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Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) Laptop Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.2
Review updated Jan 12, 2024 at 05:54 pm
Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) Picture
6.9
School
7.2
Gaming
6.4
Multimedia
8.1
Workstation
7.1
Business

The Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) is a budget gaming laptop. It replaces the Acer Nitro 5 from 2019 with Intel 9th Generation CPUs. This 2020 model is available with Intel 10th Gen. or AMD Ryzen 4000 H-series CPUs, and you can choose between an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or GTX 1650 Ti discreet GPU. The multiple display options include a 1080p 60Hz panel, a 1080p 120Hz panel, and a 1080p 144Hz panel. You can configure the laptop with 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB of memory and 256GB or 512GB of storage.

You can see our unit's specifications and the available configuration options in the Differences Between Variants section.

Our Verdict

6.9 School

The Acer Nitro 5 is decent for school use. It's more than powerful enough to handle light tasks like web browsing and text processing, and its battery lasts easily through a typical eight-hour day as long as you don't run any CPU or GPU-intensive programs. It feels well-built overall; however, it's on the bulky side, making it hard to carry around. Unfortunately, the screen doesn't get bright enough to combat intense glare, and the keyboard sometimes doesn't register some keystrokes, which leads to more typos.

Pros
  • Feels well-built despite full plastic construction.
  • Battery lasts a full day of light productivity.
  • CPU powerful enough to handle most workloads.
Cons
  • Slightly bulky build makes it less portable.
  • Screen looks dull and faded.
  • Keyboard doesn't register some keystrokes.
7.2 Gaming

The Acer Nitro 5 is decent for gaming. It's powerful enough to run most modern AAA titles, though you may need to play at low graphics settings to reach 60fps in very graphically demanding games. There's very little thermal throttling on the CPU and GPU, and the laptop doesn't get overly hot or loud under load. You can configure the laptop with a 120Hz or 144Hz display for a smoother and more responsive gaming experience; however, none of the display support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn't register keystrokes at times, which could be a dealbreaker.

Pros
  • Easy to upgrade or replace parts.
  • CPU powerful enough to handle most workloads.
  • Minimal performance loss over time.
Cons
  • Screen looks dull and faded.
  • Keyboard doesn't register some keystrokes.
  • Might have to play at low graphics settings to get consistent frame rates.
6.4 Multimedia

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop is okay for media consumption. It has good speakers, but the screen is disappointing because it has a narrow color gamut that makes the image look dull and faded. The display also doesn't get very bright, so it isn't ideal for well-lit rooms. It's somewhat bulky and not the easiest to carry around, but on the upside, the battery lasts a while on a full charge.

Pros
  • Outstanding battery life for video playback.
  • Good speakers for speech-heavy content.
Cons
  • Slightly bulky build makes it less portable.
  • Screen looks dull and faded.
  • Glare is an issue in bright settings.
8.1 Workstation

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop is great for use as a workstation. The AMD Ryzen 5 4600H in our unit can handle relatively heavy workloads, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti performs remarkably well in graphically intensive tasks like 3D rendering. While our unit only has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, you can easily add more yourself to get better performance. Content creators will need an external monitor for color-critical work, as all of the display options have a narrow color gamut. Also, you can't use the USB-C port to connect an external display or charge the laptop, which may be inconvenient.

Pros
  • Easy to upgrade or replace parts.
  • CPU powerful enough to handle most workloads.
  • Minimal performance loss over time.
  • Fast SSD storage makes system feel snappy and shortens loading times.
Cons
  • Keyboard doesn't register some keystrokes.
  • Can't charge or connect external display via USB-C.
7.1 Business

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop is decent for business use. It isn't very portable because it's somewhat bulky, but it has great battery life, enough to last through an eight-hour workday of light productivity. It has enough processing power to handle most tasks like checking emails, text processing, and presentations, and it doesn't get overly hot or loud under load. The port selection is decent, although the USB-C port doesn't support charging or video output to an external monitor. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on but sometimes doesn't register keystrokes, and sadly, the webcam's video quality is sub-par.

