Friday, January 21, 2022

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

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Pros
  • Good Build Quality & Design
  • Excellent Thermals
  • Great performance
  • Upgradable options with ample ports
Cons
  • Display quality could have been better
  • Bulky design and poor battery life

The Taiwanese OEM has been offering tremendous and affordable laptops in India since its inception in the country, while their gaming line of notebooks has steadily been improving over the years. One of the critical factors of Acer’s success in India is mainly it caters to the audience and comes with an affordable solution for the money.

The company has carefully targeted the budget laptop segment with a wide range of options. It has satisfied the mid-range to high-end ones with laptop series like Swift, Aspire, Extensa, Travelmate and others. However, despite fierce competition in the gaming market, it has made its stance with various options.

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Broadly categorized into Nitro, Predator and Aspire, one of the most famous gaming laptops by Acer has been the Nitro. Indeed, the Nitro 5 has made its name across the globe thanks to its specs and price; you can configure them with both AMD and Intel processors paired with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series laptop GPUs.

Indeed, the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop has been one of the most popular budget gaming laptops in the Indian market for years now, and in 2021 too, it remains a fan favourite, but Why? Let’s find out:

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

Specifications

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600H hexa-core processor
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 3060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
  • 16 GB of DDR4 system memory, upgradable to 32 GB using two soDIMM modules
  • 256 GB SSD, PCIe Gen3, 8 Gb/s, NVMe
  • 1 TB HDD 6.3 cm (2.5-inch) 7200 RPM
  • 39.6 cm (15.6″) display with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology, Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel, Acer ComfyView LED-backlit TFT LCD, supporting 144 Hz refresh rate
Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

Design & Build Quality

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop has evolved quite a lot since its inception years back, and the build quality has improved considerably over the years. However, its design element remains the same; from the cheaper plastic body to the metal body, the Nitro 5 feels much more premium than before.

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The red and black combo gives a unique touch, and it has that gaming vibe on its lid or the rear end as well.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

The hinge is much better than the previous Nitros, and the laptop lid doesn’t wobble; rest of the entire design remains intact to the previous Nitro 5s, but some minor improvements make it a good option in 2021. Acer is charging more than previous ultra-affordable Nitro 5 options while still affordable but with a premium feel.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

Display

In this area, Acer has worked really hard, and that goes to show with the quality of the display but is not the best according to industry standards but enough for a budget gamer. You still have a 15.6-inch IPS display; however, you can get both a QHD option or an FHD option, here we got an FHD 144Hz display.

My suggestion will be opting for the top-end variant with a QHD display if you have the money to spend as it is a lot more colour accurate than this FHD option. Suppose you are limited to a budget; still, the FHD variant is a good option as it offers a 144Hz refresh rate and being an IPS display the viewing angles are not so bad.

However, it lacks behind the ROG Zephyrus G14, which also comes in the same price pool, maybe a bit expensive but worth it if you are looking for a better display on a gaming laptop. Even apart from gaming if you use the display for work the display won’t disappoint, except the brightness could have been better.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

For media consumption too, the display is quite good with decent colour reproduction; however, in a bright environment, the display struggles, so if you want to use this, mostly use it indoors.

We did run some display tests using our SyperX Pro on the Acer Nitro 5, and here are the results:

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers
Acer Nitro 5 Display Test 1
Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers
Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers
Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

As you see in the tests, being a budget gaming laptop, the display quality is not what you could dream of but just a realistic one. The FHD variant of the Acer Nitro 5 covers only 67% sRGB, 50% AdobeRGB, 50% of DCI-P3 and 48% NTSC color gamut, certainly, not the best display stats but still decent.

So, if you are someone who is obsessed with the color accuracy of your laptop’s display, then do avoid the FHD variant but go for the better QHD variant or the ROG Zephyrus G14. The max brightness, as you see, goes up to 289 nits, and the contrast ratio is not the best you can expect but decent enough for casual gaming.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

Performance

Enough talking about exteriors, let’s talk about the performance of the Acer Nitro 5, is it worth it in 2021? In this segment, Acer has worked hard to make the laptop perform up to its peak and used the latest hardware from AMD and Intel and the latest graphics from NVIDIA.

