Video: Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop review

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In this video I take a quick look at the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop. The review model is an i5 based version which comes in at £799 on Amazon, which is by gaming laptop standards is almost a budget device.

Specs

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The Nitro 5 has an Intel i5-7300HQ processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB VRAM and 8GB of RAM. Storage is a hybrid SSD/SDD system with 1000GB spinning drive and 128 SSD for Windows 10. The ports are HDMI, USB 3, Ethernet port, USB C, 2 x USB 2 ports, headphone port. The USB 3 and HDMI next to each other which is great for Windows Mixed Reality headsets where the cable requires the ports to be close together.

Design

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The Nitro is a chunky design with large fan ports on the rear. It weighs 2.7KG and is pretty thick (2.4cm) but that is to be expected for a gaming PC, and I like the aggressive looking design. The glossy finish looks good out of the box but it soon picks up finger print marks.

The backlit keyboard has a red glow and has highlighted but not raised WASD keys which looks good but it probably a bit pointless. There is a number pad and large trackpad for supports gestures. The keyboard has a short amount of travel with a positive action, I liked the keyboard and there isn’t too much movement when typing.

Sound

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The sound is really good on the Nitro 5, it was plenty of volume with the speakers located at the front pointed right at you. There reasonable amount of bass and stereo separation is good, it has Dolby Audio Premium and will be great for games.

Display

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The display runs at 1920 x 1080 with a matt finished. The screen is a little disappointing with a slight washed out look, I like bright glossy screens and this devices is certainly isn’t that type of display but it’s down to personal preference.

Performance

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Windows runs very well which is probably due to the SSD drive and 8GB RAM, switching from app to app is fast and apps load really quickly. I tried 3D Mark which came in at a disappoint 1855, I think the i5 process was the main bottle neck as it doesn’t support Hyper threading. To be honest I was expecting more from the Nitro 5 as in practice games like FIFA 17 and Minecraft worked very well. Most games should work well but the quality setting may vary. Battery life is not the devices strong point, I got around 2 hours use out of it but that’s ok.

Using it with Windows Mixed Reality

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The reason I was testing the Nitro was to see how well it works with Windows Mixed Reality, the good news is it runs well. It runs in Windows Mixed Reality Ultra mode so you get 90HZ refresh rate, screen mirroring and good game performance. I tested Holotour, Minecraft, Ghostbusters VR and other games from the Microsoft Store and they all worked really well. I also tested SteamVR and Google Earth VR which worked perfectly however I tried Rick and Morty Virtual Rick-ality which really struggled with the 2GB VRAM on the GXT 1050 and was very choppy.

Conclusion

A decent entry level gaming machine which would be a great machine for getting started with Windows Mixed Reality. The more demanding games are going to end up with reduced frame rates but less demanding games it is a great machine. I enjoyed using it with the Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset the combination of the two gets you mixed reality for around £1000.

Here is my video review of the Acer Nitro 5:

About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.

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