Pros
  • Feels well-built despite full plastic construction.
  • Battery lasts a full day of light productivity.
  • Easy to upgrade or replace parts.
  • CPU powerful enough to handle most workloads.
Cons
  • Slightly bulky build makes it less portable.
  • Screen looks dull and faded.
  • Keyboard doesn't register some keystrokes.
  • Webcam image is too dark, with unnatural colors.
  • 6.9 School
  • 7.2 Gaming
  • 6.4 Multimedia
  • 8.1 Workstation
  • 7.1 Business
  1. Updated Jan 12, 2024: We've updated the review to improve clarity and readability.
  2. Updated Dec 07, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.2.
  3. Updated Nov 03, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.1.
  4. Updated Jan 04, 2023: We've updated the review to improve readability.
  5. Updated Jan 18, 2022: We've re-evaluated the scoring for ports and increased the score by 0.5 point.
  6. Updated Nov 04, 2021: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 15.6" Acer Nitro 5 laptop (model AN515-44-R078) with a 1080p 60Hz screen, an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The CPU, GPU, memory, storage, and screen are configurable; the available options are in the table below.

Screen
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 120Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 144Hz
CPU
  • Intel Core i5-10300H (4 cores/8 threads, up to 4.50GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-10750H (6 cores/12 threads, up to 5.00GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (6 cores/12 threads, up to 4.0GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800H (8 cores/16 threads, up to 4.2GHz)
GPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB
Memory
  • 8GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • 12GB DDR 3200MHz
  • 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage
  • 256GB SSD
  • 512GB SSD

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Laptops

The Acer Nitro 5 AN515 is a decent budget gaming laptop. It has a sturdy build and good performance; however, it suffers from slight quality control issues, as the keyboard sometimes doesn't register keystrokes, which might be a dealbreaker for more competitive gamers.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming laptops, the best laptops, and the best workstation laptops.

HP Victus 16 (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (2021) and the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) are very similar budget gaming laptops. The Lenovo comes out ahead in terms of user experience because it has a better keyboard and touchpad, and it's available with more powerful GPU options that can provide higher frame rates in games. The Acer's keyboard isn't uncomfortable; it just doesn't register some keystrokes at times, which might be a dealbreaker for some. The Acer has much longer battery life, lasting over four hours longer than the Lenovo in light productivity workloads, albeit only slightly longer when gaming.

Dell G15 (2022)

The Dell G15 (2022) is much better than the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020). The Dell is available with newer and significantly more powerful CPUs and GPUs that push out much higher frame rates. It also provides a better user experience with a more comfortable and responsive keyboard, better-sounding speakers, and a wider port selection. On the other hand, the Acer has a much longer battery life, lasting more than twice longer in light workloads, and its build feels sturdier.

Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is a productivity-focused device, whereas the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) is a gaming laptop. The Nitro also has great performance as a workstation, as it's available in a variety of high-power Intel and AMD CPUs, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 or 1650Ti GPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and fast NVMe SSDs, with amazing serviceability. Also, it has better-sounding speakers, and it gets better battery life. The Aspire is much more portable, it has a better keyboard, webcam, and microphone, and it has much better thermal and noise handling. You can get it with an entry-level dedicated GPU, but it won't perform nearly as well for games or workstation tasks.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021)

For gaming, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021) is better than the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020). The IdeaPad Gaming 3 is available with newer and more powerful CPUs and GPUs that can push out higher frame rates, as well as a brighter and more colorful display with a higher 165Hz refresh rate. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 also has a much better keyboard that works more reliably, as the Nitro 5's doesn't register some keystrokes at times. On the other hand, the Nitro 5 has a much longer battery life, lasting twice as long for light productivity and video playback, and it's cooler and quieter under load.

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021)

The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021) and the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) are both entry-level gaming laptops that perform about the same when playing games. The HP is available with newer AMD Ryzen 5000-series Ryzen CPUs, which provide slightly better performance compared to the Ryzen 4000-series CPUs on the Acer; however, newer versions of the Nitro 5 are available. The HP is better as a workstation as you can get it with either an NVIDIA RTX 3050 or 3050Ti dedicated GPU, both of which provide a better experience in 3D rendering and computational workloads compared to the GTX 1650 or 1650Ti on the Acer. On the other hand, the Acer is better for school and multimedia use thanks to its significantly longer battery life, better-quality microphone, much brighter screen, and louder, better-sounding speakers. Unfortunately, the Acer's keyboard sometimes doesn't register some keystrokes, which could be frustrating during competitive gaming matches.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019)

The Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) are very different. The Nitro 5 is a budget gaming laptop that runs Windows, while the MacBook Pro 16 is a productivity-focused laptop that runs macOS. Aside from gaming performance, the MacBook Pro provides a much better user experience overall because it has a larger, brighter, and more color-accurate display, better-sounding speakers, as well as a better keyboard and touchpad. As for the performance, the Nitro 5 is available with a newer generation of CPUs and GPUs that perform better for most uses. The Nitro 5 has longer battery life, but the difference is minimal in most instances.

Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020)

The Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020) is better than the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) for most uses. The Dell is available with much more powerful CPUs and GPUs, meaning it can push out higher frame rates for a smoother gaming experience. The Dell also has better display options, including a 1080p 300Hz and a 4k 60Hz option, whereas the Acer's top-end display option is limited to 1080p 144Hz. The Dell has a larger selection of ports, as well as a much better keyboard and webcam. Battery life is better on the Acer for light productivity and video playback, but both laptops can only last about an hour when gaming.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is much better than the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020). The ASUS is a newer and higher-end laptop with more powerful CPU and GPU options, which means it can reach higher frame rates for a smoother gaming experience. It also has a sharper and brighter display, a more comfortable keyboard, a larger and more responsive touchpad, and a significantly better webcam. The ASUS is more portable because it's a smaller and more compact device; however, it gets hotter and louder under load.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (2021) and the Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) are very similar budget gaming laptops. The Lenovo comes out ahead in terms of user experience because it has a better keyboard and touchpad, and it's available with more powerful GPU options that can provide higher frame rates in games. The Acer's keyboard isn't uncomfortable; it just doesn't register some keystrokes at times, which might be a dealbreaker for some. The Acer has much longer battery life, lasting over four hours longer than the Lenovo in light productivity workloads, albeit only slightly longer when gaming.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020)

The Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are Windows laptops. However, the Lenovo is a productivity-focused laptop only available with a U-series processor designed for ultraportables. The Acer is a gaming laptop with a much more powerful H-series processor and dedicated graphics. If you only perform light productivity tasks, the Lenovo is likely a better choice because it's more portable, and it has a significantly better keyboard and longer battery life. The Lenovo is also a 2-in-1, meaning you can use it as a tablet. The Acer may be a better choice if you need more graphical horsepower for demanding tasks like video editing or 3D modeling.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Form Factor
Traditional (Clamshell)

The Acer Nitro 5 has a typical budget gamer design, with a plasticky look and a black and red color scheme. The keyboard's backlight only lights up in red, and there are also red accents around the WASD and arrow keys. There are air vents on both sides of the laptop and the back.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop feels well-built. It has a full plastic construction that feels solid, with just a bit of flex in the keyboard deck and screen. The hinge is sturdy, similar to the Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020) in build and solidity.

9.1
Design
Hinge
Range
135°
Stability
Good
One Finger Lift
Yes

The hinge is outstanding. It doesn't feel particularly smooth when opening and closing the screen, but it still passes the one-finger lift test while still having enough resistance to prevent screen wobbling. It does wobble a bit if you type very aggressively, though.

6.4
Design
Portability
Size
15"
Thickness
1.1" (2.9 cm)
Width
14.3" (36.4 cm)
Depth
10.4" (26.5 cm)
Volume
170.7 in³ (2,797.3 cm³)
Weight
4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)
Charger Size
14.5 in³ (238.1 cm³)
Charger Weight
1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)

The Acer Nitro 5 isn't easy to carry around, as the laptop and the power adapter are both on the bulkier side.

8.9
Design
Serviceability
Ease Of Access
8.5
RAM Slots
2
Storage Slots
3
Replaceable Battery
Yes
Replaceable Wireless Adapter
Yes

The Acer Nitro 5's serviceability is excellent. It's very easy to access the internals, as you only have to remove some Philips screws, pull a few clips, and pry it open. There are two memory slots, supporting up to 64GB of memory. Our unit has a single 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and there's a second M.2 SSD slot and a slot for a 2.5-inch storage drive. There's an HDD mounting kit (cable and screws) included in the box.

Design
In The Box

  • Acer Nitro 5 15 (2020)
  • 135W power adapter and cord
  • Hard drive upgrade kit (cable and screws)
  • Quick start guide
  • Stickers

Display
Display
Screen Specs
Resolution
1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Pixel Density
141 PPI
Panel Type
IPS
Touch Screen
No
Screen-To-Body Ratio
73%

The Acer Nitro 5 is available with the following displays:

  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 120Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 144Hz

1080p is a typical resolution for 15.6-inch displays. It looks decently sharp, although you can see individual pixels if you're close enough. All three displays look the same in terms of sharpness, so you only have to choose the refresh rate you want.

