A 2-in-1 that can game? Acer’s Nitro 5 Spin gets a boost from 8th Gen Intel Core

Now that Intel is letting its eighth-generation cat out of the bag, OEMs are coming out of the woodwork with solutions based on the new processors. One of these is Acer, who on Monday introduced the Nitro 5 Spin 2-in-1, packing enough performance to appease the on-the-go mainstream PC gamer. That includes stuffing the laptop with a tasty GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics chip, and SSD-based storage pushing data along speedy PCI Express freeways. It’s the most powerful 2-in-1 we’ve seen yet — on paper, at least — beating even the HP Spectre x360 15-inch and Samsung Notebook 9 Spin in hardware specifications.

Here are the specifications:

Screen size: 15.6 inches
Screen type: In-plane Switching (IPS)
Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core
Graphics: GeForce GTX 1050
Memory: Up to 16GB DDR4
Storage: Up to 512GB PCI Express-based SSD
Connectivity: Wireless AC (MU-MIMO)
Ports (right): 1x USB 2.0 Type-A
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
Ports (left): 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
1x HDMI
Audio: 2x Front-facing speakers
1x Subwoofer
Bonus features: Keyboard with red backlighting
Fingerprint scanner supporting Windows Hello
Dimensions: 15.01 (W) x 10.16 (D) x 0.70 (H) inches
Weight: 4.85 pounds
Battery: 48 Wh 3220 mAh 15.2 V 4-cell Li ion
Availability: October
Starting price: $1,000

As the specs show, the Nitro 5 Spin isn’t exactly out to compete with the big boys in the PC gaming market – that’s what Acer’s high-end Predator family is for. But there’s plenty of oomph here to get decent visuals and framerates in League of Legends, DOTA 2, and according to Acer, even Overwatch. The 2-in-1 can definitely power the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets too, but meeting the 90 frames per second requirement for barf-free VR experiences likely won’t happen.

Unlike the regular Nitro 5, the Nitro 5 Spin has a special hinge to accommodate different ways to play PC games. It’s classified as a 2-in-1 PC, enabling you to switch its form factor between four modes: Laptop, Tent, Display (Theater), and Tablet. This should prove useful when you don’t want a gaming notebook heating up your lap. The Nitro 5 Spin includes the same all-aluminum chassis, black brushed hairline finish, and red accents found on previous versions.

Other features packed into the Acer Nitro 5 Spin include BluelightShield, which blue light emissions, an omni-directional ExoAmp Antenna maximizing the Wireless AC connection, and several technologies that provide “improved bass and multi-dimensional sound.” The sound will reverse too, during Tent and Tablet screen modes.

Taken as a whole, the Acer Nitro 5 Spin is arguably the perfect example of what Intel hopes the 8th gen Core will make possible. An entry-level gaming notebook that’s also a 2-in-1 wasn’t feasible with the more powerful 7th gen quad-core chips, but with the more efficient 8th gen models, it’s possible.

We’re eager to see how the Acer Nitro 5 Spin stacks up in the real world, but we’ll have to be patient. It won’t be made available in North America until sometime during October for a starting price of $1,000.