more about how we test laptops.
Acer Aspire E1-472G-6844
Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 2048MB Nvidia Geforce 820M; 500GB 5400rpm Seagate hard drive
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 1792MB Intel HD Graphics 4400; 128GB Samsung SSD
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite
Windows 8 (64-bit) 1GHz AMD A4 Quad-Core; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 512MB AMD Radeon HD 8250; 128GB Samsung SSD
Acer Aspire E1 572-6870
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 4400; 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive