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Acer’s crazy expensive $9,000 Predator laptop is stalking PC gamers globally

Why it matters to you

PC gamers with $9,000 to spare now have a new option for playing their favorites on a high-end mobile solution sporting a 21-inch curved WFHD display.

For those who haven’t heard about Acer’s Predator 21 X gaming laptop with a curved screen, you are about to do a double-take. After first appearing at CES 2017 in January, the company said the high-end unit would hit the market sometime in the first quarter. However, that did not happen but instead, it officially launched on Wednesday in Taiwan as the global rollout starting point. The double-take? It has a starting price of $9,000. Yep, you read that correctly.

In Acer’s defense, the laptop is loaded with meaty components that probably have no problems sustaining a high framerate at 2,560 x 1080 on and off the 6,000 mAh battery. The list not only includes a curved 21-inch G-Sync-compatible screen, but two GeForce discrete graphics chips in SLI mode and a shiny new quad-core seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Here are the monstrous goods:

Model: Predator 21 X GX21-71-76ZF
Screen size: 21 inches
Panel type: In-Plane Switching (IPS), LED backlit, G-Sync
Maximum resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 @ 120Hz
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Screen curvature: 2000R
Processor: Intel Core i7-7820HK @ 2.90GHz
Graphics: 2x GeForce GTX 1080
Graphics memory: 16GB GDDR5X
System memory: 32GB DDR4 (64GB max, 4x DIMM slots, 2,400MHz)
Storage: 1TB hard drive
1TB solid state drive
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Audio: 4x Speakers
Ports: 1x Ethernet
1x SD card reader
1x HDMI
1x DisplayPort
4x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
1x Headphone jack
1x Microphone jack
Battery: 8-cell 6,000mAh Li-Ion
Dimensions: 2.71 – 3.28 (H) x 22.4 (W) x 12.4 (D) inches
Weight: 18.74 pounds
Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

For starters, the display has a curvature of 2000R. The ‘R’ represents the radius of a complete circle, so the smaller the radius, the larger the curved form factor becomes for a screen. Curved screens are better on the eyeballs because your built-in optical orbs aren’t flat, and right now, a curvature of around 2000R seems to be the sweet spot, which this notebook gladly rubs the right way.

The screen is also based on IPS panel technology, which is known for its rich colors and wide viewing angles. The older Twisted Nematic tech is typically associated with gaming due to its response time and high brightness. However, Acer may have opted for IPS to better support the curved form factor.

Regardless, the huge cost of Acer’s new laptop likely resides in the large 21-inch curved display and the two $500 GTX 1080 graphics chips. Intel does not list the pricing for its i7-7820HK chip, but it shows an introductory price of $378 when the chip made its first appearance in January. The product page also shows that units will come packed with Tobii eye-tracking technology and there is G-Sync to consider as well.

When this beastly laptop will hit the North American market is unknown. However, Acer Taiwan president Dave Lin said customers will have the ability to customize the device, hence the massive “starting” price. The company will even send out engineers to help customers set up the laptop after purchase, he added.