If you’re looking for a powerful laptop that won’t break the bank, the Acer Aspire 7 A717-72G is a great option. This machine is equipped with a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, making it perfect for multitasking and gaming. Plus, the 17. A 3-inch display is great for watching movies or working on projects.
Acer Aspire 7 A717 72G i7-8750H
- Brushed aluminum has a great build quality
- Good keyboard and usable touchpad
- Bright, high-quality IPS panel with wide sRGB coverage and high contrast
- The display does not use PWM to regulate brightness
- Excellent price/performance ratio
- Even during heavy workload, quiet and efficient cooling system
- Decent web browsing runtimes
- Short video playback runtimes
|Graphics Processor||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060|
It was immediately apparent that Acer had not made the notebook smaller. Acer Aspire 7 A717 72G notebook is large and has wide bezels around its display. Both the lid and top cover of the base unit have a cold metal feel. They are also susceptible to fingerprints due to their brushed metal surfaces. The fingerprints were challenging to remove, as you can see in the photos. The remainder of the case is made from non-slip plastic. The lid features a silver Acer logo, ornamental strips around the base and touchpad, and an eye-catching hinge from the Aspire series.
The base is extremely sturdy and rigid. It only flexed slightly under extreme force but remained quiet. The lid, which is thick and pressure-resistant, is highly wooden and reacts very little to torsional forces. The hinge is exceptionally tight. It is so close that the whole base lifts when it opens. Teetering is almost non-existent. Acer engineers have not been able to prioritize the static nature of this beast. Overall, the build quality is excellent. The gaps are small and consistent, and the edges protrude from the hinge appear to be design features rather than manufacturing defects. The case is solid and rigid without any extra bling. However, it’s not very attractive.
Connectivity is a weakness of Aspire 7. The USB ports available on the Aspire 7 are all USB 2.0. However, at least one of the remaining USB 3.1 Gen. 1 ports has a USB Type C connector. There is also a fold-out Ethernet port and a full-sized HDMI connection. The Aspire 7 has a single 3.5mm combo audio jack, which is relatively uncommon for gaming notebooks. Most gaming headsets won’t work with it. The ports are located towards the laptop’s rear on both sides, so protruding cables and elements are not as annoying as those at the front.
SD Card Reader
The Acer Aspire 7 A717 72G SD Card reader can be connected via USB 3.0 (same on the HP Omen), but it cannot match the latter in real-world JPEG copy tests compared with our 64GB Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II reference card. It still beats the slow USB 2.0 card reader of the Aspire Nitro.
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 modem could not keep up with an Intel dual-band Wireless AC 8260 module. It also had transfer rates far below the theoretical maximum of 867Mbps without the overhead. It was slower than many MIMO 2×2 Wi-Fi modems. However, this could not be due to the wireless modem acting up, but rather the antennas. The distance between our Linksys EA8500 reference router and our measurements was 1 m.
Surprise! Acer included a TPM2.0 chip and a fingerprint reader in the upper left corner. It proved to be reliable and very fast.
Budget accessories are also called no supplements at all. Acer notebooks come with a standard barren box. It contained only the charger, quick start guide, and warranty leaflet. Accessories made explicitly for the Aspire 7 are not available.
The bottom cover is relatively high and almost reaches the top surface. There are also many screws to remove. We would expect that it will be difficult to disassemble. The top cover must be removed from the bottom pan. The Aspire 7 has two maintenance hatches, one for the hard drive and one for the RAM slots.
Some dealers claim that the Aspire 7 should have a free PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot. We were not able to confirm this. We have not taken the notebook apart because the notebook was a shop unit. The current model (A71771G-735Q in the US) has a 1TB hard drive and an additional SSD.
Devices sold in Europe have a 2-year limit, while those sold in the USA only come with a 1-year warranty.
4. Input Devices
The pressure-resistant keyboard measures almost the same width as a standard desktop keyboard but is only a few millimeters narrower. However, the number pad on the pressure-resistant keyboard is still smaller than standard keyboards. This will make it uncomfortable for people with large hands. The keys are a good size and spacing and should be used by touch-typists. The layout is similar to that used in Acer notebooks. The bottom row differs: keys like CTRL and ALT are smaller than the rest due to the arrow keys.
The keyboard’s feedback was very soft and spongy. The majority of keys are relatively quiet. Only the large keys, such as the spacebar or return keys, clatter slightly. You can’t turn the backlight on or off. It could be brighter.
Although the touchpad is sufficiently large and framed by a silver decorative ribbon, it is too far left to prevent a hand resting on the WASD keys. Although it had decent sliding characteristics even when slightly moist fingers were used, it did not detect inputs or movement at its edges. It responded quickly and accurately, with a high level of precision. Double-tap drag and drop worked every time.
