Home Laptop Reviews Acer Nitro 5 (2020) Review – This Budget Gaming Laptop Is DIFFERENT

Acer Nitro 5 (2020) Review – This Budget Gaming Laptop Is DIFFERENT

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Acer Nitro 5 (2020) Review – This Budget Gaming Laptop Is DIFFERENT

this is the acer nitro 5. it’s acer’s entry-level 15-inch gaming laptop and it’s targeted towards gamers who are looking for the best specs without breaking the bank in fact it’s cheaper than the famous helios 300 lineup and it competes directly with msi’s bravo 15 and the dell g515se now i’m typically not really excited about budget gaming notebooks or i haven’t been excited lately because i took a look at the msi bravo 15 and the dell g515sc those laptops had some serious issues and i just couldn’t recommend them entirely uh but there are a lot of great things to like about this laptop and that’s because it’s got an rtx 2060 and it only costs about a thousand dollars which is actually a really good deal in my opinion uh the build quality is also really good for the price of surprise by a lot of factors but given that it still has a lot of great specs there are certain things that you need to know about before pulling the trigger on the nitro 5.

as always i’ll make sure to leave timestamps in the description down below so that you can get to a particular segment so without any further ado let’s dive in right after this the razer viper ultimate the lightest and fastest wireless mouse designed for esports with an accurate focus plus 20k dpi optical sensor razer hyper speed wireless technology that is 25 faster than the competition all packed into lightweight body with optical mouse switches check it out below alright so acer is offering both intel and amd options with the nitro 5.

the amd model starts at 600 and for that you get a ryzen 5 cpu and a gtx 1650 there’s also a 1650 ti model but that goes for about a thousand bucks and honestly that’s a poor value for gamers in my opinion considering what else is out there the intel flavor starts at six hundred and fifty dollars and for that you get a quad core 10 gen core i5 processor eggs of ram a 256gb nvme drive and a gtx 1650.

the sample that we have in hand comes with a 9th gen 6 core 12 thread core i7 9750h processor twice the memory the same amount of storage which really isn’t that much at a time when games are starting to eat up at least 150 gigabytes or more a 1080p 144hz display that’s ips according to acer more on that later and an rtx 2060 for about a thousand fifty us dollars though depending on when you see this and where you shop that price might be either higher or lower for those of you who caught the cpu your eyes aren’t deceiving you this laptop indeed uses an older nine generation cpu and while that might seem odd acer actually has a pretty good reason for this you see as i mentioned earlier this is purely focused towards gamers so they still decided to offer a 12 for a processor instead of going with one of the most expensive tangent cpus because intel taxes is ridiculous so they decided to save a little bit of money on that forefront and then maximize the budget towards a faster graphics card which in this case is an rtx 2060.

this is actually something that we’re pushing towards more desktops and notebooks because you know games these days are in one way shape or form limited by the gpus so getting something that’s faster is a win-win so the nitro 5 isn’t designed to be a superstar in multi-threaded productivity applications i would sort of call this the exact opposite of the msi bravo 15 even though msi call that failure a gaming notebook its cpu performance was a priority whereas acer’s target here is strictly gaming now as i mentioned at the beginning the helios lineup lies just above this model and that could cause some overlap since there’s a helios 300 that’s about 150 dollars more but it comes with a 512gb ssd and a 10gen core i7 cpu if that ever goes on sale it could cause some serious issues for the nitro 5.

from a physical standpoint there is nothing really special about this laptop you can clearly tell that this is indeed a gaming notebook by the looks acer has added a touch of red and black accents here and there but it isn’t overly done in my opinion i really like the blacked out logo at the front it reminded me of doing a chrome delete on my car the edges have a slightly different texture compared to the center area but given that this is an all plastic body it easily catches finger oils so keep that in mind it’s very difficult to keep clean for the most part there’s also another thing that i want to bring up you see this rear ventilation grill right over here this thing is actually really sharp i mean it won’t really cut you but i’m just gonna like glide my hand and you can sort of tell that um it’s not that pleasing it’s very edgy so it’s super it’s really not that comfortable when you’re holding it like that and just transporting it you know especially if you’re taking this thing to school or anywhere else uh i think acer could have done something better by implementing something a little bit low profile because this is like i said it’s too edgy the hinge is okay there is a little bit of wobble but nothing to be worried about there’s also very less keyboard flex overall i gotta say this laptop it really surprised me in the build quality area because when you compare this to say something like the bravo 15 or even the dell g515sc acer just knocked it out of the park it’s really good that’s exactly what a budget laptop should feel like in the first place i should also mention that this thing is pretty thin compared to the g515sc so it’s about it’s less than five pounds 4.

