Acer Nitro 7 Review
Acer refreshed its laptop gaming portfolio back in April and introduced a few new models as well. One of them was the Acer Nitro 7, a new series in the Nitro gaming laptop family intended to provide the casual gaming crowd with a more premium experience than the Nitro 5.
The new model features a slightly tweaked design, narrow bezels on display, and a metal-covered frame that makes it stand out from its sibling. Does the Nitro 7 offer good bang for the buck with the latest Intel 9th generation Core CPU and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 16 series GPU on board? We’re going to find out.
Acer Nitro 7 Design
The Acer Nitro 7 has no flashy style, which we really like. The monolithic structure looks slick and not very easily removes smudges from the black paint job. The cover has an aluminum coating, providing some additional protection for the show. We found some flex in the lid but nothing that began the warping of the show. You don’t get any RGB LEDs or backlit logos; instead, the lid has some plain glossy diagonal stripes. The dual-hinge design feels sturdy and the monitor will stretch outward to about 170 degrees.
The IPS monitor has a full-HD (1920×1080) resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz. The model we are testing also has the display feature of Acer’s ComfyView, which is to say it has a matte anti-reflective treatment that should be less distracting when playing. We found that the brightness for indoor use was more than sufficient. Also on the left and right of the board, the Acer Nitro 7 has slim bezels, but slightly thicker bezels on top and bottom. We don’t mind this because it means that the webcam is above the monitor in its traditional position.
The metal layering extends to the palmrest section, contributing to the luxury feeling of using this laptop The keyboard keys in the chiclet style are well spaced and have good movement, making them sensitive to typing. We are also not very loud, which we appreciated. In a number pad, Acer has managed to squeeze because of which the remaining keys and trackpad are off-center. It took a while before we could comfortably type at our regular pace to get used to this positioning. The keys have red backlight with four brightness levels. Many keys like the WASD and the direction buttons have red boundaries to differentiate them from the others.
The Acer Nitro 7 provides a decent selection of ports for connectivity. Three full size USB Type-A ports (2x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0) and a USB Type-C port (USB 3.1 Gen1) are available. HDMI 2.0, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a combo port for microphones and headphones, and a charging port are also available. For power and charging status, the Nitro 7 also has two LEDs on the right. At the back of the laptop, there are no ports that only feature trapezoidal exhaust vents. Surprisingly, there is no space for the SD card, not even one for the microSD.
The bottom has more vents for grip and a bunch of thick rubber feet, which also elevates the laptop for improved movement of air. The Nitro 7 does not provide easy access to the RAM and storage, so you’re going to have to remove the entire base that Philips screws keep in place.
Overall, the Acer Nitro 7 has a sleek, understated look that means you can potentially bring it to a workplace without attracting too much attention. It measures around 19 mm in thickness at its thinest level, but at 2.5 kg it is on the heavier side. Luckily, it’s relatively compact for a 15.6-inch laptop, so we didn’t have any trouble getting it into a backpack. The Nitro 7 comes with a1-year warranty for international travelers, according to the website of Acer. You get an 180W adapter and a manual for the user in the box.
Specifications and Software
The Acer Nitro 7 is available in many configurations, and the top-end version is the one we have. It includes an Intel Core i7-9750H hexa-core CPU with HyperThreading, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage (2x 512 GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0), and a 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 ships with. For India, Acer also has some models that combine an SSD with a mechanical drive. The 2.5-inch hard drive slot was unused on our device, so for further storage space you could add a mechanical drive or another SSD.
Certain features include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit Ethernet and an HD webcam. Under indoor ambient lighting, the camera’s image quality is good but not amazing. The laptop also sports a 4-cell, 55WHr battery that should be able to deliver a full battery life of 7 hours, according to Acer.
The laptop also boasts CoolBoost technology from Acer, which is said to increase fan speed by 10% compared to Auto mode. This can be turned on or off through NitroSense software from Acer. In the keyboard’s Number pad field, there is even a dedicated button to activate this software. The software looks sleek and shows you the CPU and GPU fan speeds and temperatures. You may push the fans to turn at the maximum speed of each fan or set a custom speed. You will even get shortcuts to open the GeForce Experience app from Nvidia and switch between audio presets via the TrueHarmony tool from Acer.
The Acer Nitro 7 also sports the normal collection of first-party apps like Care Center to keep drivers up-to-date and complete software versions like PhotoDirector and PowerDirector from Cyberlink.
Acer Nitro 7 Performance and Battery life
The Acer Nitro 7 ran very well for everyday use. Windows 10 was fast booting, apps easily loaded, and the refresh rate of 144Hz made it all feel snappy and smooth. The monitor continued to run at 144Hz by default on battery power, but in the display settings, if necessary, you can manually change this to 60Hz. The display panel produced good colors and for indoor use the brightness was more than adequate. We also found ourselves adjusting the level of brightness to around 40%, which was convenient for work and gaming.
The Acer Nitro 7 always ran quiet, and when we didn’t do anything intense, it didn’t get too hot. Running applications like a video editor made the exhaust fans rev up to make them audible, but it worked like any other slim-and-light laptop for easy apps and Internet use. It wasn’t disappointing when we need to put it through its paces. The top-end spec we tested offered a very good gaming experience. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti offers very good gaming performance at 1080p and even in some demanding titles had no difficulty driving the higher refresh rate display.We tested some older games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, with the’ Ultra’ graphics preset and DX12 returning a good 56.8fps. Running through the Kadingir Sanctum in Doom’s demon-infested alleys was a cakewalk, as the Nitro 7 ranged about 78fps with graphics cranked to’ Ultra.
In synthetic tests, the Acer Nitro 7 also posted some good numbers. In PCMark 10’s Standard, Extended, and Express benchmark sets, we got scores of 4,237, 5,570, and 4,627. We had a single-core score of 435 points in Cinebench R20, whereas the multi-core score was 2,254 points. The test of SiSoft Sandra’s file system was particularly impressive. We’ve got a sequential 3.15GBps read bandwidth, one of the best we’ve seen from a laptop in a while. Also in the Gigabit-per-second range was the available read and write bandwidth.
The Acer Nitro 7 also acts as a decent multimedia laptop in addition to sports. The stereo speakers are decently loud, and through the Waves MaxxAudio system the sound signature can be tweaked. Dialogs are usually clear and the heights don’t sound tinny, but the bass might be much better.
Although Acer claims battery life up to 7 hours, we managed about 4-5 hours of non-stop use on a single charge with the top-end model we had. Keep in mind that this was relatively light use, mainly involving operating within the browser of Firefox. We had about 40 percent of the screen brightness and the backlight of the keyboard set at the lowest level. During this time, the discreet Nvidia GPU was inactive as we didn’t run any graphics-heavy apps. We also tested the test for the Battery Eater Pro and it ran for 1 hour and 49 minutes, which is not bad but could have been better.
The Acer Nitro 7 is a very nice addition to Acer’s laptop range of casual gaming. Nonetheless, it bears a premium because it is priced as a more premium option than the Nitro 5.
Our only major gripe with the Acer Nitro 7 is the lack of an SD card slot. The overall size is relatively compact, but still a bit heavy to bring around. Overall gaming performance is strong, the high refresh rate monitor looks great, there are plenty of storage options available and the keyboard is comfortable. The metal covering over the body also gives a luxurious feel to this device, making it one of the price segment’s most polished gaming laptops.
- Sturdy body, stealthy looks
- Impressive SSD performance
- Bright 144Hz display
- Comfortable keyboard
- Good gaming performance
- No SD card slot
- Battery life could be better
- Fans can get noisy under load