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Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop Review
The sheer amount of choices to pick a good gaming laptop are massive today: from inexpensive solutions to flagships with six-figure prices. Unfortunately, the higher the amount of choices, the more difficult it is to understand which of the gaming laptops is optimal in terms of price and quality. Today, I will talk about a solid and balanced gaming laptop: the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-52 price of $1,200 on Amazon.
15.6” IPS display
Intel Core i7-8750H
Installed RAM (max)
8 GB DDR4
256GB + 1TB 7200RPM M.2 SSD
NVIDIA Pascal GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GDDR5 dedicated
2 Dolby Home Theater v4 speakers
720p CrystelEye HD with mic
Wi-Fi ac + Gigabit Ethernet
Yes, Bluetooth 5.0
2 USB 2.0 + 1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1)
Windows 10 64 bit
3 Cell 3200mAh 48Whr Li-Polymer
Red-backlit chiclet keyboard with numeric keypad, multi-touch touchpad
Efficient cooling system
High-quality IPS Pleasant screen
High performance for your money
Single channel RAM
Image Credit: Asus
Acer has created a catchy design that is used throughout the Acer Nitro line. On the one hand, at first glance, it is clear that this is not an office laptop, but on the other hand, the Nitro 5 does not have additional LED backlighting and defiantly bright elements. The laptop body is made of durable plastic. It should not be taken as a disadvantage, as I am talking about an affordable gaming laptop. Add metal here, and the price tag will be twice as high.
In terms of dimensions, the Acer Nitro 5 is similar to many gaming laptops in its class. The thickness of the case is 23 millimeters, and the weight is 2.3 kilograms. These indicators fit well into the usual framework of even expensive models. In addition, for a gaming model, the main thing is high-quality cooling and not a struggle for every millimeter of thickness.
The display screen of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-52
The Acer Nitro 5 has a 15-inch IPS-class matrix with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The screen bezels are slightly thicker than most gaming laptops, but there are benefits to be found here as well.
In terms of characteristics, the panel of the laptop benefits from an above-average gamut with 107% of the sRGB space covered (74% Abode RGB). The contrast ratio stands at 814:1, the maximum brightness at 331 cd/m², and the average DeltaE after characterization at 0.33.
The webcam offers a rather satisfactory quality for a portable PC. During the day, the images are pretty detailed. The situation deteriorates as the brightness declines with a loss of sharpness and the appearance of digital noise.
Image Credit: Asus
Connectors / Ports of the Acer Nitro 5
To the left side, there is the Kensington anti-theft clip, a USB Type-C port (gen 1, incompatible with charging), an HDMI output, a USB Type-A 3.1 port (gen 1), and an SD card reader.
To the right, there is the power socket, two USB 2.0 ports, and the headphone/microphone socket.
Unlike some of its competitors, Acer has not partnered with major brands in the world of Hifi. And yet, the Nitro 5 offers a pleasant and effective sound reproduction.
If the Dynamic mode of the Dolby Audio software intends to adjust the parameters in real-time in order to offer the best possible restitution, it is better to select one of the five presets manually. The rendering is then more pleasant and more natural for our gameplay. Let’s give a special mention to the Music mode, which ultimately adapts very well to any type of content, films and games included. A good surprise, therefore, where the only grievance could be bass not present enough for the taste of some.
Acer Nitro 5 Keyboard / Touchpad
Good surprise, for a laptop rather typed gamer, the keyboard offers a most pleasant typing. The keys benefit from a good size (15.3 x 15.3 mm against 12.6 x 15.3 mm for those of the numeric keypad), a soft touch, and a discreet noise. Spacing (3.7 mm) and travel (1.4 mm) are average.
The red lettering, on the other hand, is not perfect, but it is nonetheless readable. The backlight is also red. Hardly visible during the day, its intensity cannot be adjusted. It also turns out to be a bit bright if you play in the dark.
The touchpad, recognized as a precision touchpad by Windows, does the job. Its dimensions (105 x 77 mm) are average, its surface offers precise gliding, and responsive in recognizing multitouch gestures. I’m not personally a huge fan of a touchpad for any kind of gaming, but if that suits you then this touchpad is sufficient.
Image Credit: Asus
The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop is available in various configurations. I tested a high-end version with its Core i7-8750H and Geforce GTX 1060 video card. A rather muscular configuration that will be able to meet the needs of demanding users but also gamers with a reasonable budget. Indeed, most AAA titles run at an average of between 50 and 60 FPS in Full HD with a level of detail set to Ultra.
The RAM revolves around a single bar of 8 GB (2666 MHz). It can only encourage you to upgrade to 16 GB, not that such a capacity is essential but above all to take advantage of the Dual Channel and thus gain a few FPS in games and a few seconds during intensive computing phases as photographers and videographers for example. Remember that the Nitro has a direct access hatch for the RAM.
Storage is entrusted to a 128 GB SATA SSD (SK Hynix HFS128G39TND) backed up by a 1 TB hard drive for storage. The performances are not the most impressive on the bench, but in practice, the difference is imperceptible on a daily basis compared to an NVMe model.
Noise pollution / Noise / Temperatures of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-52
The effectiveness of a cooling system is not measured by the thickness of the chassis. But the latter nevertheless gives a good indication. Here, no bad surprise that the Acer Nitro 5 is effective while being quite discreet.
Thus, in light use, for example, browsing the Internet, the fans are inaudible. Only the hum of the hard drive will disturb the tranquility of a silent office.
In more sustained use, the two fans spin at about 3000 RPM, which produces a noise of about 37 dBA. In-game or during a video export, the sound pressure increases to stabilize around 45/46 dBA. In the first case as in the second, the noise is certainly audible but quite bearable, helped by pretty low frequencies.
If necessary, the user has the possibility of boosting the speed of the fans to the maximum (6122 RPM). The noise then flirts with 50 dBA.
No issues at all with temperature. The processor and the graphics card are on avg around 70/75°C, including in sustained use (with an ambient temperature of 21°C). Pretty sustainable, leaving a pretty clean feel.
As I mentioned, the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop is an end-of-life laptop with almost two years on the market. Consequently, some of its characteristics are no longer up to date, in particular its thick chassis, its substantial weight for a 15-inch, or its imposing screen borders. The competition today offers better on these points, it is a fact.
The power of the CPU and GPU is enough to run modern games at medium graphics settings in the “native” resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Also, the performance of the Acer Nitro 5 is enough for complex work, such as editing video in Adobe Premiere or processing a batch of photos in RAW. If you’re looking for a well-balanced gaming laptop and don’t want to overpay for extra lighting and other “bells and whistles” that you don’t consider necessary, then you should take a closer look at the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop.