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.