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The Acer Nitro 5 is the intro level laptop to the gaming laptop range that Acer offers gamers. This laptop comes with just enough of the right stuff for you, the gamer, to play the games you want – it may not be on max graphics though. Having said that, the Acer Nitro 5 is a beautiful machine that performs in all the right ways.

In this article, I’m going to cover the Acer Nitro 5, it’s specifications, the design and feel, how it performs and then finally the pros and cons. I would like to send a huge shoutout to Acer South Africa for sending me this laptop and giving me the opportunity to look at the Acer Nitro 5. Let’s get to it shall we.

Specifications:

I had the opportunity to use the Acer Nitro 5 with the Intel CPU in it. The full list of specifications are below:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8300H, 2,3MHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050ti (Notebook), 4GB VRAM
  • RAM: 12GB DDR4 RAM running at 2400 MHz
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) Acer ComfyView (IPS LED) LCD
  • Weight: 2.75kg
  • Ports: 1 x USB Type-C, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, HDMI port, Ethernet (RJ-45) port, 35mm headphone jack, Kensington lock slot

Acer-Nitro5-review-pic2What does that all mean? While the Nitro 5 is running the latest generation of Intel CPU’s, showing off the i5-8300H. It has incredible startup speed, all thanks to the 256GB SSD under the hood. The GPU, while being the Notebook version, is still your entry level 1050ti with 4GB, so yes, it isn’t pushing out the same FPS as a 1060 or up, but for the casual gamer and for the person wanting to double up for work, it’s sufficient.

The amount of ports the laptop has is perfect, more than enough. However, the one issue I had was the layout of the ports. Personally, I prefer 2 ports being on the left with one on the right, additionally, one extra USB 3.0 port would have been the cherry on the top with the Ports, but to be honest, what has been supplied and the layout is adequate.

The screen displays the content in a crisp clean way. It initially starts out a bit dim, but by adjusting the brightness level, and increasing it, that isn’t really an issue. During the gaming sessions, the games I played looked good and I enjoyed the gaming experience.

Acer-Nitro5-review-pic4The keyboard is really smooth, even though it’s not a mechanical keyboard. During the gaming and writing period, it was responsive and I really enjoyed the fact that it was smooth and silent. It does not make near as much noise as a standard keyboard, and it feels like it’s cushioned when pushing down on each key – and though for a pro-gamer this would be a point of concern (even though a pro-gamer would more than likely use an external keyboard) for the casual gamer and worker, this is a great keyboard.

The trackpad is my biggest issue with this laptop. Yes, a gaming laptop does not really need a trackpad, especially when a mouse would be used for gaming. However, this trackpad was difficult to use even for normal tasks. The way the buttons were set up made it really difficult to use and it did not respond in the way I would have liked it too. I would recommend using an external mouse almost exclusively – just to decrease any chance of frustrations.

Performance

Acer Nitro 5 Review – Benchmarks
Acer Nitro 5 Review – Benchmarks
Acer Nitro 5 Review – Benchmarks
Acer Nitro 5 Review – Benchmarks
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The benchmarks speak for themselves. Yes, this laptop isn’t the top of the range and yes, it performs like it, but it does deliver the power and performance you would need as a casual gamer and someone working on it. The games ran at a constant frame rate, and there were very few times when the frame rates dipped. However, when the frame rated did drop, it was definitely a noticeable dip. Fortunately, the drop in frame rates was very rare.

Dota 2

Acer-Nitro5-review-game-benchmark1
As you can see, Dota 2 on Medium graphics ran at a constant 80fps. During the team fights it dropped to about 70fps or 65fps, it did not drop below the 65fps range and the game ran smoothly. During the game, there was no interruption to my gameplay even when the fps dropped by 15, which to me a massive plus. Nothing worse than losing a team fight, or not reacting like you should because the frame rate dropped enough causing a lag spike.

CS:GO

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CS:GO was a different story. It ran at a smooth 140fps. I had the settings set to high with AA turned off. I did notice greater drops in the frame rates, and this was a bit frustrating, especially when it dropped just as an enemy player appeared (unfortunately my internet was not on my side when I was testing CS:GO, so that’s why the ping is all over the place). Other than that, the gaming experience was adequate.

During the tests, the Nitro 5 was running at a temperature of about 65 Degrees Celcius, this was during CS and Dota 2. I noticed that under the WERT keys, the heat was being generated, which made it slightly uncomfortable, but it wasn’t overbearing to the point of being frustrating. To me, that is a good thing, especially when playing for extended periods of time. I also noticed that when the fan speed cranked up, it sounded like a jet engine. This was a lot louder than I expected it to be, and unless you had earphones on, or sound on, it can be a bit uncomfortable.

Acer-Nitro5-review-pic3Unfortunately, and possibly a good thing, I did not test this laptop with games that required more power in the way of hardware. I don’t see this laptop being used as a full on gaming laptop, unless it is used by someone who only plays games like Dota 2, CS:GO, maybe even PUBG. For the more intense gamer that is looking to play Battlefield V on max graphics, this is not the laptop to look at, and unless you’re wanting to spend some real money, I don’t even recommend a laptop in the first place. That is when you will want to look at purchasing and building a desktop, the cost-effective way.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:

    The Acer Nitro 5 is an understated gaming laptop that’s well configured for the money. You can easily add more memory and storage. It has an ample port assortment, including USB 3.1 Type-C.

  • Cons:

    Too much travel on trackpad, Boasts Coffee Lake Core i5 CPU with Hyper-Threading, Comfy keyboard with above-average speakers, Decent battery Life

The Nitro 5 is a solid gaming unit that can also double up as a very fast work laptop. It can do most if not all of what a casual gamer could want from it. Other than the subpar trackpad and the sound of the fans during gaming, the actual laptop itself performed well and delivered a decent gaming experience while delivering a good work experience (I wrote this article on the Nitro 5). Would I buy the Acer Nitro 5? With the price tag, yes. It works while as a budget gaming and works laptop. It has everything, if not more than what the average laptop user would need and. It also comes in various options, like the Ryzen 5 unit or the Intel unit. It feels solid and looks great too. If you would like to purchase the Acer Nitro 5, hit this link to purchase it from Raru, it’s the i5 unit with 8gb RAM and a GTX1050. Thank you Acer South Africa for supplying the Acer Nitro 5 so that I can do this review. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the article, leave a comment below!