The Acer Predator 21X is a Monster: Hands On

by Reads (14,113)

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.

Acer Predator 21X

The Acer Predator 21X is a 21-inch gaming monster.

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.

Acer Predator 21X

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 Predator 21X number pad Acer Predator 21X touchpad

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.

Acer Predator 21X Acer Predator 21X
Acer Predator 21X Acer Predator 21X
Acer Predator 21X IMG_7684


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  1. AlexandroGallone

    Hi @ all,

    well written! But being announced as an enthusiast gaming rig for enthusiast (gamers), I find missing some important facts/information.

    – will CPU + GPU be soldered? -> would be a shame if not, as 21″ should have plenty enough space for socketed/MXM components
    – why not 4k with 1080 SLI? -> at least it should have had 1080p with 120Hz
    – what about the dual PSU’s? Regarding the connections it seems to be “only” 2 x 230W, which would be inadequate for overclocking!?
    – any words to overclockability?
    – any words to temperature during game testing?

    Thank you!

  2. DanLeithauser

    It is a monster!

    I thought the trend towards more power with 1080 configs was without the need for SLI configurations?
    Indeed it sounded like Nividia was pushing for single card solutions, of which they certainly have presented that solution with the 1080!
    Is SLI overkill on this laptop?

  3. StuartClements

    Why not a touchscreen option too?

  4. tutor4pc

    I used to schlepp around heavier “portables” but did not like it much. This is either a desktop replacement or a pure toy.
    To bad it comes from Acer as I have a very bad opinion about their quality. I take care of my stuff like few and I still own some laptops from the 80s and 90s. One of my acers disintegrated around the hinges, another (one of the first netbooks) just died and with a buying price of $228 was not worth having anyone look at it. My brother has the same experience and we will not touch them again.
    Then again, recent notebooks from HP are not much better, life expectancy is a mere 2 years.

  5. MarkRegan

    OK first off this is great, not the spec, which is brilliant, but for the size. Many moons ago HP produced a laptop called the Dragon, it had a 21″ widescreen monitor on a cantilever hing on top of it, and weighed about the same as this, but as a laptop is was brilliant, just for the screen, also quad core processor, twin hard drives, full sized keyboard with media remote. Secondly get a grip that is slightly heavy but not exactly bone crushing, I used the dragon on my lap without issue, dragged it around festivals as a photographer, took it on holiday etc. What this mean to me is that hopefully we will have more manufacturers producing big laptops again, laptops with more than a single SSD in them, laptops that have proper sized screens as an alternative to sleek pretty looking but functionally lightweight machines.
    Depending on the price I will have to give it a hard look at as a new laptop 🙂