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Acer Nitro 5 Review: Typical Gaming Laptop For Masses
Assembling a budget gaming PC was considered a more cost-effective way than buying a budget gaming laptop. However, this has changed due to an acute shortage of major PC building components like CPU, GPU, and even power supply.
- Gaming-centric design
- RGB backlight for keys
- 144Hz refresh rate display
- No SD card slot
- Last gen GPU
On top of that, there is also a rise in the number of budget laptops which offers a great 1080p gaming experience on most titles and doesn't cost a bomb either. One of those laptops is the Acer Nitro 5, powered by 11th gen Intel Core i5-11300H with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU.
I have been testing the base model of the Acer Nitro 5, which retails for Rs. 69,999. Is this laptop worth the asking price and how does it handle gaming and regular tasks? I have tried to answer a few more questions in this full review of the Acer Nitro 5.
Acer Nitro 5 Specifications
- CPU: Intel Core i5-11300H
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS 1920 x 1080, 144Hz (Touch)
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1650
- Memory: 8GB DDR4
- Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD
- Battery: Up to 8.5 hours (claimed)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
Acer Nitro 5 Design: Typical Looking Gaming Laptop
The Acer Nitro 5 embraces the fact that it is indeed a gaming laptop with its bulky and boxy design. It is thick, it is heavy, just like what one might expect from a gaming laptop. However, I have seen much thinner and lighter gaming laptops with much powerful specs when compared to Acer Nitro 5.
One of the pros of having a bulky design is that it has almost every port that one might want from a computer. It packs a couple of USB-A ports, a USB Type-C port, HDMI port, RJ45 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the device does not have an SD card slot, which is found on its contemporaries like the Dell G5.
The design of the Acer Nitro 5 does have additional practical advantages too, as it allows the company to offer an ample amount of palm rest, which is a good thing for gaming. On top of that, the laptop doesn't move, unlike some thin and light laptops.
Though the Acer Nitro 5 is not the most modern-looking gaming laptop in the market, it is very practical in looks. Also note that the laptop has two fans and four exhaust ports, which further improves the thermal profile of the laptop. If you are looking for a laptop that you will probably place it on a table and won't carry it so often.
Acer Nitro 5 Display: Gaming Centric Display
The Acer Nitro 5 has a 15.6-inch display with some thick bezels which does house a 720p web camera. The corners of the display frame have a diamond-like cut, which does act as an indicator that this laptop is indeed a gaming laptop. This is a 1080p TFT LCD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, again, reminiscent of a gaming laptop.
Acer Nitro 5 Display: Gaming Centric Display
Coming to the brightness and color reproduction, this is an average display that gets fairly bright during indoor usage. However, as it is just a 300nits panel, it is not great for outdoor usage. The same goes for the color reproduction too, this is an 8-bit panel and does look colorful. However, I would have liked a slightly punchier panel, especially for watching movies and while playing games.
Considering the price of the Acer Nitro 5 and the contemporaries, I don't have much to complain about the display of this machine, as it gets the job done. However, though it is a 144Hz display, most modern AAA games won't be able to run at 144fps due to CPU and GPU limitations.
Acer Nitro 5 Keyboard And Trackpad
The Acer Nitro 5 has a fairly large-sized trackpad with a full-sized keyboard along with a dedicated numpad. This keyboard, unlike some of the affordable gaming laptops, does not compromise on backlighting and offers a complete RGB backlight with four zones and four levels of brightness.
When it comes to the keys, I felt that the keyboard on the Nitro 5 is a bit mushy even though it has good key travel and large keycaps. Devices like the Dell G5 and Asus TUF A15 offers slightly better keyboard. However, one should be able to get adjusted to this keyboard without any issue.
Acer has highlighter ASDW keys on this laptop, which is a nice touch, as these are the most used keys while playing games. Overall, the keyboard on the Acer Nitro 5 is average while the trackpad is as good as it gets and one definitely needs an external mouse to get a comfortable gaming experience.
Acer Nitro 5 Performance: Meant For Budding PC Gamers
I feel the Acer Nitro 5 is a good device for those, who are buying their very first gaming laptop. This machine is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11300H, which is a 35W quad-core processor with a peak clock speed of 4.4GHz. This CPU is paired with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, which is one of the entry-level gaming GPUs for laptops with 4GB of GDDR6 video memory.
Additionally, the laptop offers 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD-based storage along with an additional M.2 SSD slot and an HDD slot, offering a good amount of storage upgrade options. There is also an empty RAM slot, which can accept the SODIMM module, and this laptop supports up to 32GB RAM.
On Geekbench 5, the Acer Nitro 5 has scored 1372 and 4126 points on single and multi-core CPU performance. Similarly, on Cinebench R23, the laptop posted 1403 and 6107 points on single-core and multi-core CPU rendering tests. Lastly, on CPU-Z, the laptop logged 525.1 and 2689.9 points on single-thread and multi-thread CPU testing.
As far as gaming is concerned, the laptop handled games like GTA: V at 1080p with medium or high graphics settings without any issue. This laptop is capable of offering 60 to 70 fps for GTA: 5 and it can offer over 90fps on games like CS: Go at 1080p and highest graphics settings.
Acer Nitro 5 Battery Life: Above Average
One of the disadvantages of every gaming laptop is battery life and the Acer Nitro 5 is doing a good job, which offers around five to six hours of battery life. It uses a proprietary charging pin like almost every other gaming laptop and I didn't notice any sort of heating while charging the laptop.
For non-gaming tasks, the laptop can easily last for half a working day without any issue and it also charges quickly. Battery life shouldn't be a concern on the Acer Nitro 5, as the 11th Gen Intel CPU is pretty power-efficient, and helps the laptop to extend the battery life.
Verdict: Go For Nitro
The Acer Nitro 5 with 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and GTX 1650 retails for Rs. 69,999. Also, note that the same laptop with the more powerful RTX 3060 GPU is available for Rs. 93,999. If you are okay with the GTX 1650 and don't plan on playing games with the highest graphics settings, then the base model of the Nitro 5 should do a great job.
Overall, there is nothing exceptional about the Nitro 5 but it just gets the job done. Not just for gamers, even for regular users, the Acer Nitro 5 does a great job, especially with features like WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5 connectivity.
If you are planning to build a budget PC and can't get your hands on a new CPU and GPU, then just get the Acer Nitro 5. This is a laptop that is tailormade for first-time gamers and for those, who are transitioning from smartphone to PC gaming.