Acer nitro 5 an515 51


Ноутбук Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-51) — Отзывы

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СтранаКитай
Гарантия производителя1 год
Игровой ноутбукЕсть
Операционная системаWindows 10 Домашняя
Диагональ15.6 дюйма
Разрешение1920x1080 Пикс
Соотношение сторон16:9
Тип матрицыIPS
ПоверхностьМатовая
LED-подсветкаЕсть
Производитель процессораIntel
Модель процессораCore i5-7300HQ
Тактовая частота 2.5 ГГц
Максимальная тактовая частота3.5 ГГц
Количество ядер4
Кэш L26 Мб
Производитель чипсетаIntel
Модель чипсетаHM175 Mobile
Объем оперативной памяти8 Гб
Максимальный объем32 Гб
Количество слотов2
Тип оперативной памятиDDR4
Тип накопителяHDD+SSD
Интерфейс подключенияSATA
Объем накопителя1.128 Тб
Объем первого накопителя1 Тб
Объем второго накопителя128 Гб
Тип видеокартыИнтегрированная + Дискретная
Производитель видеокартыnVidia
Модель видеокартыIntel HD Graphics 630 + nVidia GeForce GTX 1050
Объем видеопамяти4 Гб
Тип видеопамятиGDDR5
Тип оптического приводаОтсутствует
Встроенные динамикиЕсть
Количество динамиков2
Wi-FiЕсть
Стандарт Wi-FiIEEE 802.11ac
BluetoothЕсть
Версия Bluetooth4.0
Кард-ридерSD
МикрофонЕсть
Web-камераЕсть
HDMIЕсть
USB 2.02
USB 3.01
USB 3.1 (Type-C)1
Разъем для наушников/микрофонаЕсть
RJ-45Есть
Время непрерывной работы8.5 ч
Тип аккумулятораLi-Pol
Емкость3220 мА*ч
Количество ячеек4
Высота2.675 см
Ширина26.6 см
Глубина39 см
Вес2.7 кг
ЦветЧерный

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Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51 review - GTX 1050 Ti gaming laptop under $1000

There are quite a few gaming laptops available in stores for around $1000, and we’ve reviewed most of them here on the site, but it’s now time for one more: the Acer Nitro 5.

This is a full-size laptop with a 15-inch matte IPS screen, a backlit keyboard and pretty standard hardware for the segment: quad-core Intel processors, DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GTX 1050 / 1050 Ti graphics and hybrid storage. In fact, even Acer offer at least two more devices with nearly identical traits, the Aspire VX15 and the Aspire 7.

The exterior design is what mostly sets these apart though: the VX15 gets aggressive gaming inspired lines, the Aspire 7 is simple and sober, while the Nitro 5 fits somewhere in between, with mostly black lines, but also a dark-red strip and red backlit keys to suggest the powerful hardware inside. There are however a few other minor differences between the three, as they get different keyboards and panels, among others.

We’ll get in-depth on all of these details in the article below, which primarily includes our impressions of the Acer Nitro 5, but with references to the other options available at the time of the article (July 2017).

Specs as reviewed

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51
Screen15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, matte
ProcessorIntel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700HQ CPU
Vide0Intel HD 630 + Nvidia GT 1050 Ti 4GB
Memory32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs)
Storage512 GB SSD (M.2 NVMe) + 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD (2.5″)
ConnectivityGigabit LAN, Wireless AC , Bluetooth 4.1
Ports2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type C gen 1, HDMI, LAN, SD card reader, mic/headphone, Kensington Lock
Battery48 Wh
OSWindows 10
Size390 mm or 15.35” (w) x 268 mm or 10.47” (d) x 27 mm or 1.05” (h)
Weight5.46 lbs (2.48 kg) + 1.1 lbs (.5 kg) for the charger
Extrasred backlit keyboard, webcam

Design and first look

For us, the Nitro 5 is one of the most beautiful laptops in its class, but since it uses a black and red theme you might expect us to be a little biased here (hint: check out the colors in the site’s header). It is without a doubt a nice mix of simplicity and interesting design accents that suggest it’s not just an ordinary notebook.

In fact, it shares its format with the Predator Helios series, but with a few differences. It’s not a completely rectangular device, as its front corners are slightly cut. It also gets some interesting lines on the hood and some exhaust grills on the back edge. But unlike the Predator, it’s otherwise simple. The logo on the hood for instance blends in with the black surface around and except for some status LEDs placed on the right edge, there are no lights or any elements that stand out in any way. Even the red bar between the hinges, with the branded NITRO engraving, is fairly subtle, with a matte finishing and dark-red color, not the shinny kind used on the VX15s.

