Great Hardware, Decent Design, Some Caveats
21 Oct 2017 By Viki Pattanaik On flipkart.com
I am an occasional gamer and my gaming sessions do not stretch beyond a couple of hours every few days. Mostly FIFA and some times AAA titles. I code and design predominantly and for me having a capable system is paramount. The Nitro 5 Spin addresses all my concerns albeit with a few modifications of my own, which I shall address.
Build Quality - 8/10
The laptop is sturdy in all respects. Minimal screen flex, toughened keyboard area and the off placement of the CPU, RAM and GPU ensure heat stays away from the typing area of the keyboard. Even the metallic ascents on all the sides and the metal like finishing of the top panel gives it an amazing feel. What I don't like is the way the speakers and exhaust line up against the bottom of the screen, thus heating that area up occasionally. Also, I open up every laptop I buy to find out the internal upgrades possible.
Unfortunately, this laptop doesn't offer much upgrade capabilities as you can only swap out the HDD for a SSD. The RAM is soldered into the motherboard under the CPU area so no upgrades there either.
Keyboard and Mouse - 9/10
The touchpad and keyboard placement is spot on. Full sized keyboard though corners have been cut to accomodate all the keys. Keyboard has backlighting that has to be switched on every time one boots up but it is intelligent in that it shuts off if you aren't using the keyboard for long and comes back on first key press. As for the touchpad, it has a tiny fingerprint sensor to the top left that works well (not with the included HDD though). As for the functionality, I haven't had any issues thus far.
Battery Life - 5/10
Acer be honest with battery life expectations. Don't mislead customers saying it gives 10 hours backup. I wasn't expecting 10 hours at all but at least a solid 4 to 5 hours considering the hardware it packs but my best efforts have managed to bring the life to just under 4 hours with pure coding.
Gaming - 7/10
The laptop uses a space saving design and because of this it packs in too many components too close together. The fan and exhaust setup is decent but because of the compact nature of this laptop, expect serious heating after six months if you predominantly game on your device. I don't game so often so for me the compactness wins out over the gaming capabilities. Make no mistake, this laptop is a beast with its configuration, except for the poor HDD performance but, don't treat it as a gaming rig or you are going to need a replacement real soon!
Hardware - 7/10
I have deducted points for the soldered RAM and the underoptimized HDD. First bootup and installation was too long and every subsequent bootup is just unbearable. For a coder and designer, speed is everything and the HDD is pathetic! Thankfully, I have a Samsung 850 Pro 250GB SSD that I could clone and use on this laptop. The performance boost is just phenomenal! Laptop now starts in less than 10 seconds, shutsdown in half the time and everything works amazing.
The fingerprint sensor doesn't do a good job when used with the included HDD because the HDD is the biggest bottleneck on this device. With an SSD, it works like my iPhone's fingerprint sensor.
Display - 7/10
Please note that I compare my laptop's display with a 99% RGBA monitor I use at home. The laptop display has decent viewing angles and good brightness for indoor usage but isn't great outdoors. The brightness could have been at least 50nits higher for my liking. As for color reproduction, it is decent at this price range though not spectacular for designers. Gaming looks good and the touchscreen works perfectly.
>The lid shuts tight thanks to two magnets inside the chassis and doesn't come undone when flipped over. I like the way the laptop feels solid with the lid closed, gives me the feeling that this will last a really long time.
> As for the connection ports, I don't really have much to say, placement of ports are good with USB 3.0 and type C ports to the left side and hence away from the mouse side (left handed users will suffer).
> Sound isn't something that I wish to comment on because no laptop speakers can ever match a good portable speaker. Nevertheless, they are loud and clear. The subwoofer on this isn't audible enough, so you won't really know it exists.
> Acer currently offers a single year warranty and as far as I can tell, they aren't easy to ask for an upgrade on the warranty.
Who Should Buy It?
> If you don't game for a living, but occasionally like gaming, this is a good choice.
> If you have a spare SSD to swap out with this particular model.
> If you want a powerful workstation that is light.
> If you can find this laptop at less than 60k in India.
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Can be tweaked to keep it cool and running like a beast.
09 Mar 2018 By Yogesh D On flipkart.com
The cooling solution is not ideal, so the full potential of GTX 1050 is not unleashed in most games.
A few things to note:
1. This does not have SODIMM sticks, so no RAM upgrade is possible, RAM is soldered to the motherboard.
2. It has an M.2 NVME slot, you can buy an nvme M.2 SSD like Samsung evo 960 and install it yourself, very straightforward. The port is just below the fans.
3. It comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016 preinstalled, once you connect to internet and login to microsoft account in office the office suit will get activated.
The CPU can be made to work more efficiently with a little bit of tuning. Download the intel extreme tuning utility from intel and undervolt the CPU to around -90mv (860mv static) and increase the max turbo boost power to 25W. This will ensure that the CPU remains cool even under sustained full turbo boost to 3.4 GHz with 100% utilisation, I have got cinebench scores as high as 734 multi threaded.
You could undervolt the GPU as well and repaste the GPU & CPU, that is if you can unscrew the damned heatsink on this MB.
Download MSI afterburner and reduce the max core clocks by about 200MHz, you will see reduced temps. (MSI afterburner is very restricted because of the lock down by acer)
Acer should include the pen by default with this otherwise beautiful machine.
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