LAS 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
  AN515-42
Display Diagonal 15.6"
Resolution 1920×1080
Type IPS
CPU AMD Ryzen Mobile with up to four cores
Graphics Integrated AMD Vega
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)
Bluetooth 4.x
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.

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Source: Acer

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  • jordanclock - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - link

    Any word on if the iGPU and dGPU can run in Hybrid Crossfire? Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - link

    Shouldn't be able to, different architectures. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - link

    Only with DX12's explicit multi adapter or similar technologies (don't know if Vulkan has this as well). Reply
  • Darksurf - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    Yes, Vulkan was where this support concept originally came from. In have it came from Mantle which is what vulkan is derived from. Reply
  • Darksurf - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    Stupid phone.
    *It originally* came from Mantle
    Reply
  • vishnumrao - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - link

    The resolution is disappointing.

    Many years ago, when Intel's laptops were all 1920x1080, AMD's were all stuck at 1366x768. Now most of Intel laptops are 4K / 3840 × 2160 (or moving), AMD's are at 1920x1080.

    A lot of people are going to argue 1920x1080 is plenty. But this is a gaming laptop. 4K is a necessity.
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - link

    a) 1080p is not a necessity
    b) This is a gaming laptop. Given the specs you'd probably want to run it at 1080p, so you can get a good frame rate.
    c) This is a budget gaming laptop and 1080p displays are cheaper.
    Reply
  • MattMe - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - link

    I think you meant "a) 4k is not a necessity".

    Otherwise, yes, totally agree with you.
    Reply
  • Macpoedel - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    This is not about the processor but about the price range, the vast majority of laptops in this price range has a 1080p display, most 4K laptops cost 50 to 100% more (depending if you look at the EU or US price) than this one.

    On the one hand I think you're right, we're still waiting for a premium AMD powered laptop. Considering previous Acer Nitro models I'm pretty sure this one will have a very plasticky feel to it and the design is also a little too "edgy". But on the other hand a 1080p 15,6" display has about the same DPI as a 4K 32" monitor. That's not as sharp as 27" 4K monitor, but still it's considered to be very sharp. You (well, I) don't sit that much closer to a laptop than to a monitor, so I really don't see how FHD is a low resolution at 15". Especially considering 4K monitors use a lot more power, it can easily make a difference of more than 1h of battery life.

    And also, the only GPU truly capable of 4K gaming is the GTX 1080 Ti, the RX 560 in the Nitro 5 is just fast enough for 1080p gaming, nothing more.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    Actually at $800 start and with AMD Processor this is quite an expensive Laptop at this price. AMD Laptops are typically under $600. Reply

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