The touchpad did not fit flush with the case, and it clattered pretty loudly. However, they worked well with their tight but balanced resistance and obvious tactile and acoustic feedback. Windows 10 does not have dedicated touchpad software, so gestures are limited to basic gestures made with three fingers.
The maximum brightness of the 17.3-inch matte FHD IPS screen was 357 nits. This is significantly higher than its counterparts which measured at 300 nits. Although the 86% brightness distribution was good, we noticed some screen bleeding at the edges and blacks not being uniform. This was not an issue with all-black contents. However, it became less noticeable when bright areas were added to the display.
The screen contents appeared somewhat coarse pixilated due to the low pixel density (only 127 PPI). However, the crispness was excellent. Acer doesn’t offer any other display options on the Aspire 7.
The outdoor test was conducted in overcast conditions. The left photo shows the screen with its face directly towards the sky. Although the screen’s usability was reduced overall, it was still easily readable. The screen would have been impossible to read in direct sunlight due to its matte surface and high brightness. The ideal location with the display pointed at the house entrance is the right photo. It would look almost identical in bright sunlight.
Core i7-8750H (4x 2.8 – 3.8 GHz Hyperthreading, 45 Watt TDP) quad-core that our review unit was equipped with is the gaming equivalent of the mainstream notebook Intel Core i5-7200U processor. It is also quite common in mainstream gaming notebooks, like its predecessor, i7-6700U (4x 2.6 – 3.5 GHz). The Kaby Lake CPUs run up to 15% faster due to their higher clock speeds. Nvidia’s Optimus technology and a DDR4 controller make the integrated Intel HD 630 GPU more energy-efficient.
The HP Omen 17 beat both Acer notebooks, while the Aspire 7 was last. The PCMark 8 score is generally higher if the storage device is faster. Our review unit (third place) had a regular hard drive. The Aspire Nitro 7 (second) had a SATA III SSD. At the same time, the HP Omen (first) had a blisteringly fast PCIe SSD.
The lack of SSD storage has had a significant impact on overall performance. The process of installing and launching apps took longer than usual, and the system felt slow overall. Those who have been working with SSDs for a while will be disappointed. The low storage performance caused slow launch times for games but did not affect the gaming experience.
Our review unit, which was not equipped with SSD storage as mentioned above, was fitted with a Toshiba MQ01ABD100 hard drive at 5400 RPM. This hard drive is relatively slow, even for hard drives.
Nvidia GeForce GTX1060 GPU is currently the fastest available Nvidia GPU, after the GTX 1080 (and their respective Max Q variants). It is based on Nvidia’s current Pascal architecture and has 6 GB of effectively fast GDDR5–VRAM at 8000 MHz with a 192-bit bus interface. The 16 nm GP106 GPU, released in August 2016, has 1280 shader units and is 30% faster than the GeForce GTX 980M, the previous generation’s fastest model.
Another gaming notebook, the Acer Aspire 7 A717 72G, makes us question whether the GTX 1060 Max Q is still around. It remained below the threshold of 40 dB(A), but only barely (39.9dB(A)) during real-world gaming loads using “Witcher 3”. It got louder only during the stress test.
Although the CPU fan is constantly running even when it is idle, it can only be seen from up close in quiet offices with one PC running. The fan does not react to sudden, short load spikes. The fans began revving up immediately after being subjected to a very unrealistic load scenario that ran Prime95 + FurMark concurrently. This was until the fans reached their maximum level of 43.5 dB(A) during our stress test. Despite having a limited R&D budget, the cooling solution worked very well. It was quiet and efficient and also lasted a long time.
Although indeed, a 17-inch notebook would not be a good choice for gaming, it’s absurd to think of someone who could do so. However, the temperatures at the bottom reached 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees F) during our “Witcher 3” loop and were far too hot for pleasant gaming. The palm rests, which are placed on the table, are more critical. Fortunately, they remained calm and below body temperature during heavy gaming loads.
During our stress test, the CPU could maintain its peak turbo boost at 3.4 GHz for a few seconds. Then it started fluctuating between 2.8 GHz and 3.4 GHz every few minutes.
Manufacturers often overlook or ignore that speakers are integral parts of multimedia notebooks. Unfortunately, this is also true here. The maximum volume of the two speakers facing downward is barely sufficient for small rooms. The playback was flat, shrill, and had over-pronounced highs. It also suffered from annoying distortions. The Miami Vice soundtrack’s bass line, “Crockett’s Theme”, has been completely removed and replaced by an inchoate hiss.
Although the battery life isn’t great, it’s still a bit better than average for a high-performance notebook of 17 inches. The battery’s 48Wh capacity seems to keep the system running well for web browsing, but it fails to impress when it is time to play video from an external source.
All tests were conducted with the standard settings: Wi-Fi, screen brightness at 120 cd/m2, and Windows power-saving mode.