What are the changes that casual gamers should look forward to in this year’s latest iteration of the Acer Nitro 5?
Unlike before, consumers now have diverse options when searching for a mainstream gaming laptop. However, only select brands offer powerful hardware on these powerful devices. One of these workhorses is the Acer Nitro 5, which is now made bolder, faster, better, and stronger. Read more to find out.
At first look, the Acer Nitro 5 has a plastic-y body with a brushed finish in black. Compared to its predecessors, the latest iteration has several red-accented parts. This includes the red-backlit keyboard and the rear exhaust of the laptop. It has a glossy and embossed Acer logo on the laptop’s lid and signature lines on each side. Lifting the lid reveals a thick hinge with two LED indicators for battery and power. At the middle top of the hinge lies the NITRO branding in red letters.
On the left side, it has a Kensington lock, an rJ45 port for a wired internet connection, two USB-A ports, and an audio combo jack. On the opposite side, there’s the USB-C port, another USB-A port, and an HDMI port that can be used to expand the display on another external device. There are vents on each side and at the back of the laptop. Unlike other traditional gaming laptops, the wired charger’s power input is located at the middle rear part.
In terms of hardware, the latest version of the Acer Nitro 5 is now powered with AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors and up to NVIDIA RTX 3000 series of graphics cards. The model we got comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor mated with an integrated Radeon and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 dedicated graphics card. It has up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, two M.2 PCIe SSDs, and an HDD slot for expanding storage. The model we had our hands on has a 16 GB LPDDR4 RAM, 1 TB PCIe NVMe SSD, and a 1TB HDD, which is pretty decent for multitasking, gaming, and even rendering videos and processed images on creative software. Upfront, it is equipped with a 144Hz FHD IPS display in 17.3-inch. It runs under Windows 10 Pro and has a 55Whr battery.
To prevent it from overheating, it is equipped with the brand’s proprietary cooling system, Acer CoolBoost technology, and the dedicated NitroSense software for monitoring CPU and GPU temperatures. Through the software, users can adjust the fan control and power plan settings.
User Experience: 4.5/5
The Acer Nitro 5 might be an entry-level gaming laptop, but its hardware can do so much more. Apart from casual gaming, I used the device for recording my gameplays in Valorant. I was able to edit clips from my recording, switch to multiple tabs on my web browser, and video conference for hours, thanks to its 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM. The laptop’s temperature does not increase too much, keeping its backlit keyboard manageable to touch during multitasking. Its rear and side ventilation also helps in the heat dissipation of the laptop.
Since it has a solid and larger build, there’s a heft to it whenever you carry it, just like most gaming laptops in the market. And since it has a large display, it offers a more immersive gaming and viewing experience. It’s bright, sharp, and clear. We also give some plus points to the significant downsizing of the bezels compared to previous Nitro 5 versions. Its dedicated graphics card, together with its screen, helps the laptop run buttery-smooth PC games with high frame rates up to 144Hz and response rate up to 3ms, which are ideal for fast-paced FPS games such as Valorant. I experienced occasional lags during gameplay, but our network server was to blame.
I was skeptical about playing online games wirelessly since I might experience connectivity issues in-game. However, the laptop supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard with Intel’s AX200 module for internet speeds up to 2.4Gbps. It is also matched with a Killer E2600 gigabit ethernet controller driver to improve network and latency performance by up to 25% and prioritize games and other software that require a bigger network bandwidth. This is further optimized when used with the Acer Network Optimizer.
In terms of multimedia and connectivity, the laptop offers decent connectivity options. It has enough ports for my gaming peripherals—a definite plus for casual gamers out there. The input from my wireless mechanical keyboard was quite fast and responsive, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. Powered by DTS:X Ultra speakers, gamers can choose various audio profiles on the Acer Nitro 5. The bottom-firing speakers located at the left and right sides of the device are loud. The laptop offers a surround-sound experience, but audio is way better when you have a headset or earphones plugged in. Its front-facing HD camera also delivers clear video, good enough for online meetings. Do note that you’ll need to buy a separate privacy cover for its camera.
The only caveat that I experienced here is the battery life. Using it with the display brightness at 100%, volume at 50%, and Wi-Fi connection running only gave me 6 hours of use. This is still good considering that I am stuck at home, attending my online classes. I also loved the idea of plugging the charger at the back of the device for neater cable management.
The latest Acer Nitro 5 is definitely a good option for all types of casual gamers. The latest processor, larger memory, and bigger hybrid storage are dealbreakers for those who are looking for an all-around daily driver for their home. However, you should consider the constant need for an outlet plug, its weight, and an external memory card reader when you take it out. For online classes, casual gaming, entertainment, and content creation, this is a good investment.
- 3-inch FHD IPS display, 144Hz
- refresh rate, 3ms response rate
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor with integrated Radeon graphics card
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
- 1TB HDD + 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 16GB LPDDR4 RAM
- Acer CoolBoost technology
- Acer NitroSense
- Quad exhaust port design
- Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
- Killer E2600
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Backlit keyboard (red)
- 3 x USB-A
- 1 x USB-C
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x RJ45 port
- 1 x Kensington lock
- DTS:X Ultra speaker system
- Acer Network Optimizer
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Windows 10 Pro
- 55Whr battery
- Big and good display with a smooth refresh rate
- Immersive audio for headsets
- Solid build
- Acer Nitrosense for customizable cooling system
- Impressive hardware performance
- No webcam shutter
- Absence of memory card readers
- Battery life
An alternative workhorse for all kinds of casual gamers.
Reviewed by Jewel Sta. Ana
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2021 Issue