Acer Nitro 5 Review

acer nitro 5 review

The Acer Nitro 5 is a budget-friendly gaming laptop designed to deliver robust gaming performance without breaking the bank. Over the years, the Acer Nitro 5 has evolved significantly in both design and functionality, cementing its position as a go-to option for gamers looking for value without compromising on essential features. This laptop is known for striking a balance between affordability and capability, making it a popular choice among casual and entry-level gamers.

On paper, its 15.6-inch IPS panel, full HD resolution, and 144Hz refresh rate make it a good fit for an entry-level gaming laptop. In the current market, the Acer Nitro 5 competes fiercely with other budget gaming laptops, standing out due to its impressive specifications and thoughtful design improvements.

Design and Build Quality

Chassis and Aesthetics

The Acer Nitro 5 sports a minimalist design that marks a departure from the typical aggressive and flashy aesthetics of many gaming laptops. It features a sleek, matte black finish accented by red or blue details, depending on the specific model. This subtle approach appeals to users who prefer a more understated look without sacrificing the gaming vibe. The chassis is primarily constructed from plastic, but Acer has managed to make it feel sturdy and reliable. The design includes angular lines and a textured lid, adding a touch of sophistication and a hint of gaming flair.

Portability and Durability

Weighing in at around 5.5 pounds and measuring approximately 1.1 inches in thickness, the Acer Nitro 5 strikes a good balance between portability and durability. Despite its plastic build, the laptop feels solid and well-constructed, with minimal flex in the keyboard and screen. The weight is manageable for a gaming laptop, making it feasible to carry around in a backpack for gaming sessions on the go or for use in different settings without too much hassle. The durable construction ensures that it can withstand everyday use and the occasional bump or knock.

Display Characteristics

The Acer Nitro 5 is equipped with a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, which is standard for gaming laptops in this price range. The screen offers a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, providing smooth and fluid visuals during gaming sessions. This high refresh rate is particularly beneficial for fast-paced games, ensuring a more immersive and responsive experience. In terms of brightness, the Acer Nitro 5’s display performs adequately, though it might struggle in very bright environments. Color reproduction is decent, offering vibrant and accurate colors that enhance the overall visual experience. Compared to competitors, the Acer Nitro 5’s display holds its own, offering good value for its price point.


The Acer Nitro 5 is a powerful gaming laptop that offers impressive performance for modern games at an affordable price.

Hardware Specifications

Under the hood, the Acer Nitro 5 boasts impressive hardware for a budget gaming laptop. The tested model features an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. This combination ensures that the laptop can handle demanding games and multitasking with ease. The Acer Nitro 5 also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD, providing fast loading times and ample storage for games and other applications. There are other configurations available, including models with Core i5 processors and different GPU options, allowing users to choose based on their performance needs and budget. The laptop also includes multiple USB Type-A ports as part of its wide selection of I/O options, enhancing its practicality and variety of connectivity options for users.

Gaming Performance

In terms of gaming performance, the Acer Nitro 5 excels, delivering solid frame rates in popular games. Titles like “Call of Duty: Warzone” and “Fortnite” run smoothly at high settings, with frame rates consistently hitting above 60 FPS. For more graphically intensive games like “Cyberpunk 2077,” you might need to dial down the settings to achieve optimal performance, but the Acer Nitro 5 handles these adjustments well, maintaining a good balance between visual quality and playability. The laptop’s cooling system, featuring dual fans and strategically placed vents, helps manage heat effectively during extended gaming sessions, ensuring stable performance.

Productivity and Multitasking

Beyond gaming, the Acer Nitro 5 proves to be a capable machine for everyday productivity tasks. Whether you’re working on documents, browsing the web, or streaming videos, the Intel Core i7 processor and ample RAM provide a smooth and responsive experience. Multitasking is handled with ease, allowing you to switch between applications without noticeable lag. This versatility makes the Acer Nitro 5 a suitable option not just for gamers but also for students and professionals who need a reliable laptop for both work and play.

Keyboard and Input Devices

Keyboard Feel and Layout

The keyboard on the Acer Nitro 5 is designed with gamers in mind, offering a comfortable and responsive typing experience. It features a full-sized layout complete with a dedicated numeric keypad, which is a nice addition for those who need it. The keys are well-spaced and have a decent amount of key travel, providing a satisfying tactile response that enhances typing speed and accuracy.

One of the standout features of the Acer Nitro 5’s keyboard is its backlighting. The tested model comes with red backlighting, which adds a bit of flair to the overall aesthetic and makes it easier to use the laptop in low-light conditions. The backlighting is adjustable, allowing you to customize the brightness according to your preference. Additionally, the WASD and arrow keys are highlighted, making them easier to locate during intense gaming sessions. The keyboard also supports anti-ghosting technology, ensuring that multiple key presses are registered accurately, which is crucial for gaming.

Touchpad Quality

The touchpad on the Acer Nitro 5 is reasonably sized, offering enough space for comfortable navigation. It is responsive and accurate, providing smooth cursor movement and reliable gesture recognition. The surface of the touchpad is smooth to the touch, allowing your fingers to glide effortlessly.

