[Review] Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG: Killer Performance at a Killer Price

 

Pros
  • Good Build Quality
  • Upgradable RAM & Storage
  • Full HD IPS display with 144 Hz refresh rate
  • WiFi 6 connectivity
Cons
  • Battery life could be improved
  • No SD card reader

Acer is a brand that has always been known for delivering high-quality laptops with killer specs at affordable prices. It's no surprise, then, that when they announced the release of their latest gaming laptop - the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG  Gaming Laptop - there was an uproar from gamers and tech geeks alike.

With an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti GPU, a series of customizable gaming features, and a very generous 16 GB of RAM, this laptop was destined to take over the gaming segment of the laptop market and it definitely managed to fulfill said destiny.

But, will it manage to win you over? Will it suit your needs? That's what we're here to figure out as we go deep into this review of the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG. An affordable 17-inch gaming laptop.


Design, Display, and Keyboard


We're gonna get this review started with the design. As expected, the Nitro 5 follows the same design patterns as other laptops within the family. Specifically, we're talking about a relatively bulky laptop that weighs in at just shy of 6 pounds.

The design is definitely not for everyone but if you're a hardcore gamer you'll surely appreciate the amazing quality build this laptop delivers as well as the red-backlit keyboard which puts a special emphasis on the WASD keys as well as the arrow keys so that nothing gets in the way of the perfect gaming session.

The back-end and sides of the laptop feature the exhaust ports which, coupled with Acer's Cool Boost technology, do a pretty good job at keeping the laptop cool even under intensive usage.

Having said that, in order to reduce ventilator work and therefore optimize battery life and extend the device's overall lifespan we would heavily advise purchasing a cooling pad along with the AN517-54-77KG as it will definitely help in keeping the laptop cool so that you don't need to trigger the ventilators.

What about the display?

As you would expect from a high-end gaming laptop, Acer placed quite a bit of thought into the display of this gaming laptop, opting to implement a very vivid 17.3-inch Full HD IPS panel with a 144 Hz refresh rate and an 80% screen-to-body ratio.

Why do we care that the display features a 144 Hz refresh rate?

Well, because it helps in improving the overall gaming experience. Specifically, the 144 Hz refresh rate means that the screen refreshes up to 125% more than your standard 60 Hz refresh rate screen which means you won't miss a single frame when playing hardcore action games.

What about the keyboard?

If you're a hardcore gamer, there's no doubt that keyboard quality will be one of the most important features for you. After all, a single keystroke can make a whole lot of difference between being dead or alive in most shooters.

Having said that, the keyboard on this laptop is very good, with a comfortable overall typing experience and great ergonomics for long-lasting gaming sessions.

Performance: CPU, RAM, and GPU

Moving onto the performance segment of this review, the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG definitely packs a punch and hits all the right spots. Starting off with an 11th generation octa-core Core i7 processor that clocks up to 4.6 GHz and features an impressive 24MB of smart caché there's virtually nothing we can think of that you could throw at this processor under normal usage that would make it break a sweat.

As many customers have been quick to point out, this machine is an absolute beast in the performance segment.

If the stunning CPU wasn't enough to get you drooling we've also got an impressive 16 GB of DDR4 RAM clocking in at 3200 MHz, which means that you'll get enough resources to multitask at your hearts contempt. Not to mention that you'll also be able to do stuff like editing video in 4K, retouch pictures on Photoshop and even do some hardcore programming running several virtual machines at once.

Can I upgrade the RAM?

Yes, the RAM on the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG is upgradable. It comes with a stock of 16 GB as mentioned previously but you could max it up to 32 GB of RAM if you wanted to. Personally, I would see how I manage on 16 GB first but if you're clear that 16 GB isn't going to cut it then you can go ahead and purchase an additional 16 GB DDR4 3200MHz SODIMM RAM unit.

Moving on, the GPU powering this laptop is NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3050Ti which means that in terms of raw power there are no other laptops within this price range that can deliver what Acer has delivered here.

That means you can play AAA games like the best of 'em and while the GPU "only" features 4 GB of dedicated VRAM you'd be hard-pressed to notice much of a difference from models with more RAM under any normal gaming capacity.

Does it heat up?

With this set of specs, it's pretty hard to believe that the AN517-54-77KG doesn't run hot. Fortunately, though, Acer has done a good job in addressing this issue by implementing two cooling fans and a solid set of exhaust ports into their design which helps keep the laptop cool under heavy usage.

Having said that, we do advise using this laptop with a cooling pad when performing GPU-intensive tasks as it will definitely help in prolonging the battery life of the device as well as keep the ventilators from having to turn on.

Battery Life and Storage

Gaming laptops don't really have the best reputation when it comes down to battery life and unfortunately for us, the latest Nitro 5 laptop falls in line with this stereotype. 

Specifically, you can expect roughly 2-3 hours under moderate usage and maybe go as far as 4-5 hours if you're not using its gaming capabilities but rather using it as a regular laptop. It's not great but it's well within what we expect for a laptop of this caliber.

Storage-wise we're happy to report that Acer wasn't stingy. They deliver this model with 1 TB of nVME SSD storage capacity which should be more than enough for most users. However, you should also know that there's a free 2.5-inch SATA bay in case you wanted to upgrade storage.

Connectivity Options

While battery life might be a bit tight. Acer didn't want to sacrifice any connectivity features. What's more the company went above and beyond, implementing a dual system of Killer WiFi and Killer Ethernet which will connect to both systems at the same time and prioritize according to the strength of the signal. This is absolutely brilliant and a feature I would wish all manufacturers would implement.

There's also two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a single USB 3.2 gen 2 port, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI 2.1 port, and your standard audio jack. Of course, Acer didn't forget to implement an HD webcam though we would've liked them to go the extra mile here and use a Full HD webcam while they were at it.

Obviously, there's Bluetooth, that goes without saying.

Verdict: Should I buy the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG Gaming Laptop?

If you're looking for a new laptop to play some of the most demanding video games on then look no further. You won't find anything within this price range that offers as much raw power as Acer's latest Nitro AN517-54-77KG does and what's more, it doesn't even need to be overclocked and it doesn't heat up too much either.

On the downside, battery life could've been a little better but we're willing to look past this drawback given how well Acer has addressed other issues that would plague laptops of this caliber in terms of raw power. All things considered, if you're looking for an affordable gaming laptop and you don't want to break the bank then Acer's Nitro AN517-54 is definitely a worthy candidate.

Overall Rating: A well deserved 90% (Highly Recommended)