AS VEGAS, NV — Acer this week announced its first modern laptop that uses an AMD processor and an AMD Radeon discrete graphics chip. The Nitro 5 is a multimedia-focused notebook that will be available this April in various configurations targeted at people with different budgets and needs.
AMD’s renaissance in mobile is starting to gain traction. Over the past couple of months, Acer and HP released their mainstream laptops based on AMD’s Ryzen Mobile APUs, whereas ASUS set the stakes high with its ROG Strix GL702ZC gaming machine packing desktop-class Ryzen 7 and a discrete Radeon RX580. Acer’s Nitro 5 will sit between mainstream and high-end gaming machines, offering affordability of the former and providing higher performance levels when equipped with a discrete GPU.
The Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-42) comes in black plastic chassis with multiple red accents and a carbon fiber texture on the back to emphasize its gaming nature. The laptop is outfitted with a 15.6” IPS FHD display, which is the most popular resolution among gamers, based on Steam Hardware Survey as of December 2017. Acer does not talk about dimensions or weight, but the laptop looks rather bulky.
Inside, the Nitro 5 features an AMD Ryzen Mobile processor with up to four x86 cores and AMD Vega iGPU (192 – 640 stream processors) as well as a Radeon RX560 discrete GPU with up to 4 GB of GDDR5 (select SKUs only). The APU and GPU will be accompanied by up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512 GB SSD, but the manufacturer does not elaborate on exact data transfer rates and models. In fact, when it comes to details, this is what Acer’s press release is a bit short of because the Nitro 5 is three months away and the manufacturer does not announce all the specs just now. It is noteworthy that to enable monitoring and performance tweaking of processor and graphics, Acer will pre-install its NitroSense software.
As for connectivity, everything looks pretty standard on the Nitro 5: a 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A connector, two USB 2.0 headers, a GbE port, an HDMI output and an SD card reader. The audio sub-system of the Acer Nitro 5 is comprised of a TRRS connector, stereo speakers as well as Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby Audio Premium software enhancements.
|Acer Nitro 5 Laptops at a Glance|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen Mobile with up to four cores|
|Discrete||AMD Radeon RX560 (Polaris) (select SKUs only)|
|RAM||Capacity||up to 32 GB|
|Type||DDR4 (frequency unknown)|
|Storage||up to 512 GB SSD|
|Wi-Fi||802.11ac Wi-Fi module (unknown vendor)|
|USB||1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
2 × USB 2.0 Type-A
1 × USB 3.0 Type-C
|Other I/O||HDMI 2.0a, webcam, TRRS connector for audio, speakers, microphone, SD card reader|
|Price||Starting from $799 in the U.S., €1099 in EMEA|
As reported above, the Acer Nitro 5 will be available in Europe and North America in April. In EMEA, prices of the laptop will start at €1099, whereas in the U.S. the cheapest model will retail for $799. Considering such a huge difference between prices in America and Europe, expect a significant difference in configurations as well.