That’s why overall this laptop is a suitable option for stricter school and work environments where something like the Predator or the Aspire VX15 won’t be allowed, and it’s an alternative to the even simpler Aspire 7 series.

The Nitro 5 is entirely made out of plastic though. The lid gets a dark brushed finishing and might even be confused for aluminum on a first look, but it’s plastic nonetheless and shows smudges easily. The interior is made from smooth matte plastic, albeit it’s not the nice rubbery kind Acer puts on the Nitros V series, it’s something that feels somewhat cheaper. The bottom and sides are made from rougher textured plastic, and in fact this is similar to the bottom half of the Predator Helios 300.

The build quality is fairly good. There’s some flex in the lid, but overall the screen is thick and solid, and pressing on the hood doesn’t have any impact on the panel inside. The keyboard deck is pretty solid too, as it gets a metal plate beneath the keys, like with all modern laptops. The hinges’ mechanisms  are metallic as well and attach to this inner plate. In fact, the hinges work well, allow to lift the screen with a single hand and lean back to about 150 degrees, which is enough for desk use.

I do have to add that the Nitro 5 is fairly chunky and on the heavy side as well, at 2.5 kilos not including the power brick, yet while there are lighter 15-inch laptops out there, they do sell for more than $1000. The Aspire 7, the Lenovo Legion Y520 and Acer ROG GL553 are marginally lighter, with the Acer VX15 being heavier though.

Still, a few hundred grams shouldn’t matter much in your decision, but how the laptop actually feels in daily use should, and it’s quite practical. It gets a spacious palm-rest and the screen is easy to lift up, it sits well on a desk thanks to the big rubber feet on the bottom and the edges and corners are nicely blunted, unlike on other Acer laptops with metallic interiors. So overall this is the most comfortable to use out of all the notebooks Acer offers in the class.

Flipping it upside down you’ll notice the air-intake grills, two quick access bays for the RAM and HDD, as well as the speaker cuts. The speakers actually fire down and due to where they’re placed, are quite easy to cover when using this computer on the lap. It might seem there are speaker cuts on the front lips as well, but those are just some decor elements and don’t actually let the sound pass trough.

As far as IO goes, the Nitro 5 gets what’s pretty standard for a laptop of its category, which means 3x USB Type A slots, 1x USB Type C gen 1 (without Thunderbolt 3), full-size HDMI, LAN, a card-reader and an audio jack. Nothing fancy, but nothing missing either. Most of these are placed on the left edge, but the PSU is on the right and I found it a little annoying with my setup that has the wall plugs on the left side of the desk.

Overall, there’s not much not to like about how this laptop feels and looks. It’s a bit chubby and heavy, but not a lot heavier than other options in the class, and what sets it apart from the competition are the simpler design lines and the choice of materials. I’m a fan of the looks, yet not that much of the plastics used for the hood and especially the interior, which feel a little cheap, show smudges easily and seem quite prone to scratches and dents.

Keyboard and trackpad

I was pretty sure I was going to like this keyboard, but after typing several thousands of words on it I can say there’s something lacking about it. Keep in mind I type for a living and I’m testing at least 50 laptops each year, so I have high expectations from keyboards and a lot of comparison points. The regular user won’t have that much to complain about this one though.

The layout is standard for an Acer laptop, with 15 x 15 mm main keys and narrower arrow keys and NumPad section. Those directional keys feel especially crowded, as they’re not just narrower, but the Up key is also placed just next to the Right Shift, with virtually no space in between. The Power button is also integrated as the top-right key.

I could eventually get used to the layout, but what prevents this keyboard from being one of my favorites is the overall feedback. The keys are just too soft for my liking and put too little resistance, which for me made it fairly easily to miss strokes or hit something else by mistake when typing fast. In fact, I have nothing to complain about the speed, quietness and stroke depth, but even after thousands of words I couldn’t get my accuracy to improve.

In conclusion, I had a nicer typing experience with the Aspire VX15 and Aspire 7, but that’s just me, maybe this just didn’t fit my style. Like I said, most of you will probably be happy with this keyboard, but I do advise you to try it out in a store if possible.

This keyboard is also backlit, with red LEDs and just one brightness level to choose. The illumination is only activated by hitting a key and not by swiping fingers over the trackpad.

