These days, really inexpensive gaming laptops are hard to come by, but the new Acer Nitro 5 makes a compelling argument for itself. Our test device, a model that costs only $899.99 at Best Buy, is both cost-effective and provides good entry-level performance.
A comfortable 1080p gaming experience is provided by its 144Hz refresh rate display, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and 12th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU.
It would be good to have a little bit more capacity, but the 512GB solid-state drive keeps the cost around $1,000, making this a fantastic choice for casual gamers looking to save money. However, gamers that insist on 60 frames per second or higher frame rates should opt for a laptop with a step-up GPU, such as the MSI Katana GF66.
Acer Nitro 5 Style A Universal Appearance
With the most recent Nitro 5, Acer chose to go for a rather basic aesthetic, which is great with us. The majority of Nitro laptops, as well as many gaming laptops in general, especially entry-level ones, were once adorned in garish colours and decorative flourishes, but that look has gradually faded into obscurity.
Garish red and black were particularly popular, and while some people might still prefer that overused colour scheme, it was challenging to find an affordable gaming laptop.
In fact, the earlier this year Nitro 5 had a different appearance with a lot of red. While this new edition has a squarer, cleaner appearance, the previous model’s lid corners and rear vents were slightly more geometric.
Without the muscle lines of the early 2022 iteration, the lid is plain and smooth.
It’s important to note that the Nitro 5 sold by Amazon and the Acer shop actually has a different design and has some circuit-like lines on the lid. This laptop blends in well in a classroom or cafe because to its nearly all-black chassis (a minor amount of red is seen on the rear vents).
The Nitro 5 is completely adequate in terms of build. Despite the chassis being entirely made of plastic, it does not flex or bend easily when in use. This is a rather thick system, which makes it a little less unexpected given how hefty the whole design is and helps to make it a little more durable.
A cheap laptop’s keyboard is a little bit nicer than you may anticipate. The keyboard also has RGB backlighting across four programmable zones, giving the keys a great bounce. The touchpad can be used. Overall, the build quality is respectable but nothing spectacular.
The expense of more expensive laptops is largely attributed to their thin designs, whereas this laptop’s bulkier chassis is substantially less expensive.
The Acer is moderately portable as gaming laptops go, but heavier than a contemporary daily car, measuring 1.06 by 14.1 by 10.7 inches (HWD) and weighing 5.51 pounds. It might not be the first device you’d want to carry around with you, but for a cheap gaming setup, it’s acceptable trim.
A 15.6-inch monitor, the longtime standard size, is tucked into this frame. Although larger 14.3-inch and 16-inch panels have become increasingly popular recently, 17.3-inch screens remain the standard for still-portable gaming laptops. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and a full HD (1,920 by 1,080-pixel) IPS display.
A 720p webcam and a few essential ports complete the external feature package. The headphone jack, a USB 3.2 Type-A port, and an Ethernet port are all located on the left edge. The physical size of the jack makes it more likely to be present on a thicker laptop like this one, which is one advantage of the bulk.
The latter is not always included, especially on gaming notebooks. Two further USB-A 3.2 ports are located on the right side of the laptop, and the back of the device houses the power jack, an HDMI video output, and a USB-C port.