You’re probably accustomed to seeing fashions of Acer’s venerable Nitro 5 funds gaming laptop computer line with costs comfortably within the triple digits. The corporate extends the road into midrange gaming laptop computer territory with this configuration ($1,700 at Acer), which packs a QHD show powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics.
Regardless of its many charms and robust efficiency, the Nitro 5 takes a detailed second to the Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version, which stays the very best gaming laptop computer worth we’ve seen these days. The Nitro 5 has an apparent benefit in display decision, nevertheless: Its 15.6-inch QHD show lends a versatility to the Nitro 5 that makes it a superb productiveness machine as properly. In the event you’re on the lookout for a do-it-all laptop computer for each work and play, there’s a superb argument to be made for the Nitro 5.
This evaluation is a part of our ongoing roundup of the very best laptops. Go there for info on competing merchandise and the way we examined them.
Acer Nitro 5 options and specs
This Nitro 5 mannequin we examined (AN515-45-R7S0) is likely one of the higher-end configurations within the Nitro 5 line, pairing the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU with GeForce RTX 3070 graphics. Right here’s the longer spec record:
- CPU: Octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
- Reminiscence: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB devoted GDDR6 VRAM
- Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Show: 15.6-inch, QHD (2560×1440) IPS, 165Hz refresh fee
- Webcam: 720p
- Proper facet: 1 x USB SuperSpeed 10Gbps Sort-C,1 x USB SuperSpeed 5Gbps Sort-A, HDMI 2.0.
- Left facet: 2 x USB SuperSpeed 10Gbps Sort-A (one with power-off charging), ethernet, combo audio jack.
- Networking: Wi-Fi 6, Killer Gigabit ethernet E2600, Bluetooth 5.0
- Biometrics: None
- Battery capability: 4-cell, 57.5 Watt-hours
- Dimensions: 14.3 x 10 x 1.0 inches
- Measured weight: 4.77 kilos (measured), 1.3-pound energy brick
At $1,700, our take a look at system prices considerably greater than many Nitro 5 fashions that you could find for lower than $1,000, however it’s not the priciest Nitro 5 that Acer sells. The highest mannequin within the line is greater than double the value of our take a look at system. It prices $3,798 and options the identical QHD, 165Hz show powered by the Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, 32GB of RAM and RTX 3080 graphics.
Midrange elements in a funds chassis
Premium elements or no, it seems that each Acer Nitro 5 makes use of the identical cumbersome, plastic case as lower-cost fashions. I’m far more accepting of such bulk and heft when priced under $1,000, much less in order the value nears $2,000. The laptop computer is sort of all black, with just a few design touches geared towards avid gamers. You’ll discover a piece of molded crimson plastic on the again edge between the laptop computer’s vents, and the entrance corners are angled to make the system seem considerably much less cumbersome than it truly is. It already weighs 4.77 kilos, and also you’ll have to lug round greater than 6 kilos should you embrace the hefty energy adapter.
The all-plastic chassis feels pretty stable and inflexible. There’s a trace of flex beneath the keys when typing, however the lid is extra regarding, feeling very skinny and flimsy. At this worth, it’s not an excessive amount of to count on a steel lid for elevated rigidity behind the show. The equally priced Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version, for instance, options an aluminum lid and keyboard deck. The Nitro 5’s show bezels are additionally a bit on the thick facet, which provides to the system’s total hefty really feel.
Again to the keyboard: The keys felt gentle, but responsive. They’re quiet with out feeling mushy. Acer squeezes in a quantity pad, with a sacrifice: The suitable-Shift key’s shortened, which could take some getting used to. Whereas I perceive full-size arrow keys are helpful for a gaming laptop computer, I actually dislike having to surrender a few of my right-Shift key. I continuously hit the up-arrow key by chance when making an attempt to press the right-Shift key—very annoying. The arrow keys and the WASD keys are outlined to information avid gamers to the buttons they mash most. Acer additionally highlights another key—the particular ‘N’ key above the numpad that launches Acer’s NitroSense utility.
The NitroSense utility helps you to alter the mode or velocity of the cooling followers, choose an influence plan, and customise the RGB keyboard backlighting. You may set the colour of the backlighting throughout 4 zones and choose between static and dynamic modes. Most laptops at this worth function zone-lit keyboards, quite than per-key, so the Nitro 5 is true on development.
The system is common when it comes to fan noise. The followers kick in throughout video games and different intensive graphics duties and may clearly be heard, however they’re quite quiet (not not often silent) throughout lighter masses. I performed with the fan settings within the NitroSense utility and tried out the CoolBoost setting that cranks up fan velocity to optimize CPU and GPU efficiency, however discovered little change in fan noise or efficiency.
The touchpad seems a bit undersized, given the expanse of the keyboard deck, however it precisely recorded my mousing gestures. Its clicks felt agency with snappy suggestions. No complaints right here, apart from believing Acer might have made the touchpad a contact wider.
Show goes to QHD
Most Nitro 5 fashions you’ll encounter function a primary 1920×1080 show, however this Nitro 5 boasts a QHD (2560×1440) panel. The added pixels could not pique the curiosity of avid gamers, who probably play nearly all of their video games at 1080p quite than 1440p, however the increased decision is a bonus throughout productiveness duties as a result of it supplies a bigger workspace and a finer picture. Shifting a step additional to a 4K decision on a 15.6-inch show is much less helpful—most customers received’t discover a lot of a distinction in decision on this measurement of a show, and battery life suffers the upper the decision will get. A QHD decision is true within the candy spot for a 15.6-inch laptop computer.
