We really like the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop. That much is obvious from our review. It’s a powerful budget machine that makes some strategic concessions to keep that cost down while maximizing the raw performance available.
Now, at CES 2021, Acer has announced this popular gaming notebook is getting an upgrade. And yes — some of them will feature Nvidia’s cutting-edge GeForce RTX 3080 GPU (emphasis on “some”).
Acer Nitro 5 AMD version: fully loaded
Upgraded significantly from the already impressive spec list of the current-gen, Acer’s AMD 5000 series-armed Nitro 5 offers configurations up to the Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, paired with the mind-blowingly powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU.
Alongside this combo, you have support for up to 2TB NVMe storage, up to 32GB DDR4 RAM and Wi-Fi 6 support. Keeping all the above cool is Acer’s patented CoolBoost technology (four individually managed fans with exhaust ports for optimal thermal management).
As for the window to your games, the new Nitro 5 notebooks come in two sizes — 15.6 inches and 17.3 inches — available either in QHD resolution with a 165Hz refresh rate or FHD with a smoother 360Hz rate.
Acer Nitro 5 Intel version: the entry level
Sporting Intel’s newest 11th Gen H35 series of processors, support for up to 32GB DDR4 RAM and up to 2TB NVMe, the spec sheet for Intel’s flavour of the Nitro 5 begins to read similarly. You may even be fooled into thinking they were the same by the identical frames.
That is where the similarities end — the only information we have from Acer about the display is that it has a 144Hz refresh rate and 300 nits of brightness (it’s fair to assume resolution will start at 1080p).
But the biggest omission seems to be no direct reference to a 3080 GPU. Acer talks about this model featuring “NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs,” meaning you will probably see some cheaper graphics cards used, to keep that budget price point.
Pricing and availability: it’s complicated
Settle in, as the pricing and availability are a little confusing. The AMD version of the Nitro 5 will be available in February across North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and China a month earlier.
This version starts from $749.99 for the 15-inch and $849.99 for the 17-inch (from €1299 in Europe).
The Intel version will only be available in EMEA in February and China (in June), with no launch announced for North America — starting at a cheaper price of €999 and available in 15 and 17-inch configurations.
Got all that? Good! Check out our CES 2021 hub for the latest announcements!
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.