5.9
Display
Refresh Rate
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No

The Acer Nitro 5 has three screen refresh rate options: 60Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz. The 60Hz panel's response time is very slow, causing noticeable ghosting behind moving objects. For the best gaming experience, it's best to go with the 120Hz or 144Hz panels, as they'll likely have a faster response time. Unfortunately, none of the displays support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.

7.8
Display
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,652 : 1

The 60Hz display has a good contrast ratio, better than the 700-1000:1 contrast on most IPS panels. However, it's still low compared to VA and OLED panels and isn't ideal for dim settings because blacks look grayish in the dark. The 120Hz and 144Hz displays will perform similarly.

6.5
Display
Brightness
Maximum Brightness
262 cd/m²
Minimum Brightness
21 cd/m²

The 1080p 60Hz screen's brightness is okay. It's fine for most indoor settings but isn't bright enough to fight glare in very well-lit or sunny environments. It gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting, which is great for dark room viewing because it causes less eye strain. The 120Hz and 144Hz panels will likely perform similarly.

7.2
Display
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
4.81%
Indirect Reflections
2.13%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.67%

The reflection handling is decent. It struggles more with direct reflections, so it's best to avoid having bright lights shining directly on the screen. It isn't too bad when viewing light-color content with the screen at max brightness, but it makes dark-color content hard to see.

5.7
Display
Black Uniformity
Uniformity (Std. Dev.)
2.177%

The display's black uniformity is sub-par. The whole screen is grayish, and there's visible backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges, which can be distracting when viewing dark scenes.

6.9
Display
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
26°
Color Washout From Right
24°
Color Shift From Left
55°
Color Shift From Right
58°
Brightness Loss From Left
29°
Brightness Loss From Right
29°
Black Level Raise From Left
60°
Black Level Raise From Right
60°
Gamma Shift From Left
29°
Gamma Shift From Right
27°

The display's horizontal viewing angle is okay. The image looks dimmer and more washed out from the side. It's good enough to share the screen with someone else if you don't need perfect image accuracy.

6.6
Display
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
26°
Color Washout From Above
26°
Color Shift From Below
32°
Color Shift From Above
34°
Brightness Loss From Below
27°
Brightness Loss From Above
26°
Black Level Raise From Below
45°
Black Level Raise From Above
45°
Gamma Shift From Below
33°
Gamma Shift From Above
30°

The display's vertical viewing angle is okay. Again, the image looks dimmer and more washed out from above and below, so you have to look at it almost straight on to get the most accurate image.

4.0
Display
Out-Of-The-Box Color Accuracy
Avg. White Balance dE
4.69
Avg. Gamma
2.1
Avg. Color dE
6.65
Avg. Color Temperature
5,844 K

The 60Hz panel has bad color accuracy out of the box. Most colors are inaccurate because the panel has a narrow color gamut and can't display all the colors in the sRGB color space. The white balance is also visibly off, and the image has a slight reddish tint due to the warm color temperature. The gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve; most scenes are too bright, and dark scenes are slightly over-darkened.

3.8
Display
Color Gamut
sRGB xy
62.23%
sRGB uv
49.94%
Adobe RGB xy
48.7%
Adobe RGB uv
43.67%
DCI P3 xy
48.42%
DCI P3 uv
40.58%
Rec. 2020 xy
34.74%
Rec. 2020 uv
29.57%

The 60Hz screen has a bad color gamut. It doesn't even have full sRGB coverage, the color space used in most content, and it has even worse coverage of the wider color spaces, like Adobe RGB, DCI P3, and Rec. 2020, making it a poor choice for viewing HDR content or media creation. Luckily, there's an HDMI port if you want to use an external desktop monitor. The other panels will likely perform similarly.

9.0
Display
Flicker
Flicker-Free
No
Flicker Frequency
> 1000Hz
Flicker Active Below
97%

The display is only flicker-free if you set the screen brightness to maximum. However, the flicker frequency below maximum brightness is very high and isn't noticeable.

