The Nitro series from the Acer presents us some of the finest starter gaming laptops. This 15 incher, Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51-75A2, comes equipped with a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. But there are already many well-renowned competitors like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, Lenovo Legion Y520 and HP Omen 15 out there in the market, especially in this Cheap gaming laptop section. To know whether it could survive the battle with the contenders on its own read on.
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (7th Gen), 2.8 GHz
- GPU – 4 GB DDR5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- Memory – 16 GB DDR4, extendable upto 32 GB
- Screen – 15.6-inch Full HD IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
- Storage – 1 TB SATA HDD
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – It comes with an Intel Core i7 processor which is pretty common for a gaming laptop these days, 16 gigs of dual channel RAM which can be extended up to 32 GB and 1 TB of a hard disk drive. The transfer rate of the hard disk drive might be a bit low due to being a 5400 rpm drive. As a result, the overall performance of the laptop gets a hit. Other than that the machine is powerful enough to take on all of your everyday tasks like net surfing, office works or media consumption pretty easily as well as some needy task like running games.
- Display – It comes with a 15.6 inch matte IPS display. To be honest the display is not really anything exceptional. It is just a run of the mill display to get the job done. The average brightness can be found around 260 nits; not anything fancy, but bright enough to work comfortably in indoor situations (although working in a well lit outdoor area can be really daunting as the panel is not very good for that). The panel showed a sRGB coverage of 60% which is way too low for a gaming laptop. Some of the other laptops such as Asus ROG Strix GL553 showed coverage of 90% which is considered pretty good. The colour accuracy is not very good either as the delta E value is found around 5. As a result, the colours may look somewhat washed out and lifeless. The limited colour coverage is compensated by a great contrast ratio of 1100:1.
- GPU – It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of VRAM. It is considered as a high-level starter graphics card and it is significantly powerful than the GTX 1050 (almost 20-25% increment in the frame rates while playing the same titles). While it is good for running games in the 1080p resolution anything more than that would really be overkill for this GPU. Most of the titles were run in either medium or high settings. Titles like BioShock Infinite (~200 fps in 1080p Medium, >150 fps in 1080p High), Rocket League (> 150 fps in 1080p Medium, ~100 fps in 1080p High) and Dirt 4 (~110 fps in 1080p Medium, 59 fps in 1080p High) ran smoothly in its native 1080p resolution.
- No Thunderbolt 3 – Nitro 5 AN515-51-75A2 doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3 technology. It does come with a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port but as stated it doesn’t support Thunderbolt. As a result, the transfer rate gets a significant hit and the potential 40 Gbps comes down to a mere 10 Gbps. For a laptop that costs almost a thousand bucks, I think it’s pretty much inevitable to support it. On top of that, it doesn’t include a distinct display port as well. Not a good news at all for a so-called gaming laptop to skip these ports.
- Noise – While fan noise is not a major issue on this laptop it certainly would bug you while gaming. It uses the Optimus technology that makes sure to enable the onboard Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU while not doing any task that would need immense graphical calculations. So the fans rarely kick in while doing trivial tasks such as net surfing or watching videos. Even when they do they are so quiet that you would barely ever notice them spinning. But when doing strenuous jobs like gaming the fans start to roar. The noise level almost touched the 45 dB mark under max load which is pretty audible even from a distance. And Acer also gives you an option called the CoolBoost that would essentially higher the fan speed. And everyone knows higher fan speed equals to higher sound level. So it would be best to use a headphone while gaming.
It’s a good all-round performer. While Acer was able to keep all the gamery accents and flashes at a minimum it also was able to deliver a solid performance. If it was lagging in some aspects they were the noisy fans and the absence of the useful ports. Considering them all if you are in search of a low-cost gaming laptop near a thousand bucks this can be a good choice.