Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 Review

7.8 Total Score
OUR VERDICT

The Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 is a budget gaming laptop with an Intel Core i7 chip and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU with good build quality overall.

PROS
  • Great gaming performance for the price
  • DLSS boosts gaming performance
  • Plenty of connectivity
CONS
  • Restrictive bundled software
  • Cheap feeling trackpad

Shopping for the best gaming laptop in the sub-$1000 category is never easy, and it keeps getting tricky. It’s all about give and take for an affordable price, but you end up sacrificing game performance. The Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 is one such laptop that has a fair share of positives for its price tag. While it isn’t the most powerful gaming laptop, its gaming performance remains intact and the build quality is surprisingly good.

Though the Acer Nitro V starts at well under $1000, our review unit boasts pretty quality specs for a gaming laptop this cheap. It uses a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13620H processor clocked at 2.4GHz. It also features Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4050 GPU with 6GB of RAM and 16GB RAM. Once again. It’s not the prettiest laptop, of course, the Nitro V isn’t trying to outdo the Alienware m16 R2, but it gets the job done well.

Think of the Nitro V as a well-built machine with good gaming hardware that can be had at a great price. And that’s what matters when shopping in the sub-$1000 gaming laptop category.

About the Acer Nitro V

Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 Review screen

The Acer Nitro V comes in a few different configuration options, including a choice between AMD and Intel processors. All models use a 15.6-inch FHD IPS 144Hz screen, though higher-end versions have a higher-resolution 2560 x 1600 display. Our review unit has an Intel Core i7-13620H processor and GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, though higher-end models are available with a Ryzen 7 chip and up to GTX 4070 GPUs.

No matter the configuration you choose, models are available in Obsidian Black or Black.

Acer Nitro V Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-13620H
  • Memory: 16GB LPDDR5
  • Graphics/GPU: Nvidia RTX 4050 6GB
  • Display: 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 144Hz
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Connectivity:  1x HDMI, 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
  • Networking: WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Biometrics: None
  • Battery capacity: 57 watt-hours
  • Dimensions: 14.3 x 9.4 x 1.06 inches
  • Weight: 4.66 pounds

What We Like

Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 Review ports copy

Great performance for the price

While the 10-core (6-performance cores, 4- efficient cores) Intel Core i7-13620H CPU and Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU aren’t slowpoles, they aren’t up to par with the kind of hardware you’d expect to see in a higher-end gaming laptop like the Asus ROG Strix G16. That said, they can deliver some surprising performance, both in gaming and in benchmark scenarios.

Running Cyberpunk 2077 on Ultra graphics settings at 1080p results in an average frame rate of 51 frames per second (fps). When ray tracing and DLSS are turned off, Cyberpunk 2077 improves hovering around 63 FPS when playing mostly high settings.

Aside from Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is yet another game that’s unforgiving to graphics cards. With settings set to high, the game plays at an average of 70 FPS. When playing older titles like Metro Exodus Enhanced and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Nitro V averages 60 FPS on high settings and 73 FPS on medium settings, respectively.

The only thing you’ll find limiting is NitroSense which often forces you to lower settings or wait when attempting to play graphically demanding games. For instance, when you want to play Fortnite, with settings set to high with DLSS, you’ll be locked onto the balanced power plan, making the game run slowly. Lowering the settings doesn’t help either, in fact, the fluctuations in framerate are so drastic that you might have to exit the game.

The idea of locking performance mode until reaching 40% is terrible. Manufacturers shouldn’t throttle performance without a means of overriding the command as it undermines the customers’ desire to do with the hardware as they please. Beyond that, the machine handles 1080p games fluently, something you’re not getting in most sub-$1000 gaming laptops.

Bright display, with a fast refresh rate

The 144Hz refresh rate on the Acer ANV15-51-73B9’s 16:9 FHD display is one of the compelling reasons to spend your money on this laptop. We’ve reviewed notebooks with 165Hz refresh rates or higher, and 16:10 aspect ratios, but 144Hz is pretty fast to deliver immersive gameplay, and it’s something considered a gold standard in the midrange category.

That said, the Nitro V’s 144Hz refresh rate has little use when it comes to productivity. This is 100% gaming-focused, and along with support for Nvidia G-Sync, it means that games incrementally look great, whether you’re running an old favorite or a blazing modern hit.

Granted the panel isn’t overly bright, maxing at 250nits, but it’s not easy to tell the difference unless you have a color monitor handy or another monitor with higher brightness to compare with.

The Acer Nitro 16 (2023 model) comes with a much brighter monitor (400 nits brightness), but it costs way above what you’re paying for this entry-level gaming laptop. This won’t have an impact on the games you play, but it will affect color-accurate creative work such as video and photo editing, graphic design, and other visual content.

Nice design with lots of ports

The Nitro V isn’t a drop-gorgeous laptop, like, let’s say, the Dell Alienware M15 R6, but it has a few design flourishes on the top lid that make it a little charming. The abstract grey color theme with blue streaks gives the laptop some aura of sophistication, and the lack of LED lighting ensures that it doesn’t scream gamer to the public.

It’s a smart choice for a gaming laptop as you can take it anywhere: it won’t look out of place at the office, the coffee shop, or the library. You’ll appreciate the compact size, and while it’s smaller than most gaming laptops, cooling is implemented correctly.

Plus, it has a generous amount of ports for its size and price: three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a single HDMI port. Most of these ports are located on the right side, with only a single USB-A port and the audio jack on the right side. Practically, an additional USB-C port on the right side would have been nice, but it isn’t a deal breaker.

What We Don’t Like

Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 Review lid copy

Annoying bundled software

On the Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9, NitroSense controls the fans and power modes. This software is similar to other options like Asus’ Armoury Crate, and it can be pretty useful. It lets you choose between three modes, Quiet, Balanced, and Performance; with Quiet mode allowing you to use the laptop silently at the cost of performance. This is fine if you don’t want to cause any disturbance.

On the other hand, it’s not possible to play most games in balanced mode, but you can surf the web and handle productivity tasks such as writing or working with spreadsheets. Performance mode overclocks the CPU and GPU, giving you the most performance, and also pushes the fans to the maximum, resulting in an intermittent roaring sound.

Gaming laptops are generally loud, but NitroSense exaggerates things here, and it’s more reasons most people hate this software. Again, performance mode can only be used once the battery is at 40% or higher. So, if you’re low on charge and decide to play Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll either have to top up some juice or experience terrible framerates on balanced mode.

Should you buy the Acer Nitro V?

Yes, the Nitro V delivers good gaming performance for the price.

With the Nitro V, Acer is offering a good-budget gaming laptop that delivers where it matters most: game performance. It runs most modern titles at over 60 FPS at 1080p, though you’ll need to turn image quality down a little in the most demanding titles like Fortnite and Cyberpunk 2077. The Intel Core i7-13620H processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and RTX 4050 GPU are impressive, but the battery is mediocre, the same is true for most sub-$1000 laptops, however.

The areas where the laptop does falter are easier to deal with than some alternatives, like the thin sound you can get a pair of better-sounding headphones. It’s not terrible, but it’s not particularly great either. For around the same price, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 looks like fantastic value overall, but if you’re on a tight budget, the Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 will save you some money.

Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 Review
Acer Nitro V ANV15-51-73B9 Review
$849.99
Digital Weekly
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