Acer’s highly anticipated Predator 21 X gaming laptop, the world’s first curved screen notebook, is a monster in terms of both size and cost. The starting price of $8,999 means the Acer Predator 21 X is only for the most serious gaming enthusiasts and those who value the experience of using a curved display.
Acer Predator 21 X: More than Curves
As you might suspect, there’s more to this notebook than just a curved 21-inch IPS display if you have to pay $8,999 to get your hands on one. Not only does the screen deliver 2560 x 1080 resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate, it combines eye-tracking technology from Tobii to create a more immersive gaming experience where you feel like you’re inside a game without the need for a VR headset. Eye tracking lets gamers identify enemies, aim and take cover simply by gazing at objects on the screen in more than 45 titles at the time of this writing. Games like like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Watch Dogs 2 take full advantage of Tobii’s eye tracking technology. The curved screen also features Nvidia G-Sync technology for sharper rendering of fast-paced action.
Speaking of Nvidia, the Predator 21 X (GX21-71) features dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphic cards in SLI paired with an overclockable 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7820HK quad core processor. You can also pack the Predator 21 X with up to 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory, up to four 512GB solid state drives in RAID 0 configuration (including 2 NVMe PCIe SSDs which are up to 5x faster than SATA SSDs).
Network speeds are just as important to gamers as the graphics, Acer includes Killer DoubleShot Pro to automatically pick the fastest network connection (Ethernet or wireless) and it will send all high priority traffic over that interface while standard traffic is sent over the other. This ensures your game won’t be interrupted because of a Windows Update or the latest antivirus definitions. The Thunderbolt 3 compatible USB Type-C port also delivers speeds up to 40 Gbps.
For safe transport and storage, each Predator 21 X ships with a custom ultra-durable hard-shell carrying case which securely stores the notebook and accessories.
The massive air vents located around the chassis are a major design element. Five system fans (three of which are AeroBlade metal fans) work together with nine heat pipes to dissipate excess heat and prevent heat-related interruptions to games. The Predator 21 X also includes Acer DustDefender, which removes dust build-up, and Acer’s CoolBoost app, that can be used to adjust the fans’ airflow to deliver extra cooling performance during heavy use.
Its full-sized mechanical keyboard features Cherry MX Brown switches with individually programmable backlit keys, offering 16.7 million color options. Customers can swap out the black W, A, S and D keys with teal ones from the included accessory kit. The separate numeric keypad can be flipped over and used as a Precision Touchpad.
Located just above the keyboard on the right side is a metal maintenance panel which provides access to the RAM modules and one 2.5-inch hard drive. The notebook ships with a blue dragon graphic on the panel, or it can be customized with a combination of graphics, national flags or a name engraving. In addition, the first 300 notebooks will include a limited edition series number on the panel.
Predator 17 X: Upgraded for 2017
The Acer Predator 17 X (GX-792) gaming notebook also received both a CPU and GPU upgrade, and will now include models with a 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7820HK processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU with 8G GDDR5 video memory. The Predator 17 X features overclocking, a custom triple-fan cooling system with front air intake and a server-class vapor chamber, and it is VR-ready for VR headsets and accessories. The notebook’s 17.3-inch G-SYNC Full HD IPS (1920 x 1080) or UHD IPS (4K 3840 x 2160) display deliver high quality visuals.
The Predator 17 X is also configured with up to 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory and an enterprise level NVMe PCIe solid state drive or three-SATA-SSD RAID 0 array. It features a Precision Touchpad supporting Windows 10 gestures, and also Skype for Business certification for improved audio communications.
Aspire V Nitro Black Edition & Aspire VX
The updated Aspire V 17 Nitro Black Edition (starting at $1,399) features a 17.3-inch display with optional 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution and is available with optional integrated Tobii eye-tracking hardware just like on the premium Predator 21 X. The Aspire V 17 Nitro also features 7th Generation Intel Core processors and up to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5. The notebook is available in configurations with up to 16GB of DDR4 system memory, upgradable to 32GB. They also come with an NVMe PCIe SSD or SATA SSD and a HDD with up to 2TB capacity for additional storage.
The Aspire V Nitro also uses Acer’s AeroBlade metal fan and Coolboost technology lets you manually control the cooling process when heavy use requires an added boost. The Aspire V Nitro notebooks also include DustDefender, which uses dual high-speed fans with reverse rotation to remove dust build-up inside the chassis.
The available ports include a USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3, two USB 3.0 ports (one featuring power-off USB charging), two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI connection. It connects wirelessly through 2×2 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology, while a Gigabit Ethernet port is available for wired connectivity needs. The notebook also includes four speakers tuned with Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony Plus technology.
The new Aspire VX 15 features large cooling vents and a red chassis accented by a red backlit keyboard. The Acer Aspire VX 15 tips the scales at 5.5lbs (2.5kg) with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS screen. It also comes with up to a 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. The notebook also comes with up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics with GDDR5 VRAM.
This system likewise features up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and is user-upgradeable to a maximum of 32GB. Storage is provided by a 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD. The Aspire VX 15 will be available in March starting at $899.