People occasionally ask me for advice when they want to get a new computer, some even come up to me and ask if this gaming laptop is good or that gaming laptop is good and my usual reply is, “will you be always outside playing games or just at home?” We all know that for the price you are paying for a gaming laptop, that amount of money could get you a gaming desktop PC which in fact, will run the game much better than an expensive gaming laptop. However, Acer has blurred the line between gaming laptop specs and price with the Acer Nitro 5 because, for the price tag of RM3,299, you will be getting similar specs as what you would spend when paying that same amount to get a gaming desktop computer. However, being reasonably priced gaming laptop is one thing, let’s dive in and see what will you get with this laptop.
I do believe this laptop is far by one of the best looking gaming laptops I had the change to review. On first look, you can see the nice and simple brushed finish aluminum top which they kept simple and pleasing to look at. This is something I am really happy Acer did as most of the gaming laptops out there look really over the top making it look like a futuristic SciFi device, but the minimal design approach Acer took makes it look sleek and you might not even think it’s a gaming laptop, big thumbs up from me in the design department.
Opening the laptop, you will be greeted with an equally simple design on the inside. The red accented keyboard feels like it gives you the motivation to be game ready as soon as the red backlit comes on, gearing up to lay some smack down on your opponents. In addition to that, the keycaps are big and spaced apart nicely, ensuring that you never miss a keypress at the most crucial moment and the travel distance of the keys make for an enjoyable typing experience. I also liked that they highlighted the WASD keys which are probably the most used keys when it comes to gaming, a nice addition to the overall look of the keyboard. Above that, is the 15.6-inch IPS FHD screens which have very nice and vibrant colours making it lovely to play games and watching videos on, viewing angles are also decent thanks to the IPS display.
The touchpad is something that I feel could be worked on a bit more as the tracking is not really great, especially when flicking around, the pointer seems to be skipping about making it occasionally hard to click on what you want. I never really found touchpad on gaming laptops to be an issue because for me, even if I am doing work or just playing games, I am going to plug in a mouse, but if you are a person that prefers to use the touchpad, then this might be a slight issue for you.
When it comes to the I/O, Acer made sure that you will not be disappointed there because they have ample amount of ports to cater to gamers, on the right side, there are two USB ports which are perfect for plugging in a keyboard and mouse as well as a headphone jack and charging port with LED indicators for power and charging.
On the left side is where all the goodies are, there is an Ethernet port which is a much better option when playing online games to reduce latency, USB Type-C port which is always a nice addition and good to know that Acer is keeping up with the times. There is also a USB 3.0 port for all your highspeed transfers, HDMI, and a SDcard slot. Overall, I really like all the ports that Acer has provided and I think they did a great job implementing the I/O.
Now in this section, I have to say I am quite disappointed with the option that Acer has given us. My review unit is the i5-7300HQ, GTX 1050 and 4GB of RAM. I am fine with the processor and graphics card but having an option for 4GB of RAM is somewhat questionable as that is definitely not going to be enough of RAM to run many games and that shows a lot when I tested it out on games. I managed to get the laptop before the launch of the Destiny 2 PC beta and was quite excited cause I wanted to go to my favorite cafe to have a nice cup of coffee while playing the game. Sadly I was disappointed because, no matter what graphics settings I put, the laptop struggles to run the game with frame skips and lag all around.
Games like Witcher 3 could not run at all simply because there is just not enough RAM to run the game when launching the game it took me 3 tries to actually get into the game and Mad Max has massive frame skipping. However, with 8GB of RAM all these issues will be gone, Mad Max will run at a stable 70 frames-per-second and Witcher 3 can be played at 40 frames in towns and 50 to 60 frames when in the open world and Destiny 2 will run fine with 50 to 60 frames but, seeing as it’s a GTX 1050, you will have to run most of these games in medium graphics for you to get that nice 60 frames. If you are planning to go for long hours of gaming be sure to have a power socket nearby because it roughly gave me one and a half hours of battery life which I can’t complain, seeing as it is packing some pretty demanding components but yet still manages to last longer than some of the other gaming laptops and match some at a higher price point.
Because the vents are on the right side of the laptop, heat will only build up on the right side of the keyboard keeping the left side comfortable when gaming. This is also thanks to the bottom fans which brings the air into the laptop which is a big surface area taking in more than enough air to keep the laptop at stable and manageable heats.