Laptops

Acer Nitro vs. Predator Laptops Compared

Gaming laptops have greatly exhilarated gamers on the go. You can bring it with you anywhere instead of just sitting in one place, which is one of the constraints of desktop gaming rigs. In addition, gaming laptops house powerful GPUs making them an outstanding content creation system as well. There’s a ton of gaming laptops available from various manufacturers. One of the brands with robust gaming hardware is Acer, and they have an array of selections, from entry-level to premium types.

Nitro and Predator are two laptop series from the Taiwanese manufacturer that offers stunning performance and immersive gaming experience at a mid-range price. Nitro is designed to be an entry-level laptop; however, the recent Nitro 5 release exceeds the expectations of an entry-level system and can compete with the mid-top tier, Predator in terms of performance. This article will compare these laptop series to see whether the pricier Predator is indeed worth its price.

Performance

Acer’s Nitro series consists of budget-friendly gaming laptops. The entry to mid-level series comes equipped with either an Intel or an AMD processor, boasting multicore processors from Intel Core i5 up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 – 9 processors. There are also various RAM capacities to choose from, ranging from 8GB to 32GB. The latest Nitro 5 version offers stunning graphics rendering with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series with up to 8GB of dedicated memory. It also has ample storage with options for M.2 PCIe, SATA SSD, and HDD.

On the other hand, the Predator series has mid to top-tier laptops. There are currently two laptop families under Predator – Triton and Helios. Triton is lightweight, slim, and sleek, designed for gamers and prosumers who are always on the go, while the Helios series consists of mid-range and premium laptops with stellar specs that can replace desktop computers.

The specs of mid-range Helios 300 are comparable to that of Nitro 5 laptops with the highest configurations. Top-tier Predator laptops like the Helios 500, Helios 700, and Triton 500 to 900 have far superior hardware. With up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processors, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GeForce 30, Titan, and Super series, and a combination of PCIe SSD and HDD for storage, the premium Triton and Helios laptops are a powerhouse of rugged hardware offering outstanding performance.

Display

Even in its most basic configuration, Predator offers better display quality than Nitro. For example, Predator Helios 300 and Nitro 5 have the same 15.6”, FHD IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate but looking at other display specs, the Helios 300 rises above Nitro 5. Helios 300 has better brightness, color accuracy, and viewing angle with 300 nits, 93% sRGB color, and 64% Adobe sRGB compared to Nitro 5, which only has 257 nits, 62% sRGB, and 44% Adobe sRGB. Helios 300 also has a wider screen offering of 17.3”. Expectedly, premium Triton and Helios laptops have better display quality with larger screens, 4K and even 8K capabilities, and Nvidia G-Sync displays technology integration among the many advanced screen features that provide more vivid features, vibrant, smooth and immersive visuals.

Battery Life

Generally, the battery life of Acer’s gaming laptops is unimpressive. Tested battery life of Nitro 5 and Helios 300 is just a little over 7 hours. Triton 500 lasted a little longer with almost 10 hours of battery life, but Triton 700 only reached a little over 2 hours on a movie test. Likewise, Helios 700’s battery drains pretty fast, lasting only a measly 2 hours and 45 minutes, largely due to its powerful set of hardware. If you want uninterrupted game time, better not forget to bring along the charger with you.

I/O Ports

Acer gaming laptops house a versatile and diverse set of ports; you’ll never run out of options. Nitro, Helios and Triton are equipped with at least two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports for display, faster file transfer, and fast charging of your laptops, but it didn’t leave USB-A behind. You can still plug in your USB-A peripherals with a full range of USB 3.2 Gen 1 and 2 ports, even on the slimmer Triton series. On top of that, there’s an HDMI port for your HDMI displays. What Nitro 5 missed out on is the SD card reader you can find on Predator laptops.

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, Nitro and Predator didn’t disappoint. Both Nitro and Predator offer faster connectivity and lower latency utilizing Intel’s Killer connectivity options. The latest Nitro 5 has upgraded to Killer WiFi 6 and Killer Ethernet connections, though the Bluetooth version is still the slightly older Bluetooth 5.0. Predator laptops boast the same range of connectivity options, with some models tapping on an optional 5G connection like the Helios 500. New Helios 300 models have also already adopted the most recent Bluetooth 5.2.

Design

Perhaps the cheaper price of Nitro 5 is due to its design cutbacks. There is really nothing overly noticeable on Nitro 5’s design that makes it stand out. Add to that the plastic material that it’s made of. It has a plain and simple design though the red backlight on its keyboard gives it a bit of flair. Predator laptops, on the other hand, have a lot of design innovations. The slim build of Triton laptops, the movable screen of Triton 900, the sliding keyboard and hexagonal vent design and the light pattern on Helios 700 are just some of the designs that make these gaming laptops unique and exquisite. The blend of plastic and metal materials on the chassis makes Predator laptops sturdier than Nitro.

Which is Better?

With a huge price gap, Nitro is expected to trail behind Predator when it comes to performance. But such is not the case, especially with various upgrades on the newest Nitro 5. Its specs can definitely compete with Predator’s lower-end Helios 300. Understandably though, it still cannot equal the performance of Predator’s mid-tier and premium laptops. Generally, Nitro’s display, design, and performance are still considered inferior to the Predator series. Nitro 5 can deliver above-average gaming performance without breaking the bank but don’t expect a high-quality display and fantastic design if you’re on a budget. If performance, display quality, and nifty designs are what you’re after but can’t afford the likes of MacBook Pro and other expensive gaming laptops, the Acer Predator series would meet all your expectations at reasonable price tags.

About the author

Glynis Navarrete

A freelance blogger who loves to write about anything related to technology. Born and raised in the Philippines and worked in Singapore for eight years as Technical Support for a wide range of IT equipment. Took a dive into the world of freelancing and now enjoying doing what I’m passionate about while not losing touch with technology.