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My use of the Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop 2022 (2024)

My thoughts on using the Acer Nitro 5 for both heavy-duty software development and high-end gaming
Sid Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


September 19, 2023


For both software developent and gaming I bought the Acer Nitro 5 half a year ago. It has been a fantastic laptop for daily use. I elaborate on this below.


Property Value Property Value
Brand acer Screen Size 17.3 Inches
Color Black Hard Disk Size 256 GB
CPU Model Core i5 Ram Memory Installed Size 8 GB
Operating System Windows 11 Special Feature Anti-glare, Backlit Keyboard
Graphics Card Description Dedicated Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance and Gaming Prowess of the Nitro 5

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When it comes to gaming on the Nitro 5, I’ve put this laptop through its paces, and I’m pleasantly surprised by its performance. Here’s a rundown of my hands-on experience:

  • Impressive Display: The 17.3” FHD 144 Hz screen is a treat for the eyes. Whether I’m gaming or coding, that smooth refresh rate and the anti-glare IPS display add comfort during extended use.

  • Powerful Processor: With the Intel Core i5-12500H at the helm, multitasking feels fluid. I’ve had no lag or hiccups when switching between development environments and gaming - it’s a workhorse.

  • Sufficient RAM & Storage: With 8GB DDR4 RAM, I can keep my development tools open alongside my gaming sessions. Would’ve liked a bit more RAM, but it’s sufficient. And the 256GB PCIe SSD means games and programs load snappy, though I would recommend an upgrade for more storage space.

  • Graphics and Gameplay: The RTX 3050 with 4GB GDDR6 memory means I can indulge in some casual gaming with decent frame rates on many current titles. No, it’s not top-tier, but for the price, I’m not complaining.

I immediately noticed the backlit keyboard, which has been a godsend during those late-night coding sessions. However, the soft keyboard and mousepad took some time getting used to - they’re not as firm as I prefer. Performance-wise, the Nitro 5 has been consistent. I run most of my games on high—if not ultra—settings without a hitch, sans the noise from fans ramping up under load, which is reasonably expected.

However, for a developer like myself who dabbles in gaming, the balance between work and play with this machine hits the sweet spot. It handles software development environments efficiently, and when it’s time to unwind with a game or two, it transitions without a fuss.

Though I encountered a hiccup with the first unit having a dead screen out of the box, the replacement unit has been running great. It goes without saying that quality control issues can be a dampener, yet Acer’s customer support stepped up to make things right.

Despite a few caveats, which are par for the course in this price range, the Nitro 5 represents value for money. It’s by no means the ultimate gaming laptop, but it’s a reliable and robust machine that caters to both my professional development needs and gaming pleasures, making it a staple in my tech arsenal.

Build Quality and Design Considerations

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When it comes to the Acer Nitro 5, the first thing I noticed was its aesthetic appeal. The sleek black chassis and backlit keyboard give off a premium vibe that often correlates with higher-priced devices. The 17.3” Full HD display is vibrant, and the 144Hz refresh rate is a definite plus for smooth visuals.

Despite these perks, there are a few elements that suggest compromises:

  • The entire build is plastic, which leads to a certain amount of flex and feels a bit less durable.

  • The keyboard, while backlit, can feel somewhat low and mushy, which might not be a big deal for casual typing but might affect long gaming sessions.

  • The mousepad also leans towards the softer side, potentially affecting precision for some users.

For me, a sturdy build is key, especially when I think about hauling a laptop from location to location. The plastic body might be a concern, but it hasn’t caused any trouble so far. It’s held up through constant use without any cracks or creaks, but I always handle it with care just to be safe.

The weight, at over 6 pounds, is another factor. It’s not the lightest, and it might not suit those looking for an ultra-portable setup. For gamers who prefer a larger screen, however, that weight comes with the territory.

The inclusion of a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card is a highlight and not always a given at this price point. For a dedicated GPU, it brings a level of visual fidelity to games that’s hard to beat without entering much higher price brackets. Plus, having a dedicated card is a nice touch for creative work like basic photo editing.

Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with the hardware such as the keyboard, it’s not a quick fix. The fact that the keyboard doesn’t easily pop out could be a potential headache for DIY repair enthusiasts.

I’ve also had my fair share of concerns about quality control. The initially received unit had a dead screen right out of the box, but this was swiftly replaced. Post-replacement, everything runs smoothly, though the fans can get noisy when the system is pushed to its limits.

