Ready for some seriously advanced hardware with every kind of feature you can think of? Acer has a monster Laptop coming out soon, and it’s a doozy. Curved screen, eye tracking, SLI graphics, Kaby Lake processor, and it’s all overclockable. Oh, and it’s ultrawide too.
We had to do a double take on this, because this thing is crazy. First of all, this is probably about as far away from being ‘mobile’ as you can possible get while still being labeled a Laptop. Acer really has gone overboard on the features with this Predator 21 X, also proving the point they’re not just a budget notebook provider either.
So, the details. We’ll start with the screen since it’s the real headline piece. A 21 inch, 21:9 ultrawide, 2560×1080, curved, IPS, G-Sync Enabled, 120Hz refresh…. display. I think most people would be excited to have that on a desktop, let alone a laptop.
Driving that display is a pair – yes, two, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI, because why not. Remember from our mobile 10-series coverage a few months back, these are real desktop chips, not M models like in the past. In all honesty, that’s definitely overkill for this system, as a single GTX 1080 can handle 4K at 60 FPS (just about), and the wider but smaller ultrawide resolution of 3440×1440 at about 70-80 FPS. This is a 2560×1080 display, so getting over 100 FPS with a single GTX 1080 is completely feasible. But a pair of them? I guess Acer really is pushing for 120Hz on the display.
The next big thing is the inclusion of the Tobii eye tracker, an interesting tool that can interact with games through where you are looking. Currently, there are not many games that support this, with Assassins Creed, Elite Dangerous and Watch_Dogs 2 putting it to use in some form. In Assassins Creed, it’s used in conjunction with the grappling hook, which attaches to surfaces where you are looking without moving the camera. Tobii has been equipped to a number of laptops over the last year, including last year at CES, so it’s still slow to catch on.
Keeping with the extreme theme, the Predator 21 X also includes an overclockable CPU, as if a pair of GPUs in SLI weren’t enough. Interestingly though, the CPU is Intel’s latest architecture, a Kaby Lake i7-7820HK. This is a 45 Watt TDP, quad-core chip with SMT that scales from 2.9GHz to 3.9GHz turbo.
Rounding off the extreme nature of this beast is 64GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, up to four SSDs which includes room for two NVMe PCIe SSDs. If there was any criticism, it would be the Killer network interface, as an Intel-based NIC would be preferred. Still, Thunderbolt 3.0 with USB 3.1 support wraps up the connectivity.
The keyboard is fully mechanical using Cherry MX Brown switches with full RGB backlighting. Bizarrely, the numpad can be flipped over to turn it into a touchpad. This is to accommodate the fact the keyboard is pushed up right against the external edge, rather than on the inside next to the screen. This is to make room for the rather interesting cooling solution which as an inlet fan on the top side of the laptop.
Since the Predator 21 X is technically a laptop, it does have a battery, all 88W hours of it. The power adapter is rated to 330 Watts – that should give you some indication of life expectancy. While no number is given, we think 30-60 minutes of pure battery life at full speed is probably as good a guess as any. Definitely a desktop replacement.
So, you are waiting on bated breath for a price. Yes, we have a price… we really do. It’s definitely a price. Yes, I’m drawing this out for dramatic effect. OK, the price of this outrageous laptop with is curved screen, dual GPU, overclockable CPU, mechanical keyboard, and on and on, is a rather healthy… $8999. If you live in Europe, bring that up to €9,999. I think it’s safe to say that there are limited units available.
The price might but silly, but we have to commend Acer for doing something very different, and deserving of the title ‘extreme’. While impractical in reality, this thing is certain to turn heads. What a beast.