If you’re a regular reader of our website and looking for a budget laptop, today is your lucky day: here comes the Acer Nitro5 gaming laptop review!
Acer is one of the main players in the “best bang for the buck” category, and they excel in offering amazing value for money gaming laptops, specially designed for nerds who spend most of their lives shooting stuff.
Since the Nitro 5 retails for way less than one thousand bucks, it would make for an excellent addition to your gaming paraphernalia due to its solid hardware platform and gaming-centric design, which will definitely win the hearts and minds of keyboard warriors under a certain age.
Seriously speaking, this gaming laptop means business both inside and out, as it’s powered by a 10th generation Intel Core I5 10300H, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU.
As usual, when it comes to high-powered laptops, the Nitro 5 can be used successfully not only for gaming. Considering the hardware inside, this machine will also do a great job with video editing tasks, as well as making for a solid tool for graphic designers looking for a “value for money” oriented rig, so there you have it: the Nitro 5 will do great in both gaming, video editing, graphic design, what have you.
There’s one caveat though: as long as you don’t expect miracles from this Asus ROG lookalike, you’ll not be disappointed, i.e. this is an I5 powered laptop after all, also known as aurea mediocritas.
Finally, if you want to squeeze the last ounce of performance from your gaming rig and enhance its lifespan, don’t forget to buy a high-performance cooling pad.
- CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10300H Processor (Up to 4.5GHz)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Graphics with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
- Display: 15″ Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit 144Hz Refresh Display
- RAM/Storage: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz Memory | 256GB NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M.2 Slots – 1 Slot Open for Easy Upgrades) & 1 – Available Hard Drive Bay
- Connectivity: LAN: Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN | Wireless: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax
While we’re at it, check out this article about the main features and specifications to look after before buying a new laptop.
What it is
To define it succinctly, the Acer Nitro 5 is a competent rig aimed at budget gamers, making for Acer’s latest stab at the budget laptop gaming scene. The current price of the Nitro 5 revolves around $700, give or take, in this particular spec option.
Even if it is a relatively cheap gaming laptop, it can be used for playing the more demanding games, which means the Nitro 5 delivers more for less (money), making for a solid gaming rig with decently powerful specifications, an average full HD display, a comfy keyboard, and, most importantly, it features Acer CoolBoost Technology with Twin Fans and Quad Exhaust Ports Design which keeps it cool under heavy loads.
To make a long story short, the Nitro 5 design is not great, not terrible, to quote from the classics. To be more precise, there’s a lot to be desired with the Nitro 5 in terms of look and feel, but it’s not all bad. For example, some folks will appreciate the laptop’s subdued gamer look, courtesy of its blood-red trimmings on the top rear bar, trackpad and keyboard backlight.
The display hinges are well built and solid, and there are more than enough ports to accommodate your gaming gear. The red keyboard is very comfortable, and that’s a big plus in our book, while the user-controllable cooling system is a boon.
But, the overall design/build quality of the Nitro 5 is nothing to write home about really. The design borrows heavily from Asus ROG machines, and there are many cutbacks, in order to keep the price down. For example, the screen lid is all plastic (cheap plastic actually), the area around the keyboard track and the top cover will draw fingerprints like crazy, and the display has enormous bezels around it.
The worst of all is the trackpad, which is ridiculous. Finally, the laptop measures 0.94 by 14.3 by 10 inches, and weighs 5.5 pounds, which is average for a 15.6 incher.
The keyboard scores a major win for the Nitro 5, being comfortable and reliable, responsive and fast, with zero lag, or missed/accidental presses. Needless to say, this keyboard will please both hardcore gamers and avid typists, thus making for a nice surprise in the laptop’s price bracket.
As we already told you, this laptop is all about hits and misses, and the trackpad is a definite miss, by a mile actually. We don’t understand why they bothered at all with putting a substandard trackpad on this laptop, as it’s literally useless, very stiff and with a lot of travel, not to mention poorly designed.
Be advised: you will not be able to use this laptop without a proper mouse.
Display & general performance
We gave good news in this department: the display is a full HD IPS variant with 144 Hz refresh rate, which makes it excellent for gaming, especially FPS stuff. The screen features a non-reflective matte finish, which is a nice touch from Acer, and the hinges allow it to move 150 degrees, with everything feeling solid and sans wobble.
The IPS panel is fairly sharp, with decent viewing angles. The 144 Hz refresh rate also makes moving around Windows super-smooth, and the display has a listed 3 ms refresh rate, which is kind of good. Finally, the display is Freesync compatible, which means it supports variable refresh rate.
Here’s a quick word for professionals looking for a laptop gaming with video editing on the side: just 59 percent of sRGB color space is covered, which means this is not droid you are looking for in terms of critical colorwork. However, even if the display is far from impressive in terms of color reproduction and color uniformity, it’s more than adequate for general use.
Performance-wise, the laptop does well, but not stellar (this is not an I7), and the SSD provides fast loading speeds. To give you a hint, you can play Assassins Creed Valhalla on mid-to-high settings with 40 to 60 fps, provided you upgrade the RAM amount to 16 GB.
Truth be told, battery life is bad, but that’s to be expected from a gaming laptop with a high-performance GPU and dual cooling. These things put a lot of pressure on battery, and even if you can use software to adjust fan speeds for both CPU and GPU, you won’t get more than 2 and a half-hour of uptime on battery power.
Yet, this is to be expected from a cheap gaming laptop, so overall, this is a feature, not a bug .
All things considered, the Acer Nitro 5 offers impressive value for money: the hardware inside if pretty good for both gaming and productivity tasks (making money that is), the keyboard is very good, the screen is more than acceptable, and you can get true 60fps gaming if you dial back the image settings a little bit.
If you’re a “financially challenged gamer”, the Acer Nitro 5 can be your panacea.
- Solid CPU and GPU
- Above-average performance
- Expandable storage
- Very good keyboard
- Dual fan cooling
- Garbage trackpad
- Thick display bezel