Design

Acer has tweaked the design of the Nitro 5 for this year, offering a cleaner look than the outgoing model. The 15.6-inch display offers a “narrow-bezel” design, although really that is only on the sides. For this kind of price, Acer is not going to be able to compete with the thinnest and lightest laptops out there, plus as a gaming-focused system, offering a bit more space for components and cooling is crucial. The chassis features an aluminum keyboard deck and aluminum top veneered to the plastic chassis. The display lid is quite flimsy, but the hinge looks and feels robust. The underside features four nice sturdy rubber feet, and lots of cooling, but the plastic feels inexpensive. If you are after an entry-level gaming laptop, you are always going to compromise something, and the chassis is one of the low-points of this device, even though it is a step up from the previous generation

15.6-inch laptops sometimes offer number pads included, often at the expense of the rest of the keyboard, and that is the case here as well. To fit a number pad you really need to step up to a 17.3-inch device, or better yet, a separate USB device if needed, as the arrangement is decidedly non-standard. The keyboard also features the power button, which is generally a poor design, but acceptable here since it is over the number pad and less likely to be accidentally pressed. The keys themselves are reasonably, with good resistance and travel. On the low-end system, there is only one color for the backlighting, although some models of the Nitro 5 do offer 4-zone RGB backlighting. Acer also does not activate the backlighting when using the trackpad, which is not ideal, since you can’t activate the keyboard to see where the keys are in a dark room.

For the trackpad, Acer is using a plastic design with Precision Touchpad drivers. For a plastic touchpad, it is quite responsive, although not as nice to use as a glass trackpad on more premium products. If you were gaming on this system, you would likely want to hook up a USB mouse regardless.

For cooling, Acer has a quad-exhaust with intakes on the bottom and sides.

The left side offers up two USB 3.0 ports, a headset jack, and the RG-45 port, which is a half-height port that expands when needed to keep the design ethos intact. On the right, there is HDMI, along with a third USB 3.0 port, and the USB-Type C port. Although the number of ports are great, their placement is quite far forward in the chassis, which may be an issue for cable management depending on your setup. Acer has moved the barrel power connector to the back of the unit, which is great since it is easy to keep the power cord out of the way. It would have been nice to see that accompanied by some USB or video ports as well, in case you ever wanted to dock the laptop with rear connections, but once again, for a budget-focused design, you can not have everything.

Overall, the new design is similar to the previous one, with heavy use of plastics to keep costs down, and compared to more premium designs, such as Acer’s Triton 500, you can clearly feel the impact of Acer targeting a lower price bracket, but if you wanted a gaming system on a budget, the correct place to save money would be the chassis design, so despite the shortcomings, they are expected, and a key factor in keeping the Nitro 5 in the price range it lives in.

Introduction System Performance: AMD Renoir H
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  • Mogvil20 - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

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    Great Article. Thank you for sharing! Really an awesome post for everyone.

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    Reply
  • Operandi - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    Midrange AMD notebooks are something we've had forever this is boring. Where are the high-end Renoir based ultrabooks? Reply
  • vlayceh - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    All derivatives of GTX 1650 for laptops have 1024 cores while 1650 desktop has 896 cores. Your article mentions 896 cores which I suppose is an error. Reply
  • lightningz71 - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    Unfortunately, the GPU-Z screen capture that is shown on the GPU Performance page clearly indicates only 896 pipelines.

    An earlier article near the release of the 1650 mobile indicated that it could be configured with multiple pipeline enablement configurations and multiple power targets, and that few vendors were ever going to note how their particular implementation was done. The only way to absolutely insure that your 1650 was fully enabled, and also equipped with GDDR6, would be to get a 1650TI version.
    Reply
  • treecats - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    lol, what a terrible idea. AMD Ryzen 4600H and 4800H already included Vega graphics. Why bother including a discrete graphic card. Get rid of the graphic card and use that money to improve the screen on the base model, and this will make the laptop thinner, lighter and probably cheaper. more attractive to potential buyers. People wants a gaming laptop wouldn't want to buy this, they rather spend more money. Reply
  • Otritus - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    This machine provides adequate 1080p gaming performance. As someone whos gamed on a 750 ti from 2015 to today, this would be an excellent step up in performance. And frankly this is not trying to be a cheap thin and light, but a machine that will give you solid performance at a cheap price. Not everyone can afford $800+ laptops, and the compromises to hit $670 seem fair. Reply
  • Bobby3244 - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    Any reason why we don't see the CPU clocks in the Far Cry thermals? I had a friend pick up a gaming laptop with ryzen 4800h and a 5600M (Dell something), and the CPU clocks when playing games was horrible (2500~ Mhz), which was promptly returned. As far as thermals go, this one looks better, but I would still like to see the clock speed of the CPU. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    GPU-Z only grabs the CPU temperatures. Reply
  • nicolaim - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    The port selection is so 2017... Reply
  • Otritus - Friday, October 9, 2020 - link

    I've been noticing the value gaming settings is 13x7. While this seems fine on older integrated gfx solutions, the improved gaming performance of tiger like (and likely cezanne) seems like this resolution could be buffed to 1080p, especially because budget discrete gpus like the 1650 seem like an excellent 1080p medium to high card (and faster budget gpus are coming).

    And frankly for the games that I play at 1080p, I can either easily hit 60 fps on a 750 ti, or am fine with reducing the eye candy or sacrificing fps when compared to 720p. So a value 1080p might be better representative for entry-level gaming in 2020.
    Reply

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