The Nitro laptops we have tested until now all belong to the mobile-gaming segment. They offer high processing power but still come in rather slim cases. Acer is moving away again from the latter with the new Nitro 5 AN515-51 models. The new devices are a little thicker and bulkier than the models of the Aspire V15 Nitro series due to the new angular shape. Nonetheless, the Nitro 5 devices are still slim notebooks.
The device does not lack the processing power necessary for gaming thanks to the quad-core processor and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. But still, this combination is simply not meant to display games in the highest quality settings.
Acer offers no more than the standard equipment in the area of connectivity. The notebook has three Type-A USB ports (2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1 gen 1) and the single Type-C port also only offers the USB 3.1 gen 1 standard. Acer could have upgraded this to the faster USB 3.1 gen 2 port - or even better to a Thunderbolt 3 connector. A DisplayPort would also have been a nice addition to the device. However, we do like the way the ports are positioned, which is towards the back of either side of the device. This way, the areas beside the wrist rest remain free from cables.
The Wi-Fi module has a chip (QCA6174) made by Qualcomm. It supports the Wi-Fi standards 802.11 a/g/n as well as the faster ac standard. We tested the module under optimum conditions (no other Wi-Fi devices in the vicinity, short distance to server PC) and measured very good transfer rates. The device also has a Gigabit Ethernet chip from Realtek's RTL8168/8111 family.
The device's webcam produces images with a maximum resolution of 1280x720 pixels.
The ClickPad supports multi-touch gestures and is about 10.6 x 7.7 cm (~ 4.17 x 3 in) large. This means there is plenty of space for using gesture control. The smooth surface of the pad makes it easy for fingers to glide upon, and it reacts well to inputs even in the corners. The ClickPad has short travel and a clear pressure point.
The fact that the Nitro 5 is equipped with a quad-core i7-7700HQ of the Kaby Lake generation is not surprising. This is currently the best choice for a mobile-gaming notebook as the CPU is a good compromise between processing power and power consumption. Cheaper models of the Nitro 5 are equipped with the Core i5-7300HQ. This is also a quad-core processor, but it does not support Hyper-Threading (which means that two threads can be processed per core).
The 7700HQ CPU that is built into our test unit works at a base clock rate of 2.8 GHz. The clock rate can be increased to 3.4 GHz (four cores), 3.6 GHz (two cores) or 3.8 GHz (one core) via the turbo. This is only possible when the device is connected to power. The CPU ran at 2.8 - 3.4 GHz (multithread) and 3.4 - 3.8 GHz (single thread) during our tests. The speeds were at 2.8 GHz (single thread) and 2.1 - 2.8 GHz (multithread) on battery.
Acer has gone for the most common solution for gaming notebooks: a fast SSD that acts as system drive and a common 2.5-inch hard drive that offers sufficient storage for games. The SSD comes from Intel and is an NVMe model. This kind of SSD runs via a PCIe x4 interface, which supports significantly higher transfer rates than the SATA-III interface does. The SSD has great transfer rates, although they are not quite as good as those of the competitors from Samsung. The 2.5-inch hard drive comes from Western Digital. It runs at 5400 rpm and has a capacity of 1 TB.
Breaking the Sound Barrier
Invigorate your gaming and enjoy crushing audio with Dolby Audio™ Premium.
Intensity at Every Angle
Share the exhilaration of your screen’s true colors with the full high definition IPS display.
The Power of Wireless
Maintain a strong, consistent wireless signal with the strategically placed 802.11ac wireless antenna and 2x2 MIMO.
Ports for all Occasions
Expand the Nitro 5’s functionality with a plethora of ports to connect almost any secondary device.
Secure a smooth, high speed journey into the multiverse of gaming with the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050TI graphics card.
Smoothly and quickly view games and videos with the 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors.
Kick in the Cooling
When heavy use requires an added boost, take control of the cooling process with Acer CoolBoost™.
Wait no More
Shift into full gear and speed up your download time to ensure seamless gaming with a solid-state drive upgrade.