The clickpad is pretty good. It’s a large plastic surface made by Elan, and despite that it performed well during our tests, handling daily swipes, taps and gestures smoothly. If I’d be nitpicking I’d say the surface sometimes didn’t register softer taps, but that can be tweaked in the settings, and I’d also mention that it rattles loudly when tapped a little firmer. The clicks are also fairly stiff, but at least they’re quiet.

All in all though, there’s not much to complain about this clickpad. The keyboard on the other hand just didn’t rub me the right way.

Screen

Acer puts a 15.6-inch matte screen on the Nitro 5, with a fairly average IPS panel, similar to what all the other options in this range offer.

It’s not the same panel as on the Aspire 7 or the Aspire VX15, but it’s a very similar one, with the same low maximum brightness and limited color coverage, but otherwise good contrast and viewing angles. More details below.

  • Panel HardwareID: Chi Mei CMN15D3 (N156HCE-EAA);
  • Coverage: 69% sRGB, 50% NTSC, 52% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.2;
  • Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 226 cd/m2 on power;
  • Contrast at max brightness: 800:1
  • White point: 6600 K;
  • Black on max brightness: 0.28 cd/m2;
  • Average DeltaE: 1.06 uncalibrated, 0.84 calibrated.

The gamma and colors are fairly good out of the box, yet you can improve the gray levels with our calibrated profile available here. Even so, reds, yellow and blues are still far off from ideal, so this screen is a decent choice for daily use, multimedia and games, but won’t suffice for anything that requires high color accuracy. Still, just as I concluded in my other reviews, I would expect a better panel on a $1000 laptop, given you can also find similar ones on laptops going for under $500 these days. Regardless, there are very few better alternatives at this level, and most of them on slightly more expensive laptops.

This aside, I will also add that the display is very well built on this notebook and as a result I didn’t notice any light bleeding, which usually plagues computers with matte screens. This is however a matter of QC and luck, so there’s no guarantee yours won’t show bleeding.

The screen also leans back to about 150 degrees which is a bit more than most other similar laptops offer. The Aspire 7’s screen on the other hand can go back flat to 180 degrees, which is a selling point for those of you that won’t always keep their computer on a desk.

Hardware and performance

The Nitro 5 is available in a few different configurations, with quad-core processors, Nvidia 1050 series graphics and various amounts of RAM and storage. Our test model is the high end version, with the Core i7-7700HQ processor, Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics, 32 GB of RAM, a 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD and a 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD.

16 GB of RAM will suffice for daily use and gaming, and you can also save a few hundreds by getting a smaller SSD and even by choosing the Core i5-7500HQ processor. In fact, if you plan to get the Nitro 5 primarily for gaming, the i7-7700HQ won’t help very much, with the i5 selling for less and running cooler at the expense of not including HyperThreading.

This laptop leaves room for upgrades as well, with the 2.5″ bay and the RAM slots easily accessible through dedicated bays on the back. For the SSD, Wi-Fi chip or battery you’ll have to get under the entire back panel, which means unscrewing all the visible screws, taking the HDD out, which is hold in place by four screws as well, and then prying open the belly with a plastic card. I suggest starting from the front and taking extra care on the clips on the back edge, around the exhaust. You’ll probably have to reset the battery once you put everything back together, otherwise the laptop won’t boot, it’s a basic procedure and is explained here.

Still, let’s see how our test sample performed. Keep in mind we had a pre-release review unit in our hands, so take our findings with a pinch of salt and expect some aspects to improve down the line, with perhaps better QC and newer drivers.

As expected, this laptop handles everyday tasks flawlessly, from multimedia content to browsing, editing, documents and so on. I’ve added details on temperatures and performances with such tasks below, however, if that’s what you want from a laptop, you’ll get better value in lower-end computers with Core U hardware like the Aspire 5 , for instance.

The Nitro is made to handle demanding loads and games, and you’ll pay extra for these abilities so you’d better make sure you need them. We ran some benchmarks and you can find the results below:

  • 3DMark 11: P8834;
  • 3DMark 13: Sky Driver – 18398, Fire Strike – 6443, Time Spy – 2371;
  • PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 3536;
  • PCMark 10: 4501;
  • Geekbench 3 32-bit: Single-Core: 3575, Multi-core: 13587;
  • Geekbench 4 64-bit: Single-Core: 4564, Multi-core: 13853;
  • CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 65.41 fps, CPU 6.79 pts, CPU Single Core 1.62 pts;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 94.26 fps, CPU 625 cb, CPU Single Core 148 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 164.54 fps, Pass 2 – 39.31 fps.

