Welcome to another episode of confusion.com. Today, the star of our review is the Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G). What looks like a successor to the Aspire 7 (A715-73G) is actually the direct successor of Acer Aspire 7 (A715-71G). Are you still with us? Okay, so let us explain why where all of this comes from.

While the numbers usually never lie, the case here is that the Aspire 7 (A715-73G) is a special device that has pretty much nothing to do with the other Aspire 7 laptops. As we mentioned in its review, the latter is, in fact, the proto-model for the ConceptD 5 (CN515-51), as they both share magnesium chassis and the fairly intricate Core i7-8705G – the one that has an AMD integrated GPU.

So, back to the Aspire 7 (A715-74G). This laptop is super sleek – it uses a lot of aluminum, can be maxed out with a Core i7-9750H and can be fitted with the GeForce GTX 1650. Hence, the notebook is not only looking nice, but it is also able to deliver some pure performance, thus being perfect for some Web designers, that are ashamed of gamer-centric hardware. For that, you would need a good monitor as well, which is why Acer has equipped the laptop with a 1080p IPS panel.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-7-a715-74-a715-74g/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74 / A715-74G) – Specs


HDD/SSD

up to
512GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD


Battery


3580 mAh, 4-cell, 3580 mAm, 4-cell


Dimensions


363.4 x 254.5 x 23.4 mm (14.31″ x 10.02″ x 0.92″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-A 2.0
  • 2x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet LAN 10/100/1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac

Features

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Speakers 2 Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

The packaging of this device is pretty standard – the laptop itself is placed inside a white protective cloth, while the power adapter is located in a separate box on its right. Speaking of which, the adapter itself is a 135W unit.

Design and construction

In terms of design, the Aspire 7 (A715-74G) is not a whole lot different from its predecessor, however, it indeed looks stunning. While both its lid and base are made out of aluminum, the bottom plate is plastic. When it comes to measurements, the notebook is 23.5mm high and weighs around 2.35 kg. Additionally, the base has chamfered edges, which make the laptop feel a lot more premium, but have a certain downside – more on that in a minute.

What is great about this device is that its lid opens effortlessly with a single hand. Its hinges are placed on either side of the chassis, which enhances the structural integrity and makes it less susceptible to flexing – sure thing is that the aluminum cover helps with that, as well.

Then we come to the base. It is home to a backlit keyboard, which thankfully features a NumberPad, even though it has its keys sized down a little, compared to the rest of the keyboard. Also, we are not big fans of the “Up” and “Down” arrow keys, which share a regular keycap size. Nevertheless, the board is fine to work with, as it has good tactile feedback and its key travel is … not too short.

Additionally, you are going to find a fingerprint reader on the right side of the base, while the touchpad is very comfortable. Although it lacks dedicated buttons we can describe the experience as good enough. By the way, do you remember the chamfered edges we are talking about earlier? Well, they make the aforementioned experience slightly less fantastic, as they (the edges) appear a bit too sharp, and you can certainly feel them on your wrists. What is also sharp are the edges around the keys – hence, the feeling you get after you press the space bar (for instance) is weird and with more imagination – could result in a cut.

Let’s turn the laptop on its lid and see what is underneath it. On either side of the machine, there are the speaker cut-outs. Moreover, you can see a spectacular ventilation grill that takes roughly half of the bottom plate. Hot air, on the other side, escapes from the back, as well as the right side of the notebook – we expect sufficient thermals behavior from the Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G).

Ports

On the left side, there is an RJ-45 connector, followed by an HDMI connector, a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port plus two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports. Then on the right, you can see the power plug, as well as another USB port, this time Type-A 2.0. Lastly, there is an Audio Jack right next to that USB port.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

This laptop’s bottom panel is held in place by 11 Phillips-head screws. Then, it is super easy to pop the clips with a plastic pry tool and finally – remove the panel itself. On the inside, you are going to s… wait a second?! We have already seen this setup. In fact, we’ve not only seen it once before. Yep, this Aspire 7 (A715-74G) is actually an Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51) in disguise… or a Nitro 5. Nevermind.

First, there is the cooling – it resembles three heat pipes, two of them are shared between the processor and the graphics card, while the third one is dedicated to the GPU only. Moreover, the third heat pipe does an awkward loop around the left fan and ends in a separate heat spreader.

What follows is one of the great feats of Acer this year. Not only they have included two RAM DIMMs that support up to 32GB of DDR4 memory. But this device supports up to 2 TB of 2.5″ SATA drive, as well as two M.2 NVMe drives.

Lastly, as far as the battery goes, the laptop features a 57.5Wh unit.

Display quality

Coming soon!

