Acer introduced a monster at IFA 2016: the 21-inch Predator 21X, the world’s first notebook with a curved display. That’s not all. It’s equipped with two of the latest Nvidia GTX 1080 graphic cards in SLI configuration, as well as a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, cooled by five fans (three metal AeroBlades), one of which can be observed through the tiny lit window above the keyboard.
By any fair standard, the Predator 21X is a laptop in name only. It weighs a whopping 17.6 pounds (8 kilos). That’s a lot of notebook, and all that mass is necessary for the kind of power it contains. Needless to say, this beast will make an impression at LAN parties and it may be a suitable tool for professional gamers.
The very idea of a curved display on a notebook is a gimmick intended to turn heads, and not provide any visual comfort or an advantage while playing games. Still, this kind of novelty is not rare in regards to extreme gaming computers, where kitschy body designs are the norm.
In fact the Acer Predator 21X has one of those, too. With its ventilation slits, light effects, iconography and shape, Acer Predator 21X looks like a highly-tuned sports cars. Again, it may be tacky to some, but the Acer Predator 21X makes an impression, and that’s the point.
We tried several modern games on a Predator 21X unit, which was under heavy guard by Acer PR reps. As expected, they loaded and performed fluidly, with no discernable lag. The mechanical and backlit keyboard is entirely submissive to gaming, and has a relatively small footprint considering the notebook’s size. Acer placed macro keys everywhere, and the numeric keyboard is removable. In a novel twist, it doubles as a trackpad on the underside.
Acer packed the Predator 21X with additional features, including a built-in eye-tracker, custom made for Acer by Tobii. Infrared sensor track player pupil movements, enabling players to move or aim just by looking. Tobii has long impressed us with its eye-tracking tech, and judging from our hands-on time in Berlin, it will impress gamers too.
The Predator 21X is scheduled to ship in Q1 2017, and Acer has yet to disclose the price. But expect to pay an arm and a leg. In addition to the unique and modern features, the Predator 21X has a 4TB SSD, 4.2-channel Dolby Audio, and a 2056 x 1080 display resolution. Being a curved display, it’s not at all reflective, and offers a sustainable contrast and equally interpreted colors along its entire surface.
Yep, it’s a monster, one that will do much better sitting stationary on a desk than in a laptop bag. But we suppose in a pinch it’s better to lug almost 18 pounds of notebook around than it is a gaming desktop and monitor.