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Acer Nitro 5 vs ASUS TUF A15 (2021): Which Budget Gaming Laptop Is Better?

Gaming can take a toll on your savings, especially if you’re buying a gaming laptop. Fortunately, there are models out there that won’t burn too big of a hole in your wallet but will still level up your gaming experience. The Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF A15 are perfect examples of this, both able to strike a good balance between price and power. If you need help choosing between the two, here’s an in-depth comparison that takes their design, display, performance, battery, and connectivity into consideration.

Acer Nitro 5 vs ASUS TUF A15 Comparison Chart

ModelAcer Nitro 5ASUS TUF A15
 Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop, 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 15.6' Full HD IPS...ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz Full HD IPS-Type Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H,...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Screen Size15.6 inches15.6 inches
Display Resolution1080p Full HD1080p Full HD
Refresh Rate60Hz60 Hz / 144Hz
CPUAMD Ryzen 5 4600HAMD Ryzen 7 4800H
GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 1650Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
RAM8GB16GB
Storage256GB1TB SSD
PortsUSB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, audio jackUSB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, audio jack
Dimensions14.3 x 0.94 x 10 inches15.5 x 10 x 0.98 inches
Weight5.51lbs5.07lbs

Design and Display

Both the Acer Nitro 5 and ASUS TUF A15 sport a rugged look but the former has the upper hand when it comes to display.

Acer Nitro 5 vs ASUS TUF 15 design
Both the Acer Nitro 5 (left) and the ASUS TUF A15 (right) have large 15.6-inch screens.

Gaming laptops these days are starting to get thinner, making them seem a little too fragile for vigorous gaming. If you’re not into that look, you’re in luck because both the Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF A15 are not the dainty kind. They pack on quite a bit of heft and sport a rugged look so you definitely don’t have to be very delicate with them. While these two models have a more old school gaming laptop silhouette, they do away with the garish colors and are decked out in all black instead. This gives them a touch of sleekness that helps them fit into 2021.

As for keyboards, the one on the Acer Nitro 5 isn’t the easiest to use. Red on black isn’t a very legible combination so unless you’re in a very dim room or basking in sunlight, chances are you’re going to have a tough time deciphering which key does what. Fortunately, the keyboard situation is much better on the ASUS TUF A15. They keys are RGB backlit so the letters are easy enough to read. To boot, the WASP keys have a translucent glow to them so they’re extra painless to find.

When it comes to displays, both the Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF A15 have large 15.6-inch screens that deliver great 1080p performance. However, the ASUS TUF A15 is able to edge out the Acer Nitro 5 when it comes to fluidity of motion. While the Acer Nitro 5 makes do with the standard 60Hz refresh rate, the ASUS TUF A15 comes in a version that can deliver an impressive 144Hz refresh rate. This makes the ASUS TUF A15 above average even if it’s priced affordably.

Specs and Performance

The ASUS TUF A15 beats the Acer Nitro 5 when it comes to specs and performance.

Acer Nitro 5 vs ASUS TUF A15 performance
The ASUS TUF A15 (right) has a more consistent frame rate than the Acer Nitro 5 (left).

When you play on the Acer Nitro 5, there’s no hiding the fact that it’s a budget gaming laptop. It’s quite limited in the RAM, GPU, and CPU departments so expect to run into problems such as frame drops if you try to play blockbuster AAA games on it. But if you’re a determined budget gamer, you can make do with this laptop and play demanding games on it, just as long as you dial back on the settings. You’ll get a more consistent frame rate this way and you’re also less likely to run into any performance issues. Of course, don’t expect to be able to experience these games in their full glory.

As for the ASUS TUF A15, it’s equipped with the newest hardware from Nvidia and AMD. This means that it has a lot of potential despite being a budget gaming laptop. For starters, it has the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H as its CPU. While it may not be AMD’s flagship mobile processor, the fact that it has 8 cores and 16 threads means that it’s really able to give the TUF A15 the kind of power you’d find in more expensive gaming laptops. This is complemented by the Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. Again, it’s not flagship level but it’s able to provide a great 1080p experience. In a nutshell, ASUS did a good job of picking good components for the TUF A15–ones that don’t spike up the price but are able to deliver excellent performance.

Battery and Connectivity

Both the Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF A15 have a great battery life and a good selection of ports.

Acer Nitro 5 vs ASUS TUF A15 battery
Both the Acer Nitro 5 (left) and the ASUS TUF A15 (right) allow you to connect gaming peripherals without adapters.

You can never expect fantastic battery life from a gaming laptop, let alone budget ones. But because both the Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF A15 feature efficient CPUs, they’re actually quite decent in the battery department. You should be able to get around 11 to 15 hours of usage from these two when you’re playing videos, doing simple productivity tasks, or using them in power-save mode. Of course, expect a significant drop when you’re doing some heavy gaming but it shouldn’t be any be worse than the more expensive gaming laptops out there.

As for connectivity, the great thing about chunky laptops is that you can stick a bunch of ports on them. Both the Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF 15 have USB-A and USB-C ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI, and an audio jack. This is a pretty impressive selection that should allow you to connect your gaming peripherals sans any need for adapters.

Verdict

The ASUS TUF A15 wins over the Acer Nitro 5 for its high refresh rate and impressive responsiveness.

If you’re working with a very tight budget, the Acer Nitro 5 is the gaming laptop for you. You do, however, have to make some sacrifices and dial back on the settings. Otherwise, this laptop just wouldn’t be able to keep up. But if you find that you have a little bit more to spare, we definitely recommend the ASUS TUF 15. It’s still within the budget gaming laptop realm but with its high refresh rate and impressive responsiveness, it’s able to compete with the more expensive gaming laptops out there.

FAQs

📌 Is the Acer Nitro 5 worth it?

The Acer Nitro 5 offers good value for money. However, you do have to lower your gaming settings, especially if you’re playing blockbuster AAA games, because this laptop would struggle otherwise.

📌 Is the ASUS TUF A15 worth it?

Yes, the ASUS TUF A15 is a good purchase. Despite being an affordable gaming laptop, it has high-quality components, a high refresh rate, and impressive responsiveness.

📌 Which one is more portable, the Acer Nitro 5 or the ASUS TUF A15?

Both the Acer Nitro 5 and the ASUS TUF A15 pack on quite a bit of weight. However, the latter manages to be slightly lighter than its competitor.

📌 Which one should you buy, the Acer Nitro 5 or the ASUS TUF A15?

We recommend the ASUS TUF A15 over the Acer Nitro 5 because you’re less likely to experience frame rate drops or performance issues with it.

Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.