85 to be exact and it’s only about an inch thick so when it comes to portability you shouldn’t have an issue lugging this thing around the interior space is pretty clean for the most part aside from the red accented keys you are getting a full size layout and i love how big the arrow keys are the red accents tend to remove the stealth feeling and stands out a bit more it is led backlit in red however there are some models offering 4 zone rgb lighting it doesn’t get that bright and unfortunately it doesn’t light up consistently as well across all keys so keep that in mind the wasp and arrow keys are outlined but it’s pretty subtle to differentiate it with the rest of the keys the keys themselves are really good they are a bit on the mushier side without a distinctive activation point but there is plenty of travel distance and there’s no key wobble that’s something that i did not expect from a notebook carrying such a price tag the trackpad is satisfactory it is a plastic surface with support for precision drivers the only issue that i have is that it’s positioned way too far towards the left hand side of the notebook so there’s not a lot of room to place your palms your left palms comfortably you can easily just you know escape i had the same issue with the g515sc i just wished if dell sort of off-centered it a little bit um so that you know you have more room to comfortably place your wrists but uh yeah other than that it’s it’s decent i wouldn’t say it’s great you’re much better off using an external mouse i do want to mention the bloatware that acer did pre-install with the nitro 5.

there’s a lot of acer management utilities and other pop-up windows that just show up especially with the antivirus program that’s pre-loaded it gets annoying so you’ll definitely have to spend a little bit more time cleaning those up this is what the webcam looks like and honestly it’s pretty good in fact it’s better than the xbase 15 that i checked out recently the microphone quality is also really good there’s no crackling or pop happening which is awesome honestly i think for a thousand dollar notebook it’s it’s pretty amazing the speakers are bottom facing and they’re bad like really bad in fact acer did built in some audio profiles within the nitro sense app and after playing around with them the only thing i noticed is that it sort of increased the treble uh and sort of distorted it at certain levels honestly just get yourself a pair of headphones for a decent multimedia experience because it’s a thousand dollar laptop taking a look at the i o on the left hand side you get a kensington lock lan port hdmi 2.

0 usb 3.1 gen1 type c two usb 3.1 type as just keep in mind that all these ports are gen one five gigabits per second even the type c switching over to the right there is power in a usb 2.0 port and an audio jack i’m not a fan of the power connector on the right side but acer’s power input is a right angle connector so it does make it less intrusive moving on to the display and this is where things get really interesting so here’s the deal you’re getting a 15.

6 inch 1080p screen with a refresh rate of 144 hertz great right and acer claims that it is an ips panel that can get as bright as 300 nits my first impressions were pretty poor i mean i was noticing washed out colors not the greatest view angles thing is when i ran my display analysis test that basically confirmed with those impressions as you can see it only covers 66 srgb 49 adobe rgb and 49 dc ip3 so don’t fool yourself thinking that it’s got an ips display so i can use it for photo editing or video editing no don’t do it it’s pretty bad also the display only got as far as 280 nits so i never got as far as 300 nits according to what acer claims and finally i did experience some backlit bleed on the top portion of the display it was a bit concerning especially watching movies and things like that but when you’re gaming you shouldn’t be worried about that speaking of gaming 144hz it’s welcoming i love the fact that you’re at least getting a high refresh rate screen acer claims a three millisecond response time but overall it really didn’t stand out as anything special when you get under the hood this notebook reveals a pretty unique looking cooling assembly with two fans placed right next to each other even though the cpu and gpu are supposed to have their own fans according to acer’s nitro sense utility the two largest heat pipes are shared i mean sure there’s a smaller one that runs from the gpu to a secondary heat sink on the notebook’s right-hand side but it’ll be interesting to see if the setup causes any temperature issues upgrading the nitro5 is pretty straightforward once you get inside you have instant access to the two ram slots maximum supported memory is 32 gigabytes there are two m.

2 slots that are covered with heat sinks one of which is preoccupied by that 256 gig nvme drive and it’s unfortunately slow compared to the competition at least for those of you wondering acer is using the hynex bc501 gen 3 ssd and it doesn’t have the greatest specs you can also find a two and a half inch hard drive bay right beneath the n.

2 slot acer does include the necessary cables in the box so make sure you find that before tossing out the box honestly i’d rather get a bigger battery instead of a 2 9 drive bit but that’s just me speaking of battery this thing comes with a 55 watt hour cell and with light load use expect seven and a half hours which is quite respectable and if you watch your consumption it should get you through a day of note taking or light web browsing heavy load is one of the longer runtimes i’ve seen which is probably because of the less power-hungry 9th gen chip remember those cpus tend to be capped at much lower power than current 10gen comet like processors so we’ve already seen what the cooling system is like on the nitro 5.

