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Acer Nitro 5 Hands-on, Quick Review: Most Affordable Gaming Notebook?

by John Nieves  August 22, 2018

It’s drastically cheaper than its rivals

The words “affordable” and “gaming” usually don’t go together, especially when you’re talking about a gaming notebook. Notebooks specifically built for gaming are performance-oriented machines, usually starting at around Php 50K.

Acer’s newest Nitro 5 gaming notebook is a rare breed since it promises gaming performance at roughly the same level as its competitors for far, far less. Priced at just Php 39,999, it’s one of the most affordable gaming notebooks available today.

What is it?

The Nitro 5 is a gaming notebook made by Acer that strips many of the unessential and costly parts of a gaming notebook to keep costs down. With a starting price of Php 39,999, it’s one of the most affordable gaming notebooks that’s available to buy nowadays.

You’d expect a budget gaming notebook to look, well, like a budget PC but that’s not the case with the Nitro 5. The lid looks a little like carbon fiber but is actually plastic. The fiber weave has this nice tactile feel to it as well, and Acer’s logo isn’t lit up by obnoxious LEDs. Red, metallic-looking hinge provides a nice dash of color. As is with the lid, it’s also plastic.

Opening the lid, you’ll see the 15.6-inch full HD display with nice, fat bezels. The keyboard looks fairly pedestrian, though it does have a red backlight and the WSAD keys in red to try and give it a bit of gamer panache.

Port layout is pretty standard, as you get 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB Type-C, HDMI port, Ethernet port, SDCard reader plus a 3.5mm jack.

Many superfluous features that are usually standard on gaming machines nowadays have been omitted on the Nitro 5, like RGB lights, better mechanical keys and the like.

The Nitro 5 is one of the few notebooks in the market today that runs AMD guts, in the form of an RYZEN 5 2500U quad-core processor and a Radeon RX 560X with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM. That’s paired with 4GB of RAM and 1TB of HDD storage.

The Radeon RX 560X’s typical performance is usually between a GTX 1050 and a 1050 Ti. You can probably play most games available today on medium settings but forget about switching to high.

Obviously trying to get a gaming PC to an affordable price point has its pitfalls, and the Nitro 5 has some obvious ones that need to be addressed. 4GB of RAM in a gaming machine is less than ideal and is one of the biggest bottlenecks in the notebook. Thankfully additional RAM isn’t that expensive (usually around 2.5K per stick). You can also add an SSD drive to the notebook if you need faster performance for selected games.

We’re still trying out the Nitro 5 to see if it’s really as good as it sounds. But for Php 39,999, it’s a ridiculously affordable gaming notebook for people willing to compromise.

  • AMD RYZEN 5 2500U quad-core processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 15.6-inch, full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 1TB of storage via 5400 RPM HDD
  • AMD Radeon RX 560X with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
    WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 2x USB 2.0, HDMI Output, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
  • 4-cell 3220mAh battery
  • Windows 10

 

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