We also tested a few games:

FHD Ultra
Shadow of Mordor56 fps
Grid Autosport90 fps
Tomb Raider63 fps
Bioshock Infinite74 fps
FarCry 461 fps
Need For Speed Most Wanted60 fps

Most of these numbers are about what I’d expect from the platform, with the exception of Cinebench scores and a few other CPU related tests. The thing is, while the GPU works consistently on this Nitro 5 sample, the CPU runs hot and as a result, clocks down in benchmarks and in the most demanding games, as you can see in the pictures below.

The CPU doesn’t throttle, as it still runs at speeds above its standard frequency of 2.7 GHz, but is able to consistently maintain its top TurboBoost speeds of 3.4 GHz. This has a marginal impact in most games, which are primarily GPU dependent, of about 1-3 fps, but a bigger impact in synthetic tests and in applications that would require high and constant CPU effort, like synthetic tests, virtual machines, video editors, rendering software and so on.

Again, I must stress our sample is not a final retail unit, so you should check other opinions as well and find out if the final models suffer from this same issue.

There’s a good chance they won’t and we just got a very poorly pasted unit, as we didn’t run into similar issues on the Aspire 7 or the Predator Helios 300. Both of those ran hot, but not as hot as this Nitro 5 sample, and as a result the CPU did not have to clock down.

Regardless, even if you do get an unit that runs very hot, you can tweak things by undervolting the CPU or by repasting the CPU/GPU, stock pasting is usually crap, but keep in mind that repasting voids warranty.

Emissions (noise, heat), Connectivity and speakers

What boggles me is the fact that the Aspire VX15 with its older internal design allows the CPU and GPU to run a little cooler than on this Nitro 5. The pic below shows the cooling system on the Nitro 5, with two fans and two heatpipes that spread over both the CPU and the GPU, and here’s the cooling on the VX15. The Aspire VX15 averages 80C – CPU , 59C – GPU in a 30 min session of FarCry 4, while this Nitro averages 83C – CPU, 64C – GPU in the same game, but with the CPU mostly running at around 2.7 – 2.9 GHz and not at 3.4 GHz (TurboBoost speed).

But that’s not even the most the annoying part of the story. The Nitro’s fans are some of the noisiest I’ve ever seen on any laptop, averaging 50-51 dB at head-level in games, while most others in its class hardly go above 46 dB. That means you’ll absolutely have to use headphones when playing demanding games for a longer period of time.

Case level temperatures get pretty high as well, albeit not as high as on the Aspire 7 with similar specs and cooling and albeit only on the interior. Mid 40s at the keyboard level is a bit much considering the thickness of the chassis and the hardware inside, but what’s annoying is that the interior runs hotter than the back and the hottest zone is the left-side of the keyboard, around the WASD keys that are so commonly used in games, an area that you’ll often come in contact with.  You’ll find details on temperatures below, and here’s how the VX15 does in similar conditions, for comparison.

*Daily Use – 1080p Youtube clip in EDGE for 30 minutes *Load – playing FarCry 4 for 30 minutes

Even if we consider the chance of our test sample being somewhat flawed, given the experience with the Aspire 7 and Predator Helios 300 I wouldn’t expect the final retail units to run significantly cooler. In fact, they might even run hotter if Acer tames down the insanely loud fans, as shown in the Aspire 7 review, whose fans don’t ramp up as much and that results in case temperatures above 50s in certain spots.

This Nitro offers a completely different experience with daily use though, when runs cool and quiet. The fans are active all the time, but at low speeds they are pretty much unnoticeable at head level, yet people around you will hear them, especially those placed behind your laptop where their noise propagates more aggressively.

As far as connectivity goes, there’s Gigabit LAN, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.1 on this laptop, We mostly used it on wireless and we can conclude that the included Intel 7265 wireless module is a solid performer, both near the router and at longer distances. Download speeds drop at 30 feet with two walls in between in our tests, but still remain at levels where we didn’t notice any sluggishness or buffering in any of our activities.

The speakers on this laptop are identical to the ones on the Aspire 7, Aspire 5 and Predator Helios 300 and are just average. We measured about 75 dB max volume at head level, and the sound coming out of them is decent, but rather tinny and with very little low end. These should do for an occasional movie and song, but if you’re more pretentious you’ll once again have to turn to those headphones.

As for the webcam placed on top of the screen, it’s somewhat washed out, but will do fine for Skype calls. I do suggest getting a proper external webcam if you plan to stream from this laptop though.