it’s pretty unique and you can control the fans or the cooling system through acer’s nitrosense app it’s pretty straightforward where you can set the fan speeds enable cool boost control the power plants new temperatures and also set audio options as i mentioned earlier through acer’s true harmony which is useless in my opinion remember the nitro 5 has two fans one for the gpu and one for the cpu through nitrous since they can be controlled individually through manual inputs or simply left on auto mode on top of that there’s a cool boost setting that increases the maximum rpms in situations where the fans are forced to run at 100 personally i didn’t find cool boosts doing anything since the fans never really hit their highest rpm levels in normal testing speaking of cool the surface temperatures are right in line with some of the cooler running notebooks we’ve come across in general the palmerst area the keyboard and most of the bottom don’t get overly warm though there is a hot spot right in the middle that’s pretty much expected since this is where there’s an open ventilation it’s also great to see most of the heat is directed out the back instead of blasting your mouse hand with hot air what’s incredible is that acer isn’t sacrificing on noise to get those super cool exterior temperatures either even in high performance mode with cool boost enabled this laptop stayed pretty much quiet when compared to many of the other gaming notebooks that we’ve tested when loading the system up with an all core render the temperatures stay super low but check out the clock speed it plunges down to intel’s base clock of 2.

6 gigahertz and just sits there regardless of how cool the cpu was running i even tried the exact same test with the fans running at 100 and the frequency didn’t change one bit there are a couple reasons for this sort of behavior first of all acer is religiously sticking to the 45 watt tdp spec for the 975dh so the package power tends to bottleneck clock speeds regardless of how cool the cpu gets many of the notebooks from previous generation tend to run their 9750 hs at 50 to 60 watts which then resulted in higher frequencies than what we saw here the current generation of notebooks featuring the 10gen core i7 10 750hs are pretty much similar but i have to wonder why acer is actually doing something like this given that the cooling system is more than capable enough to cool a pretty higher tdp spec cpu but i think i have a theory maybe acer is trying to sort of separate the performance levels between the nitro series and the helios lineup which is the step up above this laptop and as we move on to benchmark results sticking to the minimum intel spec hurts cinebench multi-core results especially against the msi gs66 which has the 10 750h running at a pretty constant 56 watts but check out the single core run in cinebench it’s pretty obvious acer is targeting one key area and that’s why fan speeds increase more in lightly thread situations as far as other results they’re pretty much the same as cinebench where the cpu is fully loaded so the nitro5 ends up trailing pretty much everything but then the rtx 2060 and the integrated graphics can flex its muscles in applications like premiere to beat over the tough a15 and almost match the a15 in resolve then winrar shows that the nitro’s great lightweight performance can almost hide how slow its ssd is and i guess on that note it’s time to switch gears to gaming and with the usual temperatures and clock speeds over time graph you can see that the 9750h turn around in a big way the nitro 5 is laser targeted at providing higher clocks in gaming it’s still running well under 90 degrees but now the frequency averages out between you know 3.

25 gigahertz and 3.4 gigahertz moving on to gpu and it maintains clock speeds that are above nvidia’s spec sheet while the core stays under 80 degrees but how does this compare to other notebooks well the top a15 also has an rtx 2060 and the nitro 5 kept to about the same average 15 50 megahertz clock speed but it also stayed a good 70 degrees cooler but moving on to actual gaming results and it’s so obvious that this laptop is punching above its price here in most cases it either passes or matches the more expensive tough a15 from asus and that’s a really good result for notebook that costs about a thousand bucks i have to say when it comes to 1080p gaming the rtx 2060 and the i7 970h are a really good combination for the price honestly if the prices were the same i’d pick the rtx 2060 with a 90 cpu over a 10 gen and a gtx 1660 ti any day all right so i think it’s time to wrap up this review the acer nitro 5 has surprised me in a lot of ways the first thing is of course the price point a thousand dollars i think you’re getting a lot for that money the first thing being that gaming performance the rtx 2060 can actually push really good frame rates at 1080p you’re also getting a really good build quality with a fantastic keyboard for gaming as well as typing or making notes as well uh and the battery life is pretty respectable and you get a lot of upgrade options as well if you want to populate another m.

2 drive or that second to a half inch hard drive with that being said there are some sacrifices that you’re taking the first things of course the display while acer says that it’s ips it’s not color accurate so if you’re planning on you know doing photo work or if you’re playing on video editing probably connect an external monitor don’t rely on it it’s not that color accurate and i have to admit that the ssd is slow it’s really slow finally there’s bloatwares there’s a lot of bloatware applications pre-installed which you might have to just spend some time cleaning that up now if you need more cpu performance rather than raw gaming horsepower and of course if you need a lot more storage there are a lot of great amd based alternatives as well so on that note thank you so much for watching i’m actually curious to see how low the price gets especially for special sales event like black friday boxing name things like that so keep an eye out for this thank you so much for watching and i’ll talk to you guys in the next one by the way say hello to hero it’s my new plant in the office he’s gonna make some some appearances here and there you

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