While the touchpad works well for general use, gamers will likely prefer using an external mouse for better precision and control. Nonetheless, the touchpad serves its purpose effectively for everyday tasks and casual use. The integrated buttons are responsive, providing a satisfactory click when pressed, though they may feel a bit stiff for some users.

Connectivity Options

The Acer Nitro 5 offers a wide range of connectivity options to accommodate various peripherals and devices, including multiple USB-A ports. On the left side of the laptop, you’ll find an Ethernet port, a USB Type-A port, a USB C port with Thunderbolt 4 support, and a headphone jack. The inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 is a significant advantage, allowing for faster data transfer speeds, support for multiple monitors, and enhanced versatility in connecting external devices.

On the right side, the Acer Nitro 5 features two additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and an HDMI 2.1 port. The HDMI port supports 4K output, making it easy to connect the laptop to an external monitor or TV for an enhanced gaming or viewing experience. The variety of ports ensures that you have plenty of options for connecting your favorite peripherals, such as gaming mice, external storage devices, and more.

Overall, the connectivity options on the Acer Nitro 5 are impressive, providing the flexibility needed for both gaming and productivity. The inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 is a notable highlight, offering advanced capabilities that are typically found in higher-end laptops.

Battery Life

Battery life is a crucial factor for any gaming laptop, and the Acer Nitro 5 performs admirably in this regard. Under typical usage, such as web browsing, document editing, and streaming videos, the Acer Nitro 5 can last around 7-8 hours on a single charge. This is quite good for a gaming laptop, as they are generally known for having shorter battery life due to their high-performance components.

When it comes to gaming, battery life is understandably shorter. During intensive gaming sessions, you can expect the Acer Nitro 5 to last around 2-3 hours, depending on the game’s demands and the settings used. While this might not be sufficient for extended gaming marathons without access to a power jack, it is still respectable for a gaming laptop in this price range.

The Acer Nitro 5 also features power management options that allow you to optimize battery life based on your usage. For instance, you can switch to a power-saving mode when performing less demanding tasks to extend battery longevity. Additionally, the laptop charges relatively quickly via its power jack, so you won’t be tied to a power outlet for long periods.

Software and Bloatware

Acer ships the Nitro 5 with a variety of pre-installed software, some of which can be quite useful. One of the standout applications is NitroSense, Acer’s proprietary software for monitoring and controlling system performance. NitroSense provides real-time information on CPU and GPU usage, temperature, and fan speed. It also allows you to adjust the cooling system to balance performance and noise levels according to your preferences.

However, like many laptops, the Nitro 5 comes with its fair share of bloatware. Pre-installed applications that you might not need can take up valuable storage space and potentially impact system performance. It is advisable to review the installed software and uninstall any programs that are unnecessary for your needs.

Despite the presence of bloatware, the Acer Nitro 5 runs smoothly, and the included NitroSense software adds value by giving you greater control over your laptop’s performance. With a bit of cleanup, you can ensure that your system is optimized for both gaming and productivity.

Pricing and Configurations

The Acer Nitro 5 is available in various configurations, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your budget and performance requirements. The entry-level models typically feature Intel Core i5 processors and Nvidia GTX 1650 GPUs, making them suitable for casual gamers and those on a tighter budget. These models provide decent performance for most games at medium settings.

For those seeking more power, higher-end configurations include Intel Core i7 processors and Nvidia RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 GPUs. These models deliver significantly better performance, enabling you to play the latest AAA titles at higher settings and enjoy smoother gameplay. Additionally, you can find models with different amounts of RAM and storage options, ranging from 8GB to 32GB of RAM and 256GB to 1TB of SSD storage.

The pricing of the Acer Nitro 5 varies based on the configuration, with entry-level models starting at around $700 and high-end models reaching up to $1,500 or more. This wide range of options ensures that there is a Acer Nitro 5 model for every type of gamer, from budget-conscious buyers to those looking for a more powerful gaming machine.

Is Acer Nitro 5 Right for You?

In summary, the Acer Nitro 5 offers exceptional value for its affordable price, providing a solid gaming experience without breaking the bank. Its design and build quality are commendable, balancing aesthetics and durability. The bright display is vibrant and smooth, while the performance, driven by Intel Core processors, AMD processors, and Nvidia GPUs, is impressive for both gaming and productivity tasks.

The keyboard and touchpad are well-designed, ensuring comfortable use, and the connectivity options are robust, including the notable addition of Thunderbolt 4. Battery life is competitive for a gaming laptop, and the pre-installed NitroSense software enhances user experience by offering performance monitoring and control, including a performance mode for demanding tasks.

With a variety of configurations available, the Acer Nitro 5 caters to a wide range of users, from those on a tight budget to those seeking higher performance. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly gaming laptop that doesn’t compromise on essential features, the Acer Nitro 5 is an excellent choice. Whether you need a machine for gaming, work, or a bit of both, this laptop delivers a balanced blend of power and affordability.

The expertise of tech journalism, including insights from editors at Laptop Mag, highlights the Acer Nitro 5 as a standout choice in its category.