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Acer Nitro 5 (AMD Ryzen 5) long term review: Casual gaming in a

Acer is known to make value-for-money laptops in all price ranges and the Nitro 5 series is another noble attempt to provide an affordable gaming laptop. The Acer Nitro 5 series of gaming laptops come with either the option of 8th-generation Intel Core processor with Optane memory or AMD Ryzen 5 processor.

The base variant of the Acer Nitro 5 offers AMD Ryzen 5 processor with Radeon RX560 graphics while high-end options include 8th generation Intel Core i5, Core i5+, Core i7, and Core i7+ processors coupled with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050Ti graphics and Optane memory technology.

The Acer Nitro 5 was launched at a starting price of Rs 65,999 for the AMD variant and Rs 72,999 for Intel processor model. After using the Acer Nitro 5 with AMD Ryzen 5 processor for over six months, here is our long term review.

Design and display

The Acer Nitro 5 is bound to remind you about the Asus TUF series of laptops as the design language is quite similar. However, as far as the build quality is concerned, Acer has done a good job overall. Having said that the cost cutting is visible from the quality of plastic. The Acer Nitro 5 looks simple and nothing flashy compared to typical gaming laptops. This device is something you can carry for work as well, if you don’t mind the weight. The Red colour highlights along with the complete Black body looks good but the thick bezels along with the display is a put-off.

Talking about the display, the Acer Nitro 5 comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS screen which produces decent colours and is not reflective. While display can get really bright, the colours doesn’t hold well in full brightness. The viewing angles are decent and for casual gaming or first-time buyers, users shouldn’t have any complains at all. However, the display quality will not be able to impress pro gamers as they will easily spot some ghosting effect.

Just above the display, there is a web camera which offers HD video output. The web camera is decent for Skype calls but don’t expect any more from it.

Keyboard and trackpad

The Acer Nitro 5 offers a chiclet keypad and it is actually a delight to type and work on articles with this machine. There is a dedicated numeric keypad on the right and the WASD keys are highlighted for better gaming experience. As far as the trackpad is concerned, you will have to get used to position first and then think of using it. It is highly advisable that you invest in a good mouse to have a good gaming experience as the trackpad will surely disappoint.

Performance

Unless and until you are really tight on the budget, opting for the Intel version with either

NVIDIA GTX 1050 or 1050Ti graphics card is a good bet. If you opt for the AMD Ryzen 5 variant of the Nitro 5 expect a bumpy ride. While you will face no issues with gameplay, expect occasional lags while starting a game or even during system startup.

We reviewed the Acer Nitro 5 with model number AN515-42 powered by a 2GHz quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor with 4GB of RAM, 1TB HDD and Windows 10 Home operating system. While this configuration might be okay for ‘hobbyist gamers’ playing Age of Empires extensively, for serious gamers, they would need to spend money on better hardware. Thankfully, you have the option to expand the memory.

As far as overall performance is concerned, the Acer Nitro 5 with this particular configuration is okay to get your regular job done and some recreational gaming. But if you are looking at serious gaming then opt for the Nitro 5 with better hardware.

Connectivity and speakers

The Acer Nitro 5 comes with two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0, one USB Type-C Gen 1, HDMI, card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack and LAN port. There is no CD drive. The laptop comes with Dolby Audio support and audio output is decent for watching videos and movies. Of course, for gaming needs, you will have to opt for good headphones.

Battery

While Acer claims 7 hours of battery life, the Nitro 5 easily deliver a bit above four hours of mixed battery time. The 4-cell Li-ion battery takes time to charge. Over the period of six months, the battery life saw a slight dip on continuous usage. For long gaming sessions, users will have to keep it plugged to the wall socket.

Verdict

The Acer Nitro 5 offers a lot of choices in terms of hardware specifications for a competitive price. And depending on how much someone wants to play for an entry-level gaming laptop, there is model for everyone. As far as the AN515-42 model with AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor is concerned, it a good deal for regular usage and recreational gaming.

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Written by Raj Chhetri

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