Acer shows off powerful laptops and a Chromebook at CES

Acer unveiled a series of new Aspire and Predator laptops at CES this week. A standout among them is the ostentatious Acer Predator 21X (which we looked at before), a $9,000 notebook with a curved screen—the first of its kind on a laptop. A handful of gaming laptops and a Chromebook fill out the ranks.

The 21X is the beast of the line-up. The machine's top half has a curved 21" 21:9 ultra-wide display with a 2560×1080 resolution and support for Nvidia's G-Sync. Below the display, there's a camera with Tobii eye-tracking technology. Dual GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI and an overclockable Intel Core i7-7820HK pack enough horsepower for pretty much anything.

64GB of RAM and up to four 512GB SSDs—including 2 NVMe PCIe SSDs—ensure a speedy system, with a 1TB drive bringing in some roomy storage. Acer says this beast's innards contain an "advanced cooling architecture", with three metal fans, nine heat pipes, and Acer's DustDefender dust filter. The fans' speed settings can be adjusted with Acer's CoolBoost app. The full-height keyboard offers RGB LED-backlit Cherry MX Brown switches, and the numerical keypad can be flipped over to use as a touchpad if you're not using a standalone mouse.

For that hefty pricetag, Acer is also offering some customization options. The blue dragon graphic can be customized and engraved. Acer includes a hard-shell carrying case that should let the machine travel safely. That is, if for some reason you think leaving the house with a $9,000 computer seems like a good idea.

The Predator 17X is a bit simpler, featuring a Core i7-7820HK CPU and "just" one GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card for gaming duties. The system comes with 64GB of RAM, and can be configured with an "enterprise-level NVMe PCIe SSD" or up to three SATA SSDs. The laptop's 17.3" flat monitor be configured either with a 1080p G-Sync display or an Ultra-HD IPS panel.

Acer is also offering up a pair of Aspire notebooks, the Aspire VX15 and Aspire V Nitro. Both systems include Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPUs and can be paired with either GeForce GTX 1080 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards. The VX15 offers up what Acer is calling an "aggressive gaming design," while the V15 and V17 Nitro, shown below, have a more subtle design.

Last but not least, Acer also has a new Chromebook, the N7. This 11.6" Chromebook's focus seems to be on durability. While there are no detailed specs for the device, Acer says it's built the machine to meet the MIL-810G military durability standard, and promises 12-hour battery life and a spill-resistant keyboard.

The Predator 21X is set to go on sale in February for that eye-watering price of $8,999, while the Predator 17X rings in at a slightly-less-painful $2,599. No release date has been set for the 17X just yet. Meanwhile, the Aspire V Nitro's 15" and 17" variants will be available in February, starting at $1,199. The VX15 starts at $799, while the N7 Chromebook is just $229. Both of those go on sale in this month.

Comments closed
    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    That VX15 with (apparently) a Core i7-7700HQ and a GTX 1050Ti for $800 sounds like a pretty decent machine. It’ll probably have a 768p TN display, though.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Nah, Acer are really good at speccing FullHD among budget laptops.

      Yes, they’re still nasty TN but at least they’re not absolutely awful. They’re just averagely bad for laptop TN.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]A standout among them is the ostentatious Acer Predator 21X (which we looked at before), a $9,000 notebook with a curved screen—the first of its kind on a laptop.[/quote<] Oh come on Acer! If you had just waited for RyZen and Vega you could have sold it for $8,799 instead!

    • DancinJack
    • 3 years ago

    I honest to God have a hard time believing there is enough of a market for these monstrosities for them to do R&D and production. I just don’t get it.

    The Aspire’s look fine though.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      Flagship model. They say they sell a couple hundred a year of these types of machines. But personally I wouldn’t be surprised if that covers most of the R&D/production costs and the project is seen as primarily falling under marketing.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        I wonder how many more they’d sell if it was essentially the same machine but without the childish bling. Wealthy adults won’t think twice about dropping $9000 on a laptop, but they will absolutely avoid it if it’s not stylish and classy.

          • slowriot
          • 3 years ago

          I think the design is mainly to appeal to the wealthy of Asia. But I agree, there’s definitely room for say an Audi R8 to the Lamborghini Huracans of the laptop world.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    These things won’t look out of place in the first Star Wars trilogy.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      The word in the Outer Rim was that Lord Vader had TWO 21Xs–and he’s on Mustafar, so he’s used to things that are dark and run hot. But you need the Force to lift them.

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