Acer Nitro 5 Review | Best gaming Budget Performer (2022)

A capable laptop for gamers on a budget

This image shows the Acer Nitro 5 in front of white background.

Our Verdict

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Fans that can be controlled by the user
  • Awesome features
  • For the money, this is a good gaming machine
  • On the trackpad, there is too much travel.
  • Speakers deliver excruciating highs.

The Acer Nitro 5 is Acer’s latest attempt at the affordable PC gaming market, and it checks all the boxes for your handheld gaming demands. This gaming laptop, which is ideal for budget-conscious gamers, widens your choices for a cheap laptop that can perform more demanding PC games.

That’s because the Acer Nitro 5 offers more for less, starting at $749 (£899, or approximately AU$1009). It features an Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card and a semi 8th-generation Intel Core processor, as well as a consumer double cooling system, a nice 1080p screen, and a keyboard that is pleasant to play on for hours.

The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the greatest value laptops out there, thanks to its mix of low pricing, moderately powerful specifications, and a nice feature set. Of course, certain compromises must be made, but none are significant enough to detract from this laptop’s overall performance, especially given the savings it provides.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: Price and Availability

The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the maximum inexpensive gaming laptops available in the marketplace proper now. With a starting price of $749, you get the most basic setup, which is the same model we tested. This precise configuration is also available in the United Kingdom, however, it costs £335 more.

However, this specification is not accessible in Australia. According to the Acer website, the most basic setup contains an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB, 16GB of RAM, 1TB HDD, and a 128GB SSD for AU$1,999.

For the United States market, there are numerous extra configurations available, the maximum expensive of which is $1099. The computer comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for that price, even though the GPU and difficult power are identical.

In general, the Nitro five competes with affordable and constructed gaming laptops much like Dell G3 15 and Lenovo Legion Y530, albeit the Nitro 5 gives user-managed cooling for the primary time in this category.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: Design

The Acer Nitro 5 leaves a lot to the imagination in terms of appearance and feel. That’s not to suggest it’s all negative; in fact, there are aspects of it that we like.

This image shows the Acer Nitro 5 with iPhone, notebooks and artificial plant tree in the table.

With red accents on the keyboards, backlighting, trackpad, and top rear bar, we enjoy the muted gamer vibe. The display hinges are solid and strong, and the abundance of ports is a plus. The laptop also boasts a user-controllable refrigeration fan and a comfy keyboard.

Despite saying that, the Acer Nitro 5’s design isn’t particularly appealing. It’s a bit of a letdown, and the fact that it’s a budget laptop ensures there will be compromises – and they’re obvious. For example, the screen lid is composed of low-cost plastic. The top cover and the region around the keyboard collect fingerprints like crazy, and the screen has about an inch of bezel around it, making us feel like we’re playing PC games in the early 2000s.

Worst of all is the trackpad on the laptop. One could argue that a trackpad shouldn’t be expected to meet your gaming requirements, but we have to mention that the trackpad on this model is absurd.


Acer Nitro 5 Review: Keyboard

Backing up a second, the Acer Nitro 5’s keyboard is a significant plus. There’s nothing really noteworthy about it. Sure, the symbols are red, the backlight is red, and the WASD keys are underlined in red paint. However, the backlight is only enabled when the device is connected in, so the keys are difficult to see in the dark when it is not.

This image shows the Acer Nitro 5 keyboard in red light.

In general, this is a standard, middle-of-the-road keyboard. However, we found it to be both comfy and dependable. It’s quick and responsive, and we’ve had no lags, missed buttons, or unintentional pushes. That’s all that matters, whether you’re typing or gaming.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: Display and camera

We’re undecided on these three points. The camera is grainy, with video recording at 720p 30fps at the highest level. It’s acceptable for web conversations, but don’t anticipate much in the way of high-quality images.

The sound on the laptop is a touch high-end-heavy and echoey, but you can tweak it with the equalizer in the Dolby Audio software. In other words, it is just another laptop with poor audio — standard fare (unless you’re Origin).

This image shows the Acer Laptop in the Acer's library.

Finally, while the 1080p display is still sharp and beautiful, it is a touch darker and is the polar opposite of bezel-free. Several gaming laptops at this competitive price have placed a greater emphasis on the display, which we’d like to see here.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: Gaming Performance

Given that the Acer Nitro 5 is a budget gaming system, it’s reasonable to say that you shouldn’t expect much from it. Because of its RAM, CPU, and GPU limitations, contemporary AAA games – the industry’s blockbuster blockbusters – are unlikely to function well at their highest settings.

This image shows the Acer's laptop and a girl take a photo of laptop.

Our benchmark tests on Total War: Warhammer II and Middle-earth: Shadow of War demonstrate this. At ultra settings, frame rates are consistently less than 30 frames per second (fps). There is apparent stuttering, texture decreases, and overall quality losses in Total War, which you would need at least 30fps and ideally 60 fps to avoid.

Because we know that a game as large as Total War would be difficult to download on this laptop, we’ve put it through its paces with the less demanding Nor do: Automata. Despite the fact that it operates well enough at high settings, we do notice frame drops, which cause stuttering and less-than-smooth animation. If it’s having trouble with Nier, imagine how much more difficult Total War will be.

To be fair, it compares favorably to the less severe Quantum Break, which was released a few years before Nier. This game works well at the highest settings, with no noticeable frame rate drops or performance difficulties.

Budget gamers may still play the most demanding games on this gaming laptop but at reduced quality. They’ll likely receive higher fps with no performance difficulties, but their gaming experience will be significantly lower because these games will not look as well.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: Cooling & heating

One of the most appealing features of the Acer Nitro 5 is its dual-fan venting and cooling system, which has vents in the back of the laptop. Although it is loud, it is not as loud as plenty of gaming laptops.

Even better, it can be customized to some level using Acer’s NitroSense software, which allows you to modify fan speeds for both the CPU and GPU. You can also use it to enable CoolBoost, which boosts the fans’ maximum speeds when they’re under a lot of loads.

This image shows the interior component of a laptop.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: Battery life

Unexpectedly, the Acer Nitro 5 has a longer battery life than you’d expect from a low-cost gaming laptop. Gaming laptops are infamous for having poor battery life, so it’s no surprise that this one only lasted 3 hours and 20 minutes when we put it through our Protectors of the Galaxy battery test at 50% brightness. 

Though it’s worth noting that this writer’s previous assessment of the more expensive and considerably better-performing Asus Strix Scar Edition only took 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Of course, there are other factors to consider. The Strix Scar Edition, among other things, has a more demanding CPU and GPU combination. The device we examined had a 7th generation Intel Core processor, however, the Nitro 5 has an 8th generation, which consumes less energy and draws less power.

However, this still indicates that the Nitro 5 has a long enough battery life to accommodate the games you’ll be playing.

Should you buy it?

The Acer Nitro 5 isn’t the gaming laptop of your dreams; it lacks the processing power to run the most demanding big-name titles on the market, and it’s not built as firmly as you’d want because it’s a budget laptop. It also has flaws, the most notable of which is the trackpad, which we believe is inadequate for regular chores, let alone gaming.

However, let’s be honest: you usually get what you paid for. With a price tag of less than $800, you can’t expect much, especially as it relates to computer components. A single Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 can cost hundreds of dollars. With a dual-fan cooling system that you can manage, a comfortable and reliable keyboard, a high-resolution display, and a longer-than-expected battery life, the Nitro 5 at least tries.

Look elsewhere if you’re a competitive player with harsh demands. However, if you’re on a tight budget – or are new to PC gaming – and are ready to trade on a few features, the Nitro 5 is a viable alternative.

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