Gaming Laptop: Acer Nitro 5 2019 vs 2018

First, let’s cover the differences in specs between the two units we’ve tested with. The older 2018 model has an 8th gen Intel i7-8750H CPU, while the newer 2019 model has the 9th gen i7-9750H CPU. The older model has a GTX 1060, while the newer one has a GTX 1660 Ti.

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
Solid 1080p gaming and displayFHD IPS display with decent viewing angles
Cool palm rest even under sustained loadGeForce GTX 1050 Ti option
Can run Fortnite, Apex, PUBG etc easilyDecent display
Audio quality from inbuilt speakers is good256GB SSD option bit small
Screen quality and brightness is dimFinicky touchpad

General Info

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
SeriesNitro 5Nitro 5
BrandAcerAcer
ModelGL65 LeopardAN515-51-55WL
Weight2.3 Kg2.69 Kg
OSWindows 10 Home BasicWindows 10 Home Basic
Display15.6 Inch15.6 Inch
TypeLaptopLaptop

On top both have plastic lids, the older 2018 model has this sort of carbon fibre texture over the whole thing while the newer 2019 model is mostly smooth with a grooved triangular pattern on the sides. Inside both are black, though the older 2018 model has a carbon fibre sort of pattern on it, however, it’s not textured like the lid, just smooth. The newer model is just all matte black and looks a little cleaner, and both have plenty of red accenting.

The build quality of both seemed fine for machines mostly made of plastic, we’d have a hard time picking one over the other in that regard. The new model is also a fair bit lighter, both by itself and when combined with the 180-watt power bricks and cables for charging it’s around 260g less. As for size differences, the newer 2019 model is noticeably smaller in every dimension, and this allows it to have significantly thinner screen bezels compared to the old chunkier design of the older 2018 version.

Display

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
Display TypeLEDLED
Display Size15.6 Inches15.6 Inches
Display Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixels1920 x 1080 Pixels
Display TouchscreenNoNo
ColourBlackBlack

The screen in the new model was better in most ways, it had both a higher color gamut and was brighter, while the contrast ratio was just slightly higher from the older 2018 model. Both of my Nitro 5’s have the 60Hz screen, so expect different results from the 144Hz option. In terms of backlight bleed, there was a little more with the newer 2019 model, or at least it was just a bit more patchy, but we had no problems with either during normal use, and this will vary between laptop and panel anyway.

Specification

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
Processor NameIntel Core i5-9300H (9th Gen)Intel Core i7-7300HQ (7th Gen)
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650tiNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650ti
Dimensions357 x 248 x 28  mm390.00 x 266.00 x 26.75
RAM8 GB DDR4 RAM8 GB DDR4 RAM
Storage512 SSD256 SSD

Both laptops came to me in a single channel, however, we’ve installed the same 16gb dual channel kit in both for testing. As for storage, the old model has a 256gb M.2 SATA SSD, while the new one has a 512gb M.2 NVMe SSD, but storage options will vary.

Performance

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
Clockspeed4.1 Ghz2.5 Ghz
Graphic ProcessorGeForceGeForce
ProcessorGTX 1650tiGTX 1650

Multimedia

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
Web-cam720p HD Webcam720p FHD Webcam
SpeakersDual SpeakersDual Speakers
Microphone JackYesYes
Wireless Lan802.11 a/b/g/n/ac802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetoothv4.2v4.1
Memory SlotsYesYes
HDMI PortsYesYes
Ethernet PortsYesYes

Battery

Acer Nitro 5 2019Acer Nitro 5 2018
Battery Cell6 Cell4 Cell
Battery TypeLi-IonLi-Ion
Power Supply135 W AC Adapter W135 W AC Adapter W
Battery LifeUpto 11 hoursUpto 8.5 hours

Which is better!

Overall the new 2019 model of the Acer Nitro 5 has some nice improvements when compared to the older 2018 model, it’s better in most aspects. The 2019 model is smaller in every dimension, giving it less chunky screen bezels, it weighs less, and performs noticeably better in games. The screen quality is better so everything just looks nicer with the newer version, and for the most part, the newer one also had better battery life.

The new model also has slightly upgraded cooling with an additional air exhaust vent on the side, and it’s also got room for two M.2 slots whereas the older model just has one. The older model does however let you more conveniently access the 2.5” drive bay and memory slots without having to remove the whole bottom panel.

In terms of temperatures, the newer Nitro 5 did run cooler, well at least on the CPU. Both hit thermal throttling out of the box however raising the fan speed with the new one was enough to remove this while the older one continued thermal throttling even with a cooling pad and while undervolted. Despite this, though we think the older one is still a very capable machine, if we had one we’d probably hold onto it for now. If you’re buying today we believe it’s worth paying the extra for the newer Nitro 5, there are plenty of improvements. however, for the right price, the older Nitro 5 is still offering a great gaming experience.

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