The Aspire V3 is not one to stand out from the crowd. Visually speaking, it's about as sober as they come. The wrist support and keyboard panel are made of black anodised aluminium, but the bezel is made of a glossy plastic that smudges all too easily. It's too bad, because every time you open and close the screen you necessarily end up touching the bezel. The chassis underneath is lined with matte black plastic.
The chiclet keyboard has a number pad, but no backlighting. For some reason Acer reduced the size of the arrow keys in order to fit the numpad in, even though there's a good three centimetres of unused space on either side of the keys. But it's still easy to type on. The keystroke is a bit too slack for our taste, but the keys are relatively quiet, barring the space bar.
The touchpad offers a nice surface to glide on that doesn't stick to the finger. It recognises two-finger scrolling, zooming and all the Windows 8 touch gestures. The entire surface is clickable, but the press is a little long and the return too limp.
Along the laptop's sides are two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and an audio in and out. An SD card reader is located on the front for transferring photos and videos. There's also a Blu-ray drive (or DVD drive, depending on the configuration), a feature that goes well with the Full HD screen.
The V3-772G's noise levels always stay low, never above 38 dB(A), even when the components are under stress. The heat stays just as reasonable, except for the left side of the keyboard, which can get up to 47.8°C. This hot spot is right where your left palm rests when you type.
Green = good / Orange = tolerable / White = heavily altered
Unfortunately, the built-in speakers don't follow suit. The volume is low and the saturation is high. With no bass or high-end to speak of, the end result is quite lame indeed.
Configuration: Acer Aspire V3-772G (747A8G1TBDWAKK)The model we were sent to review features an Intel Core i7-4702MQ processor, 8 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760M video card, a Full HD screen and a 1 TB hard drive (5400 rpm). The observations above apply to all models of the Acer Aspire V3-772G, whereas the Screen, Processor Power, Gaming and Battery Life sections below apply only to the model we tested.
Our model had a matte Full HD TN screen with a matte surface and maximum brightness up to 370 cd/m². Also good, the 950:1 contrast ratio doesn't vary when you change the brightness.
The Intel Core i7-4702MQ processor allows the V3-772G to undertake any task. It's a tad less powerful than the i7-4700MQ found in the MSI GE60, but it performs just as well with certain computations such as HD video encoding. When exporting batches of photos from one format to another, for example, the Acer Aspire V3-772G takes about 15% longer than the GE60. The V3-772G starts up in 20 seconds and shuts down in 10 seconds.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 760M (3DMark06: 18002) will play most games in the screen's native resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). With most of them you can put the graphics settings all the way up, but on particularly demanding games such as Crysis 3, you'll have to lower the quality settings in order to get a decent frame rate. The graphics card isn't needed to read HD video, so instead the energy-saving Intel HD 4600 takes over, at which point HD movies play flawlessly.
MOBILITY / BATTERY LIFE
The Aspire V3-722G is too big (414.8 x 275 x 34.65 mm) and heavy (3.2 kg) to carry around for very long, but it does last for four hours of video playback in airplane mode with the screen brightness at 100 cd/m², headphones plugged in and the keyboard backlighting turned off.