Battery life

Acer puts a 48 Wh battery on the Nitro 5, which is on the lower-end of the class, but also similar to what most other alternatives offer. We set the screen’s brightness to about 120 nits (60% brightness) and here’s what you should expect:

  • 9.4 W (~5 h of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7.5 W (~6 h 20 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 5.3 W (~9 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7.2 W (~6 h 40 min of use) – 4K fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 13.5 W (~3 h 30 min of use) – heavy browsing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 40.0 W (~1h 10 min of use) – gaming, High Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.

That’s not bad from a computer with a Core HQ i7 inside and only a 48 Wh battery, Acer did a good job optimizing this laptop. Still, a few other options in the segment can last longer, due to having bigger batteries inside, and I’m mostly looking at the Dell Inspiron Gaming here.

Our model came with a 135 Wh power brick and a full charge took around 2 hours. The Power brick is pretty standard and weighs about 1.1 lbs (500 g), including the attached power cable.

Price and availability

As of July 2017 the Nitro 5 is listed for $899 an up in the US and 999 EUR and up in Europe (Germany). It’s available in various configurations.

The base model comes with a Core i5-7300HQ processor, 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics and a 256 GB SSD in the US, or 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD in Europe. $100/EUR100  extra will get you the Core i7-7700HQ processor, but in a configuration with a regular HDD, and $200 extra will get you the Core i7 with a 256 GB SSD and an included HDD.

The base model offers the best value imo, as the i5 CPU will suffice for daily use and gaming, allowing you to save $100 that you can put towards a HDD or a 2.5″ SSD, if you want a faster and completely silent mass storage option.

Follow this link for more details and updated prices at the time you’re reading this post.

Final thoughts

There are a bunch of good laptops with very similar traits to this Acer Nitro 5. Among them, there are Acer’s Aspire VX15 and Aspire 7 A715, the Lenovo Legion Y520 or the Eluktronics N850HK1 in the sub $1000 segment. If you’re willing to spend about $100-$200 more you can also opt for the Dell Inspiron Gaming 7559 (with a larger battery, quiet fans and options for a high-resolution screen) or the Asus ROG GL553VE (with a better screen and much cooler hardware), although at this point you can already find laptops with GTX 1060 graphics that will do a much better job in games. Each has pros and cons, and each have small particularities that set them apart from the competition, as you can find out from our detailed reviews.

The Nitro 5 puts its nice design lines on the table, the overall good build quality, the decent IPS matte screen and backlit keyboard, as well as the solid specs, long battery life and some of the better pricing policies. On the other hand, its panel is rather dim and washed out, and the keyboard somewhat shallow and inaccurate (at least for my taste). However, what’s keeping me from recommending this notebook at this point are the questions surrounding the noisy fans, potential performance issues and high temperatures, which I can’t completely answer based on this early sample we had here.

Like I already said earlier, make sure to read other opinions and reviews in order to find out more exact details about these aspects on the final retail units. If those end up checking these boxes the right way, then the Acer Nitro 5 can be a best buy. If not, and the final Nitros are still very noisy and don’t perform flawlessly, then your money would be better spent on something like the Acer Aspire VX15 or Lenovo Legion Y520.

That’s about it for our review of the Aspire Nitro 5 multimedia/gaming laptop, but the comments section awaits your feedback and questions below, we’re around to reply and help out if possible.

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Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51 Review

Acer’s been on a roll of late with a slew of gaming laptops being released under its many different sub-brands. We’ve seen the infamous Acer Predator 21 X at Computex and that laptop is a one of kind machine that’s only matched by the ASUS GX800 in terms of sheer overkill. For gaming, Acer has the premium lineup which falls under the Predator brand and then there are the more mainstream gaming laptops which come under the Aspire V/VX and Nitro brands. The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop which we’re looking at today is one such device which while being mainstream also gives you plenty of hardware to game with. This is attested by the NVIDIA GTX 1050 along with an Intel Core i7 7700HQ CPU that power this rather sleek looking device. 

We’re glad to see more brands jump onto the gaming bandwagon in India, especially in the form of gaming laptops which have had just a few players so far. Late 2016 and early 2017 has been really good for the PC industry in terms of technological gains and the Acer Nitro V uses two of these innovations – Intel Kaby Lake 7700HQ CPU and the NVIDIA GTX 1050. Now, as we’ve mentioned earlier, there are multiple brands selling gaming laptops in India, so we now have see who offers the right balance of gaming performance and affordability without cutting corners.

