Back in April, Acer refreshed its gaming portfolio of laptops and introduced a few new models as well. One of them was the Nitro 7, a new series in the Nitro gaming laptop family, designed to offer a more premium experience than the Nitro 5 for the casual gaming crowd.
The new model comes with a slightly redesigned design, narrower display bezels and a metal-covered body, which helps it stand out from its sibling. With the latest Intel 9th-generation Core CPUs and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 16-series GPU, does the Nitro 7 deliver good bang for the buck? let’s find out.
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-76LS) Design
The Acer Nitro 7 doesn’t have an attractive design, which is something we really like. The monolithic build looks sleek, and the black paint job doesn’t attract smudges too easily. The lid has an aluminum layer, which provides some extra protection to the display. We did see some flex in the lid but nothing that damaged the display. You don’t get any backlit logos or RGB LEDs; Instead there are some simple shiny diagonal stripes on the lid. The dual-hinge design feels sturdy and the display can be tilted outwards by about 170 degrees.
The 15.6-inch IPS display has a full-HD resolution (1920×1080) and a 144Hz refresh rate. The model we’re reviewing also features Acer’s Comfy View display, which means it has a matte anti-reflective treatment that should be less distracting while gaming. We found the brightness to be more than enough for indoor use. The Nitro 7 has thinner bezels on the left and right sides of the display, but slightly thicker top and bottom. We don’t mind because it means the webcam is in its traditional position above the display.
The metal layering extends to the palmrest area, adding to the premium feel of using this laptop. The chiclet-style keyboard keys are well spaced and have good travel, which makes them responsive for typing. They aren’t too noisy either, which is something we really liked. Acer has managed to squeeze in a number pad, which causes the rest of the keys and trackpad to be off-center. It took a while to get used to this situation before we could comfortably type at our regular pace. The keys have red backlighting, with four brightness levels. Some keys, such as the WASD and direction buttons, have red borders, which makes them stand out from the rest.
For connectivity, the Nitro 7 offers a decent selection of ports. You get three full-size USB Type-A (2x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0) ports and one USB Type-C port (USB 3.1 Gen1). There’s also HDMI 2.0, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a microphone and headphone combo port, and a charging port. The Nitro 7 also has two LEDs on the right for power and charging status. There are no ports on the back of the laptop, with only trapezoidal exhaust vents. Surprisingly, there is no SD card slot, not even a microSD card.
The bottom has a bunch of thick rubber feet for more vents and grip, which also elevates the laptop for better air circulation. The Nitro 7 doesn’t offer easy access to RAM and storage, so you’ll have to remove the entire base, which is held in place by a Phillips screw.
Overall, the Acer Nitro 7 has a cool, understated look, which means you can potentially bring it into the workplace without drawing too much attention to itself. At its thinnest point, it has a thickness of about 19mm, but it’s heavy at 2.5kg. Thankfully, it’s relatively compact for a 15.6-inch laptop, and it wasn’t a hassle for us to bring it in a backpack. According to the Acer India website, the Nitro 7 comes with a 1-year International Travelers Warranty. In the box you get a 180W adapter and a user manual.
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-76LS) Specifications & Software
The Acer Nitro 7 is available in India in several configurations, and we have a top-end variant. This includes an Intel Core i7-9750H hexa-core CPU with Hyperthreading, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB of SSD storage (2x 512GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0), and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of GDDR6 RAM. The laptop has a second free RAM slot, so you can double the amount that comes with it. There are also some variants of Acer in India which have a combination of SSD and mechanical drive. On our unit, the 2.5-inch hard drive slot was unused, so you can add a mechanical drive or another SSD for more storage space.
Other specifications include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit Ethernet with Killer Network Controller, and an HD webcam. Image quality from the camera is good under indoor, ambient lighting, but not great. The laptop also packs a 4-cell, 55WHr battery which, according to Acer, should be able to deliver a maximum battery life of 7 hours.
The laptop also features Acer’s CoolBoost technology, which is said to boost fan speed by up to 10 percent compared to Auto mode. It can be turned on or off via Acer’s NitroSense software. There is also a dedicated button in the number pad area of the keyboard to launch this program. The software looks sleek, showing you the fan speed and temperature of the CPU and GPU. You can force fans to spin at their maximum speed or set a custom speed for each fan. You also get shortcuts for launching Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software and switching between audio presets via Acer’s TrueHarmony tool.