These new Nitro 5 models ship with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series laptop GPUs; this means you get all the exclusive features like DLSS, ray tracing, Reflex, and access NVIDIA Studio drivers and much more. I appreciate this move by Acer, and this is why the worth of buying this Nitro 5 makes more sense.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

While much expectedly, what I heard from Acer representatives is that undoubtedly, these Ryzen 5000H powered Nitro 5s have been the choice of fans, and so we have the 6-core Ryzen 5 5600H here. Not the best for the price, but I feel to get more FPS in games, getting a better GPU makes more sense, so the RTX 3060 is more important here.

  • Acer Nitro 5 benchmarks
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  • Acer Nitro 5 benchmarks 2
  • Acer Nitro 5 benchmarks 3
  • Acer Nitro 5 benchmarks 4
  • Acer Nitro 5 benchmarks 5
  • Acer Nitro 5 benchmarks 6

As you see in the benchmarks, this gaming laptop performs really well because it still comes with a Ryzen 5 5600H processor and is very close to the Ryzen 9 5900HS at its peak. However, it does lack eight physical cores but does a pretty good job with its six cores; well, in my honest opinion, if you are short on budget, then go for the Ryzen 5 5600H variant.

Here are some of the 3DMark benchmarks:

  • Acer Nitro 5
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  • Acer Nitro 5
  • Acer Nitro 5
  • Acer Nitro 5
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  • Acer Nitro 5
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  • Acer Nitro 5

Else, if you can spend a bit extra for the Ryzen 7 5800H variant because it gives better overall performance and helps in productivity works as well. Still, you won’t be disappointed in performance as the Ryzen 5 5600H is more than enough to handle your essential everyday work and gaming efficiently.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

The 16GB of RAM is crucial these days as most applications and games have become RAM hungry while you do have the option to expand it in future as well up to 32GB, on the other hand, in terms of storage, you have 256GB NVMe SSD and a 1TB hard drive.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

As you see, the performance of the NVMe SSD is decent, not to be proud of because of the slower write speeds, not even crossing 1000MB/s while the read speeds are good at around 2500MB/s. However, the bad thing is the speed of the hard drive, as you see, the read and write speeds are extremely slow and in 2021, installing games or copying files to the HDD might actually be very painful.

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Gaming

Coming to the key aspect of the Acer Nitro 5, i.e. gaming, it performs really well in most games at 1080p; with RTX 3060, it gives superior gaming with all the NVIDIA exclusive features like DLSS and ray tracing. It might feel like the Ryzen 5 5600H will not be able to handle such a powerful RTX 3060 GPU; however, it does pretty well to tame the GPU.

At 1080p, you get great frame rates in all modern games, and for those games that support DLSS, you naturally get free frame rates to boost. Here are some of the gaming benchmarks in new triple-A or battle royal games:

  • Apex Legends - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Biomutant - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Control - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • CS GO - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Cyberpunk 2077 - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Far Cry 6 - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • FIFA 22 - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Marvel's Gurdians of the Galaxy - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • NFS Heat - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • Watch Dogs Legion - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in
  • World War Z Aftermath - Acer Nitro 5 Review - TechnoSports.co.in

Overall, for gaming, the Acer Nitro 5 performs well for 1080p; however, the RTX 3060 is capable of QHD gaming as well. So, the higher-end Ryzen 7 5800H and RTX 3060 powered Nitro 5 is a better option if you pay a bit more; if you cannot, for 1080p, this is a solid contender, undoubtedly.

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Thermals & Upgradeability

Here, Acer has done an excellent job in terms of cooling with dual fans and robust heat pipes, so whenever any high-end task starts, the laptop’s fans start kicking in quite aggressively, and with quad exhaust, the airflow is superb. The cooling is robust, thanks to Acer CoolBoost™ technology, and with NitroSense, you can manually configure it as well.

