The Acer Predator Triton 900: Basically a monster convertible laptop


At CES this year, Acer announced a few new laptop models, but certainly its most interesting is the new Predator Triton 900. The Predator Triton series has been around for a few years, but prior models have been traditional clamshell designs. The 900 makes a significant departure, and it's a love-or-hate design. Essentially a unique and extremely powerful convertible, you can move the the 17" screen in many directions. You can close it, flatten it, flip it, tent it, or completely reverse it. Acer really wants people to know that this is due to a CNC-machined hinge it calls the "Ezel Aero Hinge." This isn't the first device Acer has used this type of hinge on—it made an appearance as far back as 2014 on the Acer Aspire R 13—but it's certainly the most eye-catching.

That big shiny display is a 4k IPS touch screen with G-Sync support powered by an RTX 2080. Just to be clear, it is not the Max-Q version. Had they thrown in stylus support, you'd essentially have a significantly more powerful mini Surface Studio on the go. That GPU is married to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, a popular hexacore choice among mobile gaming machines. As for the memory, this model can be configured with up to 32GB of DDR4 at 2666MHz. Storage maxes out at dual 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSDs in Raid 0. Whether that's a hardware limitation or simply an initial configuration maximum is not mentioned, though I expect it's the latter.

The low-profile mechanical keyboard, with individual RGB backlighting, and trackpad are both moved to the front of the device. The back half of the chassis, where the keyboard typically resides on a laptop, is instead a large venting area. The trackpad is an odd shape; it's taller than it is wide. With that shape comes the option to use the trackpad as a number pad, including displaying lit-up numeric "buttons." The keyboard includes a "Turbo" button, which increases the GPU clock speeds, as well as a "Predator" button. The "Predator" button opens Acer's configuration app, which controls things like backlighting, fan speeds, clock speeds, and more. Acer is also bringing out a mobile version so you can control your device settings remotely, should that be your thing.

Your I/O options include multiple USB 3.1 and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt, as one would expect on a machine of this caliber. Audio is powered by Waves Maxx and includes head tracking for a simulated 3D surround sound.

Rounding out the details is an internal Xbox wireless receiver, meaning it'll work with any wireless Xbox peripherals, not just the Bluetooth ones. The Xbox wireless receiver hasn't seen a ton of support since launch, so it's a bit of an interesting decision, but with the growing popularity of games like Overcooked, the one Xbox controller-per-machine limit of Bluetooth could be a problem.

None of this comes cheap, of course. The announced pricing starts at $4,000 for the base model.

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