Acer teased its new, more approachable gaming laptop, the Nitro 5, back at its own global press conference in New York in April, however, Computex 2017 served as the first instance that we were able to actually go hands-on with this intriguing new machine.
The Nitro 5 is Acer’s attempt to give more casual gamers a machine that allows them to play the latest and greatest PC games without needing to part with the typical shed-loads of cash associated with performance gaming laptops or understand how to build or overclock a machine in order to ensure consistently smooth gameplay and high-fidelity visuals.
Likely as a means to give it powerful enough internals for the price, the external body of the Nitro 5 is unquestionably reminiscent of its premium Predator gaming line but with simpler geometry and fewer cosmetic details. Coincidentally, it looks as though someone has taken a model of the company’s beefier Predator 15 gaming notebook and dropped the resolution slider down to ‘low’.
The result is a clean, simpler-looking machine than the true Predators machines, that still exhibits aspects of its gaming heritage in its angular appearance and the red accents on elements like the trackpad, hinge and the backlit keyboard, which includes highlighted WASD keys. For the most part, the body is finished in matt black, but there is a little fine detailing on the lid, which features a hairline brushed pattern.
Media-wise the Nitro 5 serves up a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS2 panel that offers pleasing colours and isn’t too reflective (albeit a little dim), whilst Dolby Audio Premium and Acer’s own TrueHarmony technology are collectively responsible for the audio experience, which on the noisy Computex show floor proves hard to accurately gauge even if no significant issues rear their heads.
On the inside is where the meat of your money goes. Interested parties have the option of an Intel/Nvidia setup or an AMD configuration, both of which feature dual cooling fans paired with the company’s Coolboost technology. This can be manually engaged from a utility built into the Windows 10 experience serving as one of the few tools users actually have control over when it comes to performance management.
You have the choice of the latest 7th-generation Intel i5/i7 or AMD A-series processors (namely the AMD FX, A12 or A10) with up to a respectable 32GB of (DDR4) RAM, whilst the maximum graphical clout available comes courtesy of Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti or a Radeon RX550 GPU if that’s more your style.
As for storage, we’ve got no complaints about the use of super-fast PCIe SSDs (up to 512GB in capacity), that if desired, can be twinned with an even more capacious HDD (up to 2TB).
Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac WiFi with 2×2 MIMO technology cover the wireless side of things whilst a USB 3.1-compliant USB-C port, full-sized USB 3.0 port that can charge your gadgets whilst the Nitro 5 is off, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port with support for up to 90Hz refresh rates, ethernet and a microSD card reader can be found running down either side of the machine
By starting at £799 the Acer Nitro 5 strikes a competitively-priced balance that should stand any would-be gamer in good stead amidst the current gaming market. With the option of the latest processors, tons of memory and storage on offer you should be able to get years of reliable performance out of this notebook, even if the GPU’s mid-range standing means that it might not tout quite the same level of longevity as a higher-end gaming machine.
The Acer Nitro 5 should be hitting the UK this August.