Acer Nitro 5 review: Pushing the boundaries of budget gaming | Techy Kings

[ad_1]

Everything is more expensive these days, that’s a given. With inflation, shipping congestion, chip shortages, and whatever else is going on in the world, you can expect to pay more for things including gaming laptops.

My idea of ​​a budget gaming laptop was $1,000 or less. Now, I’ve re-evaluated and around $1,200 seems to be the right cutoff between budget and mid-range. Acer’s Nitro gaming laptops used to start around $800, but the cheapest current model is $999, with entry-level 12th-gen Intel processors going up to $1,049. The particular Acer Nitro 5 I tested here is $1,299, which pushes the limits of what you might call a budget gaming laptop. But even at that price, it’s a good combination of specs and design, with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia 3060 GPU.

such as

  • Generous RAM/SSD, even in the least expensive configuration
  • Nitro Sense control software is easy to use.
  • Large, gaming-friendly keys

Don’t love

  • Thick and heavy
  • Short battery life
  • Too much pre-installed adware

There are several different Nitro 5 configurations floating around, and this one has an Intel 12th-gen Core i5-12500H CPU. The cheapest model in the current lineup is $999 and has an 11th-gen Core i5 and Nvidia 3050 GPU, but the same 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, so I wouldn’t consider it.

The display is the standard 15.6-inch 1,920×1,090 one, but with a decent 144Hz refresh rate (reflecting the number of times the screen image is refreshed) and a matte screen. That glossy surface may be the reason the display is muted, but I’m generally a fan of matte displays. I was a little annoyed, however, that the “144Hz” sticker at the bottom of the screen is a bit crooked. It shows the lack of quality control at some point in the manufacturing process.

Acer Nitro 5

Dan Ackerman/CNET

In the thick of it

I’ve always liked the Nitro line because it works as both a basic gaming laptop and an everyday 15-inch productivity laptop. Acer makes more specialized gaming systems like the Predator-branded Helios and Triton lines, but the Nitro leans more towards the mainstream. I can compare it to Dell’s G-series flagship gaming laptops and the exclusive Alienware Dell offers.

I recently used this side-by-side with a Dell G15 with similar specs, and it’s actually a bit of a toss-up between them. The Dell has a more mainstream look and is better suited to an office or airport lounge. But I liked the chunkier, deeper keyboard keys on the Nitro 5, and the bold, bright backlighting that makes the keys stand out.

img-0038

Chunky keys are great for PC gaming.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Still, it’s 5.1 pounds and just over 1 inch thick. I lugged it back and forth from office to home multiple times, power brick included, and that was a pain.

It also has more USB-A ports than I’ve seen in a while (one on the left, two on the right), but only one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4. This is on the rear edge with an HDMI output. and barrel connector power cable port. Gaming laptops are among the last laptops to lack a more universal USB-C-based power connection, due to the power required to run the dedicated GPU.

Acer Nitro 5

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Software profit

I’ve noticed the return of the most common bloatware in budget laptops: Dropbox, Planet9 (gaming social media network), ExpressVPN and a few others have adware or offerware pre-installed on Nitro 5. Get paid to include these links and apps. Are those savings passed on to you in the cost of the system? It’s hard to say. The silver lining is that the large 512GB SSD doesn’t eat up much storage space.

My favorite, however, is Acer’s Nitro Sense software for controlling the system’s gaming features. Unlike other PC maker settings software on gaming laptops, it’s easy for casual users to understand and doesn’t clutter the interface beyond basic fan speed controls, temperature control, keyboard backlight settings, and a few other things. While the fans can crackle at times, the system never gets too hot, and it’s nice to have controls within easy reach.

Acer Nitro 5 2022

Is it a gaming laptop if you don’t play a Warhammer game on it?

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Normal behavior

This is an affordable gaming laptop with a current Gen Core i5 CPU and Nvidia 3060 GPU. This means you have a good idea of ​​how it works before you even open the box. In some tests, the system suffered against the other Nvidia 3060 laptops we tested, going with the i5 and i7, but every game benchmark (like Guardians of the Galaxy at high detail) was better than 60 frames per second. second.

I’ve been using a Valve Steam deck as my main gaming PC lately, so going back to a bigger screen and a proper keyboard and mouse setup was a nice change of pace. New games, like my current guilty pleasure, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonters, run very well and playing next to a window makes me especially appreciate the glare-free matte screen.

But the battery life was on the short side of 4:37. Note: For streaming only. Video, not even playing a game. Most of the gaming laptops we’ve tested recently are the same HP Victus, they ran for a long time. As a gaming laptop, that’s not a deal breaker, but it does keep the Nitro 5 from being the useful productivity laptop it could be.

Geekbench 5 (multi-core)

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7610)

Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R23 (multi-core)

Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7610)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance.

3DMark Wild Life Extreme

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7610)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance.

Online streaming battery drain test

Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7610)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance.

System configurations

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58

Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-12500H; 16 GB DDR4 3,200MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060; 512GB SSD

HP Victus 16

Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-11800H; 16 GB DDR4 3,200MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060; 512GB SSD

Razer Blade 15 (2022)

Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-12800H; 16 GB DDR5 4,800 MH; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti; 1 TB SSD

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7610)

Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-11800H; 16 GB DDR4 3,200MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050; 512GB SSD

Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.9GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5900U; 16GB LPDDR4X RAM; 4GB Nvidia RTX 3050Ti; 512GB SSD

[ad_2]

Source link