Acer Nitro V AN515-51 Specifications

The Acer Nitro V AN515-51 (NH.Q2RSI.002) positions itself as more affordable compared to the competing brands. Let’s explore that by checking out the specifications of the review unit that we’ve received. The exact configuration can be seen selling on Flipkart for Rs.89,990.

Acer Nitro V AN515-51 Specifications

Processor

7700HQ 2.8 GHz

Platform

HM175

RAM FSB

2400 MHz

RAM Capacity

16 GB

Screen Size

15.6–inches

Screen Size

1920x1080

GPU

1050 4 GB

SSD

Kingston SSDNow 128GB

HDD

WD Blue 1 TB 5400 RPM

Ethernet

Realtek RTL8168E

Wi-Fi

Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA344A

Audio

Realtek (4x 2W + 1x 3W Speakers)

Battery

3090mAh 46 Whr @17.2v

AC Adapter

135 W

Weight

2.7 Kg

These make for a fairly good feature set for the given pricing as most of the competition seems to charge a little extra, we need to have a look inside the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 to learn more about its build quality and to see if the reduced pricing has led to any corners cut.

Chassis Build

Let’s start off with the bottom assembly of the Acer Nitro V AN515-51. We see that Acer has given provision for two hatches, the one on the right opens up to the RAM DIMMs and the one of the left is for the hard drive. This particular unit also comes with an M.2 SSD from Kingston and that is inaccessible via either of these hatches. So if you wanted more SSD storage capacity, to say, shift some of your more games with massive levels, then upgrading to a higher capacity SSD will require you to void the warranty and open the entire base panel. 

There’s no dearth of intake vents on the bottom as we can see in the image below and the exhaust is towards the rear. In either case, this is a better approach to some of the other configurations that we’ve seen wherein the exhaust flows out via the sides and smacks you on your hands. Towards the lower end of the image you can see two sets of vents for the speakers, so we’re either looking at 2 or 4 speakers in total, we’ll see the actual configuration in a while. And lastly, the rubber feet are quite large to provide ample amount of grip and seem to be glued pretty well to the base.

Once we’ve opened the chassis, things get a lot clearer. Let’s begin with an overview. They Acer Nitro V AN515-51 uses a unified cooler consisting of two heatpipes to channel heat away from the GPU and the CPU. It’s not ideal as we prefer individual cooling for both components to prevent one heating the other unnecessarily. However, we can see why Acer has gone for the unified design owing to the lower price point. 

The mainboard doesn’t take up much space and the positioning of the CPU and GPU towards the top i.e. away from your hands is ideal to have a lower touch temperature. The lower left corner is occupied by the HDD which has been removed in this image. We feel that the access hatch for the RAM could have been widened to accommodate the SSD as well since they’re so close to each other. 

Towards the top left, we see the daughterboard for the USB and audio I/O. Since we’re operating off battery power, having the audio signal cables next to the power input seems fine. However, they could have been routed better in this case.

We see a fairly simple VRM circuitry on the laptop. With most of the heavy lifting taken care off by the voltage adapter and the lack of OC ability, a 3+1 phase VRM (OnSemi NCP81205) as we see here is sufficient. There’s an ENE KB9022Q D for the SIO which seems to be an upgrade over the KB9012Q that has been really common thus far. Right beside it is the HM175 PCH which appears to be naked without any sort of protection. While there is no need for protection as long as the laptop chassis remains closed, gaming laptops appeal to the enthusiast crowd who’re more likely to perform manual upgrades. With this in mind, a simple shield over the PCH would have been ideal. 

Moving on to the exhaust vents for the heatsink, we find a fairly common high-density fin structure. The two fan system will certainly help with faster heat dissipation.

The hinge appears to be heavy duty with three screws to secure it on either end. The webcam I/O and display FRC cables are routed through either hinge with the FRC being rolled up to provide durability. Openly kept FRC often tends to crinkle and tear over years of usage and rolling it up and putting it within a sheath will certainly help. We noticed next to no wobbling of the display panel when opened up, so that speaks for the quality of the hinge. We can’t say what will happen in the long run but this is one of the better ones we’ve seen.

The speakers on the other hand, do disappoint a little in terms of audio quality. What we liked was the down firing setup is better for maintaining an audible output when used on hard surfaces but keep it on your lap and there’s the obvious muffling that comes into play. To avoid this, we see grilles on the front which channel audio from the speakers should you place the laptop on your lap. Perhaps, adding an extra driver for the lower frequencies would have helped with the overall sound quality.