Interface
5.4
Interface
Keyboard
Typing Quality
4.5
Numpad
Yes
Backlighting
Adjustable
Operating Force
63 gf
Actuation Force
46 gf
Pre-Travel
1.31 mm
Total Travel
1.44 mm

The Acer Nitro 5's keyboard is sub-par. Although it has stable keys with a good amount of travel and feels good to type on, it sometimes doesn't register some keystrokes, which causes more typos when typing and can be a dealbreaker for some gamers. The layout is fairly standard, though, so it doesn't take long to adapt to it. The backlight has four levels of brightness, which you can control directly from the keyboard. There's a 'Nitro' button where the NumLock usually is to launch the Nitro app, which lets you access power settings and fan controls, as well as monitor system temperatures. If you want a similar gaming laptop with a better keyboard, check out the HP Victus 16 (2021).

7.4
Interface
Touchpad
Tracking Quality
7.5
Size
12.7 in² (81.7 cm²)
Material
Plastic
Dedicated Buttons
No

The touchpad is decent. It's responsive to all movements and gestures; however, palm rejection doesn't always work, and actions like dragging and dropping are hard, as you need to keep a consistent amount of pressure for it to work. The size is okay, though the position might take some time to get used to, as it's very shifted to the left.

7.5
Interface
Speakers
Max Volume
74 dB SPL
Standard Error @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
4.4 dB
Slope @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
0.1
Bass Extension (Low-Frequency Ext.)
359 Hz
Treble Extension (High-Frequency Ext.)
16 kHz
Dynamic Range Compression @ Max Vol.
1.1 dB

The Acer Nitro 5's speakers sound relatively clear but have no bass whatsoever. They also don't get very loud.

5.3
Interface
Webcam & Microphone
Video Quality
5.0
Resolution
720p
Position
Top Center
Privacy Cover
No
Face Unlock
No

The webcam's video quality is sub-par. The image is too dark, lacks fine details, and the colors aren't true to life. Audio is clear over the microphone, but there's static in the background, which can be annoying. If you want a similar budget gaming laptop with a better webcam, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021).

Connectivity
7.0
Connectivity
Ports
USB-A Ports
3
USB-C Ports
1
Thunderbolt
No
USB-C Charging
No
USB-C Display Out
No
HDMI
2.0
DisplayPort
No
3.5mm Jack
Combo mic/headphone
Card Reader
No
Ethernet
Yes
Proprietary Port
No
Security Lock
Yes

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop has a decent port selection. One of the USB-A ports supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 data transfer speed (up to 10Gbps) and can charge a mobile device even when the laptop is in sleep mode, while the other two USB-A ports only support USB 3.2 Gen 1 transfer speed (up to 5Gbps). The USB-C port supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 data transfer speed. Unfortunately, you can't use the USB-C port to charge the laptop or connect an external display. The Ethernet port has a maximum speed of 1Gbps.

Connectivity
Wireless Communication
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth
5.0

The Acer Nitro 5's wireless adapter is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200. The Ethernet adapter is a Killer E2600 Gigabit Ethernet Controller.

Configuration
Configuration
CPU
Brand
AMD
Model
Ryzen 5 4600H
Core Count
6
Thread Count
12

The Acer Nitro 5 is available with the following CPUs:

  • Intel Core i5-10300H (4 cores/8 threads, up to 4.50GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-10750H (6 cores/12 threads, up to 5.00GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (6 cores/12 threads, up to 4.0GHz)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800H (8 cores/16 threads, up to 4.2GHz)

All of the available options are high-power CPUs typically found in gaming laptops and mobile workstations. In GPU-limited games, there isn't much performance difference between these four CPUs since parts of the CPU will likely be idle. However, if you play open-world games or other CPU-intensive games, there's a benefit in going with a six or eight-core CPU. More cores will also allow you to do other things without affecting gaming performance too much, like streaming or playing music in the background. If you want a similarly sized laptop that's equipped with newer AMD Ryzen 5-series CPUs, consider the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021).

Configuration
GPU
Brand
NVIDIA
Model
Geforce GTX 1650 Ti
Dedicated/Integrated
Dedicated
VRAM Size
4 GB

There are two discreet GPU options:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti.

Both GPUs are entry-level graphics processors that can get you around 60 fps at 1080p in modern AAA titles, albeit with some tweaks in the graphics settings. The Ti variants in NVIDIA's lineup usually perform better than the non-Ti variants, but the difference isn't huge. If you want a gaming laptop with more powerful GPU options, check out the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021).

