The acer nitro 5 an517-42-r85s isn’t the flashiest gaming laptop you can buy, but it’s a solid entry-level option for those on a budget. It’s not as attractive as some of the pricier models in the category, but it offers a roomy screen, competent keyboard, and good battery life for a price that’s well below $1,200.
The 2021 iteration of the Nitro 5 comes in a variety of configurations, from modest Intel and AMD options to RTX 3070-class GPUs that can handle most modern games. My review unit is based on an AMD Ryzen 7 APU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, and it’s priced at just under $1,300.
It has a roomy 17.3-inch display with a full HD (1920x1080) resolution. That’s better suited to the RTX 3060 than the more capable 1440p panels that you might find on competing laptops, such as the Dell XPS 17 9720 and MSI Katana GF76.
This laptop also has a 720p webcam, which is mediocre at best for video conferencing. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something to keep in mind if you plan on using your laptop for work.
Acer didn’t pile on the preinstalled software like it did with past models in this category, but there is still quite a bit of it. Apps include NitroSense, which lets you control the laptop’s cooling system and view system stats, as well as a handful of Acer-branded apps that help you check your warranty or keep the operating system and drivers up to date.