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
POST A COMMENT

48 Comments

View All Comments

  • Crazyeyeskillah - Sunday, October 11, 2020 - link

    The keys themselves are reasonably, with good resistance and travel.

    Editors: We can do better than this anandtech, really been trying to be loyal despite the drop in quality.
    Reply
  • Calista - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    Obviously built to a budget, but for the money few complains can be raised. $700 give us a decent gaming laptop with no fatal flaws. Sure, the screen could have been better. But a lot of people just don't care all that much when it comes to PQ, and even a bad IPS screen tend to be a good enough. Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    I am not sure if I am still banned. Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    I was banned for the big AMD announcements. But since I am back for now, I ask that people do not ask that I be banned for opinions and dialogue. You will note that I never curse or harass others. I simply provide noteworthy opinions on the articles, from my personal perspective of a Super Fan of the AMD company. Why would my personal opinions generate such angst from the community while others say curse words upon one another and engage in angry discourse?

    I am not angry. I am happy and go lucky. Allow me to be!

    All that said, I am super excited about this new budget offering from AMD. AMD may not be the fastest but it is good for those of us on a tight budget. Let the rich fat cats buy the Intel products that are faster with better features. AMD fans like me enjoy a bargain and will give up quality in every aspect of a product for a good deal that is almost as good at some things!
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - link

    mentions no noise at idle, but says nothing about noise at low load. nor does he mention noise levels when coolboost is turned off Reply
  • Johnstron1980 - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    I agree with the other commenters! I was SOO close to buying the Nitro 5 2020 with a Ryzen 4800H but then... the screen is so poor. WHYYY?? It seems like a trend to put crappy panels on great Ryzen machines to save the manufacturer a buck. But it does not make sense. I would gladly pay a bit more for a better screen, but the next step up in screen quality on the market is MUCH more expensive. Surely it does not cost the manufacturer that much more to go to the next step up in screen quality? Reply
  • Rec2020 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    I got into photography a few months after getting this laptop. I edit photos on it, but something made it feel flat, and other devices always made my photos look more saturated. Despite calibrating the screen with the built in utility + using a few other on-screen gradient charts etc and having fairly accurate looking hues the saturation has always been an issue. Did some digging just to find this thing only has a 61% of sRGB gamut? Jesus! sRGB is the smallest gamut even used for ANYTHING. It's THOROUGHLY outdated, even the old analog NTSC color space from 1953 is larger than sRGB (which came out in 1993 I think). How do you manage to manufacture something in the 2020s that could be outdone by a 1950s high end CRT TV? Absolutely pathetic. Reply
  • Rec2020 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Oh, and by the way this laptop's screen also has uneven lighting at the top from the backlights. They point outwards in a ^ shape from the top center. Not sure if it's a widespread issue, but I've seen an in store display for a slightly more recent version of this with that too. Not an issue unless darker content is displayed on screen but worth mentioning. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now