The Acer Nitro 7 also includes the usual array of first-party apps like Care Center to keep drivers up to date and full versions of software like CyberLink’s PhotoDirector and PowerDirector.
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-76LS) Performance and Battery Life
For daily use, the Acer Nitro 7 ran very well. Windows 10 was quick to boot, apps loaded quickly, and the 144Hz refresh rate made everything feel snappy and fluid. The display ran at 144Hz by default when on battery power but you can manually change it to 60Hz in the display settings if needed. The display panel produced decent colors and brightness was more than enough for indoor use. We often found ourselves setting the brightness level to around 40 percent, which was comfortable for work and gaming.
When we weren’t doing anything intense the Nitro 7 also got quiet and didn’t get too hot. Exhaust fans get louder, making them audible, using apps like a video editor, but for simple apps and Internet use, it behaves like any other slim-and-light laptop.
When we needed to speed it up, it didn’t disappoint. The top-end spec we reviewed delivered a very pleasant gaming experience. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti delivers great gaming performance at 1080p and had no trouble driving the high refresh rate display, even in some demanding titles. We tried some older games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which returned a solid 56.8fps with the ‘High’ graphics preset and the DX12. Racing through the demon-infested alleys of Kadingir Sanctuary in Doom was an easy move, as the Nitro 7 managed to average about 78 fps with the graphics cranked up to ‘Ultra’.
New Shadow of the Tomb Raider also ran well, averaging 58fps with all the bells and whistles. In Far Cry 5, the Nitro 7 averaged 61fps with the ‘Ultra’ graphics preset. Last but not least, Battlefield V also delivers an average of 64fps on the ‘Ultra’ preset. Under load, the exhaust fans were audible, and sometimes it was a bit distracting so we’d suggest wearing headphones while gaming. The area above the keyboard got quite hot but the keys themselves were not.
The Nitro 7 posted some decent numbers in synthetic tests as well. We got scores of 4,237, 5,570 and 4,627 in PCMark 10’s Standard, Extended, and Express benchmark suites. In Cinebench R20, we got a single-core score of 435 points, while the multi-core score was 2,254 points. Sisoft Sandra’s filesystem benchmark was particularly impressive. We got a sequential read bandwidth of 3.15GBps, which is one of the highest we’ve seen from a laptop in a while. Random read and write bandwidth was also in the gigabit-per-second range.
Apart from games, the Nitro 7 also serves as a good multimedia laptop. The stereo speakers are decently loud and the sound signature can be tweaked through the Waves MaxxAudio program. Dialogues are generally clear and the highs don’t sound low, but bass could be much better.
Even though Acer claims up to 7 hours of battery life, with the top-end model we had, we realistically got around 4-5 hours of non-stop use on a single charge. Keep in mind that this was with fairly light usage, consisting mostly of working within the Firefox browser. We had screen brightness at around 40 percent and keyboard backlight set to the lowest level. The discrete Nvidia GPU was idle during this time, as we weren’t running any graphics-heavy apps. We also ran the Battery Eater Pro benchmark and it lasted 1 hour 49 minutes, which isn’t terrible, but could have been better.
The Acer Nitro 7 packs in a good set of features for the price
The Nitro 7 is a great addition to Acer’s casual gaming laptop lineup. However, since it is positioned as a more premium offering than the Nitro 5, there is a premium to it. Prices start from Rs. 84,999, and the fully specified unit that we have at Rs. The retail price tag of . 1,54,999. It’s a bit pricey, as you can find almost the same number of laptops with GeForce RTX-series GPUs. Thankfully, Acer’s end-user pricing is a lot more competitive. Looking at the company’s own e-store, which was recently launched, this exact variant (AN715-51-76LS) is currently going for Rs. 1,12,999.
The lack of an SD card slot is our only major problem with the Acer Nitro 7. It is relatively compact in overall size, but still a bit heavy to carry. Overall gaming performance is good, the high-refresh-rate display looks great, there are plenty of options to expand storage, and the keyboard is comfortable. The metal casing on the body also gives a premium feel to this laptop, making it one of the more polished gaming laptops in its price segment.