In April, Acer already refreshed its gaming portfolio of laptops and introduced some new models. One of them was the Nitro 7, a new series in the Nitro gaming laptop family, which is intended to offer the casual gamers a better gaming experience than the Nitro 5.
This new model is characterized by a slightly optimized design, narrow display bezels and a metal-coated housing, which makes it stand out from its siblings. Does the Nitro 7 with the latest 9th generation Intel Core CPU and the integrated GeForce GTX GPU of the 16 series from Nvidia offer good value for money? Let's find out.
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-76LS) design
The Acer Nitro 7 has no striking design, which we like very much. The monolithic construction looks chic and the black paint does not easily stain. The lid is covered with an aluminum layer, which provides additional protection for the display. We noticed some bends in the lid, but nothing caused the display to warp. You will not receive any backlit logos or RGB LEDs. Instead, there are some simple shiny diagonal stripes on the lid. The dual hinge design feels robust and the display can reach up to 170 degrees to the outside.
The 15.6-inch IPS display offers a Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. The model we tested also has the ComfyView display function from Acer, ie it has via a matte anti-reflective treatment that should be less distracting when playing. We found the brightness for the indoor area more than sufficient. The Nitro 7 also has narrow bezels on the left and right of the display, but slightly thicker at the top and bottom. We don't mind that because the webcam is in its traditional position above the display.
The metal coating extends to the palm rest, which reinforces the first-class feeling when using this laptop. The chiclet-style keyboard keys are well spaced and have good travel, making them responsive to typing. They are also not very loud, which we liked. Acer has managed to press in a number pad, which means that the rest of the buttons and trackpad are not in the middle. It took us a while to get used to this position before we could type comfortably at our normal pace. The buttons have a red backlight with four brightness levels. Some keys, such as the WASD and direction keys, are outlined in red to make them stand out from the rest.
For connectivity, the Nitro 7 offers a decent selection of ports. You will receive three USB ports of type A (2x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0) and one USB port of type C (USB 3.1 Gen1). There is also HDMI 2.0, a Gigabit Ethernet connection, a combined microphone and headphone connection and a charging connection. The Nitro 7 also has two LEDs on the right that indicate the power and charging status. There are no ports on the back of the laptop, as there are only trapezoidal exhaust openings. Surprisingly, there is no SD card slot, not even a microSD slot.
The bottom has more vents and a few thick rubber feet for the handle, which raise the laptop for better air circulation. The Nitro 7 does not provide easy access to memory and memory. You must therefore remove the entire base that is held in place by the Philips screws.
Overall, the Acer Nitro 7 has a cool, understated look, which means you might be able to get it to a work place without attracting too much attention. At its thinnest point it measures around 19 mm, but is heavier at 2.5 kg. Fortunately, for a 15.6-inch laptop, it's relatively compact, and it wasn't a problem for us to pack it in a backpack. According to the Acer India website, the Nitro 7 comes with a one-year guarantee for international travelers. In the box you will receive a 180W adapter and an instruction manual.
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-76LS) specifications and software
The Acer Nitro 7 is available in many configurations in India and we have the top end variant. This includes an Intel Core i7-9750H hexa-core CPU with HyperThreading, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB SSD storage (2x 512 GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0) and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6 GB of GDDR6 RAM. The laptop has a second free RAM slot, so you can double the amount it comes with. Acer also has several variants in India that have a combination of an SSD and a mechanical drive. Our device didn't have a 2.5-inch hard drive slot, so you can add a mechanical drive or other SSD for more storage.
Other technical specifications include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit Ethernet with a Killer Networks controller and an HD webcam. The image quality of the camera is decent indoors and in ambient lighting, but not particularly good. The notebook also has a 4-cell battery with 55 Wh, which according to Acer should achieve a maximum battery life of 7 hours.
The notebook is also equipped with Acer's CoolBoost technology, which is intended to increase the fan speed by 10 percent compared to Auto mode. This can be turned on or off using Acer's NitroSense software. There is even a special key in the number pad area of the keyboard to start this program. The software looks good and shows the fan speeds and temperatures of the CPU and GPU. You can force the fans to run at maximum speed or set a custom speed for each fan. You even get shortcuts to launch Nvidia's GeForce Experience software and switch audio presets with Acer's TrueHarmony tool.
