Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51-55WL Notebook Review

     
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To make a balanced laptop, one should include appropriate components, decent display, good battery life and also some graphics performance. This all can be done, but usually the costs are too high for many people to consider such a notebook. However, the company Acer is known to create laptops that give very decent value for the money – this review concentrates on their new(ish), versatile Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51-55WL laptop.

Performance for Multimedia, Power Users and More

The Acer Nitro ships with a 256GB M.2 SATA3 solid-state drive. The obvious advantage of such SSD is the performance benefit, which is especially seen in the loading times of Windows and games. You can change the drive, the slot supports PCIe/NVMe drives according to Acer representative. Furthermore, there is a free 2.5″ slot for a conventional hard drive (or SSD) inside. To install a drive in that you would need a bracket which Acer is selling. Windows 10 Home is pre-installed on the included SSD, no installation disc is provided.

The processor in this Acer is Intel Core i5-7300HQ, indeed a high-end i5 chip from the 7th generation (beginning of 2017). It’s still a very relevant processor for those wanting top-shelf performance as there are four cores, 2.5GHz clock speed and 3.5GHz turbo boost helping your efforts. It’s however not an energy saving processor (thermal design power stands at 45W) which negatively affects the battery life.

The 8GB DDR4 memory this laptop ships with is a great amount. Hardly anyone really needs more, even gamers can do fine on eight gigabytes. Still, the mainboard contains two memory slots – both supporting 16GB sticks – so 32GB RAM is the most you can go with this notebook.

Graphics Are A-Ok As Well

The Acer Nitro 5 offers a 15.6″ display which is not big or small; it’s the cookie-cutter size as I’d like to call it. Maximum resolution is naturally 1920×1080, making the aspect ratio video-friendly 16:9. It has the professional IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology, so viewing angles should be 178 degrees and color gamut 45% NTSC, meaning rather realistic colors. The refresh rate stands at the standard 60hz and there’s no touch support on this display.

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5) is often referred as the budget gaming card. That it might be price-wise, but the real-life performance for games is very good if you ask me. It can run all titles there currently are, about 99% of them on 1080p resolution and high settings as well. Going beyond Full HD could be problematic, but as this laptop supports 1080p maximum that thing is a non-issue.

Review on Video

Nothing to Complain About the Ports Section

In case you wanted to hook up an external monitor (like for greater gaming experience) that is entirely possible on this Acer. There is one full-sized HDMI output with support for 1920×1080 resolution and 60hz on the extra display. The GTX 1050 Ti should easily hand all that, even for most games.

In addition, four USB ports live on the sides of this laptop. One of them is USB-C, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. If you don’t know the difference between the ports, read more from here. The USB-C does not support the Thunderbolt technology.

When you take a closer look at the product photos, you’ll see there’s no optical drive on this model. There’s no need to worry about it; most notebooks today don’t have internal DVD burners. Truly, discs are not so much used anymore. And you can always opt for an external DVD drive if you want that. Slot for SD(XC/HC) media cards is however available.

You may connect to Internet via wireless adapter which is a decent at least with its dual-band and 802.11ac standard support. Also Bluetooth devices, such as mobile phone, can be connected. What is included as well is Gigabit Ethernet port if you prefer the cable.

Battery Life and a Few Other Things

The Acer Nitro runs on a built-in 4-cell battery. The official specifications sheet says it lasts 8.5 hours. Well, that would be the best battery life a gaming laptop ever had, if only that were true. Yet in real life, you will end up with around 5 hours under lighter use. If you were to play games under battery power, you’d get around two hour duration out of this. As the battery is integrated, it would be tough to replace with a longer-lasting one.

The keyboard has a red backlight, just like many more expensive gaming laptops.

Pros:
Value - Acer is known not to overprice their products. You're getting a lot here (multimedia and gaming capabilities) but not paying that much for it.

Clear IPS display - Yep, it has a high quality (well, as high as you can get for this price) IPS screen you're going to look at. The viewing angles and color reproduction will be decent at least.

Also for gamers - The GTX 1050 Ti card is something most players are content with as full Full HD support is provided, meaning smooth frame rates on 1080p resolution.

Cons:
Battery life not as advertised - Well, this is hardly a surprise, but the battery life is nowhere near the advertised 8.5 hours. Even under light use, you'll end up with 4-6 hours duration.

The first impressions of Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51-55WL were good, and that is based on the specifications, price tag and user reviews. Especially the last part, the user reports, talk very good things about the laptop, mostly thanking the performance, including both software and gaming. Indeed, such a Core i5 and GTX 1050 Ti powered system takes any user far. The Full HD display can not be criticized either. If you can look past the mediocre battery life, this Acer will give you fast and stylish power user/gaming laptop hybrid.

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