Acer’s latest Nitro 5 laptop is an affordable gaming laptop with a lot of power, that doesn’t hurt your budget. Its 15.6-inch screen is ideal for gaming and watching your favorite content, it also has 16 GB of RAM and a 12th gen Intel Core processor that allows you to use everyday computing tasks and experience smooth gameplay.
If you are ok with playing on low to medium settings, you won’t find many complaints.
Table of Contents
- + Large 15.6-inch 144hz display
- + Good mid-range performance
- + Customizable RGB backlight
- + Costs under $1,000
- – Heavy and bulky
- – No OLED display option
- – Can’t run the latest games at high settings
|CPU||Intel Core i5-12500H|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB GDDR6, 95W max graphics power, Max-Q, 1,485 MHz boost clock)|
|Storage||512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6-inch, 1920 x1080, 144Hz|
|Networking||Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i 160 MHz|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, Ethernet, 3.5 headphone jack|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||14.19 x 10.67 x 1.06 inches / 360.43 x 271.02 x 26.92 mm|
|Weight||5.51 pounds / 2.5 kg|
|Price (as configured)||$899.99|
Acer is marketing this Nitro 5 as a gaming laptop that looks discreet but still delivers a powerful performance. The machine weighs just five and a half pounds, with an average size of 14.19 x 10.67 x 1.06 and easy ports available for connecting to any external device. It reminds me of older laptops due to their bulk.
Unlike the ultra-thin Alienware x14, everything on the Nitro 5 is thick and chunky. The Nitro 5 might be “technically portable,” but there’s no forgetting it in your backpack when you’re lugging it around.
A sleek all-black chassis gives the Nitro 5 an air of sophistication. Vents and ports are located along the sides and rear, save for red highlights surrounding the rear vents.
The 15.6-inch screen allows you to easily see all the small details in graphically-demanding modern games. It also works great for movies and streaming content. Even if you can’t game with a 1
The screen of the Nitro 5 is capable of achieving an average brightness level of 314 nits during our brightness test. This is slightly above the advertised 300 nits, which is comparable to the Dell G5 15 SE (301) but falls short of the Alienware x14 (377).44Hz refresh rate, the extra headroom will help make games run more smoothly.
We measured the Acer Nitro 5’s screen’s color capabilities. We found that it has a color gamut of 64.1% of the sRGB and 45% of the DCI-P3, making it suitable for graphic designers. Not as impressive as the Alienware x14 (109.7%, 77%), this display will not be great for eagle-eyed photo/video editors who prize color accuracy.
People who believe that laptops should be equipped with screen resolutions of 1440p often have the wrong idea of what today’s laptops are capable of.
The Nitro 5 has a 1440p screen, but it can still provide a good gaming experience with the 1080p resolution.
The visuals are a great complement to the sound setup that is made up of 2 dual-channel, 2W speakers. The music and sound effects are immersive, providing the user with an authentic, enjoyable experience.
The Nitro 5 sounds good in the mid-and high-frequency range. This is similar to most laptops, but I don’t have a lot of bass or low frequencies that I would like. Even with everything going on in the game, I was still able to hear every sound around me.
The techno-metal soundtrack made it hard to hear anything else though. I could hear every shotgun blast and demonic howl over the blaring music. Also, content like the recent Obi-Wan trailer sounded good if a bit thin.
The Nitro 5 makes it easy to have the most cutting-edge gaming experience while still getting good or better than average performance. When it comes to gaming laptops, one of the most important yet underrated features is circulation. No matter how cutting edge the specs are, if the airflow is terrible your PC is heading down to crash town.
The Acer Nitro 5 has a superior cooling system which includes dual-fan cooling, quad exhausts located on each side, and even an upper air intake situated above the keyboard. This translates to a consistently cool machine that hasn’t overheated in the countless hours I’ve put it through its paces.
In terms of performance during a gaming session, we run most graphically demanding titles pretty smoothly. We tested the games by running them on our PC without any ray tracing and integrated graphics. Both games were able to run on Ultra settings up to 50 FPS and 70-130 FPS in Low settings. This laptop is actually a bit faster than two of the other budget competitors and has good specs overall.
The webcam can take excellent photos and videos with a good resolution, but not for streams. It looks okay during Zoom meetings but doesn’t expect super crisp or clear pictures.
Overall, the performance is quite good. The frame rate is better than you might expect from this hardware, which is most likely due to the CPU being poorly equipped. The quality is top-notch and it has a great circulation setup, which no doubt contributes to its overall performance.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Acer’s keyboard features keycaps made of pudding. The keycaps feel a bit shallow and have a 95% accuracy rate. The force required to press is measured on the Monkeytype test, which I achieved by hitting 115 words.
There are four zones of lighting on the keyboard. These can be customized with NitroSense software. The keyboard layout is a bit busy. It includes a number pad, but the arrow keys are jammed between the two sections and the right shift key is a little short.
This device has a touchpad that’s 3.1 inches wide by 4.2 inches tall, making the size perfect for the average user. It was receptive to even touch gestures on Windows 11, and my fingertips just slid off of it when I tried to drag two fingers at once or use four fingers to minimize apps on my taskbar.
The Acer Nitro 5 has short battery life. It can be difficult to get through the day when you’re always having to plug in your laptop, and the charging process takes quite a bit of time too. A Thunderbolt 4 charger would be better for this device.
When we ran a standard 1080p movie test, which involves looping a movie at normal settings until the battery life runs out, the battery died after only four hours of use. The PC Mark 10 Battery Life benchmark showed that the laptop had matched its two competitors pretty closely with a score of 6536. This is despite the other two laptops having at least eight hours of battery life.
Some of the newest gaming laptops are masterpieces, with professional-level specs. Today, Acer is showing off its entry-level Nitro 5 to ensure that people who want to get into gaming on a PC without spending their whole paycheck don’t have to settle for anything less than perfect.
The Nitro is a laptop designed for people who want great features and performance but don’t want to spend too much money. It works great at processing data and the new design is sleek and modern looking.
The software Acer has on this laptop is generally less useful than most people want. It’s not very intuitive and many people who buy it will spend time uninstalling software they don’t want.
However, if you’re looking for a high-performance gaming laptop at an affordable price of less than $1,000, the Acer Nitro 5 has you covered.