In conclusion, the Acer Nitro 5 is a versatile machine that surprises with its capabilities. It’s not perfect - the construction and accessories might not be top-of-the-line - but for its price bracket, the performance is commendable and dependable for both gaming and development work. It’s a machine that marries budget and performance in a package that is tough to overlook.

Storage and System: Balancing Speed with Capacity

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When looking at the storage and system of the Acer Nitro 5, it’s clear that a balance has been aimed for - one that caters to both the need for speed in gaming and the capacity demands of software development. From personal use, here are some quick takes:


  • Fast boot and load times with PCIe SSD

  • Sufficient RAM for multitasking

  • High-efficiency 12-core processor


  • Limited storage capacity

  • RAM may need an upgrade for heavy tasks

The 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD are a match that offers zippy performance for most applications. I can have several browsers and coding environments open without experiencing that lag we all dread. However, if you aim to run complex development environments or VMs, you may find the RAM to be on the leaner side. It’s not a deal-breaker, as an upgrade can remedy that, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Now, let’s talk about the 256GB SSD. Yes, it’s fast, and for gaming, it’s great since it lowers game loading times. But as someone who juggles both work and play on their laptop, space can become tight. For projects that need a lot of cache or store data locally, or those with large game libraries, you may find yourself reaching for an external HDD or considering a storage upgrade.

Yet, despite these concerns, I must say I appreciate the overall system design. The 12-core Intel Core i5-12500H Processor does not disappoint, chewing through demanding tasks admirably. And coupling that with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Graphics card means I get a setup that doesn’t falter under the pressure of intense coding sessions or when I switch gears for gaming.

But while this balances out the Nitro 5’s offering, there’s a part of me that wishes for a bit more ‘oomph’ in the initial specs. Having to think about upgrading right out of the box means it doesn’t entirely fulfill the ‘perfect out-of-the-box’ experience. Yet, and this is important, for the price point, it’s hard to fuss over these points too much.

It’s important to note that with Windows 11 Home pre-installed, I’m running the latest operating system, creating a smooth user experience overall. And as someone who appreciates aesthetics, the backlit keyboard isn’t just practical, it adds a nice touch to the look and feel of the machine.

To sum up, the Nitro 5 sits in a sweet spot for someone like me. Anyone who needs a laptop capable of keeping up with game time and crunch time, this machine makes a strong case for itself. It’s not flawless, but its pros outweigh its cons enough to earn a positive, albeit somewhat cautious, recommendation.

Connectivity and Bonus Features of Nitro 5

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Wrapping up my thoughts on the Acer Nitro 5, the connectivity and additional perks of this laptop deserve some attention. Truth be told, they’ve made quite an impression on me. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 3x USB 3.0 Type A Ports – Enough for the essentials, like a mouse and external hard drive.

  • 1x USB 3.1 Type C Port – Future-proofing for newer devices, although just one port has me using it judiciously.

  • HDMI – Great for an external monitor, especially with the screen real estate I sometimes crave for my development work.

  • Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack – Vital for gaming and the occasional conference call. Could use another separate mic-in though.

  • Bluetooth and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) – Wireless connectivity is the backbone of any modern device, and this doesn’t disappoint.

What’s more, the bonus 32GB SnowBell USB Card was a nice touch, though I’d have preferred something more substantial like an additional RAM stick.

On the flip side, the build, being entirely plastic, does lead to a bit of flexing and that wobbly feel. It’s a trade-off with price, but it doesn’t hinder performance, so I haven’t sweated over it.

Talking about the Backlit Keyboard, it’s okay for casual gaming or typing out a few lines of code. But if you’re like me and spend untold hours hammering on the keys, you might crave something with a bit more feedback. Also, it’s a bummer that you can’t pop out the keyboard for a replacement – a repair would be a bit more involved.

Working with the machine’s Windows 11 Home has been seamless. It integrates well with all the bells and whistles offered by the hardware, and I didn’t find myself missing the pro features, since I’m not network managing or domain joining with this rig.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Graphics perform stunningly for both work-related rendering and after-hours gaming. Sure, the fans kick up a bit of a racket when pushed, but it’s nothing a good headset can’t handle.

In conclusion, my practical, developer’s angle sees this laptop as a robust workhorse. It’s not without its drawbacks, with the build and keyboard being the most obvious. Yet, it powers through tasks and has connectivity options to cover most needs. It’s solid, dependable, and quite frankly, when I think about value for money, the Nitro 5 proves it’s more than just a pretty face in a crowded market.