Acer Concept D 5 Review (i7-11800H+RTX3060)

acer conceptd 5 review 2021 04

The Acer CondD 5 (2021), with Intel 11th Gen CPU, RTX 3000 Graphics GPU, is a popular laptop for “Creative” professionals. This category has seen a lot of growth in recent years. It is a reflection of a growing need for mobile computers that can handle professional graphics tasks.

This category was partially covered by either Gaming laptops or Workstations in the past. However, neither of these options was ideal for the new generation creative professionals and influencers.

Gaming laptops might have their component pricing optimized by using low RAM (16GB) or slower hard drives without affecting the gaming experience. The display quality is not good enough to do professional graphics.

Although workstations are equipped with adequate hardware and displays, they come with enterprise features that can be costly for freelancers and small businesses.

Laptops like the Acer ConceptD 5 are the answer to industry needs. They have faster storage, more RAM and better displays than other gaming rigs, as well as a corporate-friendly design.

Highlights of the Specs

We are reviewing the Acer ConceptD 5 (SKU: CN516-72G-787Y). It has the Intel Core, 16GB and the NVIDIA RTX3060 6.

The Samsung MZVL21T0HCLR–00B7 is an OEM variant of the Samsung 980 Pro SSD. It offers 1TB storage. The laptop was $1999.99 at the time of publication.

It is possible to increase RAM to 64GB and storage to 2TB in a RAID0 configuration. Having reviewed the Acer Triton 500SE, we saw how RAID0 could improve performance.

Industrial Design

The ConceptD 5’s chassis consists mainly of metal with the exception of the monitor bezels which are where the various radio antennas reside.

It has a Micro-Arc Oxidation finish (MAO) that makes the metal surface extremely scratch-resistant. The thin layer of ceramic-like material is what makes it look like a thin coating. Although it does pick up fingerprints, the finish is practical and more durable than aluminum plain.

The Acer ConceptD 5 looks professional, and there was a lot of feedback from industry professionals that Creative users want to appear “serious” before a corporate client who might not appreciate the “gaming notebook” aesthetics.

The chassis is light and thin for a 16-inch laptop. It measures 19.8mm thick and weighs 5.28 Lbs. This makes it a highly portable Creative Workstation that can be used on the move, just like many professionals and influencers.

Trackpad and Keyboard

Large keys make it easy to use the full-size keyboard. The key travel appears to be about 1mm, or slightly less. The amber backlight turns on when you press a key.

The ability to turn on the backlight immediately is very useful, as laptops today often require you to do so, but then it shuts down about a minute later if your eyes aren’t active. This can be quite irritating if you’re reading or watching videos. Acer, thank you.

Even if you use complex Windows gestures, the Trackpad is large and easy to use. Creative users will love the Gorilla glass’s toughness and smooth texture. They can use it for hours without feeling their fingers get irritated by rougher textures.

Ports

There are many ports and two USB–C Thunderbolt 4 allow you to use the laptop as a fixed computer with storage, or via a high-performance Thunderbolt dock.

Thunderbolt 4 is slower than Thunderbolt 3 but allows more 4K displays to be connected simultaneously, which can increase professional productivity.

The USB 3.2 Gen2 protocol is used for legacy full-size USB ports. You’ll also find HDMI 2.1 and Gb RJ45 Ethernet as office-ready connectors.

Although you can charge your laptop with one of the USB C ports, it is not possible to run the computer at its maximum speed without the 135W power supply.

Sound quality

The stereo speaker configuration on this laptop includes two bottom-firing speakers and a stereo speaker arrangement. The speaker sound quality is good, however, quad-speaker up-firing designs will produce more powerful and better-quality audio.

It’s enough to enjoy a great movie experience while on the road. But I’ve heard better.

To improve spatialization, I recommend turning on the DTS:X Ultra surround sound option. For professional work, I expect that most people will use headphones of high quality or an external speaker system.

Display

The display of the Concept D5 is well balanced as it has a 3K resolution and high-color accuracy. This was validated by Pantone.

Acer’s 3K option allows for high-performance display performance for Creative professionals, without the need to take a huge hit on battery life or incur a steep price tag as a 4K screen would. A 4K display can be very draining on your battery. Choosing your 3K screen could improve your battery life by up to 25%.

“HIGH DISPLAY PERFORMANCE FOR CREATIVE OFFICE PROFESSIONALS WITHOUT MASSIVE HITTING THE BATTERY”

Although the display’s 400 NITs light isn’t the best, it’s adequate for professional use unless you are editing videos in a cafe on a sunny afternoon. It’s possible that it could happen. However, creative pros work best in dimly lit areas with minimal glare. 400 NITs is sufficient. But, more brightness would never hurt.

You might feel tempted to use the GeForce RTX3060 to play video games. However, this is a 60Hz screen so you will need to forgo vertical sync in order to achieve higher effective framerates. Gamers are more inclined to choose an Acer Predator Triton 300SE or 600 SE, that we have previously reviewed.

Performance

We were slightly surprised by the Acer ConceptD 5’s creative performance. It is quite a step above the Acer Predator Triton 300SE, which I expected when I started this review. But it is definitely better.

It makes sense. The ConceptD 5 is a laptop designed for graphic professionals. It has faster SSDs, which make a huge difference in Creative benchmarks.

Although the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics processing might appear identical to the Predator Triton300 SE, the ConceptD 5 GPU is capable of drawing 105W rather than 75W as in the 300SE. The ConceptD 5 is more competitive in benchmarks for gaming/GPU performance due to its wattage differential.

Absolute performance is excellent for this laptop if you consider the graphics performance “for weight”. But that’s another review. Predator Triton 500SE provides a good example of the extraordinary performance/Lbs ratio that you’d get with the 3080 Ti or 3080 Ti.

Acer’s thermal solution for this laptop is excellent, and thermal dissipation was not an issue during benchmarking. Although all laptops will have power limitations or thermal throttling, I find this cooling solution to be one of the best I’ve seen.

“OVERALL CONCEPTD 5 HAS EXCELLENT PRICE-PERFORMANCE”

The ConceptD 5 is slightly more expensive than a gaming laptop like the Predator Triton 300SE in terms of performance. It has a better display, more RAM expansion and a business-friendly design. The ConceptD 5 delivers excellent performance considering its price.

SSD performance is exceptional even when compared to ThinkPad P15 Gen2 workstations. We didn’t test a RAID0 configuration on our unit. The Predator Triton 500SE with RAID0 disk performance shows how much IO performance you can expect if you choose the 2TB RAID0 option.

Battery Life

The battery life of Acer ConceptD 5 was impressive, lasting more than 9.1hrs in office productivity tests*.

It is the combination of the large 100Wh battery power and the efficiency of the i7-11800H+ RTX 3360 combo that explains it. This is the combination of the Triton 500 SE’s capacity and the Triton 300 SE’s higher power efficiency. It is the best laptop in its class and a great balance for creative work.

These laptops are typically much more powerful than their battery life. Although I expect most people will use the computer when it is plugged in, it’s nice that the battery life can be extended for tasks of low intensity.

*Using “best battery” settings with a 110 NITs display to increase brightness

Although the battery’s charging speed is average, there are better options. For a comparable size battery, the ThinkPad P15Gen2 charges almost 2X faster.

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