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Acer Nitro 5 Review: A Stand-Out Budget Gaming Laptop


Illustration for article titled Acer Nitro 5 Review: A Stand-Out Budget Gaming Laptop

Photograph: Joanna Nelius/Gizmodo

It’s not a stretch to say we’ll most likely see new gaming laptops with bigger and better graphics cards soon with 2021 and CES right around the corner. That’s all effectively and good for anybody who desires the most recent and biggest, however many individuals would like one thing that simply adequate—aka one thing on a finances. These laptops might weigh greater than 5 kilos, they could not have the most effective show or the most effective keyboard. They get the job accomplished although, and so they do their jobs effectively, which is why I’d be joyful to advocate Acer’s Nitro 5 to anybody who desires one thing that may do all of it, however doesn’t must spend an ungodly amount of cash on a gaming laptop computer.

The Acer Nitro 5 is the kind of laptop computer I’d have beloved to have in faculty. At 5.07 kilos, it’s mild sufficient to hold round in your backpack, but it surely’s dimensions are thick sufficient so that you don’t have to fret about it sliding around in your desk. Even at that weight, it’s nonetheless type of brick-like with 14.3 by 1.02 by 10-inch dimensions. It could be good to have that top beneath an inch on the very least, but it surely nonetheless comes with enticing options that finances laptops usually wouldn’t up to now, like a 1080p, 144 Hz IPS show. It’s a more-than-solid gaming laptop computer for $1,100.

The Nitro 5 has simply the correct amount of ports, too: one USB 2.0, two USB-A 3.1, one USB-C 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet, audio line out, headphone jack, and one HDMI port. Some $2,000-plus laptops have much less ports than that! This laptop computer isn’t constructed for streaming, however if you wish to plug in a wired mouse, a headset, and a standalone mic to coordinate with your folks over a number of rounds of Apex Legends, you are able to do that. There’s additionally Bluetooth 5.Zero help, and a built-in 1280 x 720 webcam plus microphone.

The last-gen Intel processor isn’t that huge of a compromise in comparison with the Nitro 5’s whole package deal. The Core i7-9750H efficiency is unquestionably not as quick in comparison with the 10th-gen. However I’d somewhat sacrifice a little bit of efficiency that solely quantities to small lower in body charges or a number of further seconds of processing or loading time as an alternative of DRAM, storage capability, or a ray-tracing graphics card. The 512 GB SSD is middle-of-the-road for the general worth of this laptop computer, however it may simply be upgraded down the road. Video games’ file sizes are huge lately, so any tier of gaming laptop computer ought to include a minimum of a 1 TB SSD. That’s one of many largest drawbacks to the Acer Nitro 5, however once more, it’s a finances laptop computer. Concessions have to be made someplace.

The Nitro 5 additionally comes with an RTX 2060, which can also be a last-gen graphics card, however has the efficiency you’d count on in a laptop computer at this worth. Gaming on a finances normally requires some sacrifices, however the Nitro 5 is the absolute best mixture you may get for the value. It’s stellar. Acer does supply a Nitro 5 model with a Ryzen 7 4800H and a GTX 1650Ti for precisely the identical worth, although. The Ryzen is the higher of the 2 CPUs, however most video games rely closely on the GPU, and the RTX 2060’s efficiency is miles forward of the GTX 1650 Ti. Once more, I’d somewhat sacrifice a little bit of CPU efficiency than a number of GPU efficiency, particularly because the Intel and AMD fashions have the identical specs in any other case for a similar worth.

For reference, the Core i7-9750H has barely higher efficiency because the Intel i5-10300H within the Gateway Creators Series we not too long ago examined, scoring 5186 in single-core efficiency on Geekbench 4, simply 12 factors increased than the Gateway. Not shocking since they each have the identical 4.50 GHz increase clock. Multi-core was no contest between the 2 although; the i7-9750H has 6-cores/12-threads and the i5-10300H has 4-cores/8-threads. The Nitro 5 clearly scored rather a lot increased.

When it got here to our common Handbrake and Blender exams, the Nitro 5 was about 15-20 seconds sooner rendering 3D photographs and transcoding a 4K video to 1080p 30 fps, which took between 12.5-13.5 minutes for every job. The Nitro 5 was a tad slower than the Gateway within the Blender GPU take a look at although, by about 20 seconds, regardless that each have the identical GPU.

Gaming-wise, The Acer Nitro 5 was typically sooner than the Gateway. Though the extra GPU-intensive the sport, the smaller the distinction. In Overwatch, the Nitro had a 30 fps lead at 1080p on extremely over the Gateway, 195 to 165 fps. Far Cry 5 was 86 to 72 fps, Complete Battle: Warhammer II 67 to 59 fps, Shadow of the Tomb Raider 69 to 63 fps, and Metro Exodus 46 to 47 fps with ray tracing off, and 37 to 38 fps with ray tracing on. These two further cores within the Ninth-gen CPU are positively being put to make use of.

As for battery life, the Acer Nitro 5 is barely above common in comparison with different gaming laptops. Acer advertises as much as an 8-hour battery life on the Nitro 5, however our exams confirmed a median of six hours. That’s practically the identical because the MSI Creator 15, Razer Blade 15 Advanced, and Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It beats the Gateway by an hour, the Asus Strix Scar G15 by an hour and 15 minutes, and the Razer Blade Pro 17 by two and a half hours. Suffice to say, the Nitro has first rate battery life.

And that brings me to thermals, which I, surprisingly, don’t have a lot to complain about. Intel’s 10th era of laptop computer processors run notoriously sizzling, and that’s typically my primary grievance of all of the gaming laptops I’ve examined in 2020. Generally that warmth makes the chassis too sizzling, after which it’s downhill from there. Intel’s Ninth-generation of laptop computer processors truthful higher, however only a bit. I noticed CPU temps attain a max of 93 C (199.Four F), which precipitated some thermal throttling in response to HWInfo, but it surely by no means hit the utmost temperature of 100 C (212 F). Pores and skin temps by no means broke 50 C (122 F), so I may sport for lengthy durations of time comfortably.

If worth is your primary precedence, and also you’re wonderful with getting some previous-gen components, the Nitro 5 is among the best-specced gaming laptops you can get for $1,100. Acer makes a number of sacrifices to get the most effective worth to efficiency ratio doable, and that it just about nailed it.


  • Affordable worth for the specs
  • First rate battery life
  • Want the SSD was 1 TB as an alternative of 512 GB
  • Nice pores and skin temps, although the CPU will get toasty

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Joanna Nelius