Acer Nitro 5 (2022): Two-minute review
The Acer Nitro 5 (2022) is an excellent option for anyone looking for an inexpensive gaming laptop, as the current market demand for more affordable gaming PCs and laptops has skyrocketed in recent months.
For the most part, the Nitro 5 is one of the best cheap gaming laptops out there thanks to its great performance, offering a well-rounded gaming experience for its price. As for the specs, the Acer Nitro 5 has some solid specs for a budget machine, meaning it runs most games at 30 FPS, at least at max settings and much higher under more reasonable settings.
The screen is a 15.6-inch display with thin bezels to maximize space, but unfortunately no anti-glare, meaning it will be much harder to game if you’re out in direct sunlight. The keyboard is simple yet smooth and easy to use, with wide keys and a ten-key number pad on the right. It is also backlit for easy gaming in the dark or low light. The touchpad is also smooth and very responsive with no noticeable input lags.
The chassis feels solid and well-built and while it’s not flimsy and lightweight, it’s still lighter than many other bulkier gaming laptops and relatively easy to carry around. It’s also well-ventilated, using a dual-fan, four-outlet setup to keep temperatures down.
The battery life is easily its worst feature, as with regular use without gaming, it drains in about four hours. The included cable charges very slowly, so you’ll have to spend money on a fast-charging cable yourself to take advantage of the built-in Thunderbolt 4 support. The second worst is the 720p webcam with average brightness at best, but unlike some other budget laptops you have at least one built in.
It supports Wi-Fi 6E, which means a much faster internet connection both at home and on the go. This is a great option for streaming games if you can’t tether your laptop, but it does depend on whether the Wi-Fi you’re using supports it.
The Acer Nitro 5 is a well-rounded gaming laptop that delivers solid performance that’s right in line with its competition, except when it comes to its below-average battery life. While not the sexiest, it is quite portable with a large screen size and also very affordable which is definitely a bonus these days.
Acer Nitro 5 (2022): Price and Availability
- How much is it? From $999/£1,099
- When can you get it? It is now available in the US and UK.
- Where can you get it? You can get it in the US through Best Buy and in the UK through Acer’s online store.
The Acer Nitro 5 is available in the US through Best Buy (opens in new tab) and in the UK through Acer’s online store (opens in new tab), whose Australian availability has yet to be announced. The configuration offered is a 12th-gen Intel Core i5-12500H, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti dedicated graphics card, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD.
Acer Nitro 5 (2022): Design
- A very no-nonsense, sturdy design
- Well-designed and practical keyboard
When you think of the best gaming laptops, the first thing that comes to mind might be one on the thicker side, with a plain black metal exterior and a bezel that’s thin but nothing fancy. In other words, a fully functional design that hardly stands out. And the Acer Nitro 5 matches that with a T.
Here is the Acer Nitro 5 (2022) configuration sent to Ditching for review:
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-12500H
Graphic: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch IPS, FHD, 144Hz
Storage: 512 PCIe SSD
Ports: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x Power Port, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x SD Card Reader, 1 x Combo Jack, 1 x Kensington Slot
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight: 5.51lbs | 2.5kg
Dimensions (W x D x H): 14.19 x 10.67 x 1.06 in | 360.4 x 271.0 x 26.9mm
It has a sturdy and high-quality construction that is suitable for a game computer. It’s a decent weight so you’ll definitely feel the weight when you’re carrying it around, but the size isn’t over the top enough to cause any real stress either. As long as you have a good quality laptop bag with some space, it won’t take up too much space and won’t overload you.
If there’s one thing about the Acer Nitro 5 that stands out, it’s the keyboard. The keys are black with a white outline, lie mostly flat and are wider than the keys on a standard keyboard. This gives it a very distinctive look that can be visually polarizing, but serves a more practical purpose, which is to make typing on them much easier for those with thicker fingers or generally shaky hands.
The smooth and flat surface also means that fingers can slide more easily from key to key, which is extremely important during an intense gaming session that requires fast input. There is also a numlock pad on the right, making the number keys easy to reach.
The thin bezels are somewhat noteworthy, as they help maximize screen real estate while avoiding having to swell the screen itself and make the entire laptop feel bigger and clunkier.
The port selection is basic, but in a good way, with a nice variety of ports and slots to suit most needs. There are three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-As and one Type-C, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, a headphone jack and a Kensington lock for added security. It also comes with a Thunderbolt 4 port, which is great for fast charging, although you’ll have to buy the cable yourself.
Acer Nitro 5 (2022): Performance
- Graphically performs well for its configuration
- Good quality HD screen
One of the most important but underrated features of any gaming laptop is circulation. No matter how advanced the specs are, if the airflow is terrible, your PC will go to crash town. But the Acer Nitro 5 has a solid setup with dual fan cooling, quad exhausts on each side and even a top air intake above the keyboard. This translates into a very well cooled machine that hasn’t overheated in the countless hours I’ve played with it.
Here’s how the Acer Nitro 5 performed in our series of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 35.782† Fire Attack: 13.238† Time spy: 5.831
Cinebench R23 Multicore: 11,085 points
Geek Bench 5: 1,691 (single wire); 8,596 (multicore)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 6,536 points
Battery Life PCMark 10: 2 hours and 31 minutes
Battery Life (USA Health Reports Movie Test): 3 hours and 56 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 52 fps; (1080p, Low): 130 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 76 fps; (1080p, Low): 135 fps
In terms of performance during a gaming session, it runs most graphically demanding titles quite smoothly. We tested it with both Total War: Warhammer III and Cyberpunk 2077 and without the magic of ray-tracing and integrated graphics, both games can maintain around 30-50 FPS in Ultra settings and between 70-130 FPS in Low settings. And since this laptop’s benchmarks are actually slightly higher than two of the other budget competitors, it makes sense that it can hold its own.
Complementing the visuals is a competent sound arrangement made of dual 2W speakers. While not groundbreaking in any way, the music and sound effects are compelling and support the graphics well. The keyboard is smooth, responsive and pleasant to use; not to mention the red backlighting is always a nice touch, especially during late night gaming sessions.
Complementing the visuals is the 15.6-inch QHD display, with a resolution of 2560 X1440. This is further aided by the 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, meaning that not only do the graphics look great, but the images are clear and smooth as well.
The webcam isn’t anything to write home about as it’s a subpar 720p resolution which looks good but isn’t super bright and clear. It’s good for Zoom meetings and will handle it during streams, but don’t expect anything polished either.
Overall, this laptop performs quite well for a budget machine, passing almost every benchmark. Framerate is better than you’d expect from the hardware it has, which is undoubtedly the CPU bearing its full weight. It has a great circulation setup, which undoubtedly contributes to the overall performance, and the sound supports the images perfectly without interruptions or other quality issues.
Acer Nitro 5 (2022): Battery Life
- Doesn’t take long at all
- Has a Thunderbolt option for charging
If there’s one thing that makes the Acer Nitro 5 heavy, it’s the terrible battery life. Even under normal operating conditions, the battery doesn’t seem to last more than a few hours before needing a recharge, and the charging time itself is rather slow. Do yourself a favor and buy a Thunderbolt 4 charger instead.
When we ran a standard 1080p movie test, which loops a movie at normal settings until the battery runs out, the battery didn’t even make it to the four hours before dying. The results of the PC Mark 10 Battery Life benchmark were a little more surprising, as the laptop matched its two competitors quite well with its 6536 score. This is despite the other two laptops having at least eight hours of battery life.
Should I buy an Acer Nitro 5 (2022)?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…