Acer is undoubtedly our favourite in the budget gaming segment. Rolling out plenty of options between ₹70K to ₹1lac, we didn’t think there’d be room for one more. That too a lappy with contortion abilities like this one.
Enter Acer Nitro Spin 5 - it’s the Nitro 5 that went for yoga classes. We don’t see any point in making a 2-in-1 gaming laptop, but we ain’t complaining either. It’s like having a cupcake and shedding 2kgs - an addictive combination.
We gave the Spin 5 a nice review-walloping so your next gaming laptop decision would be as clear as EA’s intentions. Read on.
Acer Nitro 5 Spin - Build and design
The Nitro Spin starts at ₹79,990 and we got the higher variant model that costs ₹94,990. Whichever way you see it, the Nitro Spin 5 has a really impressive build quality for the price. We absolutely love the metal body, it’s thin and strong. At 0.7 inches, the laptop is impressively slick but can feel quite heavy for something so thin. It’s definitely that metal body.
Speaking of which, the metal palmrest surface can get moist if you spend too much time on the laptop. Forget wearing a metal watch too, the sound of two metals clanking against each other makes us uneasy, not to mention very irritated. Acer should take notes from the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, it had matte business around the keyboard for skin-friendly use which you could sleep on.
The Nitro 5 Spin is not an attention hog, but amidst your colleagues’ boring grey laptops, those sly red accents will stand out. The hinges and the angled border along the edges have a very distinctive dark yet glossy red. Something similar to the colour you see on Acer’s high-end Predator laptops, even the trackpad edges get the same treatment. You might even want to lift it up and show off how nicely Acer has put that palmrest shell in a seamless manner.
Acer Nitro 5 Spin - Screen and battery
Yup, it’s got a touchscreen guys. Why do you need a touchscreen on a gaming laptop? Who knows, but hey, if the innards are the same as other budget gaming laptops - a touchscreen is an added bonus right? Let’s see.
The 15.6 inch Full HD display bends over backwards to turn into a tablet. It has little use if you’re purely buying the laptop for gaming and holding the laptop in a tablet mode to watch Rick and Morty reruns gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, the big screen was immersive, but holding it was a tedious task because the whole thing weighs 2.2kgs. However, the volume rocker on the side next to the ports need a special shoutout - Windows 10 tablet mode - not so much. In terms of gaming, not many apps are optimized for tablet mode and Steam had me use the side scrolling bar to move up and down in tablet mode. So primitive, ugh.
Thanks to the 2-in-1 design, the screen gets more attention here with decent colour reproduction with a slight incline towards the warm spectrum, but nothing too steep. Same goes for viewing angles. The screen is soul-staringly reflective. It can double duty as a mirror to see if anyone’s making funny faces behind your back in office.
Meanwhile for regular office duty, it lasted me around five hours, that’s decent for any gaming laptop. Though gaming time was stripped down to 2 hours, even with the power-efficient Intel 8th-Gen running the show inside.
Acer Nitro 5 Spin - Features, audio and keyboard
Speakers are loud enough for Netflix and chill sessions, but when turned all the way up, they produce a weird crackling noise. It’s nothing too alarming and they won’t disappoint when you can’t find a decent pair of headphones, which we would’ve recommended while gaming but two front-facing speakers and one subwoofer pack serious volume over the screaming insides of this laptop under gaming load.
The keyboard is red backlit to go in sync with the whole black and red theme of the laptop. The WASD keys are nicely spaced out and are of decent quality but the number pad and the function keys are really, really cramped up. Annoyingly, the red backlighting is never on when you start the laptop so you have to manually switch it on using the cramped up F8 button. More so, the lights turn off in about 30 seconds of not typing and there’s no way you change these settings so it gets super-frustrating when you accidentally press the wrong button.
This touchy budget laptop has a fingerprint scanner on the trackpad as if adding cherry to the cake. Sadly, it’s not the best because it’s tiny and is placed awkwardly on the trackpad. I got it to work sometimes but many times it just doesn’t work properly. I spent more time trying to place my finger correctly in hopes for it to work but was forced to type in the password after failed attempts. An ₹8,000 smartphone with a fingerprint scanner will do a better job than this.
Acer Nitro 5 Spin - Performance
On 3DMark the laptop scored a 13,562 in Sky Diver which is good enough for a synthetic test but in real life performance it faceplants right on the sidewalk, a Mumbai sidewalk.
We ran Tekken 7 on Ultra settings and it was managing to keep good frames of up to 45 but then it would horribly dip down to 20 frames like tripping over a sleeping hobo on the aforementioned sidewalk. Same story with Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Loading times were cut down significantly thanks to the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD but the laptop somehow screams with agony even on low settings in Shadow of War. It’s packing an Nvidia GTX 1050 but it’s as good as the sleeping hobo when told to do some heavy lifting.
Less graphically demanding games like CS:GO and DOTA 2 are relatively smoother. Destiny 2 also needed a few graphical adjustments (read as low settings) to make it playable. The back portion near the hinges heats up and the fan noise is very audible, nothing like a screaming Big Boss contestant, but loud enough for Bhai to take notice.
When not gaming, the SSD jingles a speedy boot up time and the added space by the 1TB hard drive is a blessing at this price point. Even Photoshop and InDesign softwares run without any hiccups. Bagging the Intel 8th-Gen processor definitely has its own braggin rights. However, the Intel i7-8550U is perfect for ultrabooks and slim laptops, but not exactly cut for gaming.
Acer Nitro 5 Spin - Verdict
This yoga gamer is in a rather sticky situation. It’s a decent laptop for the price but calling it a gaming laptop is like using chopsticks to eat ice cream. Smooth gaming on latest titles will slip and fall even when you wouldn’t expect it to.
Those loud speakers and the 2-in-1 design is best left for Netflix and other office shenanigans. Gaming on this is severely deflated if not recommended.
We would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good laptop with an interesting twist, but for gamers, there are better options in this category, many from Acer as well - Acer Nitro 5 being that better choice here.