Acer rolls out Aspire V Nitro Black Edition laptops for gamers, mobile pros

The new lineup is being marketed as both a workstation and a gaming notebook, complete with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

While much of the laptop market continues downward in price, whether it be Chromebooks or Microsoft's push for cheaper Windows 8.1 notebooks, there's still a niche for higher-price laptops for those who want to game on the go or who need pro-level performance. Acer is looking to capitalize on that niche with its new Aspire V Nitro Black Edition line of portables that features some of the latest components -- at a price north of $1,000.

The company is initially launching three models in the Nitro family, all coming with a pair of essential parts. One is the Intel Core i7-4710HQ quad-core processor, and the other is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics card. Two of the configurations come with a 15.6-inch screen, while the other ships with a 17.3-inch display -- though either screen has a full HD resolution of 1,920x1,080. (At roughly 5.3 pounds, the 15.6-inch models are about 1.3 pounds lighter than their big brother.) The Nitros come with varying amounts of RAM and storage, but all ship with Windows 8.1. 

The 15.6-inch VN7-591G-74LK is the cheapest at $1,099.99, coming with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. The other 15.6-inch model, the VN7-591G-75S2, will ship for $1,199.99 thanks to a 128GB SSD in addition to the terabyte hard drive. The 17.3-inch VN7-791G-71P5 doubles the RAM and SSD capacity and includes a built-in Blu-ray drive, but also costs $1,499.99.

Two other advantages of the 17.3-inch Nitro are the Acer DustDefender feature, which the company claims can remove dust and improve system cooling via a special high-speed fan, and the Acer CoolBoost utility that lets users control fan speed based on the system's workload. While the Nitro's highlights are definitely gamer-friendly, Acer is pushing the new line as also suitable for the professional looking for a mobile workstation. But they lack some of the features of competitors' workstation laptops, such as pro graphics cards like the Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro.

The VN7-591G-74LK will be available from Newegg.com starting in a week or two, with the VN7-591G-75S2 coming to Amazon next month. The VN7-791G-71P5 will also be available through Amazon next month, but will additionally be sold by Fry's and Micro Center.

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