Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch) review | Techy Kings

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Acer makes a wide range of nitro gaming laptops, which generally tend towards affordable and mid-range options. Last up is the 17-inch AMD Ryzen 6000-based Nitro 5, which lists for $1,499 but sells for $1,199 in the same configuration at Microcenter (at the time of writing). This model combines a capable RTX 3060 graphics processor and a Ryzen 7 6800H processor with 1TB of storage and a 144Hz display to make an effective big-screen gaming laptop at any price. The weight limits its usefulness for travel players, and the build isn’t flashy, but it’s a solid deal for moderate all-around mobility—especially if you can get it from a microcenter.


Heavy 17-inch player

We’ve seen a lot of nitro systems arrive in our test benches, and this model shares the same overall look as previous versions. It has its own flair, though, mostly through the multi-colored stripe design on the lid. Adding some color to the all-black chassis is a welcome and understated way to incorporate some style.

Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch) top cover view

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

Otherwise, it’s just what it looks like – a big black patch in the same style as most nitro systems. In its defense, most entry-level and mid-range gaming laptops aren’t adventurous enough in their design to maximize broad appeal.

Like the size, the average laptop footprint has shrunk over the years, even at 17 inches, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a big system. It measures 1.1 by 15.77 by 11.59 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.6 pounds, which is heavier than most laptops we test these days.

Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch) angle, open view

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

Smaller 17-inch systems opt for pure power in a thicker and heavier chassis, but they’re far from a portable option if that’s your main concern. This budget-friendly Nitro 5 isn’t as big or expensive as those, but it’s still heavier than most. Even the older Nitro 5 (reviewed in early 2022 but produced in 2021 units) weighs less at 5.95 pounds, while many gaming machines are under 5 pounds.

Directly in view of the Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch).

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

This system is large enough to fit the unit’s 17.3-inch display. The IPS screen has Full HD resolution (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time and 300 nits of brightness. The display is, in practice, of pretty good quality: the picture isn’t overly impressive, but it’s by no means inferior or lacking.

For the price, you can’t complain too much about ending up with 1080p resolution or a 144Hz refresh rate – something more powerful simply costs more. For mainstream consumers looking at this type of laptop, what’s here is adequate and a reasonable match.

Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch) keyboard and trackpad close-up

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the rest of the build is pretty impressive with a standard touchpad and usable keyboard. The keys offer four-zone RGB backlighting, so there’s some sort of upgrade to the standard offering, but otherwise it’s your typical fare. The typing experience is good – the keys have a good amount of travel and don’t feel shallow or harsh – and thanks to the wide chassis, the number pad.

One side of the Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch)

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

While there’s plenty of space on this large body, the physical interactions are well-rounded. The left side includes an Ethernet jack (a useful example of this thickness), a USB-A port, and a headphone jack. The right edge houses two additional USB-A ports, and the rear has a USB-C port and an HDMI connection. There is no Thunderbolt support for AMD chipsets.

The Other Side of the Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch)

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

Supporting features include a 720p webcam, Wi-Fi 6E, killer Ethernet bandwidth prioritization technology and the NitroSense app for performance monitoring. As we expect from 1080p cameras, the camera quality is mediocre, but good enough for normal video calls.

You can use NitroSense to adjust fan modes (auto, manual, or some custom tuning), as well as more general performance modes (default, quiet, or performance) to slightly boost CPU and GPU speeds. The fans are barely audible when idle in default mode, while playing normally, and a bit too loud in performance mode.

The set of rear ports on the Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch).

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)


Acer Nitro 5: Ryzen 7 and RTX 3060 bring frames to the test

As configured, this Nitro 5 includes an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H processor, 16GB of memory, a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD), and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. Those are solid entry-to-mid-level units, and a good pair to take advantage of the display.

Our model has a list price of $1,499, but as noted, this model is $1,199 at Microcenter at the time of publication. If you can get it from this retailer, that’s obviously a a lot of A better deal.

Acer Nitro 5 Root (2022, 17-inch)

(Credit: Kyle Cobian)

At the list price, the price is decent but not spectacular. A few years ago, details like this would have been more affordable, but you’d be hard-pressed to match these pieces for less today. There are optional Nitro 5 SKUs with higher resolution displays and options for the weaker GeForce RTX 3050 Ti or the more powerful GeForce RTX 3070.

To test this part of the Nitro 5, we ran the usual benchmark tests and compared the results to a group of similar competitors. You can find their names and details below to see what they are up against.