The show appeared pretty vivid and exhibited vivid coloration and good distinction. I performed CS:GO in a sunny room and was capable of see particulars in darkish scenes on the Historic and Militia maps. If a good friend or two needed to observe sitting subsequent to you when you performed, they’d be capable of see the motion as a result of the show is an IPS panel. IPS expertise delivers a large viewing angle, so the show doesn’t look overly dim when considered off axis.
The audio system present merely common output. They’ve sufficient energy to fill a small room however the sound is muddied, with little separation between excessive and mid tones, and little in the way in which of a bass response. Players will need to hold their headphones helpful.
The 720p webcam above the show is underwhelming. Video suffered from noise and reddish pores and skin tones. It additionally lacks a privateness cowl.
The port choices cowl the fundamentals (see photographs of left and proper sides, under). As with different AMD laptops we’ve seen, nevertheless, the USB-C port doesn’t embrace Thunderbolt assist. And when you do get an HDMI port, you’ll have to make do and not using a DisplayPort connection.
Our Nitro 5 take a look at system contains a roomy 1TB SSD, and the laptop computer has room so as to add a second storage drive if you wish to develop. Take away 11 screws from the underside panel and you may get contained in the laptop computer, the place you’ll discover a spot for a 2.5-inch drive. Acer thoughtfully contains within the field the cable and screws you’ll have to make such an addition. The DIMM slots are additionally simply accessible, however each have been occupied in our take a look at system, with an 8GB stick in every.
Acer Nitro 5 Efficiency
If not for the Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version, a superb argument could possibly be made for this Acer Nitro 5 config because the price-for-performance champ. Nonetheless, the Nitro 5 acquitted itself nearly as properly in labs testing.
We in contrast the Acer Nitro 5 in opposition to different high-end laptops with the most recent AMD and Nvidia GPUs. The Acer Predator Triton 300 options RTX 3060 graphics, the Asus ZenBook Professional Duo 15 OLED UX582 options RTX 3070 graphics, the Razer Blade 14 options RTX 3080 graphics, and the Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version options Radeon RX 6800M. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G contains a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU dialed down with a decrease Whole Graphics Energy (TGP) of 105 Watts. We additionally included techniques with previous-generation Nvidia graphics from Alienware, MSI and XPG.
Our first benchmark assessments how a laptop computer is ready to deal with crushing CPU masses over a prolonged interval—on this case, transcoding a 30GB MKV file to a format appropriate for Android tablets utilizing HandBrake, the free video encoding utility. The Nitro 5 bested the Intel Core i7- and i9-based competitors and even edged the Ryzen 9-based Razer Blade 14. The Asus ROG Strix G15, nevertheless, took high honors.
Subsequent up is Cinebench, one other CPU-intensive take a look at however one which renders a fancy 2D scene over a brief time frame. The Acer Nitro 5 once more topped the Intel-based competitors, however this time completed behind each Ryzen 9-based laptops. The Ryzen 9 5800HX and Ryzen 7 5800H CPUs are extra related than you may suppose—each function 8 cores and 16 threads, with the Ryzen 9 5800HX providing a slight edge in base and max increase frequencies. We present multi-thread and single-thread outcomes under.
Now it’s time to see how the Nitro 5’s RTX 3070 graphics chops stack up in opposition to laptops with RTX 3080 graphics and previous-generation RTX 20-series graphics, in addition to the Asus ROG Strix G15 and its Radeon RX 6800M GPU. On 3DMark, the Nitro 5 not surprisingly slotted behind a pair of laptops with RTX 3080 graphics. Nevertheless it topped the opposite RTX 3070-based laptop computer (the Asus ZenBook Professional Duo) and stayed properly forward of the RTX 3060-based Acer Predator Triton 300 SE. The Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version completed first, and by a wholesome margin.
Shifting on to real-world video games, we first run Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1920×1080 decision set to Very Excessive and in DX11 mode. The Nitro 5 turned in a really playable framerate of 101 fps, as we’d count on an RTX 3070-based laptop computer to do on an older sport at these settings. We additionally ran the benchmark with CoolBoost enabled, and the framerate truly dropped barely to 99 fps.
On the newer Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1920×1080 decision, the Nitro 5 averaged 104 fps. We additionally ran the extra demanding Metro Exodus (which could be too stiff) at 1920×1080 on the benchmark’s Excessive preset, and the Nitro 5 averaged 36 fps. It fared higher on the identical decision with the Regular preset, the place it achieved a mean framerate of 102 fps.
We take a look at laptop computer battery life by looping a 4K video utilizing the inventory Home windows Motion pictures & TV app, with display brightness set to about 250 nits and the quantity dialed to 50 p.c, with headphones plugged in.
It’s uncommon to discover a gaming laptop computer with respectable battery life, and the Nitro 5 shouldn’t be an exception to this rule. It lasted lower than 5.5 hours on our battery-drain take a look at, which is a bit under common. Thoughts you, video rundown is way much less demanding than gaming, so don’t count on to frag bots for lengthy off AC.
Sturdy performer with QHD bonus
The Acer Nitro 5 we examined prices greater than most fashions within the Nitro 5 line, higher identified for its sub-$1,000 funds choices. It’s considerably disappointing to be paying extra for a laptop computer that’s nonetheless wearing bargain-bin clothes, but when you may get previous the aesthetics, this Nitro 5 mannequin delivers excellent midrange gaming laptop computer efficiency. With an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and RTX 3070 graphics, it outperforms laptops that price a whole bunch extra. And whereas its QHD 1440p show might not be of curiosity to avid gamers, the bump up in decision from the extra widespread FHD 1080p panel supplies extra worth as a result of it makes the Nitro 5 a extra helpful productiveness machine—so long as the shortened Shift key doesn’t drive you loopy.
If it weren’t for that pesky Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version, the Acer Nitro 5 can be a larger worth. Nonetheless, it’s one of many higher (if not the very best) offers on the market, and properly value contemplating.