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Acer's keeping things traditional with the V3, with black and silver the order of the day. As seems to be the trend with laptop vendors at the cheaper end of the spectrum, inside is a last generation Intel Core processor, the Core i5 2450M.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as performance is fine and you do score rather well in other areas, with 8GB RAM, a 750GB mechanical hard drive and Nvidia's GeForce GT 630M. At the time of writing, four SKUs are available at different price points, with our review model coming in at AU$899.
The keyboard is pleasant to use, and while the touch pad surface isn't the nicest we've used, it does use Elan technology, meaning a dual-finger tap can be set to bring up the right click menu, a feature we sorely miss from the Apple side.
The 15.6-inch, 1366x768 TN LG display does the job, and while Acer does have a "Dolby Home Theater" logo, the speakers are terrible, as laptop speakers often are. Karnivool's Scarabs had zero bass definition and became an ill-defined series of noises as everything seemingly flattened to mid-range. Beyond system sounds, you'll want to use headphones.
Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11n and Bluetooth handle networking, with dual band a rarity in something of this price range. Acer has included a single USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports, in an age where two USB 3.0 ports are the norm. VGA and HDMI perform video out duties, and headphone and microphone jacks, along with an SD card reader and DVD&plusm;RW drive complete the connectivity options.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
The V3 does exceedingly well, particularly in the Photoshop test, where its extra RAM comes into play.
|Batman: Arkham Asylum|
|1366x768, 4x AA, Detail level: Very high, PhysX off.|
|1366x768, DirectX 10, 4x AA, Quality: Low, PhysX: Off.|
|The Witcher 2|
|1366x768, low spec.|
|1366x768, low detail.|
Nvidia's GeForce GT 630M gives the V3 more legs than most other laptops in the sub-AU$1000 category. Since Metro 2033 always challenges even the most powerful graphics cards in its minimum frame rate, we refer to its average score to define playability. All other games require a minimum of at least 30fps to pass.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Acer's battery life isn't chart topping, but it's not horrible either, considering the extra hardware inside. Competitors from Sony and HP really give the edge here, though.
Acer's Aspire V3 571G is a straight up and down mid-weight, budget laptop. It offers graphics more powerful than usual and double the RAM for the price, making it a laptop that should hit your short list.