Configuration
RAM
Capacity
8 GB
Modules
2
Type
DDR4
Speed
3,200 MHz

You can configure the Acer Nitro 5 with 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB of memory. It's best to get 16GB for gaming because 8GB might cause stuttering in some games.

Configuration
Storage
Advertised Capacity
256 GB
Usable Capacity
183 GB
Drive 1
Western Digital PC SN530
Drive 1 Type SSD
Drive 2
No 2nd Drive
Drive 2 Type No 2nd Drive

You can configure this laptop with 256GB or 512GB of storage. It's best to opt for more storage because constant writing and erasing of data causes wear and tear on the SSD, reducing its lifespan. However, since the SSD is user-replaceable, you can get a 256GB configuration first and upgrade it yourself later on. There are three storage slots: two M.2 and one 2.5-inch.

Performance
8.4
Performance
Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)
CPU Single-Thread
1,112 points
CPU Multi-Thread
5,900 points
GPU Compute
47,477 points

The AMD Ryzen 5 4600H in our Acer Nitro 5 has a great score in the Geekbench 5 benchmarks. This level of performance was good a few years back, but it's rather slow compared to current-gen processors. The Ryzen 7 4800H has much better multi-threaded performance and is a better choice for those running heavily multi-threaded applications. The Intel Core i7-10750H will perform similarly to the one we tested in the Dell Alienware m15 R3. The i5-10300H has roughly the same single-thread performance as the i7-10750H, but its multi-thread performance is worse because it only has four cores.

The GPU compute score is great. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 performs a little worse than the 1650 Ti, but not by much. Both GPUs can handle demanding tasks like image processing, although you might see some stutters here and there, especially in VRAM-heavy applications.

8.8
Performance
Cinebench R23 (CPU Rendering)
Single-Thread
1,165 points
Multi-Thread
8,407 points

The Cinebench R23 score is excellent. Again, this level of performance is good for the Ryzen 5 4600H, but it's low compared to newer CPUs. Even low-power, current-gen U-series CPUs perform better. The AMD Ryzen 7 4800H performs similarly in single-thread workload tests but is much faster in multi-threaded ones because it has more cores and threads. The Intel Core i7-10750H performs better in the single-thread test than the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H but lags in the multi-thread test. The i5-10300H is the slowest when it comes to multi-thread performance.

8.5
Performance
Blender (3D Rendering)
CPU Render Time
4.2 min
GPU Render Time
2.2 min
GPU Render Time (Optix)
N/A

Regardless of which configuration you get, it's almost always better to render 3D models using the GPU rather than the CPU. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 and 1650 Ti are generally pretty close in performance. The GTX 1650 Ti is a little faster than the GTX 1650, but the difference isn't night and day.

7.5
Performance
Basemark GPU (Game Scene)
Overall Score
47,282

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti in our Acer Nitro 5 performs well in the Basemark GPU test. It can get you around 60 fps in most modern titles, but you'll likely have to lower some graphics settings to get there. The GTX 1650 is a slightly weaker GPU, so you might have to lower the graphics settings further to get smooth and consistent frame rates.

8.8
Performance
Storage Drive Performance
Sequential Write Speed
670.2 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed
2,104.5 MB/s
Random Write Speed
56.3 MB/s
Random Read Speed
39.1 MB/s

The 256GB SSD's performance is excellent. The system boots up, launches apps, and loads games very quickly. The sequential write speed is good but is more towards the lower end of NVMe SSDs, so writing a large amount of data to the drive is slow, like when installing a big game. If you choose to add a 2.5-inch SATA storage drive, the games installed on that drive will take longer to load because SATA drives are generally much slower than PCIe NVMe SSDs. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.

8.0
Performance
Battery
Capacity
57 Wh
Battery Life (Web Browsing)
10.5 hrs
Battery Life (Video Playback)
8.8 hrs
Battery Life (Gaming)
1.1 hrs
Charge Time
2.6 hrs

The Acer Nitro 5's battery life is great. You can easily get through an eight-hour day of light productivity on a full charge, as the system switches to the integrated graphics to extend battery life. However, gaming consumes significantly more power, so you'll almost always need to plug it in when gaming. Battery life varies greatly depending on your usage.