While doing regular work, the fan noise was hovering around 40 decibels; gaming reached over 55, which could be a noisy affair. On the temperature side, the temps on the keyboard were pretty well even after intense work or gaming, hovering around 30 degrees celsius, while at the rear end of the laptop, the temps were over 50 degrees.

Also, you can upgrade the RAM of this gaming laptop if you want to, and there is the option to expand your storage by adding an NVMe SSD to replace the existing or you can swap the 2.5-inch hard disk and use a SATA SSD if you need faster performance.

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Ports & Connectivity

Coming to ports of the Acer Nitro 5, you do have a lot of them, including two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one USB Type-C ™ port (USB 3.2 Gen 2) and one USB 3.2 Gen 2 port with power-off charging. Also, you HDMI and RJ-45 network adaptor, because you have the DC input at the back of the laptop, you do not have any problem while gaming.

For connectivity, you have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, which makes it an excellent option for gaming as you can effortlessly play games or download them without any hiccups.

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Keyboard & Trackpad

As the Nitro 5 here has a 15.6-inch display, the chassis of the gaming laptop is quite extensive, and that’s why you have a full-size keyboard baked into the laptop. The keyboard is a 4-zone RGB keyboard, which is rare on a budget gaming laptop, to be honest, and it looks great while gaming, frankly.

The keyboard’s quality, the keycaps are mushy and easy to type, doesn’t have that mechanical feel but more of a premium membrane keyboard. While the trackpad is extensive, it is not the best, but it is a giant trackpad that is good if you forget a mouse for everyday work or browsing. Still, you will need a dedicated gaming mouse.

Audio & Webcam

In this regard, there is no improvement as such in the webcam, which is “just ok” for everyday work and in terms of Audio, it could have been better. The Acer Nitro 5 has dual stereo speakers, but they are not mind-boggling; in gaming, instead of using the speaker, you will prefer a headphone.

Acer Nitro 5 review: Still one of the best options for budget gamers

Battery Life

Even though the laptop houses a Ryzen 5 5600H, it should give good battery life still sometimes lasts more than 5-6 hours, but if the discrete GPU remains on during normal work, that could reduce to only 3 hours. So, I think Acer should keep a reliable option in its settings to disable discrete GPU when not needed or use auto optimizations you see on an ASUS gaming laptop.

The optimizations could have been a bit better so that any user could increase its battery life without hassle; I had to manually turn off the NVIDIA graphics whenever I used it for everyday work.

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Verdict

The Acer Nitro 5 retains its value in 2021 and rightfully is one of the best budget gaming laptops you can buy; however, it still has its flaws, which is too apparent for a budget option. So, if you are looking for a powerful yet affordable gaming laptop in the market, the Acer Nitro 5 with AMD and Intel options is undoubtedly a good option.

However, as there are many variants of the same Nitro 5, do choose wisely according to your budget as well as requirements; our recommendation would be either the top-end Ryzen 7 5800H one with RTX 3060 or the more affordable Ryzen 5 5600H and RTX 3050 powered option.

Buy the top-end variant from here: https://fas.st/8HnDd4, or buy the affordable yet powerful option from here: https://fas.st/IGdJeH

A special thanks to:

Velocity IT Store ( Acer Mall)
3rd Floor, E Mall
Chandni Chowk, Kolkata.Velocity IT Store ( Acer Mall)
3rd Floor, E Mall
Chandni Chowk, Kolkata.

To get this laptop or any Acer laptop, you can visit Acer Mall in Chadni Chowk Kolkata.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design & Build Quality
Display
Performance
Gaming
Thermals & Upgradeability
Ports & Connectivity
Keyboard & Trackpad
Audio & Webcam
Battery Life

SUMMARY

The Acer Nitro 5 checks all the requirements a gamer wants without spending boatloads of money, if you want to game, the Nitro 5 is a viable choice in 2021.
Avatar of Raunak Saha
Raunak Saha
A cs engineer by profession but foodie from heart. I am tech lover guy who has a passion for singing. Football is my love and making websites is my hobby.

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