The Acer Nitro 5 is an entry-level gaming machine that is catered to gamers whose budget is limited. Positioned right below the company’s Helios and Triton offerings, the Nitro series has a sweet spot that offers great performance at a budget. But of course, some sacrifices have to be made to make it as affordable as it is.
Acer Nitro 5 – Specifications
|CPU||Intel Core i7-10750H|
|GPU||NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660Ti with 6GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 2933Mhz RAM|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6″ 144Hz display with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology|
Full HD 1920 x 1080
LED-backlit TFT LCD
16:9 aspect ratio
45% NTSC color gamut
Wide viewing angle up to 170 degrees
|Networking||Intel® Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
R2+ax wireless LAN Supports Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
2×2 MU-MIMO technology Supports Bluetooth® 5.0 & Wi-Fi CNVi Interface
Killer Ethernet E2600 (Wake On LAN Support)
Supports IPv4 IPv6
|Connectivity||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port featuring power-off USB charging|
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
HDMI® 2.0 port with HDCP support
Ethernet (RJ-45) port
USB Type-C port supporting: USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
3.5 mm headphone/speaker jack, supporting headsets with built-in microphone
|Battery||57.5 Wh 4-cell Li-ion battery|
|Dimensions||363.4 (W) x 255 (D) x 23.9 (H) mm|
|Webcam||720 HD Webcam|
The Acer Nitro 5 strikes a really well balance between gaming and minimalism when it comes to design. On one part, it has a minimalistic yet chunky body with a matte finish. On the other, it still has this subtle, yet passive aggressive red gaming accents highlighted here and there – trackpad and rear fan grilles. It’s a good thing there’s not too much, otherwise I’d be thrown off by the design.
On the left, you’ll be getting a RJ45 Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. On the right, there’s the HDMI port, another USB 3.0 Type-A port, and a USB Type-C port. On the back, is where you’ll find the power port.
The Acer Nitro 5’s display is really smooth thanks to the 144Hz refresh rate. The 15.6-inch FHD IPS panel has a 3ms response time, which is fairly good. Its narrow bezel of 7.03mm gives it a 80% screen-to-body ratio. Colour accuracy wise, the display does cover 72% of the NTSC colour gamut. It may not be Pantone validated, but it should suffice when it comes to basic photo editing. This laptop isn’t technically geared for content creators anyway.
When watching movies, colour output is vivid, but when it comes to gaming, this is where I wish the brightness could’ve been a little brighter. Even with a rated 300 nits brightness, in dark scenarios, I could barely see what’s happening on the screen. I had to turn off the lights in the room, and adjust the in-game brightness setting to make the screen contrast more to my eyes.
Apart from that, it also has a neutral tone which isn’t too warm or cool, so no further optimisation was needed.
Remember when I said sacrifices were made? The display lid part does flex quite a bit, so you might want to be careful when handling it.
The Acer Nitro 5 does feel a little heavy at 2.3KG, but it’s acceptable for me because I’ve been carrying heavy laptops for years now. However, the weight may be a little off-putting for those who wish to lighten their backpack burden.
The Nitro 5’s keyboard needs a little getting used to. The key sizes are all regular sized, so they’re easy to locate and press on. Even the WASD and arrow clusters are highlighted in white, which makes them stand out from the other keys. That being said, the key travel distance is a little too far for me, in turn my hands needed to move a lot more when typing. The right shift key is also far too short to make way for the arrow cluster. I’d have to squeeze my entire palm just to reach the right shift key.
Build quality wise, the keyboard deck does suffer quite a bit of flex. It’s fine, as long as you don’t press too hard when you’re typing, or bang on it after losing a game.
The keyboard also has a dedicated NitroSense key. I find that really convenient because the one-click gesture immediately brings up the software for me to change settings. Acer’s TrueHarmony software is also built right into NitroSense, which comes in handy. TrueHarmony is also able to switch profiles automatically depending on the audio content you’re listening to, from games to music, movies to vocals.
As for the trackpad, it has a nice red accent surrounding it which looks nice. Navigation on it is smooth, so there’s no complaints there.
The connectivity ports are sufficient. With most of the USB Type-A ports being on the left side of the laptop, your hands would be free from cable mess. To further add to cable management, the power port is positioned on the back of the laptop, which I’m a big fan of. This frees up the clutter you’d have when using the laptop at home. But if you have multiple external devices and want to connect an external display, it’d be best if you move away from the laptop a little.
As for the webcam, the quality is surprisingly decent from a 720p camera. So it’d be great for video calls or conferencing. However, it doesn’t have a built-in webcam shutter, so for those of you who are a little paranoid, you can stick something over it.
The Acer Nitro 5 is a great laptop to work or game with. Because of its performance and 144Hz refresh rate, everything runs really smoothly. Apps and games launch fast, even web surfing feels a lot smoother too.
Being a gaming laptop at heart, the Acer Nitro 5 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to games. There’s minimal screen tearing, and the visuals look really good as well. Even under heavy load from gaming, the fans stay rather quiet.
Here are some of the synthetic benchmarks we ran on the Acer Nitro 5:
The Acer Nitro 5’s speakers does have stereo sound effects, but it’s really lackluster compared to other laptops I’ve reviewed. With the amount of internal space the laptop has, you’d think the audio quality would be better by having larger audio drivers.
But unfortunately, the speakers only excelled with dialogue in the highs. When it comes to EDM or dance music in general, it’s as if the songs have no bass to drop.
There’s a 57Whr Lithium battery within the Acer Nitro 5, which we hoped could’ve been bigger. The company promised that the battery could last up to 9 hours, but during our test of daily usage, we could only get 5 hours from it max. If you were to game on it on battery, do expect a performance drop and battery life of about 1 hour tops. Charging the laptop from zero to full takes about 2 hours 10 minutes.
The Acer Nitro 5 has a total of three storage slots, with the primary one taken up by the pre-configured 512GB NVMe SSD. This means that you can add more storages in the future, and even set them up in RAID 0 configuration.
The Acer Nitro 5 is a formidable contender when it comes to budget gaming laptop options. It packs the latest hardware offering decent performance, and superb upgradeability for future proofing. Of course, there is still room to improve especially with the build quality in certain parts of the laptop. But, you still cannot deny it’s the inside that counts. With all that hardware prowess encased within a subtly aggressive chassis, Acer’s asking price of RM4,899 is definitely well justified.