Hands-on with Acer’s crazy Predator 21X plus 2017 laptop range
Acer has been busy recently. They unveiled some great, not to mention totally bonkers, kit at CES and BETT (British Educational Training and Technology Show) earlier in the year. As a way to announce their new PR partner, Agent 42, Acer brought their latest and greatest to Millbank.
Gathered in one room was all the latest notebooks, laptops and Chromebooks in Acer’s 2017 collection.
Here is a quick tour of the Acer range of portable computers. Although, in the case of the Predator 21X, portable is being used in a more loose way.
Acer’s Chrombooks have been designed with classrooms firmly in mind.
Wrapped in a shock-absorbent rubber frame it is protected against drops, and its pressure-resistant screen can survive frontal impact of up to 60 units of Kilogram-force (kgf).
Its spill-resistant keyboard withstands spills of up to 11 ounces of water and features a “gutter system” that drains water away from components and through the bottom of the device.
Acer says the B1 will offer up to 13 hours of battery life, making it great for a full day of school with time left over for homework.
The B1’s display moves on a 360-degree hinge so the notebook can transition between laptop, stand, tablet and tent modes. Acer will sell the notebook in HD (1366 x 768-pixel) and full-HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) options.
The convertible features a Windows Ink-compatible stylus for students looking to take notes and teachers who mark up assignments.
It’s packing a dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac for strong wireless connection. The device also offers ample of local connectivity with two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, one HDMI port and a built-in SD card reader.
V Nitro Black Edition
The new version of the Black Edition features a seventh-generation Core i7-7700HQ processor, up to 16GB of RAM (expandable to 32GB), an NVMe or SATA SSD, and up to a 2TB hard drive.Connectivity is covered by a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support for simultaneous dual 4K video output, two USB 3.0 ports (one able to charge handheld devices when the laptop’s switched off), an HDMI port, and Gigabit Ethernet. Wi-Fi lovers will no doubt be satisfied with 2×2 802.11ac connections.
What is totally new is the Tobii eye-tracking sensor. I tested it out on the Predator and it is really accurate. You are able to choose targets and select objects in the midst of frantic game action simply by glancing at them.
Acer says the system can also speed and simplify the process of navigating and using productivity apps.
Under the aluminum cover, Acer combined 7th Generation Intel Core processors to drive performance and the latest NVIDIA technologies. You are able to get it loaded with up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM and up to 16GB of DDR4 system memory. This is upgradable to 32GB using two soDIMM modules.
A built-in finger print reader enables Windows Hello for a more secure, password free sign in.
It also comes with a NVMe PCIe Gen 3 or SATA SSD for fast, solid-state storage, and a HDD of up to 2TB capacity for additional storage.
Aspire VX 15
The iron red backlit keyboard makes sure gamers are always striking the right notes during gameplay.
The 2.5kg laptop 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 (delivering up to 32GB/s bandwidth).
Speed is also a notable attribute of the memory system, offering up to 16GB DDR4 memory out of the box and can be user-upgradeable to a maximum of 32GB.
Storage is provided by a 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD.
The Acer Spin range are convertibles. By that I mean they are equipped with hinges that allows the screen to flip around a full 360-degrees.
The Spin line features four laptops. The aforementioned B1 Chromebook also has the Spin skills but isn’t technically part of the range.
Kicking off with the Spin 1 and it’s 11.6-inch display with either 1080p resolution on an IPS display, or a 1366-by-768 screen featuring Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass.
If you need more power, there’s the Spin 3 (as pictured above), the Spin 5 and then the Spin 7 (pictured below).
The Spin 3 is the biggest of the lot with a 15.6-inch display, the Spin 5 offers a 13.3-inch screen, while the Spin 7 offers a 14-inch display. All three of them are available in 1080p resolutions and all feature touch-friendly screens—these are convertible laptops, after all.
You get fingerprint recognition, backlit keyboard, and Gorilla Glass.
The 7 manages to get a 14-inch narrow bezel screen in to a 13-inch chassis. Not only that, it tips the scales at only 1.2Kg. Oh, an its 10.98mm thin.
The Spin 7 is powered by 7th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and their batteries last around 8 hours.
If you like the look of the Spin 7 then the Swift 7, the top of the line, will no doubt be of interest.
This also features an aluminium unibody, finished in black and gold. It only weighs 1.125Kg and is just 9.98mm thin.
Again, Intel Core i7 processors are utilised, as is 802.11ac wireless with MU-MIMO tech.
Those familiar with the Acer Predator range will be expecting gaming excellence. But, possibly, not everything I am going to write in a moment.
Suffice to say, the star of the show was undoubtably the Predator 21X.
Above the keyboard on the left is a triangular window. This displays just one of the machine’s three cooling fans. Why shouldn’t laptop gamers see their rig’s insides just like those with desktop rigs?
The panel on the right side gives access to upgrading bits easily. You can also customise the panel. Apparently there are off-the-shelf options but why not get one laser etched?
There’s also Intel’s new 7th-generation Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7820HK processor on the inside. There’s also 64GB of DDR4-2400 system memory, and up to four 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 (two of which can be NVMe PCIe solid-state drives).
Overall, there’s more than enough disk space here to store your ample Steam library and your friend’s too.
Macro keys are all present and correct. Around the side you’ll find a pair of full-sized USB ports alongside a microphone and headphone jack.
The trackpad can be removed and flipped over to show a number pad. It’s a pretty nifty trick and one that might be welcomed on other laptops I’m sure.
It even has Tobii eye-tracking built in, which allows you to peer around levels and change camera angles by focusing on certain parts of the screen with your eyes.