Acer Nitro 7 also offers the usual first-party apps like Care Center to keep the drivers up to date, as well as full versions of software like PhotoDirector and PowerDirector from Cyberlink.
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-76LS) performance and battery life
The Acer Nitro 7 ran very well for everyday use. Windows 10 was quick to boot, apps loaded quickly and the 144 Hz refresh rate made everything look snappy and fluid. The display continued to run at 144 Hz on battery power, but you can change this manually to 60 Hz in the display settings if necessary. The display panel provided good colors and the brightness was more than sufficient for indoor use. We often set the brightness level to around 40 percent, which was comfortable for work and play.
The Nitro 7 also ran quietly and didn't get too hot if we didn't do anything intense. The use of apps such as a video editor made the exhaust fans louder, but for simple apps and the use of the Internet, they behaved like any other slim and light laptop.
If we have to put it through its paces, it did not disappoint. The top-end specification we tested delivered a very enjoyable gaming experience. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti offers very good gaming performance at 1080p and even with some demanding titles had no problems controlling the display with a higher refresh rate. We tried some older games, such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which delivers a solid 56.8 fps with the graphics default "High" and DX12. Crossing the demon-lined streets of Kadingir Sanctum in Doom was a breeze as the Nitro 7 achieved an average of 78 fps with graphics turned to "Ultra".
The newer Shadow of The Tomb Raider also ran well and reached an average of 58 frames per second at full speed. In Far Cry 5, the Nitro 7 averaged 61 fps with the default Ultra graphics. Last but not least, Battlefield V went well with an average of 64 fps in the ultra preset. The exhaust fans were audible under load, which was sometimes a bit annoying. We therefore recommend wearing headphones while playing. The area above the keyboard got quite warm, but the keys themselves didn't.
The Nitro 7 also showed some good numbers in synthetic tests. In the benchmark suites Standard, Extended and Express from PCMark 10, 4,237, 5,570 and 4,627 points were awarded. In Cinebench R20, we received a single core score of 435 points, while the multi-core score was 2,254 points. SiSoft Sandra's file system benchmark was particularly impressive. We have a 3.15 Gbps sequential read bandwidth, which is one of the highest we've seen from a laptop for some time. The random read and write bandwidth was also in the gigabit per second range.
In addition to games, the Nitro 7 can also be used as a good multimedia laptop. The stereo speakers are loud and the sound signature can be adjusted using the Waves MaxxAudio program. The dialogues are generally clear and the treble doesn't sound thin, but the bass could be much better.
Although Acer requires a battery life of up to 7 hours with the top-end model, we realistically managed about 4-5 hours of non-stop operation with a single charge. Remember that this was the case with relatively little usage, which was mostly done with the Firefox browser. We had set the screen brightness to around 40 percent and the keyboard backlight to the lowest level. The discrete Nvidia GPU was inactive during this time because no graphics-intensive apps were running. We also ran the Battery Eater Pro benchmark, which ran for 1 hour and 49 minutes, which is not terrible but could have been better.
The Acer Nitro 7 offers a number of features for the price
The Nitro 7 is a very nice addition to Acer's casual gaming notebooks. However, since it is a higher premium offer than the Nitro 5, it is associated with a premium offer. Prices start at Rs. 84,999, and the fully equipped unit we had carries a retail price of Rs. 1,54,999. This is a bit too expensive, since you can find so many laptops with GeForce graphics processors from the RTX series. Fortunately, Acer's end-user pricing is much more competitive. If you look at the recently launched company e-store, this exact variant (AN715-51-76LS) is currently available for US dollars. 1,12,999.
The lack of an SD card slot is our only problem with the Acer Nitro 7. Overall, it's relatively compact, but still a bit difficult to transport. The overall gaming performance is good, the display with a high refresh rate looks good, there are many options for expanding the memory and the keyboard is comfortable. The metal cover over the case gives the laptop a first-class feel and makes it one of the most elegant gaming laptops in its price segment.