Choosing a portable gaming computer can be a real challenge, especially when there’s so many models to pick from. Our best gaming laptops buying guide lists some of the very finest gaming machines on the market, but it’s always helpful to see the specs, components and overall performance of a gaming laptop when compared to another.
So, we’ve taken two fantastic laptop options available today – the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and Acer Nitro 5 – and compared and contrasted them in all the areas that count, including gaming performance, design and spec options. Here's what we make of these two gaming beasties.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 VS ACER NITRO 5: DESIGN AND USABILITY
The G14 is a very sturdy machine, with a lightweight standard build that weights in at only 1.6kg. Its metallic Eclipse Grey chassis – which features Precision CNC milling creating 6,536 individual perforations across its aluminium lid. Its magnesium-aluminium alloy is also fingerprint resistant, which helps avoid tarnishing its very attractive looks.
At 3kg, the Nitro 5 is quite a heavy laptop, but this is a powerful portable gaming machine so that’s hardly shocking. Acer has really tried to design a striking laptop with its red and black chassis, all the angular aesthetics that recall AlienWare’s own range. And with a large touchpad and a solid keyboard, you’re investing in a very capable bit of gaming kit.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 VS ACER NITRO 5: DISPLAY
The G14 boasts a 14-inch LED 1920 x 1080 display, a 60Hz refresh rate and a nice brightness rating of 300cd/m2 (nits). This means the G14 delivers a very bright gaming experience where colours, blacks and details are all vividly recreated. Which is impressive for a gaming laptop with a sub-£1,000/$1,000 price tag.
The Acer Nitro 5 boasts a lovely 17.3-inch, Full HD (1,920x1,080) IPS, Pantone panel – perfect for bringing your favourite PC games to vibrant life. Its bezels are quite thin, too, and it also has a 144Hz refresh rate screen. It’s the sort of display that will do all your gaming exploits justice with deep blacks, vibrant colours and a minimum of blurring.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 VS ACER NITRO 5: SPECS AND OPTIONS
The G14 and the Nitro 5 are relatively similar in terms of specs, with Asus opting to pack in an AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS processer, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060RAM 32GB graphics card and 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 of onboard storage. The result is a very capable gaming laptop that will do all your favourite PC games justice, wherever you might be.
The Acer 5 is a very capable gaming laptop, and sports a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a beefy Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) graphics card. That RTX graphics card can deliver ray tracing and delivers up to 6x the performance than previous generations, so you’re getting the very best clock speeds and performance. In terms of RAM, you get 8GB, which isn't ideal, and storage sits at 256GB.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 VS ACER NITRO 5: FEATURES AND PORTS
The G14 is quite light on the port front, with two USB 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports and a HDMI port for clear video output. However, this laptop still has plenty of other features to its name, including a self-cleaning cooling system for avoiding overheating and the ability to charge the laptop’s battery with USB Type-C power banks.
A big selling point for the Nitro 5 is its cooling technology, with its CoolBoost technology reducing fan speed by up to 10% and GPU/CPU temperatures by 9% when compared to standard settings. It supports dual fan cooling, and quad-based venting to maximise the distribution of all that hot air. You can even monitor and adjust cooling with the NitroSense app. In terms of ports, the Nitro 5 has a single HDMI 2.0, a handful of USB 3.2 Type A ports, a single USB 3.2 Type C port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port and more.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 VS ACER NITRO 5: PRICING AND VERDICT
The G14 price varies depending on where you look and the different configurations out there, but you should be able to find one for around £1,000/$1,350, although you can find models for below £1,000/$1,000 if you’re lucky. The build quality – something Asus has really excelled at here – is fantastic and makes this a very attractive package for portable gaming.
The Nitro 5 comes in at less than £1,000/$1,000, with prices falling somewhere between £700/$750 and £850/$900 depending on the configuration you settle for. Considering that some gaming laptops can go for well over £3,000 this is a very reasonable package when you factor in the strength of its components, the high-end cooling features and the impressive display.