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2023 Acer Nitro 16 Review

If you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, odds are you’re considering it for the one thing it’s made for — gaming on the go. Why else would you spend money on one if you’re just going to browse social media, get work done, or watch videos?

But not all gaming laptops are built the same.

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Often, the most powerful gaming laptops are big, bulky, and heavy. As a result, they’re not very portable or convenient to bring around. More importantly, they’re usually very expensive. While you can get a smaller model, this often leads to sacrificing some performance or screen size.

Today, we’re checking out a laptop that somehow manages to tick the right boxes in terms of performance, portability, and more importantly price. Meet the new 2023 Acer Nitro 16, this is one is even packing the latest 13th Gen Intel H-series laptop processor.

Is this gaming laptop the one for you? Well, I suggest you read on.

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Design and Construction

Compared to the Nitro 16’s predecessor, the Nitro 5, Acer didn’t really change much in terms of styling. Like before, the laptop is made entirely out of hard plastic, which feels very durable. Instead, the design changes are quite subtle.

Specifically, the previous all-black design of the top lid with the Acer logo has been replaced with some teal and pink accent lines. There’s also the new Nitro logo at the center, which helps distinguish this laptop from its standard Acer counterparts. However, the top lid is quite a fingerprint magnet, especially if you have sweaty hands.

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As for the rest of the laptop, it’s very much the same as the Nitro 5. You can find the charging port, along with the HDMI at the back. But for 2023, the Nitro 16 now comes with a Thunderbolt 4 port along with an additional USB-C port.

On the left, you’ll find a LAN port, USB-A, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Meanwhile, on the right, there are two additional USB-A ports. With that, there are a lot of ports available for users to choose from should they need to plug in USBs or even more. In addition, you even get a webcam at the top of the screen for those Zoom calls or conferences.

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A nice keyboard is a must-have for any gaming laptop. On the Nitro 16, the keyboard is reasonably good, but I do find the keys a bit too soft for my liking. There is good feedback though, and it’s quite comfortable when you’re using it for extended periods of time.

Interestingly, Acer decided to squeeze a numpad into the Nitro 16, giving it a full-size keyboard despite being a 16-inch laptop. Because of this, it does feel a bit awkward when using the keyboards at first. Specifically, I ended up hitting some keys accidentally due to the layout.

It takes a while, but after some time I did get the hang of the keyboard of the Nitro 16. While I personally didn’t use it, having a numpad is perfect for those that need to use one quite often.

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As for the trackpad, it’s great. It has a nice surface, and it easily tracks my fingers quite accurately. The position is also shifted to the left to match the keyboard’s layout.

Overall, the Acer Nitro 16 is relatively compact and easy to bring around when you’re going on trips abroad or out of your house. Since it only measures 16 inches, you can easily fit it into most laptop bags without any issue. For its size, it is quite heavy though weighing in at 6.17 lbs so do consider that.

 Acer Nitro 16

Display and Multimedia

As you would expect from a gaming laptop, you do get a nice 16-inch screen with 16:10 resolution. Our review unit only has 1080P resolution, but it does have a very fast 165Hz refresh rate. Thanks to the high refresh rate, every animation looks very smooth, and it is quite noticeable even when moving the cursor around the menu.

This makes the screen perfect even when you’re just watching videos or playing games, but I’ll talk more about the gaming part later on in this review. As for the speakers, the Nitro 16 has four. They speakers are loud and the mids are clear but I do find it lacking a bit of bass for my liking. Then again, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack for audiophiles.

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What surprised me were the colors of the screen. The Nitro 16 uses an IPS panel, which as you know isn’t popular for having great colors as compared to an OLED display. But colors are quite accurate, and you get relatively deep blacks out of the box.

I tried editing some photos on this laptop, and they turned out okay. The colors were relatively close to my usual rig, even without adjusting the display. This is something content creators, like myself, will definitely enjoy.

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Performance and Benchmarks

Perhaps one of the biggest upgrades Acer made to the 2023 Nitro 16 can be found under the hood. This laptop is equipped with the latest 13th Gen Intel H-series laptop processor. Our review unit runs a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H 2.40 GHz processor together with 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 1TB of storage.

