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Acer Aspire V3-571G preview: A rather impressive laptop with some Ultrabook DNA

This is a laptop with some interesting specifications including a Full HD IPS display, a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a relatively powerful card from Nvidia.

It costs about £800, and for that money you get a fairly standard-looking 15.6-inch laptop in the typical Acer style. This V3 series looks a bit like the Timeline models from a while back. You won't find any aluminium here, just plastic. The stand-out feature is the matte 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. IPS screens tend to have much better viewing angles, brightness and colors than the more common TN screens.

The modest design betrays the powerful hardware inside, however. While the Intel Core i7-3630QM is the entry-level model in Intel's quad-core processor series, it's a lot faster than a dual-core processor. The Nvidia GeForce GT640M has 2 GB of video memory, and while it's not a GPU from Nvidia's GTX series, it does provide better performance than the integrated graphics. It's a chip from Nvidia's Kepler family which has 384 Cuda cores (624 MHz) and a memory bandwidth of 1.8 GHz. It's one of the few GT-class cards that's actually fast enough for playing games.

It's an impressive laptop in other areas as well. Both memory slots are filled with 4 GB DDR3 RAM modules, of the DDR3-1333 kind. Storage is provided by a 1 TB, 5400 rpm hard disk. There's also a Pioneer Blu-ray player that can also burn cds and dvds. A pretty deluxe configuration, in other words. The only thing you're missing is an SSD.

Adding an SSD yourself isn't that difficult. Acer put the replaceable components like the hard disk, WiFi module and RAM underneath a cover that's kept in place by two screws. You can't fit both a hard disk and an SSD, however, so you'll have to choose.

That does reveal that the chassis is showing its age. This can be seen with the connectors as well, as only one of the three USB ports is USB 3.0. The other connectors consist of a card reader, HDMI, VGA and a gigabit ethernet port. Dual-band 300 Mbit/s WiFi is provided by an Atheros card, which is also responsible for Bluetooth 4.0. You can read the rest of the Acer Aspire V3-571G preview on