HolidayBuyer's Guide

Acer launches a 4K gaming laptop, the Aspire V Nitro Black Edition

This imposingly named premium laptop line adds an Ultra HD screen for high-res PC gaming.

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Photo by Acer

Acer is joining the small but growing list of companies pitching laptops with 4K resolution displays. The new Ultra HD version of the Aspire V Black Edition has a 15.6-inch screen with a 3,840x2,160-pixel resolution, paired with a high-end CPU and a discrete graphics card for serious PC gaming.

Lenovo sells a very similar system, the Y50 , and like the Aspire V, it's available in both 1080p and 4K versions. Both of these laptops are aimed at hardcore PC gamers, with similar Intel Core i7 processors and Nvidia's GeForce 860M graphics card. Toshiba sells a 15-inch laptop with a 4K display, called the Satellite P50t , which is aimed more towards video and photo editing, and uses an AMD Radeon R9 GPU.

That Nvidia 860M GPU found in the Lenovo and Acer systems isn't ideal for pushing modern games at 4K resolution without dropping the graphics settings to lower detail levels. More likely, you'll play games at 1,920x1,080 but still get some advantages from the incredibly fine screen resolution, such as the lack of a visible pixel grid. A handful of laptops with Nvidia's newer 980M GPU have proven more capable of 4K gaming in our tests.

Native 4K video content, another reason you'd want to trade up to a 4K system, is still hard to find, but the available library is definitely growing.

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Photo by Acer

The look and feel is identical to the recently announced non-4K versions of the Aspire V Black Edition . In keeping with recent trends in gaming laptops, it's more subtle and subdued than the big, flashy gaming laptops that have defined the category for years. Instead of multicolored light shows, flamed accents or glowing alien heads, the Aspire V Nitro Black Edition is predictably clad in matte black. The soft-touch finish on the lid leads to a silver hinge, and then more matte black on the base and keyboard tray. Again like the recent Lenovo Y50, the keyboard features a bold red backlight.

The system, configured with 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD/1TB HDD storage combo, will sell for $1,499 in the US and be available from Amazon, the Microsoft Store and other online retailers in mid-November.

[Editor's note: While we reported that early buyers of this system will also receive a download code for the PC version of Ubisoft's upcoming game Assassin's Creed Unity, Acer says only the 1,920x1,080 configurations are eligible for the code, not the UHD version.]

Details for the UK and Australia have yet to be announced. The US price converts to around £940 or AU$1,720, although final local prices are likely to vary considerably.

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