• Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Connectivity: Gigabit LAN, 802.11ac WiFi
  • Dimensions: 390 x 266 x 26.75 mm
  • Weight: 2.7kg

Gaming On A Steal

With e-sports growing at an accelerated rate, gaming notebooks are being released just as fast. Form and function are important, but many people are looking for something more student budget-friendly, such as Acer’s Nitro 5.

Like many gaming notebooks before it, the Nitro 5 doesn’t stray away from the popular black and red look. Its black body is mostly plastic, with some red accents to give it a nice contrast. The lid is a brushed texture that doesn’t attract too much fingerprints, which is always good in our books. Under the lid is a 15-inch display and the standard HD webcam, along with its full-sized keyboard.

It’s a relatively bulky gaming notebook, but perhaps the worst part is that it’s considerably heavy for a 15-inch notebook with a plastic body. In exchange, it has a strong build with minimal flex to the body and lid. The hinge is strong, although it doesn’t open as smoothly as we’d liked; it’s so tight that lifting it will pull the entire unit up.

Being a relatively standard-sized gaming notebook, the Nitro 5 has the space to accommodate quite a number of ports. This includes an Ethernet, HDMI, USB Type-C, one USB 3.1 Type-B, two USB 2.0, and a SD card reader. As a result, it can cover a wide variety of users.

While watching videos and some light gaming, we found that its IPS 1080p display does average for a display of its kind. Visuals are okay here and it’s bright enough, but the colours aren’t very vibrant for an IPS panel and it leaned slightly towards the cooler colour spectrum. Also, since it’s a standard 60Hz panel, don’t to see butter smooth visuals. The audio is also average for an entry-level gaming notebook, with limited midrange and a lack of bass.

When it comes to performance, the Nitro 5 is a relatively basic gaming machine. It’s sufficient for most e-sports titles like Dota 2, LoL or CS:GO, but you won’t be able to play newer titles without butchering the visual quality and resolution. In addition, the magnetic storage drive and only 4GB of RAM hampers a lot of standard operations – you’ll experience some lag even when opening programmes or Windows Explorer.

Fortunately, Acer allowed for direct upgrades to those two components without voiding the warranty. You can get access to the single SODIMM slot and 2.5-inch drive by removing the screws and panels protecting them, found at the bottom of the unit.

CHIP CONCLUDE:An affordable gaming notebook that can handle basic needs, including light gaming.

(previously published in issue October 2017)

Acer Nitro 5