Lastly, we have the battery pack which is rated for 3090 mAh which makes it 46 watt-hour at 17.2 volts. This happens to be pretty standard for all the laptops in this segment. Overall, we’ve seen that the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 has a pretty standard design that most laptops in this segment feature. 

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keys on the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 are chiclet with a convenient amount of spacing between them. This 19 mm standard is the optimal spacing that we look for as it results in a lot fewer mistakes creeping in while typing. The keys aren’t RGB and we really couldn’t care about RGB at this point. It brings a level of customisability that is appreaciated by quite a lot of people but a simple backlight like we see here is just fine.

As for the TouchPad, it’s 10.6 cms wide and 7.8 cms tall with no separate physical buttons. The texture is a smooth matte finish that doesn’t catch your skin should your finger get a little sweaty. The entire assembly is quite rigid with very little flexing. We’d say it’s just enough to ensure you don’t end up with a cracked chassis after a minor tumble. We experienced no issues while using different gestures on the TrackPad during our everyday testing.

I/O ports

It’s nice to see USB Type-C ports becoming more common on laptops these days regardless of the class or segment. On the left side of the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 we see a Gigabit Ethernet port with a spring hatch, the Type-C USB port, an HDMI port, USB 3.1 port and a card reader slot. On the other side are two USB ports, a 3.5 mm audio jack and the power input. 

We prefer I/O ports to be gold plated to avoid corrosion and most of the ports on the Nitro V aren’t, however, the audio jack is, which is a good thing to have since a corrosion on the audio jack becomes easily noticeable when you plug something in. Also, the SD card reader slot didn’t come with a cover in our review unit. We’re unaware if the retail unit comes with one.

Display

Like many Acer laptops, the Nitro V AN515-51 we have features a BOE Hydis panel (NV156FHM-N43). In this case, it’s an a-Si panel so we’re assuming it to be of similar calibre as we’ve seen earlier. Spec-wise, this means it’ll have a 800:1 contrast ratio and a 30 ms (Tr+Td) response time. As for the backlight, this particular panel uses a WLED lamp. It should be noted that not all AN515-51 will come with the same panel, we’ve observed that Acer also uses Chi Mei panels in the same model.

The viewing angles are pretty good and the contrast levels make six of the topmost of the blocks in Lagom.nl’s Black Level test page appear the same. However, the White Saturation page had each and every block is clearly different from the others. It has a vertical stripe RGB sub-pixel layout and Acer’s default rendering ensures a smooth and crisp text across the screen. 

The OEM for the webcam is Chicony and we couldn’t get any more details regarding the specific model since it isn’t listed anywhere. All we can say is that it does capture 720p images and video with a 24-bit depth and a lot of noise as you can see from the image captured below.

The display lid goes back quite a bit, we’d say it’s about 140 degrees. This adds a level of flexibility with usage scenarios as you can pretty much lay down with the laptop on your lap and still have the display panel remain upright. Perfect for a few casual gaming sessions on a lazy sunday when getting out of bed is least optimal. 

The backside of the panel is supported by a layer of thick foam which aside from being sturdy also allows for a just about enough flex. There is no fancy illuminated logo on the back so we don’t see any extra wires running across the middle like we’ve seen with the Predator models.

We didn’t see any bleeding across the panel, be it spots or a huge crescent creeping in from one of the sides. However, colour accuracy isn’t high enough that you’d end up using this for Adobe Photoshop or any other multimedia editing scenario. Overall, the panel is quite average for an IPS panel. It’s anyday better than most TN and VA panels but some of the more expensive models tend to have lower refresh rates than this one.

Performance

We’re looking at a very common configuration with the Acer Nitro V AN515-51. The Intel Core i7 7700HQ coupled with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 2400 MHz ensure a pretty high headroom for most mundane tasks. Throw in an NVIDIA GTX 1050 (4 GB) and you have a gaming laptop that can crunch out upwards of 40 FPS at High settings in most AAA games. The more recent ones tend to bring the 1050 down to its knees but we always advise a little bit to tweaking to bring out the most of your hardware.

We started off with CineBench R11.5 and R15 and the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 scored 8.13 and 733 in those benchmarks, respectively. WinRAR’s compression benchmark scored 7822 KB/s which is very similar to the MSI GE62 7RE that we’ve tested earlier. As for PCMark8, we used Accelerated to leverage the GPU and ended up with a score of 4985 on PCMark8 Creative (Acc.), 3988 in PCMark8 Home (Acc.) and 4917 in PCMark8 Work (Acc.). It should be noted that there was a validation issue with the drivers obtained from Acer’s website but the scores lined up with similar configuration from competing models, so all’s well. 

