Disclaimer: 9to5gadgets.com is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Any valid purchases made through clicking on the links on this site (when directed to Amazon) will garner us a commission.

➤ Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 Review: A Powerhouse Gaming Laptop


In the past, there were two ways to get a good gaming laptop for a reasonable price. One was buying an older model that would be quickly outdated. The other was getting something from a brand with no reputation for quality laptops, which often meant it would break down after just six months or so of use. But now there’s another way: the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 Gaming Laptop!

Acer solves the first problem by using an Intel Core i5-10300H CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU in its 15.6-inch FHD 144Hz IPS Display laptop with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD (which is also upgradable). And they solved the second problem by using a brand that has been known for excellence in computers and quality laptops.

The best part? It has an extremely competitive price! Now let's figure out if it's for you in this review of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5.

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 Laptop Review

Design, Display, and keyboard

As you would expect from a gaming laptop, the Acer Nitro is mostly black with red accents. The screen lid has metal hinges and looks like brushed aluminum (though it’s actually plastic), which makes it appear sturdy and gives it a nice "solid" feel to it.

The display itself appears quite sharp thanks to its Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution in an IPS panel. It's also bright enough to be seen even in places with lots of light, which is great for those who prefer gaming outside or near a window where the sun may interfere with their game.

The great thing about this panel is that it's got a 144 Hz refresh rate, meaning you won't miss a beat when playing fast games or watching action movies. For reference, most laptops feature a 60 Hz refresh rate on their panel so it can be hard for them to keep up when playing action-packed AAA games.

Finally, Acer is well aware that a gaming laptop without a good keyboard is worthless. Therefore we appreciate the fact that the company has given us a nice red-backlit keyboard with solid key-travel distance to deliver some good feedback and the WASD and arrow keys with re-inforced lighting for quick access using your peripheral vision.

As expected, the laptop is quite bulky and isn't very "commute friendly" with 4 exhaust ports located on the back and the sides of the laptop to make sure the temperature remains cool.

Performance, performance, performance

The design and display are well and nice but when you buy a gaming laptop such as the AN515-55-53E5  what's you're really after is killer performance and on that front Acer doesn't disappoint.

A quick recap of the specs shows us we've got a quad-core Intel Core i5-10300H processor clocking in at a base 2.5 GHz and reaching a maximum speed of 4.5 GHz when pressed to its limits. You've also got an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card with 4 GB of SDRAM and 8 GB of DDR4 memory as well as 256 GB of SSD storage.

Note: the processor is excellent and optimal for gaming and the graphics card can certainly manage to play all modern titles at Full HD resolution in solid settings but you might want to upgrade the RAM and possibly the storage.

From that point of view, while 8 GB will work well for most users. If you're going to do some hardcore gaming on this thing then we would recommend upgrading the RAM of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 through our step-by-step tutorial by purchasing at least an additional 8 GB DDR4 that clocks in at 2933 MHz - anything less and you'll be underperforming -. This gives you a nice, well-rounded 16 GB of RAM which is the minimum we would recommend on a gaming laptop such as this one.

What performance can I expect from this laptop?

Other than upgrading the RAM, the performance on the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 for everyday tasks is quite good. This is a fast laptop that has a snappy performance thanks to its 10th generation i5 processor, dedicated graphics card, and SSD storage unit.

From that standpoint you can expect this laptop to be able to tackle pretty much any task you throw its way, be it working with graphic design software, editing documents, launching virtual machines or doing your everyday Netflix stream, video conferencing, and even video and photo editing - though we would encourage you to upgrade the RAM for this -.

What are customers saying about the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5? 

Well, overall, customers are quite pleased with this budget gaming laptop. Many reviewers highlight the great value for the price, especially if you manage your expectations accordingly. One customer mentioned buying it for around $450 during a flash tech sale, and at that price, it was a no-brainer. Even at the usual price of around $750, it's still considered a solid deal for a budget gaming setup.

Customers appreciate the laptop's performance, with the i5-10300H CPU and RTX3050 GPU providing satisfactory gaming experiences for most 1080p games. The laptop offers plenty of storage options, including dual NVME drives and space for a 2.5" SATA drive. The high-refresh screen is also well-regarded by customers. The laptop has a gamer aesthetic, but it's not overly obnoxious.

There are a few downsides mentioned by customers. One reviewer noted that the USB-C port on this particular model doesn't support Thunderbolt, which can be disappointing for some users. 

Additionally, the HDMI port is hardwired to the RTX3050 GPU, making it problematic for using an external monitor in MacOS, although there are workarounds like using a DisplayLink USB3 dock. The laptop can get a bit warm, as is common with many gaming laptops, but customers suggest applying better thermal paste, undervolting the CPU/GPU, and using a cooling pad for improved airflow.

In terms of upgrades, customers recommend adding more RAM and expanding storage due to the limited 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD that the laptop comes with. However, these upgrades are relatively easy to perform.

Overall, customers consider the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 a great buy for its price, especially during sales. While there are some minor downsides and necessary upgrades, many customers find it to be a fantastic budget gaming laptop that meets their needs.

Battery Life and Connectivity Options

Moving on with our review of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5. It's time to tackle the battery life, a department where most gaming laptops fall painfully short. However, to our surprise, this is not strictly the case with the Nitro 5. Specifically, while many customers have pointed towards the battery lasting an hour on gaming many have also reported that general battery life -gaming aside- could potentially surpass the 5-hour threshold.

That's not too shabby for a gaming laptop that wasn't really designed to be taken with you everywhere you go.

As for the connectivity aspect of this laptop, we appreciate the fact that it has both WiFi 6 and Ethernet support with Acer being able to connect to both and decide which one to use depending on internet traffic.

There's also Bluetooth support as well as a slew of other ports on the sides of the laptop. That's two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a standalone USB 3.2 Gen 2 port with power-off charging, a single USB Type-C port because we're in 2021 and an HDMI 2.0 port.

Bottom line: Should You Buy the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5?

Let's cut to the chase: if you're looking for a gaming laptop that has an excellent performance and can do most things well then this is it. The Acer Nitro AN515-55-53E5 offers great performance, plenty of storage space along with some pretty nifty connectivity options, and decent battery life.

While we would have liked 16 GB RAM as standard, we're happy to know we can upgrade it to suit our needs. Ultimately, this laptop ticks most of the boxes and is certainly worth buying for those looking to purchase an affordable gaming laptop.