Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1 Review: The Ultimate Gaming Rig

Pros
  • Full HD display with 144 Hz refresh rate
  • 1 TB of SSD /16 GB of RAM
  • Backlit keyboard, fan control
  • Extensive connectivity options
Cons
  • No SD-card reader
  • Battery Life is bad

Finding the perfect gaming laptop that won't break the bank is not an easy feat. Most budget gaming laptops will be capped out at 8 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB of storage at best to be able to remain competitive. However, once in a while we can find a model that offers a competitive price yet doesn't sacrifice internals. Such is the case of the model we have before us today, the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1.

Acer's latest affordable gaming laptop packs a slew of top-notch features such as an 11th generation i7 CPU, 16 GB of RAM right off the bat, and a stellar 1 TB of SSD storage. Couple that with a Full HD display that offers a 144 Hz refresh rate and a user-controlled cooling system and you've got a gaming laptop that's ready to tackle just about anything you throw at it.

But, is this the gaming laptop for you? That's what we're determined to find out in this review of the Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1. Read on to find out!

Design, Display & Keyboard

Before talking about performance let's take a look at the design aspects of this notebook. From that point of view, we can safely say that Acer didn't really risk much in terms of innovation with a design that's become commonplace for budget gaming laptops. That's not to say it's a bad design but you'll hardly be surprised when you take this notebook out of its box.

With a 17.3-inch display, the AN517-54-79L1 features a slightly bulky black design that weighs in at almost 6 pounds - far from the 2.65 pounds of our recently reviewed Acer Swift 3 SF314-43-R2YY -. Having said that it's a pretty safe bet that Acer isn't expecting you to carry this model everywhere you go.

Overall, the quality build is good and while it's clearly a plastic construction, it offers a sturdy sensation that's commonplace amongst models of this lineup.

The display offers a minor yet relevant innovation compared to other gaming laptops in that it features an IPS panel instead of a TNS panel. This means that you get a 180º viewing angle as opposed to the roughly 80º you would typically get on a TNS panel.

It also implements a 144 Hz refresh rate, which is great for people playing games that require a lot of action and movement as you won't have the uncomfortable "blurry" image that you would get with a standard display.

The resolution could be higher but with FHD (1920 by 1080p) we can't really complain and brightness is quite good overall. It's really hard to find a gaming laptop that features a 2K display without having to take out a second mortgage to afford it. They're not really very common since many gamers will also connect their laptop to a 2K or 4K monitor either way.

Finally, the keyboard offers a great experience. It's got a red backlight as most gaming laptops do with the WASD and direction keys receiving a bit of extra light to be easily located by the gamer.

It's worth noting that the keyboard also offers direct access to the NitroSense UI, allowing the user to keep tabs on the temperature of the components and adjust accordingly.

It should also be pointed out that this notebook offers 4 exhaust ports and two fans which, when coupled with Acer's CoolBoost Technology mean you can easily keep the temperature of your components down even when performing the most demanding of tasks.

Performance

When it comes down to performance it's no surprise that with this set of internals the Nitro 5 in question is capable of handling just about anything you throw at it. The powerful 11th generation octa-core Core i7 CPU clocking in at 4.8 GHz, coupled with a generous 16 GB of the latest generation RAM and 1 TB of NVMe SSD storage means that this laptop can hold its own even with the most CPU-intensive tasks.

You can even opt to upgrade the RAM on the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1, allowing you to go all the way to 32 GB.

Speaking in plain English that means that this laptop is well suited for anything from working with virtual machines, editing pictures with photoshop, doing 4K video editing, as well as all the standard set of tasks we expect from a high-end laptop - browsing the web, editing documents, streaming video, etc.-.

Also, the fact that it features the possibility to control the temperature of its internal components means we don't need to fear the laptop lagging because of temperature issues.

Finally, the inclusion of Killer WiFi which allows for a combination of WiFi 6 connectivity and Ethernet connectivity means you'd be hard-pressed to lose connectivity at any given moment since the laptop always has a "backup" connectivity in that regard.

Graphics & Battery Life

Graphics on the AN517-54-79L1 are powered by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti with 4 GB of dedicated VRAM. This is an excellent graphic card that will allow its users to play just about any AAA game at anywhere from 70-90 fps or more modest games at an easy 120 fps. In any case, this is something that customers who have bought this laptop have covered intensively.

In terms of specific games, you'll be able to play titles such as Forza Horizon 5, Riders Republic, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Far Cry 6 at respectable frame rates that in every case surpass the 50 fps easily at high settings.

Battery life on the other hand is not as splendid as we would've hoped and it falls short of models such as the recently reviewed Asus TUF Dash F15 ‎TUF516PE-AB73 which can manage over 8 hours.

In this specific case, battery life is along the lines of 2-4 hours depending on usage so again we see that Acer didn't build this laptop with the intention of you taking it everywhere you go. It's more of a desktop replacement from that point of view.

Connectivity Features

When it comes to connectivity there's only one thing that we consider to be missing: an SD card reader. However, the lack of this reader is a rather common occurrence amongst the latest laptops to hit the market.

Other than that you've got three USB Type-A ports - one of them with power-off charging -, a single USB Type-C port, HDMI port, audio jack, and Ethernet port.

There's also the aforementioned WiFi 6 and of course, this laptop packs Bluetooth support as well as a high-definition webcam.

Acer has covered its bases here.

Wrapping up: Is the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1 worth it?

In closing this review we can safely say that the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1 is easily one of the most competitive and compelling gaming laptops in the market within its price range. We truly value the fact that it comes right off the bat with 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of NVMe storage and a nice IPS display with a 144 Hz refresh rate.

We would've liked to see a more generous battery life but that's rarely the case when it comes down to gaming laptops and overall we can say that this laptop definitely offers an excellent value for the price. A notebook that's bound to satisfy even the most demanding set of gamers out there.


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