Storage

The Kingston SSDNow 128 GB managed to get 445.9 MB/s for read speeds and 361.9 MB/s for write speeds. Notably, 4K speeds were pretty good for a normal SSD. It’s nowhere close to NVMe speeds but in its class, you’re not going to find any NVMe SSDs anyways. Overall, we’d say that the SSD performs at par with most in its speed class.

Also, 128 GB is enough for your OS and a few extra apps, but as we mentioned earlier, 256 GB is what we prefer as the minimum. The other drive is a 1 TB WD Blue rated for 5400 RPM and we aren't going to bother with it since there’s hardly ever any difference in performance between 5400 RPM SKUs. Almost all of them feature a similar cache capacity and exhibit similar performance characteristics across different file sizes.

SD Card Reader

For the SD card reader, we use a 32 GB Lexar 1000x UHS-II SD card which easily gives 135 MB/s read speeds and 55 MB/s write speeds on USB 3.0 SD card readers and on the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 we managed to get about 32 MB/s. Though not exceptional, it’s more than sufficient to get the job done.

Wi-Fi

For Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 makes use of the Qualcom Atheros QCNFA344A. It’s a dual band 802.11ac adapter that has a peak throughput of 300 Mb/s on the ‘n’ band and 867 Mb/s on the ‘ac’ band. We used iPerf to see how well the add-on card fared over the ‘ac’ band. We managed to get 514 Mbps on the throughput and about 76 Mbps via a single stream which is more than sufficient for gaming or otherwise. 

It doesn’t feature a separate QoS solution to prioritise traffic, but you can always install one yourself and get the job done.

Gaming

A combination of the Intel Core i7 7700HQ with the NVIDIA GTX 1050 is quite powerful, however, a better configuration would be to have the Core i5 7300HQ with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. Surprisingly, Acer has that model available for Rs.74,999 which makes it the lowest priced laptop with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. Coming back to what we have on hand, we started with the trusty 3DMark with the latest NVIDIA drivers (384.94). We managed to get 5514 in Fire Strike 1.1, 2659 in Fire Strike Extreme and 1228 in Fire Strike Ultra. With the NVIDIA GTX 1050 set to 1354 MHz, these scores are at par and sometimes even higher by a few points. 

In TimeSpy, we scored 1790 and for the sake of reference, we also ran Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Sky Diver. Our scores were 101023, 20261 and 17007, respectively. 

Moving on to games, Rise of the Tomb Raider had a pretty decent on both, high and medium settings. On high, we got 46.68 and on medium it was 50.84 FPS. With DOOM, we got 45 FPS in Ultra and in GTA V on High, we managed to get 66 FPS. 

Pricing

There are quite a few units in the market that provide a similar hardware configuration. There’s the MSI GP62 7RDX for Rs.112,990, the Dell Inspiron 7567 for Rs.115,469, ASUS ROG GL553VD for Rs.87,299, Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN at Rs.92,490 and HP Omen 15 AX250TX for Rs.106,990. All of these feature the Intel Core i7 7700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1050 4 GB, 128 GB SSD and a 1 TB hard drive. The ASUS GL553VD is the closest that comes to this configuration but it has only 8 GB of RAM against the 16 GB that the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 has. The Legion Y520 has the same configuration as the ASUS SKU but it costs a little extra and almost every other competing laptop costs Rs.17,000 or more. Essentially, we’re hard pressed to find a better deal than the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 for its configuration. Moreover, the other Nitro V SKU has a 1050 Ti at 75K which was unbeatable in terms of pricing at the time of writing this review.

Verdict

The Acer Nitro V AN515-51 offers the combination of an Intel Core i7 7700HQ with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 (4 GB) at a very attractive price point. It’s this configuration and Acer’s aggressive pricing that should see the Nitro V turning out to be one of the most popular gaming laptops under Rs.1 lakh. Sure, most of the components perform at par with what the competition has, be it in terms of compute performance or gaming performance, and Acer could certainly have worked out on a few improvements to the build quality (such as widening the RAM access hatch and shielding the PCH) that we’ve mentioned throughout the review. But all those would be considered as nitpicking giving how low Acer is pricing the Nitro V AN515-51. In fact, we bid you the best of luck to find a better deal than the Acer Nitro V AN515-51 at Rs.89,990.

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