Interestingly, it’s paired with an NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPU rather than the newer NVIDIA RTX 4000 series GPUs. While it is an older GPU, the laptop performs both daily tasks and gaming duties really well. Do note that our review unit is also an engineering test bench.

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From my experience, the laptop did very well. For our review, I used the Acer Nitro 16 to go about my daily routine which includes writing scripts, editing photos, watching videos, and of course, playing games.

I could easily run Lightroom, Photoshop, several tabs of Google Chrome, and even listen to music on Spotify all at the same time. Despite all of the apps running at the same time, I did not experience the laptop slowing down. More importantly, it rendered high-resolution photos from Lightroom rather fast too.

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So it’s great for getting work done, especially if you’re a content creator or someone that does a lot all at once. But this is a gaming laptop after all, so how does it perform in that aspect?

Not surprisingly, it performed really well. It runs Honkai: Star Rail with ease even with all the settings maxed out. There were no framerate drops whatsoever even when we were going around the Herta Space Station.

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What impressed me more is when I was playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2. I set the settings to what the game recommended, and I was averaging around 130-140 FPS constantly in the game, which is very important for fast-paced, first-person shooters.

But to give you a better idea of how the Acer Nitro 16 performs, you can check our benchmark scores below.

3DMark Graphics Score: 5753
3DMark CPU Score: 13694
3DMark Time Spy Score: 6301
CrossMark Overall Score: 1868
CrossMark Productivity: 1749
CrossMark Creativity: 2004
CrossMark Responsiveness: 1845
Geekbench 6 Single-Core: 2343
Geekbench 6 Multi-Core: 13230
Geekbench 6 OpenCL: 68033
PCMark10: 6466

Do note that these scores along with our gameplay footage were performed with the laptop plugged in and with NitroSense on max settings. As with most gaming laptops, do expect lower performance when you’re not plugged in.

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Battery

Speaking of being plugged in, one thing we liked about the Acer Nitro 16 is the relatively long battery life. Gaming laptops aren’t known for having long battery life. However, this one lasts longer than usual despite having the usual 90Wh battery.

During my time with the Acer Nitro 16, the laptop did last me almost 5 hours when I was just getting work done, surfing the net, and browsing social media. Do note that this was on Eco mode setting with the screen brightness at 50 percent and the RGB keyboard turned off.

But if you’re playing games and in Performance mode, the battery life does go down quite fast. I was only able to achieve around 2 hours of gaming time before I needed to plug the laptop into an outlet.

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Conclusion

I really enjoyed our time using the 2023 Acer Nitro 16, and I’ve been impressed with everything it can do. Not to mention this isn’t Acer’s top-spec, more powerful Predator model lineup just yet. Instead, it’s the more budget-friendly model. And for those of you wondering, it is rather affordable.

At the time of writing, Acer has not released the price of the Nitro 16. But if it’s anything like its predecessor, we expect it to be priced around PHP 80,000 to PHP 100,000 depending on the specs.

There are a few things I wish I could change about this laptop, and one of them is the GPU. I hope Acer fitted the newer NVIDIA RTX 4000 series GPU instead of the older RTX 3050 included in this unit we have. However, the move to fit an older GPU could be to keep costs down. One other possibility is that this is an engineering unit.

Another would be the keyboard layout. Maybe they could drop the numpad on the keyboard in future models and space out the keys better to make typing a lot easier, and more comfortable.

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Nonetheless, the 2023 Acer Nitro 16 powered by a 13th Gen Intel processor is a great laptop for gaming and more. More importantly, it’s something that isn’t expensive given the price and everything it can do.

But what do you think of the Acer Nitro 16? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar for O O says:

    I have the AMD 7940h rtx 4070 version of the Nitro 16 and the battery life is really good. I can get 12 hrs easily on that thing. Easily as long you use the iGPU. Which already packs a punch.

  2. Avatar for dri012 dri012 says:

    what do you mean engineering unit?

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