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this laptop can be found here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8011?b=1

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. As we mentioned, this notebook is equipped with a 57.5Wh battery.

In our tests, we got around 9 hours of Web browsing and just over 8 hours of video playback.

CPU options

As of yet, the Aspire 7 (A715-74G) can be purchased with either the quad-core Core i5-9300H or the hexa-core Core i7-9750H.


GPU options

While at the GPU-side, the choices come down to the GTX 1050 (3GB GDDR5) and the GTX 1650 (4GB GDDR5). While the difference in price is not that big, we suggest getting the latter, as it is more efficient and reasonably faster.


Gaming tests

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Core i7-9750H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G) 2.85 GHz (B+10%)@ 65°C 2.90 GHz (B+12%)@ 71°C 2.76 GHz (B+6%)@ 78°C
Lenovo Legion Y7000 (2019) 3.34 GHz (B+28%)@ 72°C 3.15 GHz (B+21%)@ 82°C 2.99 GHz (B+15%)@ 79°C
Lenovo Legion Y540 2.78 GHz (B+7%)@ 74°C 3.08 GHz (B+18%)@ 90°C 2.87 GHz (B+10%)@ 79°C
ASUS ROG G731 3.38 GHz (B+30%)@ 87°C 3.43 GHz (B+32%)@ 94°C 2.63 GHz @ 73°C
ASUS ROG G531 3.41 GHz (B+31%)@ 95°C 3.23 GHz (B+24%)@ 95°C 2.72 GHz (B+5%)@ 79°C
HP Omen 17 2019 3.44 GHz (B+32%)@ 86°C 2.74 GHz (B+5%)@ 71°C 2.67 GHz (B+3%)@ 71°C

Clearly Acer has chosen a more conservative way of cooling their laptop. Instead of pushing the fans to the max and limiting the usability of the notebook, the manufacturer is keeping the clock speeds below 3.00 GHz (still above the base clock), while the noise is low, as well as the temperatures throughout the entire test.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G) 1552 MHz @ 70°C 1532 MHz @ 76°C
Dell G3 15 3590 1605 MHz @ 67°C 1566 MHz @ 74°C
ASUS ROG G531 1461 MHz @ 65°C 1408 MHz @ 71°C
ASUS TUF FX705 1566 MHz @ 74°C 1568 MHz @ 74°C
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51) 1633 MHz @ 61°C 1599 MHz @ 67°C

For a laptop that shares the same cooling system as the Nitro 7 (AN715-51), it was weird to see such a difference in the temperature and the clock speed.

Gaming comfort

The higher inner temperature of the GPU resulted in high outer temperature. Additionally, the fans were sweating up pretty much as well.

Verdict

Quite frankly, the Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G) is one of the sleekest almost gaming laptops that have ever hit the market. It has an aluminum body, some cool-looking (but yet kind of dangerous) chamfered edges and it weighs somewhere around the weight of the new Helios 300.

Let’s start our last words on this device by admiring the dual-M.2 NVMe slot, provided by Acer. In a world where some manufacturers cut on upgradability, others excel. This Aspire 7 is on par with the Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51) and the Nitro 5 (AN515-54), as one of the better products in terms of options for upgrade.

Moreover, the laptop has an exceptional battery life – more than 9 hours of Web browsing and 8 hours of video playback from its 57.5Wh package. What is also very appealing about this notebook is the fact that it looks so… regular. There are no flashy RGB or colorful backlights. There are no aggressive edges or shapes – just the typical laptop clamshell with narrow side bezels.

Speaking of aggressive edges… we lied. You see, the base of this notebook is surrounded by a chamfered edge. Indeed it looks very cool, even when you close the lid. However, it is not the most comfortable thing when you are trying to type. It is nothing too dramatic, but you can definitely feel it. Additionally, the edges around each keycap feel slightly sharper than it should. Or perhaps it is the fact that the keys go down too deep?

Nevertheless, from a content creator standpoint, we were expecting an SD card reader and a Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. While the first can be quickly fixed by a dongle, you can’t really speed up the USB Type-C, unless you are tinkering with the hardware.

So, sadly we won’t be giving the Editor’s choice award to this exciting piece of hardware. It is just the small stuff that makes the end-user experience slightly less satisfactory. Else, the bigger picture looks very good, and we would be waiting for the successor and how Acer would tackle the issues that we (and most surely its users) will direct to them.

Pros

  • Stylish design features
  • Great battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Upgradability options are top level for the branche

Cons

  • No Thunderbolt support
  • No SD card reader
  • The champfered edges are not very comfortable when typing

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-aspire-7-a715-74-a715-74g/





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