The MSI Katana GF66 ($1,199 as tested) and Predator Helios 300 ($1,299 as tested) are available for the same price as our newest model Microcenter, while the 15-inch Nitro 5 ($899 as tested) is much higher. Budget friendly group. The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7620) ($1,599 as tested) is the only gaming laptop here, but considering its features and price with its review system, it’s worth considering if you want a laptop that can do everything and play. Games too.

The components in these options are generally related to or very similar to Nitro 5 – some on previous generation Intel, others with current 12th Gen chips and a mix of GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3050 Ti GPUs.

Productivity tests

UL’s PCMark 10 core benchmark simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows to measure the overall performance of office-centric applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing and video conferencing. We also run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive test to evaluate the laptop’s storage load times and throughput.

Three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads to rate a PC’s processor’s suitability for heavy workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 uses the company’s Cinema 4D engine to render complex scenes, while Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular applications ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder Handbrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (less time is better).

Our final productivity test is workstation maker Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses Adobe’s popular image editor Creative Cloud version 22 to rate the computer’s performance in content creation and multimedia applications. An automated extension that performs a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks, from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving images to masks, gradient fills, and filters.

Less surprisingly, the Ryzen 7 6000 Series flexes its muscles on these productivity and media tests, while the new Nitro 5 finishes at or near the top of all of them. The field is pretty much the same with a few exceptions in the CPUs used here, but this one is the fastest on average and suitable for any daily and non-gaming task.

Graphics and game tests

We test Windows PC graphics with two DirectX 12 game simulators from UL’s 3DMark: Night Raid (more moderate, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with dedicated GPUs). Two additional tests from GFXBench 5.0, run off-screen to allow for different display resolutions, crash OpenGL operations.

Additionally, we run two real-world game tests using the built-in F1 2021 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. These represent a mix of simulation and open-world action-adventure experiences. We ran Valhalla twice at different image resolution presets and F1 2021 with and without Nvidia’s performance-enhancing DLSS anti-aliasing. We run these tests at 1080p resolution so the results can be fairly compared between systems.

The RTX 3060 GPU isn’t quite at the top of the order, but it’s proven a very capable option over the years, and it’s no different here. You may have to turn off a couple of settings in more demanding modern titles, but Nitro 5 can push even Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to an average of 69 frames per second at high settings, and you’ll be in good shape for a while. This system.

F1 2021 also features higher frame rates, especially with DLSS turned on. DLSS is a technology that maximizes performance with minimal loss of quality, and support will become more widespread in the future. Games that are difficult to run on this laptop will be implemented in the future. Meanwhile, less demanding games using the 144Hz display will hit higher frame rates on this GPU. For the price, you could do a lot worse, performance-wise.

Battery and display tests

We test the laptops’ battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file at 50% display brightness and 100% volume until the system shuts down. Before the test, we make sure the battery is fully charged, Wi-Fi and keyboard backlight are off.

We also use the Datacool Spyder X Elite monitor calibration sensor and Windows software to measure laptop screen color saturation – how much of the sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color gamut or palette the display can display – and 50% and maximum brightness in nits (candela per square meters).

Both the battery and display tests eliminate any major pitfalls, and the first one is even better. Budget-friendly and larger gaming laptops don’t always last long, so 10 or more hours off the charger – even if you’re not playing games – adds to the versatility of this laptop. That said, its size and weight will probably limit you from moving often, but it will enjoy a trip from the charger to your couch without any problems.


Verdict: Sound agreement for the main players

While there isn’t too much special about the Nitro 5’s build, the overall package is a solid value. The list price isn’t quite a bargain, but the Microcenter price (at the time of this writing) is pretty close. The RTX 3060 is a bargain at $1,200, but it’s still a reasonable $1,500, and the faster processor and more storage justify the price.

The laptop is large and heavy, limiting its usefulness to most buyers looking for a portable option. However, if your priority is a big screen and good performance without breaking the bank, this is a fair, full-featured deal. If you’re not sold and want a smaller size: check out the MSI Katana, our top pick at 15 inches.

Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-inch)

Cons

  • Big footprint

  • 6.6 pounds weight

Bottom line

This 17-inch Acer Nitro 5 model delivers a capable RTX 3060-powered gaming experience by the end of 2022, achieving 60fps-plus AAA title performance at an affordable price.

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