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Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop Review: Bulky Value

Our Verdict

The Acer Nitro 5 strikes a great balance between price and performance. However, it can be heavy and unwieldy, and its looks aren't for everyone.

For

  • Excellent build quality
  • Decent SSD speeds
  • Outstanding battery life and cooling
  • Good value

Against

  • Polarizing aesthetics
  • CPU bottlenecks synthetic performance
  • GPU won't play games at max settings
  • Better value alternatives available

Introduction and Product Tour

The Acer Nitro 5 represents a great balance between price and performance. It's built sturdy and handles heat and battery life like a champ. However, it can be heavy and unwieldy, and its looks aren't for everyone. Owners of the Acer Nitro 5 will be satisfied with its excellent value, but if you're still shopping, keep in mind that it won't be a top performer, and that similarly priced alternatives will deliver better gaming performance.

Specifications

Display15.6” FHD (1920x1080) IPS
CPUIntel Core i7-8300H
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
Memory16GB DDR4 2667MHz
SSD256GB M.2 SSD
HDD
Optical
NetworkingIntel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560, RJ-45 LAN Port
Video PortsHDMI 2.0
USB PortsUSB 3.1 via Type-C x 2, USB 3.0 x 1, USB 2.0 x 2
Audio(2) Speakers, Built-in digital microphoneAcer TrueHarmony Plus Technology Sound SystemOptimized Dolby Audio Premium sound enhancement
Camera720p Video Camera
Battery48 Wh
Power Adapter150W
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Dimensions (WxDxH)15.35 x 10.47 x 10.5 inches
Weight5.95 lbs
OtherRGB Illuminated Keyboard, Card Reader (6-in-1), Kensington Lock
Price (as configured)$849.99

Exterior

The Nitro 5 has an attractive aesthetic, with bold red and black elements and a sleek, brushed-metal lid. The interior area features a smooth and slightly glossy plastic construction with more of Acer’s aggressive accenting while the bottom has some plain ventilation cutouts. 

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The Nitro 5 is quite thick, which is to be expected of a gaming laptop. It’s over 1-inch thick and weighs nearly 6 pounds, which makes it unflattering for travel. If you do ever take it with you in public, it’ll be for rare occasions such as a LAN party. You’ll find two sets of exhaust vents on the rear edge for the CPU and GPU heat fins.

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You’ll only find the absolute essential I/O ports on the Nitro 5. On the left, there’s a gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 3.1 via Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port and a multi-card reader. The right side features a headphone-out jack and two USB 2.0 ports.

Display

The Acer Nitro 5 features a 15.6” Full HD (1920x1080) IPS display with a matte finish. It covers 68 percent of the sRGB color gamut and measured an average of 273 nits on our light meter.

Input Devices

The Nitro 5 contains a full-length keyboard and number pad with red, translucent font, which allows the red backlighting to shine through. The keys are spaced well and have a springy feedback, which provides an enjoyable typing experience.

The touchpad consists of one large slate with left and right clicks. Although tracking is accurate, the touchpad surface has a slight amount of surface drag, which can be distracting. Additionally, the bottom half of the touchpad travels much further than the top half, allowing dust and debris to slip through the cracks.

Interior

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Accessing the Nitro 5's components is quite simple. If all you need to do is reach the memory or SATA slot, then it's as simple as removing the left and/or right screws and pulling off the compartmentalized plate. However, the rest of the interior, including the M.2 SSD slot, is out of reach until you remove all of the screws securing the bottom panel to the chassis.

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Once the bottom panel is removed, you'll get a better view of the internals. The cooling solution up top is composed of two heatpipes leading over the heat sinks to the exhaust fans on the left. Beneath the fans sits the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560, which handles the Nitro V's wireless capabilities. The M.2 SSD slot is on the far right, next to the memory. Finally, the 48 Wh battery is near the front lip.


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  • TMTOWTSAC
    On the first page, Specifications reads:

    Intel Core i7-8300H
    Reply
  • ajtehblaziken
    looks really nice
    Reply
  • fullauto2009
    As usual, you can readily find this laptop well below the 850 mark.
    Reply
  • justin.m.beauvais
    This shares a lot in common with the Helios 300, just from the looks of it. It seems to have the same body, with a slight change on the back of the screen. In fact it appears to have the same panel as well, judging from the figures given.

    It ticks all the necessary boxes for an entry level gaming laptop, looks pretty good, and seems to have fairly reasonable performance.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Not bad - for an entry level gaming laptop. I prefer to pay more and get more, but that's just me ;-)
    Reply