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Acer starts 2017 with gaming and education options, including massive Predator 21 X laptop

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the perfect place for companies to introduce their newest hardware, and manufacturers tend to offer up some of their most exciting announcements at the annual event. CES 2017 is no different, and Acer is taking advantage of the worldwide stage to bring a handful of new and updated machines to the market.

For mobile gamers, Acer is updating the Aspire V15 and V17 Nitro Black Edition machines and the Predator 17 X, and introducing the brand new VX 15 midrange gaming laptop, as well as the Predator 21 X behemoth — the world’s first gaming laptop with a curved display. Rounding out Acer’s announcements are the mid-range Aspire GX gaming desktop, and the education-oriented Chromebook 11 N7 notebook.

Acer Aspire V15 and V17 Nitro Black Edition

Acer has updated its Aspire V Nitro Black Edition line with the latest Nvidia GPUs and Intel 7th-gen Core processors processors, but maintains the sleek, stealthy-black look as the previous models. The machines also come with some updates to make them even more effective gaming and Windows 10 systems, making this update more significant than the typical refresh.

The Aspire V Nitro Black Edition comes in two models, the V15 with a 15.6-inch IPS display, and the V17 with a 17.3-inch IPS display. Both offer Full HD (1920 x 1080) and Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) resolutions. The UHD screen offers superior color via the company’s Color Intelligence, which dynamically adjusts gamma and saturation in real time.

Certainly, performance will benefit from the choice between seventh-generation quad-core Intel Core i5-7300HQ and Core i7-7700HQ processors, as well as the Intel MH175 PCH chipset. Graphics are driven by the latest Nvidia Pascal architecture, either the GeForce GTX 1050 with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, or GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

Both versions support up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, upgradeable from the base 16GB. Storage options include NVMe PCIe Gen 3 or SATA solid state drive SSD) with 256GB or 512GB capacity for fast booting, and a second 500GB or 1TB 5400 RPM hard disk drive (HDD) for storage.

Aside from hardware updates, the Nitro line has two brand-new features. The first is optional integrated Tobii eye-tracking on the V17 (and only the V17), which combines with touchpad gestures to allow users to more quickly navigate apps and programs with a glance. Gaming is improved with eye tracking allowing gamers to aim, shoot, and explore more efficiently for deeper immersion in greater than 45 titles, including Deus Ex: Machine Divided, and Elite Dangerous. Also, a new fingerprint scanner provides support for Windows 10 Hello security.

Also new is Acer TrueHarmony Plus technology, which enhances audio through the four integrated speakers with Dobly Audio Premium support. TrueHarmony Plus seeks to make sound reproduction more accurate and clearer, with a wider bass range. Also, Skype for Business certification ensures that the V15 and V17 can work as professional communication devices, providing lag-free audio with exceptional Cortana with Voice on Windows 10.

In addition, the V15 and V17 both utilize Acer’s AeroBlade metal fan for thermal exhaust efficiency, and Coolboost technology lets users manually control cooling for the heaviest uses. DustDefender dual high-speed fans with reverse rotation help keep things clean, removing dust and improving heat dissipation.

Wired connectivity is provided by a single USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI connection. Wireless connectivity includes 2×2 801.11ac MU-MIMO for fast Wi-Fi performance. A Gigabet Ethernet port rounds out network connectivity.

Battery options include 52.5 watt-hour and 70 watt-hour units. The V15 ranges from .89 inches to .98 inches thick and weighs 5.73 pounds with the larger battery, and 5.51 pounds with the smaller battery. The V17 is 1.09 inches thick throughout its chassis, and weighs 6.83 pounds or 7.05 pounds, depending on the choice of battery.

The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition will be available in February 2017, with pricing starting at $1,199 in North America, €1,299 in EMEA, and ¥8,999 in China. The V17 will also be available in February 2017, starting at $1,399 in North America, €1299 in EMEA, and ¥8,999 in China.

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