Acer's Nitro 5 is a laptop that lets casual gamers get reckless

You can adjust the fan speed yourself, but don't get too crazy there.

Acer's Nitro 5 laptop is designed for the casual gamer who feels lucky. This person may not game often, and may never have tinkered with a PC's cooling system (as many seasoned gamers have) to get maximum power without singeing precious CPUs or GPUs. But the Nitro 5, introduced Thursday at an Acer event in New York, will let these casual gamers adjust the fan speed themselves, giving them an unprecedented amount of control over delicate thermals. 

Acer offered just a few tantalizing details on the Nitro 5, which is due to ship in July, but the company emphasized the target audience: the growing number of casual gamers. These users won't shell out for the huge, expensive Predator 21 X, but they still want good gaming performance. Acer says the Nitro 5 is carefully balanced to give them exactly what they need: "all of the really important, necessary features without going too far overboard," said Acer CEO Jason Chen. 

acer nitro 5 laptop specs april 27 2017 Acer

Acer's Nitro 5 gaming laptop will have discrete graphics and user-controllable fan speeds. 

Those features include Intel Core CPUs (no further specifics on which ones) and discrete Nvidia GTX 1050 or 1050Ti graphics. The GTX 1050 will be offered in 2GB and 4GB options. Storage will be PCIe SSD. A Dolby Audio Premium sound system promises something better than tinny laptop sound. 

The most intriguing feature of this laptop, however, is a new thermal solution called Acer CoolBoost. This technology will let the user adjust the rpm-speed of the laptop's fans. "You can control that process," Chen said. 

We're assuming Acer is building in some level of restraint to prevent reckless users who don't know any better from, say, turning off all the fans and toasting their hardware. Still, anyone familiar with PC thermals is probably looking a bit askance at this, as if you were letting someone run with scissors. Or maybe it's annoying that hardcore gamers had to walk uphill both ways to adjust the fans on their PC, and now amateurs get a free ride. We'll certainly be interested to see how this works. 

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Melissa Riofrio

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