In a previous post, I mentioned that I was going to need a new laptop so that I could continue working at the dining room table while my boys did their online school work. After doing some research into the options, we were able to budget for a moderately priced laptop in the midrange. I'm already a fan of the desktop AMD Ryzen CPUs and I had heard that the new Ryzen 4000 series mobile APUs were really good, so that's where I targeted my search.

I ended up settling on the Acer Nitro 5 with the Ryzen 5 4600H CPU and Nvidia RTX 1650 GPU (model AN515-44-R99Q). This rig is categorized as a budget gaming laptop, which is not something I strictly needed of course, but competing general purpose laptops with the same CPU cost about the same price, so I figured I'd get the one with the additional GPU instead of relying upon the APU's built-in graphics so that I could do a bit of gaming with my boys during downtime. The Nitro 5 also has a slot for a 2nd SODIMM (running Ryzen in dual-channel memory mode gives you a lot more performance vs single-channel mode) and has room for a 2nd M.2 drive and a 2.5" SSD if desired.

After about a week of using this laptop, I'm extremely satisfied with the performance. It has 6 cores/12 threads for some major CPU power, and it can run a single core at quite a high frequency for applications that like that. It's very snappy in every day use. Also, the battery life is fantastic and unit keeps cool under normal operating conditions. Even when all of the cores are being used, it gets warm but not unbearably hot. The biggest complaint I've seen in reviews is the display. It's a 60 Hz IPS display with 300 nits of brightness. If I were using this primarily for gaming I might like something nicer, but this display still looks so much better than the one on my previous laptop, which was I think a 720p TN panel. I never even use the display at full brightness anyway, in order to conserve battery power.

Overall a big thumbs up from me. AMD has a real winner in the mobile space with their new APUs. The computing power of this laptop approaches that of my main desktop, which is really impressive. Solid recommend from me.