5.2
Performance
Borderlands 3
Avg. FPS
40 fps
1% Low
23 fps
0.1% Low
11 fps
1% Low Delta
18 ms
0.1% Low Delta
65 ms
Avg. FPS On Very Low
90 fps

Borderlands 3 runs poorly on the Acer Nitro 5. The average is well below 60 fps at 1080p with 'High' settings, and the frametimes are inconsistent, causing stutter. You need to lower the graphics settings to get a smooth experience, whether you get the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or 1650 Ti. It's primarily a GPU limitation, so you might not see much difference with a more powerful CPU.

7.4
Performance
Civilization VI
Avg. FPS
68 fps
1% Low
45 fps
0.1% Low
43 fps
1% Low Delta
7 ms
0.1% Low Delta
8 ms
Avg. FPS On Minimum
166 fps
Avg. Turn Time
7.95 s

All configurations of the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop can deliver smooth gameplay in Civilization VI with some minor tweaks in the settings. The turn time is okay with the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, and we expect the Intel Core i7-10750H to be similar. The AMD Ryzen 7 4800H will give you the fastest turn time, though only slightly, while the Intel Core i5-10300H will have the slowest.

9.4
Performance
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Avg. FPS
184 fps
1% Low
119 fps
0.1% Low
97 fps
1% Low Delta
3 ms
0.1% Low Delta
5 ms
Avg. FPS On Low
278 fps

CS:GO runs very smoothly on the Acer Nitro 5. It's an older title that typically runs well on most gaming systems, so every CPU and GPU configuration of the Nitro 5 can provide a smooth experience.

7.2
Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Avg. FPS
58 fps
1% Low
44 fps
0.1% Low
34 fps
1% Low Delta
6 ms
0.1% Low Delta
12 ms
Avg. FPS On Lowest
88 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a graphically demanding title, even for current hardware. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti maintains close to 60 fps at the 'High' settings, but there are noticeable stutters. Regardless of the GPU you choose, you need to lower the graphical settings to get a more stable 60fps. The large frame time spikes in the graph are scene changes.

6.8
Performance
Thermals And Noise
Keyboard Temp While Idle
33 °C (92 °F)
Keyboard Temp Under Load
47 °C (116 °F)
Fan Noise While Idle
25.0 dBA
Fan Noise Under Load
48.5 dBA
Power & Fan Control App
Yes

The Acer Nitro 5's thermal and noise performance is okay. It gets a bit toasty under load, causing a hot spot around the number 0 on the keyboard. It isn't a problem for gaming as most people position their hands closer to the WASD keys, but it might be a bit uncomfortable when typing. The fans get fairly loud, though probably still tolerable for most people. Intel CPUs typically run hotter than AMD Ryzen CPUs, so you can expect to hear the fans working for longer periods on the Intel models.

9.2
Performance
Performance Over Time
CPU Temp (Cinebench)
67 °C
CPU Perf. Loss (Cinebench)
4% loss
GPU Temp (Heaven)
57 °C
GPU Perf. Loss (Heaven)
1% loss

The Acer Nitro 5's performance over time is outstanding. Neither the CPU nor GPU gets very hot, and even though there's some performance loss, it's only a few percent, which isn't noticeable. There's plenty of thermal headroom, so it's unlikely that the other CPUs will suffer from significant performance loss. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 performs similarly to the GTX 1650 Ti.

Additional Features And Software
Additional Features And Software
Software
Operating System
Windows 10
Additional Software
Yes

The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop comes with pre-installed software, including:

  • Norton Security Ultra: Virus and malware protection. You only get a free trial; you need to pay for a subscription to continue using it.
  • Acer Product Registration: To register your laptop with Acer for warranty.
  • Acer Collection S: Shortcut to download apps like Netflix, Messenger, Hulu, Fitbit, etc.
  • Power Director: Video editing software, similar to Adobe Premiere.
  • Express VPN: VPN (Virtual Private Network) trial.
  • DTS:X Ultra: Contains preset sound profiles and EQ functions for the built-in speakers.
  • GoTrust ID: Two-factor authentication and password manager.
  • Xsplit Gamecaster: A streaming app for platforms like Twitch.
  • Nitro Sense: Lets you access power settings, fan controls, and monitor system temperatures.

Additional Features And Software
Extra Features
RGB Illumination
No
Touch Pen
No
Secondary Display
No
Biometrics
No