LAS VEGAS - When it comes to sub-$1000 gaming laptops, it can be sort of a crapshoot when it comes to components. You might get a good processor paired with a dim display or a fast SSD with an ugly design. However, Acer is looking to give gamers a happy compromise with the recently announced Nitro 5. Available starting in April, the laptop starts at $799, which should be music to many budget-savvy gamers.
Made from a black faux carbon-fiber with bright-red accents, the laptop is visually striking. Weighing 5.9 pounds and measuring 15.3 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches, the Nitro 5 is on a par with the HP Pavilion Power 15t (5.6 pounds, 14.9 x 9.9 x 1 inches) and the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop (5.9 pounds, 15.2 x 10.8 x 1 inches)
Although I didn't have the proper tools to measure, the 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 panel looked fairly bright with warm colors. Those looking for a color-customizable keyboard will have to look elsewhere. The keys on the notebook's island-style are red with white backlighting with the WASD keys accentuated with thick red lining.
Acer is outfitting the laptop with an AMD Raven Ridge Ryzen 5 APU, which should be a match for an Intel Core i5 processor. The Nitro 5 also has a AMD Radeon RX560X with 4GB of RAM which is on a par with Nvidia's entry-level GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. You can buy the laptop with up to 32GB of RAM, either a 1 or 2TB hard drive with a up to a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD.
Although the laptop looks good on paper and in person, I'm eager to see how the Acer Nitro 5 stacks up against the other sub-$1000 laptops on the market. Until then, frugal gamers can start counting their pennies until April.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.